Holiday Gift Guide for the Home Cook
I’ve always loved cooking and baking, but dramatically overhauling my diet earlier this year meant spending a lot more time in the kitchen, where I upped my skill levels and my inventory of tools and gadgets to help bring my recipes to life. If you love to cook, you’ll want these items in your kitchen!
Ozeri Pronto Digital Multifunction Kitchen and Food Scale – $14.62 at Amazon
Measuring cups and spoons are fine and well, but if you’re measuring portion sizes or recipes which list ingredients in grams, there’s no easier way to do it than with a digital kitchen scale. The Ozeri model measure grams, ounces, pounds or kilograms and can hold up to 11 pounds. I don’t know what I did before I had this.
Gefu Spirelli Spiral Slicer – $15.49 at Amazon
If you want a really simple, really cool gadget to impress dinner guests or just yourself, you’ve gotta get a Gefu slicer. It makes “noodles” out of carrots, zucchini and the like, which you can use as salad garnishes, health pasta alternatives or any number of things. I love this little tool – it’s so much fun!
Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream and Sorbet Maker – $59.00 at Wayfair
Isn’t she a beauty? Sure, it’s easy to grab a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and sit on the couch, but it’s tastier (and potentially healthier) to make your own ice cream at home. It’s super easy, and there’s nothing like having fresh frozen treats on hand – and being able to make your own custom flavours doesn’t hurt, either. To make it even better, the robin’s egg colour feels sorta retro in a really endearing way. It doesn’t match the rest of my kitchen, but WHO CARES? It’s ice cream!
Kitten Mitts, Set of 2 – $20 at Fab.com
Listen, don’t be me. Don’t nearly cover yourself in third degree burns from trying to get things out of the oven. It’s no fun! Instead, get some kitten oven mitts – they’re definitely fun, and they’re on sale at the moment for $10 for the set (though this may not be the case by the time you click). Either way, they make me laugh every time I use them, and they keep me from scarring myself for life.
Sil-Eco Non-Stick Baking Tray Liner – $10.99 at Fab.com
If there’s anything I hate, it’s having things stick to my baking trays. It ruins the food, it ruins the tray – it’s a bad scene for everyone. Getting silicone baking sheets to throw on top of them has been a LIFESAVER. Nothing EVER sticks to them, and they’re super easy to clean, as well. They are an absolute must-have.
Hamilton Beach 8 Cup Food Processor – $29.24 at Amazon
I don’t think there’s a day that goes by that I don’t use this thing. While food processors can get really pricy, the Hamilton Beach model is inexpensive and solid – I’ve had it for months and it’s been absolutely brilliant. It comes with a special attachment which allows you to finely slice items, grate cheese, whatever suits your fancy. This thing rices my cauliflower in about 10 seconds flat and is great with mixing doughs, pastries, batters, etc. DEFINITELY recommend.
Porcelain 8 oz Ramekins, Set of 4 – $12.99 at Fab.com
I went too long without ramekins in my kitchen, which is silly considering that I’m usually only cooking for myself and needed a way to make smaller portions. Ramekins are great for mini pot pies, shepherds pies and, of course, desserts. They also make good pie weights if you’re cheap like me and don’t have any – ha! A definite kitchen essential.
Ginsu 14 Piece Knife Block Set, $49.99 at Wayfair
A chef isn’t a chef without a good set of knives. That’s a lesson I learned when I could barely cut through a loaf of protein bread I made a few months ago because my one knife was so dull (and NOT serrated) that I could barely slice into it. Ginsu has long been a solid brand when it comes to knives, and the block that comes with this keeps them all in one place and out of the way – mine sits right on my counter beside the stove.
Fusionbrands Poachpod set – $9.99 at Sur La Table
I actually do know how to poach an egg properly, now, but it can be a time-consuming process, or at least one with too many steps than I like to take. When I’m in a hurry for feeling lazy, I lightly grease and drop in one of my poach pods into a pot of boiling water, crack in an egg and let magic happen on its own. These make life SO much simpler when you’re craving poached eggs without the headache.