Giveaway: Built Back-to-School Lunch Tote

As you well know, we have always been a big fan of packing our lunches for work. Unless, of course, work is taking place in one of our kitchens. Thanks to Built NY, the brown bag just got a whole lot more attractive and useful. And we’re excited, in honor of back-to-school season, to be giving away this Gourmet Getaway Lunch Tote to one of our lucky readers!

We’ve been doing a lot of product perusing lately. Not just because we happen to be on 500 random list serves pouring back-to-school sales into our inboxes. But because we are about to launch a store of our own.

We’ve partnered with OpenSky to help us launch our own BGSK Store, where we’re offering all our favorite kitchen essentials for stocking first houses and apartments. There are many snazzy sets out there, but as with our food, our product list will stress quality over quantity and give you a chance to own the top twenty or so things you need to get started.

Of course, we’ll also be offering fun everyday items for outside the kitchen–products that are both cool and uselful, like pretty aprons, napkins, and lunchbox totes.

To win this Built NY bag, tell us about your favorite small kitchen or bare bones entertaining item. It can be something you couldn’t cook without, the way Phoebe feels about her Le Creuset Dutch Oven, or something that’s a little bit less essential to life, but perhaps more awesome for being so, like the blue cake stand Cara got for her birthday, and uses whenever she can.

Leave your comments below! We can’t wait to hear all about your favorite products.

Check back next week to find out if you are a winner–if not, you’ll be able to purchase this tote straight from our brand spanking new store!

From our kitchens, recommending our favorite products to yours,


Posted in: Events, Giveaway
  • belle on heels

    my wusthof santoku knife. best. item. EVER!!

  • Jess

    I cannot live without my favorite thrift store find: my cast-iron skillet. I found it years ago for six dollars, and it’s amazing. I can put it under the broiler or on the tabletop and it looks so professional! Thanks for the giveaway ladies, keep up the great work! I love this site.

  • Leah / Sephira

    I NEED the roast fork I got from my mum! She bought it when she moved out when she was 18 and well I am 20 and I still use it. Its actually quite worn to look at but I love it. reminds me of my dear mum and everytime I use it I think of her :)

    – Seph

  • BG

    I adore my fluted tart pan! I love going to potlucks and peeling the foil off of a fruit tart of quiche and the ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ that people make. It always makes everything look more impressive. which helps my only sometimes impressive cooking skills.

  • Jutta

    I love my Locking Tongs (stainless steel and Silicon) I originally purchased them to make meatballs, but find I use them to cook almost anything. Who needs a spatula!

  • Irene

    I just got a beautiful cream colored lasagna pan by Giada from Target – but I use it for everything! It’s super sturdy, so I feel comfortable taking it to other places without being afraid of it breaking, but it’s pretty too, so I serve brownies, coffee cake, pasta, straight from the dish!

  • Sara

    My stand mixer…definitely could not survive baking for a crowd without it! :)

  • Amanda

    I couldn’t live without my rabbit wine bottle opener. They’re great!

  • lainey_elizabeth

    Totally the 9 x 13 casserole dish. I couldn’t live with out it for casseroles (duah) brownies, baked french toast, a sheet cake, I could go on and on but not without it!

  • molly

    i like serving everything on my big, crisp white platter that i put everything on – including my dark chocolate sea salt brownies, which are always a hit.

  • kate

    I cannot live without my mini cuisinart. Now, I have only had it since August 20th (thanks, Cara), but already I don’t know what I did before it. It is perfect for when I don’t feel like chopping and for when I am ambitiously making hummus soup after teaching. Not to mention it is pink, so it can sit out, but is also small enough to put up in a counter!

  • Jenna

    Sturdy clear acrylic serving trays. We do a lot of outdoor rooftop dinners at our apartment and they are great for food transport. They’re lightweight, durable, and easily work themselves into any atmosphere/theme.

  • QK224

    my lemon/lime juicer. it helped me through a good share of margaritas and ceviches this summer.

  • Kari

    i love my pyrex bakeware! so easy to clean.

  • StephX

    Hands down my hand held immersion blender. I use it to puree soups right in the pot or to make smoothies in the morning. It is easy to use, easy to clean, and takes up so little room (especially compared to a cuisinart or blender)!

  • Becca

    I love my Henkel knife set just about as much as one can love an inanimate object. In fact, I’ve become so spoiled by my lovely knives that I now try to avoid being assigned any chopping tasks (especially if it’s tomatoes that need to be chopped!) when I help prepare food at friends’ apartments – unless I manage to surreptitiously survey and approve the available equipment first. Not for my own benefit, of course, but so that I will not risk saying anything that would make them feel inferior for only having steak knives in their kitchens.

