Foodie Christmas gifts, continued…
This is a list of some cool tools – some essential, some whimsical, some probably ridiculous. But they will no doubt make your foodie smile!
- If money is no object: your foodie NEEDS a KitchenAid Stand Mixer. No self-respecting foodie should go without this essential tool. It can be used for everything: kneading bread, mixing cookie dough, combining meat loaf mix, whipping cream. And, if your foodie already has a stand mixer, you can always get them an attachment or two: meat grinder, sausage stuffer, grain mill, citrus juicer, pasta roller, ravioli maker, slicer/shredder, ice cream maker….
- A powerful blender. My pick is the KitchenAid 4-Speed Blender. It REALLY crushes ice! About $99, available in four colors.
- Onion Goggles (available at ThinkGeek for $24.95, at other places for various prices). Tears no more! These nifty little goggles prevent the noxious sulfur compounds from reaching your eyeballs, so you can finally chop onions without crying a river.
- Nutmeg Grater (under $20). My fave is this one by Cuisipro. I no longer buy ground nutmeg, following a harrowing incident with a moldycontainer bought in the grocery store. I now buy whole nutmegs from Penzey’s, and grate them as needed using the grater.
- OXO Electronic Kitchen Scale (around $50, available at kitchen stores and at www.oxo.com). Every kitchen needs an accurate food scale that can measure in pounds and kilograms. This one is great – measures up to 11 pounds.
- The Beverage CADDi – it allows you to hang on to your coffee with one finger! Price: $5.50 (“the cost of your last spilled latte,” according to the Beverage CADDi website). I haven’t seen it in stores, but it’s available online.
- The Happy Man Bottle Stopper. I think the picture says it all.
Other Foodie Gift Ideas
- Cooking classes – many local kitchen supply stores offer cooking classes, teaching a wide range of topics. Here are a few:
- Different Drummer’s Kitchen (Latham Cooking School and Northampton Cooking School)
- Spoon & Whisk
- Saratoga Restaurant Equipment Sales
- Mimmy’s House Personal Chef Service (offers one-on-one classes)
- Wine Course from Wine Spectator School. The Wine Spectator, a recognized name in wine culture, offers online wine education courses, on a variety of topics. I’ve taken a few of these courses, and I think they’re great. Courses last about 6 weeks, students set their own pace, there are guided tastings, and after passing the course exam, the student receives a certificate and a cool graduation gift (I got a mousepad last time)! Cost varies, from $39 up to about $149.
- Gift Certificate to Penzey’s, the only place to buy spices. I will never ever buy grocery-store spices again. Penzey’s is the best quality, ships fast, and they’re inexpensive. Plus they’ve got awesome gift collections, if you’d rather buy a pre-boxed set. They also have cool catalogs, which arrive *very* frequently.
- Foodie DVD’s – Julie & Julia, Chocolat, Sideways, SuperSize Me, Food Inc., Eating Alaska. And those are just the ones I saw. There are many more – check out this Amazon.com list for other suggestions.
- Omaha Steaks – Bob and I are big fans of ordering meat online. Their beef is outstanding, pork is great, chicken is okay, desserts you shouldn’t bother ordering (except the Caramel Apple Tartlets – delicious!).
Well, that’s it for now. If I think of anything else, I’ll let you know. Deck the Halls, and all that jazz.
I love my meat grinder attachment for the KitchenAid Stand Mixer. It gets used for everything from grinding beef, to making gnocchi, and most recently a fresh cranberry sauce.
As far as movies go, I was pleasantly surprised with Bottle Shock. A fun wine movie that isn’t obnoxious like Sideways or a chick flick like Julie & Juila.
I too will vouch for Penzey’s – great product, great service. There must be better ways of getting meat through the mail than Omaha Steaks though.
Maybe I’ll look into it.
@Daniel- I’d love to hear what you discover about mail-order meat. I guess on some level I knew there were other options, but my husband doesn’t always like to think outside the box when it comes to food. He’s very much a creature of habit, and he likes Omaha steaks. Their flat-irons are top-notch, and their prime rib roasts are excellent – not too fatty, with a really nice flavor. Like I said, though, I’m not a big fan of the chicken or pork selections.
I also think someone needs to tell my mom about my blog, because I have dropped a ton of hints in these last two posts, and my birthday is less than two months away.
I never got to respond to this, though I meant to. If you didn’t get onion goggles as a gift, there is a simple solution to dealing with the noxious fumes from chopping and slicing onions. Have you ever tried chewing gum while you chop? In particular, mint works really well. I forget where I learned this, but it works pretty well.
Happy Holidays Wendalicious!
Thanks for the tip, Alisa! I have never tried that, but I definitely will give it a shot next time I’m chopping onions…