Well folks, it's that time of year again. The time of year when Christmas shopping ceases to be proactive and becomes almost last-minute. This year, I've managed to get most of my list covered, but I'm no stranger to the last-minute dash. In fact, I'm sure we've all been there at some point, so if you're still searching for the perfect present for a foodie friend, here are some hot kitchen ideas:
Cooking Classes - Whether it's sharpening your knife skills or picking up some new baking tips, there's a cooking class for everyone. Check out your local community college (even better if there's a culinary school nearby!) or community events center. In some areas, you need look no further than your local Whole Foods or Williams-Sonoma.
|Photo from Williams-Sonoma.com|
Le Creuset Cookware - Speaking of Williams-Sonoma, this high-end store is one of my favorite places to browse. Notice I said browse, because unfortunately, their beautiful high-end items also have high-end prices - which is why it's doubly awesome that they're in the middle of a 25%-off cookware sale! I've been in love with the silky enamel finish of their Le Creuset cookware (which comes in all those gorgeous colors) for years, and I guarantee you there isn't a wannabe chef on your list who wouldn't be thrilled by finding one of those under the tree!
|Pocket pie maker (photo from Williams-Sonoma.com)|
Pocket Pie Mold - This is another Williams-Sonoma favorite (I promise I don't get sponsorship), although I'm sure you'd be able to find similar products elsewhere. The good news is that it's a lot more budget-friendly, and still makes a great food-centric gift. For those who follow the culinary zeitgeist (where all things molecular are becoming all things miniature, and cupcakes are supposedly making way for pocket pies) this gift is right on trend. Look for other shapes which could be used with savory pies, or gift a whole set for the true pastry lover in your life.
The Flavor Bible - I've reviewed this book before, but I can't say enough good things about it. Innovative and encyclopedic, this volume really changes the way you think about food and will free you up in the kitchen like you never imagined. If that's not a good enough sell, read the review!
|Measuring spoons by Fred (photo from Amazon.com)|
Basic Utensils - After working my way through several vegetable peelers and surviving numerous unpleasant wooden spoon incidents (I'm convinced wooden spoons leave the nastiest splinters), I can't overemphasize the importance of having a really good set of basic tools. Peelers, can-openers, kitchen timers, graters, wooden spoons, measuring spoons, and measuring cups are the workhorses of the kitchen, so you may as well invest in good ones. And you don't have to sacrifice form for function anymore; companies like Fred offer whimsical kitchen gadgets (like the Russian Nesting Doll measuring spoons above), while others like Blomus offer sleek, stainless steel style. That being said, my drawers and cupboards are full of cheap-and-cheerful items that I'll use to death - but I'm sure I'll pay the price for my penny-pinching stubbornness in hands full of splinters.
Cookbooks - When food blogs surged in popularity a couple of years ago, people began predicting the end of the print cookbook. While it's true that I get a lot of my recipes and inspiration from the web, I still have a handful of go-to cookbooks - and even more on my wish list - and I'm sure that I'm not alone. In fact, the current crop of cookbooks seem to double as memoirs and works of art - just as informative and entertaining on the bedside table as they are in the kitchen. And these days, there's a cookbook for every cook, so whether your recipient is into Southern cuisine or Seafood (or even Southern Seafood!), there's sure to be a book to suit!
In the interests of time (and a desire not to appear too greedy to my lovely readers) I'll cut the list short there. Hopefully this has given you a few ideas for the food-lovers on your list - or at least allowed you to indulge in a few happy moments looking at gorgeous kitchen things! After all, that kind of holiday indulgence won't add time to your gym routine!