Saturday, December 06, 2008

Holiday Foodie Gift Guide
Here’s a list of great gifts for your friends and family (or even yourself) who think there is nothing better than roasting squash with maple syrup and sticking your hands in a raw turkey. There’s a mix of things I have and love and things I desperately want.

The Sylvia Plath Oven Mits from are $28. This is so sick and wrong… I love it. Even better would be to pair it with The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath.

How to Cook Everything, Mark Bittman. You might know him from The New York Times food section. This is my favorite go to cookbook. I have cooked at least a quarter of it and have always been pleased with the results.

How to Eat, Nigella Lawson. Love her, love her recipes and love her breezy intimate writing style. Within a few pages you’ll have her soothing voice in your head. I also am a fan of Feast, where she tackles holiday cooking. It's too bad The FoodNetwork buries her new show at the early Saturday time slot.

Devil in the Kitchen , Marco Pierre White's biography. The original bad boy abusive chef, who makes Gordon Ramsey look like a wuss. Fascinating read, I made my way through it in two days. You won’t be able to put it down.

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, Anthony Bourdain. His seminal work, written in the early morning before he went to work the line at Les halles. Find out why you might never order fish again on a Monday.

You might also consider a subscription to Gourmet or Saveur. I really can’t recommend Bon Appetit any longer. Last year's subscription was just not inspiring and the photos are ugly.

Stocking Stuffer
Astronaut Ice Cream 10 packages for $25: Sweet, chalky, freeze-dried goodness. Give them to all your friends and family

Under $15
Embroidered Dish Towel $6.40: (left) I found this on and I think it the cutest gift ever.

Cookie Scoop $10.95: I have one and love it for shaping cookies and mini meatballs very quickly.

Microplane $15: I love mine and probably use it a few times a week for grating garlic, as opposed to mincing it. It’s also great for parm cheese or nutmeg.

Instant Read Thermometer $10: Every cook should have one of these, but not everyone does. Great stocking stuffer.

Under $25
D’Artagnan Black Truffle Butter (1 lb.) $20.99: Smear it on bread or toss it with pasta. Yum.

Vacuum Sealer $23.99: This looks like it could be a great gadget for when you make a big batch of stew or soup. Freshlock bags are recommended for the microwave and boil-in-bag cooking and features a labeling strip to record the contents, weight and date stored. I've never used it.

Under $60
Grill Pan 12-Inch Shallow Round Grill Pan $54.95: I've been wanting one of these pans for awhile now. Great for searing steaks, fish and even halloumi. Wrap it up with a jar of fig jam and a package of the cheese.

Under $100
D’Artagnan Foie Gras Sampler $69.99: Want, Want, Want. It comes with Medallion of Duck Foie Gras with Black Truffles (6 oz.), 1 package of French Kisses (6 Armagnac-soaked prunes filled with creamy Duck Foie Gras),Terrine of Duck Foie Gras, Small (8 oz.), and 1 package of Organic Charcuterie Crackers. I've never had this package, but have tried many of their other products and have been pleased.

Immersion Blender $59.99: I got one of these last Christmas from my brother Steve last year and it was my favorite gift. I will never ever have to puree soup in a blender. The attachments it comes with are also really handy, whisk and a mini-chopper for jobs that might be too small for your large food processor. I've been chopping up 2-3 heads of garlic and storing it in small jars in olive oil.

Help me add to the list. What do you want for the holidays? Leave your wish in the comments section.


Anonymous said...

How about my Wok Star Kit with everything you need to become a Wok Star for $145? I put this together because there were so many misconceptions about wok cooking, obstacles to getting started (unseasoned cast iron wok) and problems with heat (electric cooktops). My Kit is very practical and convenient so you can learn and start your fun and creative experience with family and friends right away! A 15", preseasoned, light (3 lb.) cast iron wok set with unique magnetic mitt, 3 disc set of instructional DVDs plus audio cook-alongs (it's like having a private coach in your kitchen). I even include my personal selection of Asian seasonings which comes in a handy caddy organizer with dispensers. You can get a "flavor" of the discs on my website as well as tons of tips and meal ideas.

Grace Piper said...

Yay! I love to give gifts like this to friends who are interested in learning new kitchen techniques. Wonderful.