The holidays are a great time to get (or give) some things that you might be missing in the kitchen. If you know someone who likes to cook do a little digging and find out what they need. If you’re not sure, go with one of the my favorite items listed below.
1. Mixing Bowls
Having a good set of mixing bowls is great whether you love to bake or cook. I really like these mixing bowls made by OXO Good Grips because they come in three sizes and have a rubber bottom to keep the bowl still while you are mixing.
2. Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet
Cast iron skillets are great for cooking because they retain heat very well. They also need to be seasoned which means they are sprayed with oil and baked at a high temperature to allow the oil to seep into the pours of the metal. It is best to buy them pre-seasoned so your gift receiver will not have to do it themselves. Oh and grab them a silicone handle sleeve so they don’t burn their hand!
Silpat non-stick silicone baking liners are a great gift for a baker. It creates a non-stick surface that is great for the oven or sticky toffees and caramels. I love using them for cookies and I could never have too many!
4. Slow Cooker
Slow cookers are great for busy moms and dads or someone who just doesn’t want to put a lot of effort into a great meal (sign me up!). I have the Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker and I love it. It is great for cooking meat or whole meals low and slow. Print out my shredded buffalo chicken recipe and give it along with this slow cooker to get them started.
5. Spoons and Spatulas
When I was registering for stuff for my wedding, I realized that I had one large mixing spoon and a wisk. Every kitchen should have at least a wooden spoon, a ladle, a set of silicone spatulas, an offset spatula, a stainless steel spatula (or I guess they are called turners?), a good whisk, and a pair of tongs.
6. Knife and Cutting Board
Having a great knife and cutting board is essential to enjoying the cooking experience. Cutting vegetables and meats will be much easier and faster. If you have a good knife you need to also have a good cutting board or your knife will get dull very quickly. Epicurean makes great cutting boards that are also affordable. I have a Miyabi chef knife that I love and don’t forget the edge-guard! If you’re unsure of their knife skills (or your own) you can also get them a knife skills class as your local Sur La Table.
7. KitchenAid Mixer
Everyone loves a KitchenAid Mixer. You can get them in a bunch of different colors but stick to the artisan series unless you are making serious amounts of baked goods. You will find that the professional series doesn’t mix as well with smaller batches. If you don’t want to spend the cash on a KitchenAid mixer, the next best thing is a really good hand mixer. I use mine all the time to whip up quick batches of cookies.
There are a lot of cookbooks out there so it might be overwhelming to find a great one. I would recommend deciding on a specific cuisine and searching Amazon.com. Read the reviews and pick the best one you can find. My favorite cookbooks are Martha Stewart’s Cookies and The Biggest Loser Cookbook but you can also go with classic cookbooks like Joy of Cooking and How to Cook Everything.
9. Something Special
There might be something special that your domestic ninja would like to have in the kitchen. It might be a cake stand, dutch oven or maybe some fancy martini glasses for their next dinner party.
Spices can be really expensive so a gift card to Penseys Spices or their local grocer would be much appreciated. Penseys also has a lot of affordable gift packages that are great. An old roommate of mine got the Indian spice package one year and it was awesome.