Monday, December 5, 2011

Five Kitchen Christmas Gift Ideas

Ah the holiday season. Thanksgiving is, for me, all about the food. I love it dearly as a holiday. Christmas, though, is often about the presents. I'm a big fan of people making up Wishlists for Christmas, otherwise I find that I'm flying blind. If you are flying blind, though, and you have someone who is into food that you are purchasing for, let me help you out by recommending a few of my kitchen essentials.

Sil-Pat Baking Mat
This revolutionized my baking world when I got it. These mats are so fantastic. Nothing sticks to them. They clean up very easily. No more scrubbing cookie sheets anymore. They also seem to help things cook on the bottom more evenly. I only have one, but hope to get a couple more soon so I can do multiple cookie batches at once.

A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg
This was the book of the year for me. Molly Wizenberg is an incredible writer and brilliant cook. I discovered her blog Orangette early in the year, bought and read the book, and then read every single post on her blog. Her memories surrounding food are captivating and her recipes are great. I've made most of the recipes in this book and they are all winners.

A Microplane Grater
I was gifted one of these a while ago and it's just wonderful. It's great for zesting lemons and for grating Parmesan and other hard cheeses. I also love to use it to grate chocolate. It cleans up in a snap, too, and takes up very little room. It's a delight.

1.5 Quart Pyrex Casseole Dish
I have no idea where this came from. I swear it just showed up in my kitchen cabinet one day. I think that it came from my other half's kitchen contributions when we combined all of our stuff but I'm quite taken with it. It's wonderful for over braising things and I also use it as a vessel for marinading. I've used it as a mixing bowl and a serving dish too in times of need. It's easy to clean and elegantly simple.

Shun Serrated Utility Knife
So this is the pricey item on the list, but honestly if you're going to spend a little more, spend it on a kitchen knife. I am the lucky owner of three Shun Knives and they are brilliant. I love this serrated one because I can cut pretty much anything with it. I use it to break down chicken, to slice tomatoes, to cut bread, you name it. This knife plus a good chef's knife are a must have for any chef.

So there you go. A range of items that I can't live without that will surely make any cook happy to receive. So whats on my list this year?

A Caribbean Blue Le Creuset Dutch Oven
A KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment
A Salt Grinder (mine was tragically killed in a kitchen floor incident)
The Man Who Ate Everything
A 12 Inch Cast Iron Skillet

And how about you? Anything you desperately want or couldn't live without?

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