Holiday Gift Guide: The Cook
How’s your holiday shopping going? I always have the goal of completing my shopping by December, partially because we always travel at Christmas (so it’s nice to have everything purchased and wrapped a few weeks in advance), and mostly because I love this time of year, and can’t wait to start finding the perfect gifts as soon as the candles in our Jack-o-lantern go out. I’m just about done with my list, but if you’re still on the hunt for ideas, or are just getting started, I’ve got you covered!
This year, for the first time, I’ve compiled my favorite, most-used, best-loved cooking and baking tools (as well as a few personal wish-list items) to inspire your holiday shopping, and find something special for everyone you love and adore. We started with gifts for all the bakers on your list, and now it’s time to turn our attention to the savory cooks.
Be sure to scroll down for the second set of gifts, and check back soon for more ideas for all the foodies on your list!
1. At Home in the Whole Foods Kitchen by Amy Chaplin – This might be my favorite cookbook of the year. Beautifully written and photographed, this book is fundamentally inspiring from cover to cover, and makes me want to cook with healthy, whole food ingredients for every meal.
2. Le Creuset Dutch Oven – My first Dutch oven was a hand-me-down from my Mother, and quickly became one of my very favorite cooking vessels. Le Creuset is a bit pricey, but a quality, enameled cast-iron Dutch oven is an investment piece; you’ll be cooking braises and stews and soups in it for decades (mine’s going on twenty years!).
3. Fun Kitchen Towels – Nothing perks up a kitchen like cheerful tea towels. Love these ethnic-inspired floral prints.
4. ‘Edible’ Ornaments – LOVE Sur la Table’s realistic food ornaments. I’m currently eyeing the jewel-like pomegranate, the Parmesan cheese and the waffle maker…
5. Silicone and Wood Kitchen Tools – A mix of nonstick silicone tools and teak wood utensils, housed in an always-classic marble holder. While many of my utilitarian cooking tools are relegated to a kitchen drawer, these are lovely enough to sit out next to the stove.
6. Hand Painted Serveware – Lusting after these whimsical, painterly plates, for dinner or dessert.
7. Stoneware Mixing Bowl – I’ll admit I have a weakness for ceramics; my heart goes pitter-patter for big, hand-thrown stoneware mixing bowls like this earthy beauty.
8. Immersion Blender – I was gifted this same immersion blender a few years ago, and didn’t expect to use it as often as I do. Super convenient for pureeing soups right in the pot, as well as making salsas and pesto.
9. Scout Olive Oil – Bright and buttery extra-virgin olive oil from a sixth-generation, family-owned olive ranch in California. Cooks will swoon.
10. Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison – Not your average vegetarian cookbook, this book explores the fascinating relationship between vegetables and herbs via their botanical lineage, and is full of wonderful recipes made with sometimes unexpected combinations of ingredients. A must-read for plant-based cooks.
11. Ceramic Mortar and Pestle – Currently coveting this gorgeous, English ceramic mortar and pestle. Made with vitrified porcelain, the ceramic mortar won’t absorb colors or flavors, meaning no transfer from one recipe to the next. Perfect for crushing herbs, nuts, or even mixing up sauces.
12. Tablet Stand – Did you know that more than half of you read Fork Knife Swoon via a tablet or mobile device? Love this minimalist tablet display stand, perfect for propping up your tablet as you cook from the internet.
13. Copper Colander – Because this is so much prettier than the plastic or stainless colander they’re probably currently using…
14. Silicone Fish Spatula – Perhaps my favorite cooking utensil. It’s technically a fish spatula, and ideal for flipping delicate fillets, but I use it for everything.
15. DIY Cheese Kit – I’ve always wanted to try one of these do-it-yourself cheese making kits. Homemade mozzarella and ricotta cheese sounds delicious (and not overly intimidating).
1. La Tourangelle Cooking Oils – Specialty oils in fun-to-try flavors. A bottle or two of their artisan oils would make a nice stocking stuffer (think avocado oil, hazelnut oil, or Thai wok oil…), for cooks who love to experiment.
2. Chambray Apron – So you can stay stylish in the kitchen (and free from cooking splatters and smudges).
3. Wustof Anniversary Chef’s Knife Set – I have a nice set of Wustof Knives, which I love. If only they had these lovely brass and rosewood handles… Definitely on my wishlist!
4. The Portlandia Cookbook – This definitely leans more towards gag gift than regular cookbook, but as a fan of the show, I loved flipping through this Pacific Northwest, hipster-themed recipe collection when my husband gave it to me earlier this year.
5. All-Clad Skillet – Whenever we talk about browning butter, this is the very skillet I’m using. This pan cooks beautifully and evenly, and the 10-inch size is comfortable and versatile to work with. A great all-around pan.
6. Olivewood Salt Keep – My wood salt keep – full of coarse-grain Kosher salt – is never more than an arm’s reach away from the stove. An attractive, and convenient way to store a kitchen staple.
7. Microplane Zester – The more I cook and bake, the more I love using fresh citrus zest in my recipes. An indispensable tool for zesting citrus as well as finely-grating chocolate, nutmeg and Parmesan cheese.
8. A Kitchen in France by Mimi Thorisson – A cookbook and coffee table book in one. Stunningly photographed, the photos and recipes will have you daydreaming of a trip to Mimi’s country home in Medóc, France.
9. Staub Cast Iron Roaster – Another heirloom piece. Lusting after this cast-iron roasting dish, perfect for gratins, roasted vegetables and fruit crumbles.
10. Meyer Lemon Kitchen Soap – For a fresh and cheerful smelling kitchen, I love these lemony soap sets (which come in several different scents).
11. Nesting Stoneware Mixing Bowls – These nesting stoneware mixing bowls are lovely in classic blue and white, whether mixing up batter for a cake or holding fresh fruit on the counter.
12. Jacobsen Salt Co. Salts – From Smoked Ghost Chili Pepper Salt to Vanilla Bean Flake Salt, cooks will love experimenting with the myriad of fancy artisan salt flavors from this Oregon salt company’s library.
13. Large Fluted Serving Bowl – Inspired by Polish folk art motifs, this vibrant, hand-painted serving bowl would dress up any dinner table.
14. Benriner Mandoline – An excellent and affordable mandoline, this is a must for uniform and paper thin veggie slices. I regularly use mine for slicing bell peppers, onion, and cucumbers for salads, as well potatoes (for cheesy gratins) and apples (like for these crumble bars).
15. Black Walnut Pizza Peel – We make homemade pizza every Sunday night, and though we have a well-used, utilitarian stainless steel pizza peel, I’m still eyeing this gorgeous black walnut beauty…
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Those hand-painted plates and the fluted serving bowl are gorgeous, and the pomegranate ornament is beyond cute. Thanks for all the wonderful gift-giving suggestions!
Thank you, Joan!! 🙂