Sunday, December 20, 2009

Gifts for The Cook

I suppose I wouldn't be a real blogger if I didn't at least do a list of great holiday gifts for that cook in your life. Unfortunately, I'm a bit late in getting this out. Things have been pretty busy with a new job and all. Many of these items are available at your friendly neighborhood housewares store, so they can be good last-minute gifts.

A Beginner's Cheesemaking Kit from The New England Cheesemaking Supply Company. I actually have the mozzarella kit. It's loads of fun, incredibly easy, and it makes delicious cheese. Plus, it's cheaper than buying fresh mozzarella from the deli counter.

A CDN ProAccurate Digital Instant Read Thermometer - Still rated near the top of the list by Cook's Illustrated Magazine, but at a fraction of the cost. The only difference between this one and the top-rated is the response time and a $60 cost difference.

Cooking Magazine Subscription - When your friend is on the road and can't get to my blog, he or she will need some great reading material. Why not give a gift subscription to one of these great cooking magazines:
A Whole Foods Gift Card (or other grocer) - True cooking hobbyists like to experiment from time to time with odd , unfamiliar, or expensive ingredients but they can't usually justify the added cost to the family grocery bill. Let them feed their habit with a gift card to their favorite supermarket. Think of it like buying crafting supplies.

LL Bean Boat 'N Tote - This classic bag is probably one of the longest-standing products at LL Bean. It's one of the most rugged bags you'll ever own and by far the most versatile. But why is it a cook's friend? I use my large tote every time I'm bringing a potluck dish somewhere. You can drop an entire 5-quart slow cooker into it and put it on the floor in the backseat of the car and it won't go anywhere. It's also a handy way to cart your stuff home.

Cooler Bag - An extra-large cooler bag is another awesome item to have when bringing pot-luck dishes somewhere. I have one that my largest mixing bowl fits in and we use it every summer for picnics. It will also keep hot food hot.

Microplane Grater
- This one of the most used gadgets in my kitchen. If I could only have one of Microplane's products, it'd be this one. It can do everything from hard cheese to nutmeg and citrus zest.

Pressure Cooker - Have entire healthy meals ready in 1/3 of the time. Pressure cookers are safe, easy to use, and one of the best gadgets to get that simmered-all-day taste in less than an hour.

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