Christmas Gifts for Kitchen Fiends

3 Dec

Tis the season to buy people stuff! Do you think the three wise men purchased their gifts for Jesus at a Black Friday sale? If they really are wise men, I bet they bought it all online. I did not attend Sunday school —or church for that matter— as a kid, so I’m allowed to say that kind of stuff. You know, like how if you have a friend who’s a minority you can make racist jokes. I don’t know what the wise men actually brought the baby Jesus, thus I can make Jesus jokes. Wait, I got that backwards didn’t I? I need to go to church before I can make Jesus jokes.

Sometimes I fear because you can’t hear my voice and see my face when I say things like the above you think I’m a disrespectful idiot. Hopefully that didn’t just happen. I swear I’m harmless. Just a dark sense of humor, no filter and no gauge for inappropriateness. Good thing my day job is public relations.

Back to the task at hand: you’re Christmas shopping and you’ve got someone on your list who is a butcher or a baker, but definitely not a candlestick maker. You’re in search of a gift for someone who spends a lot of time in the kitchen. Well guess what? I spend a lot of time in the kitchen and I spend almost as much time wandering the isles and websites of King Arthur Flour, Williams & Sonoma, Sur La Table etc.

Here are my top picks for the culinary genius in your life…

oxo-measuring-cupss
OXO Measuring
Cup Set ($20)

I love the OXO angled measuring cups. You can read the labels standing up instead of having to crouch or hold up the cup! I use mine daily. Any level of cook would love this. You can buy this set at a variety of different spots in person and online (OXO, Target, Williams & Sonoma, Macy’s etc.)

Neilsen-Massey-Vanilla
Good Vanilla, Vanilla Paste or Vanilla Beans ($9 – $20)
Vanilla —good vanilla— is expensive and quality ingredients make all the difference. The exotic vanilla products of the Williams & Sonoma or King Arthur Flour catalogs are something we foodies covet, but don’t splurge on enough. Same goes for organic Vietnamese cinnamon or white truffle oil.

Pyrex-Sets
Pyrex Sets ($20 – $70)
If you spend a lot of time experimenting in the kitchen, you inevitably end up with leftovers. I prefer glass food storage to plastic, because I’m still not 100% sold that re-heating food in plastic (even BPA free) doesn’t leach bad stuff into food. Plus, glass is oven safe and dishwasher safe and doesn’t turn that lovely shade of leftover spaghetti orange. I find Target and Kohls have the best deals on the Pyrex sets.

Joseph-Bowl-Set
Joseph Joseph Nest 9 Plus ($50)

How cool is this guy? Measuring cups, mixing bowls, a seive and a colendar that all fit together. That’s perfect for cooks with small kitchens. And maybe cooks with poor eyesight too given the bright color scheme.

Kitchen-Aid-Mixer
Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer ($220 – $550)
In the go big or go to the Dollar Store category we have the holy grail… the Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer. I’m pretty sure the squeal I made when I received this for Christmas was similar to the one I made when Santa brought me a Game Boy at age seven. The basic 5 quart mixer (shown above) appears to be on sale for a good sum at Target currently. If you want the Tiffany necklace of stand mixers, the Kitchen Aid Professional 600 is what you need to be shopping for, but be prepared to spend upwards of $500. Make sure you know what color to get and if you’re ordering online, free shipping will save you a ton on this purchase. If your favorite baker already has a stand mixer, an extra Kitchen Aid mixing bowl, maybe a glass one even, or the flex-blade paddle attachment would make good gifts.

KAF-Progressive-Storage
KAF Progressive Containers ($12 – $20)
The packaging flour and sugar comes in is awful. Obviously you’re not going to use the entire bag in one sitting, so you’re forced to find ways to wrap the remainder in rubber bands or stuff into containers that are meant for leftovers (which is why you never have any of those when you actually have leftovers). These containers from King Arthur Flour are the best I’ve found anywhere; the brown sugar container has a terra cota disc to keep sugar moist, the flour container has a leveler and the sugar container has a sifter!

WS-ipad-holder
Williams & Sonoma Ipad Stand Set ($200)
I don’t have an iPad, but if I did, I would want this! It not only holds your iPad so you can read your recipe in the kitchen, but it has a protective shield to guard from stray eggs and a Bluetooth speaker so you can jam while you whisk.

Daily-Cookie-Book
The Daily Cookie: 365 Tempting Treats for the Sweetest Year of Your Life ($16)
I’m not a huge fan of cookbooks, but when it came to The Daily Cookie, I had it pre-ordered. It’s by one of my blogging mentors, Anna, from Cookie Madness. I wouldn’t recommend it, if I only bought it to support Anna. Nope, I’m recommending it because it ticks off all the boxes on my cookbook must haves: pictures for every recipe, extensive index, tips from the author and fun random facts. Anna intersperses info about food holidays and “on this date” factoids with each recipe. Expect to see some of these recipes appear in future blog posts…

Gift Cards
If all of this is too overwhelming, you still have the gold standard of Christmas presents to save you: the gift card. For a foodie it would be one that says Williams & Sonoma, Sur La Table, King Arthur Flour or Crate & Barrel.

If you are the culinary genius and need to drop hints to your family and friends, I highly recommend signing up for an Amazon.com wish list  and downloading the magic wish list button. It’s like Pinterest, except useful. When you’re on Crate & Barrel.com or J.Crew.com or BestBuy.com or what have you, and you see something you really like, you just click the Amazon Wish List button that is now on your browser toolbar and it automatically adds it to your Amazon.com Wish List – it even shows you if you can get it directly from Amazon.com for less. You can also add details like  a particular size or color and then set a priority level for each item.

All the Santas in your life can either search your name on Amazon.com to find your wish list or you can be a little more obvious and just email the link to everyone. The list can be sorted by price, date added, category and priority. Don’t worry – it doesn’t show when someone has purchased an item on your list, so it’s stays a surprise! Santa how did you know?!

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One Response to “Christmas Gifts for Kitchen Fiends”

  1. Tom Moore December 3, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    Awesome ideas! Thanks, Erin!

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