  • Laura

    I just got a new pan that I’m absolutely obsessed with – it’s a 12″ nonstick wok-style pan from Healthy Earth, that promises not to leach out any chemicals into your food. It is the BEST nonstick pan I’ve ever had, requiring almost no olive oil to keep food from burning. My mom got it for me as a birthday gift, knowing how lazy I am and that my old nonstick surface was falling apart.

  • Elizabeth

    I absolutely could not live without my stand mixer. It might be large and bulky, but I’ll gladly let it take up as much counter space as it needs. I love it so much and use it at least twice a week.

  • Samlbroo

    When it comes to entertaining, I have two small ramkins that I can not live without. One is red and yellow and says “Tapas” and another is blue and says “Dip.” They are so simple, but they can hold everything from dips to olives to toothpicks, and I can not have people over without them!

  • Frankie

    I can’t do without my big wrist-shattering cast iron pan. I don’t want it coated with enamel, thank you, which spares me from paying Le Creuset prices. It’s the ultimate non-stick, plus flavored by meticulous seasoning, and adding a little touch of iron in your diet. I roast, saute, and sleep with it. Love that tote!

  • puffdaddyj

    My bottle opener and cork screw.

  • Sara C.

    It’s so hard to choose just one, but i’d have to say my stand mixer. It seriously changed my life.

  • Caitlindisanto

    I would have to go with my slow cooker. I love it! I got it two years ago for Christmas. I wanted one so badly I wrote the very detailed letter to Santa (keep in mind I was 22 at the time). I got colored pencils out and even drew “him” a picture of the one I wanted. And then I promptly mailed the letter to my parents. When I actually got it I was so excited. I love that I can make dinner in the morning and come home and the house smells wonderful. It kinda reminds me of being little and coming home and the house smelling like my mom’s cooking. I don’t think I would eat nearly as well if I didn’t have my slow cooker.

  • Christina

    my lemon squeezer and my silicone spatulas (i’d say my kitchenaid, but i guess it’s not very small).

  • Erika Penzer Kerekes

    My Magic Bullet blender (no affiliation – just a happy owner). Small footprint, a dozen uses. Also my mini-chopper.

  • ebc710

    The mango splitter – I can’t believe I ever lived without one. Allows you to split down the sides of the mango so you can easily cut it into manageable chunks. Saves time and those annoying little strings in your teeth. It doesn’t work for me as a stand alone wedding gift but I have strapped one on top of every wedding gift or foodie birthday gift since I made the discovery.

  • Patrice

    My cookie scoop I have a very bad eye when it comes to guesstimating the correct cookie size. This makes it so much easier to correctly divvy up my dough and they always come out perfectly round.

  • Elizabeth

    Cannot imagine ever being without 11-inch round comal. Tortillas are a staple in my family, so use it practically every day. This one heats up quickly and also cools off fast, good for getting it out of the way when done. Make quesadillas, heat up pita once in a while, bolillo, and pizza for the delicious toasted crunch. Needless to say I dislike microwaved tortillas.

  • Robin

    My grill pan. great for fish, steaks and veggies when i don’t have the room for an outdoor grill.

  • Cmagic

    Okay, this is REALLY bare bones, but I have a small piece of a wooden cutting board that broke ages ago. It would seem pretty useless, but it’s the perfect size for resting a spoon or spatula on while I’m cooking without dirtying up the counter. It’s pretty much amazing.

  • Brad Fowler

    I’ll have to second the santoku knife. My henkel santoku is the most useful and essential piece for me when I’m cooking. Also super are cast iron saucepans, the le creuset pans have super great heavy bottom to stock sticking. Enamaled cast iron pans are clutch!

  • susitravl

    My Black & Decker Handy Chopper that I got for a wedding present in 1989. It works like a charm and the blade is still as sharp as the day I got it. My husband keeps telling me we should get something better, but I love it – it’s compact and like the name says, Handy!

  • Erin L

    My favorite item is my slow cooker! I am in med school full time and live with my fiance so skipping a meal is not an option. I put this on before school and by the time i get back dinner is ready and everyone is happy!!! :)

    Erin L

  • Anonymous

    I can’t make a decent tortilla, so I have to say my tortilla press. Hubby is from Central America, and if I can’t make them as good as Mama does, well, I can at least fake it with the press. lol.

  • Ali

    My favorite small kitchen item is my air popper. When I get home from school I often want to sit down with a big bowl of salty crunch without the additives that come in pre-popped corn from the store or the microwave variety. Wish I had more sophisticated items in my kitchen but as a law student, this is the way it will be for a while I assume.

  • jc

    I’ll be dead without my “kuali” (some call it a chinese “wok”). I fry, I steam, I stew, I boil, I do just about any cooking with this kuali. I call it my ultimate kitchen assistant, lol! Thanks for the lovely giveaway, the lunch tote is very chic and will come in very handy.

  • Williams5776

    I can’t live without my orange plastic collandar I bought from Target in their dollar section!! It is always in my sink to rinse off blue berries or drain pasta and it is bright and makes me smile!!

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