Ok so it’s December 1st and I officially think it is ok to start singing Christmas carols, putting up the tree and, above all else: START BAKING!!! I wouldn’t have said this a year ago though!
Last year, and years prior, the end of November and mostly all of December were filled with final exam stress; handing in the last lab reports, making study schedules, drinking mass quantities of coffee and tea, getting questions asked by classmates that in the end confused me even more… This year, although I’m still in school, NO EXAMS!!!! I couldn’t be happier.
Also this year, I started thinking of gifts far in advance and am mostly settled on what I will be getting my loved ones at Christmas – leaving me oddly calm, which is really weird and I know most people don’t feel the same. So, for those of you starting to feel a little panicky about what to get the loved ones in your life, I’ve put together this little TBC Gift Guide to give you some inspiration for the cook/baker in your life – especially if you know someone who doesn’t have a totally equipped kitchen.
Most of these products I already own or desperately want in my kitchen accompanied why I think they make the list! Please take note that all links in green are affiliate links and by clicking and choosing to purchase the item on Amazon I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting my little home on the internet, TBC!
Breville Fast Slow Pro
Like I said in my chili post, the multi-cooker craze has taken the cooking world by storm – just not my kitchen by storm… yet.
Having seen the Breville Fast Slow Pro make a fast job (only 20 minutes!!!) of a hearty beef and barley soup in a cooking class at Appetite for Books, I surely want to have one of these in my kitchen soon. If you’re wondering why I picked the Fast Slow Pro over the Instant Pot, besides that I have seen the Fast Slow Pro in use, it was the best pressure cooker/multi-cooker tested according to J. Kenji Lopez-Alt over at Serious Eats.
Market Cooking by David Tanis
I am enamored with this book. The moment I opened it the first recipe I saw was: Freshly Picked Tomatoes with Salt – “YES PLEASE” I thought. If anyone has ever gone to the Jean Talon Market around tomato canning time they have seen vendors cut their tasty tomatoes and sprinkle them with salt for tasting – it’s amazing.
Recently I had the huge pleasure of meeting David Tanis and loved his view of cooking, even the simplest things can be amazing – cucumbers sprinkled with chili salt and lime, just delicious. His culinary experience (and dry humor) shined through his talk which was accompanied by a powerpoint of beautiful food photography of the recipes found in Market Cooking.
Also, he said that to judge the quality of a restaurant is to judge the quality of its coffee, butter and ability to put together a good salad. Most of the time they take the most novice inexperienced cook to put together salads, “they won’t burn or ruin anything”, but an under seasoned salad is “the worst”.
Needlesstosay I wish I had recorded his whole talk. If you get this cookbook, you will not be sorry.
Although I don’t own one, my parents do and I love it! From finding the temperature of a turkey to cooking chicken on the BBQ, this instant-read thermometer is THE BEST. Say goodbye to cutting into meat to make sure it is cooked through!
The Thermapen is on my Christmas list this year for sure.
5.3L Le Creuset Dutch Oven
Ever since I got my dutch oven back in September it has been the kitchen love of my life.
For one, it is a beautiful piece (I have the limited edition maple leaf – gorgeous); for two, I love using it to cook just about everything. From soups like caldo verde (you’ll spot it in the blog post photos) to no-knead bread, my 5.3L Cerise Le Creuset round dutch oven is my everything in the kitchen and is a piece of art sitting on the cooktop.
“Drink more water!!!” That’s what everyone tells me, but the truth is: I much prefer sparkling water over flat water, hence the addition of a Soda Stream to this gift guide. It’s not really a cooking or baking tool perse, but it is used in the kitchen and is great for making fizzy water used in cocktails!!! Anywhere you see sparkling water or club soda, consider Soda Stream water instead – plus if you go through a lot, I’m sure the purchase of the machine and cartridges will pay for themselves.
Protect your cookbooks and tablets when cooking and baking up a storm!!! – ‘Nuf said 🙂
KitchenAid Stand Mixer
Moved out and now I don’t have a stand mixer! But this Kitchenaid is on my list for a buy now keep for a long time and bake beautiful baked goods with. Why the bowl lift model? All metal construction, including mechanistic gears and the whisk, paddle and kneading attachments – I wanna do a lot of baking and not be worried!
I don’t know about you, but having a glass of wine while cooking up a nice meal is a way I like to relax. These stemless wine glasses have a unique flair! Plus being stemless they might have less of a chance at getting knocked over.
Other honorable mentions:
A cute apron like this one, because we all know someone who gets a little (or a lot) messy in the kitchen.
A digital scale because we should be more like the rest of the world and measure our ingredients by weight to be more precise and get better baking results. Plus the one I’ve linked too has an extendable screen so that you can see it if your weighing container is a large bowl – super nifty and handy.
A cookbook filled with cooking for two recipes. If you’re like me and now have to portion out meals a little differently – a family of four eats more than a just two. This book by America’s Test Kitchen is the best for meal ideas.
On the topic of cookbooks, I’m in love with Jamie Oliver’s 5 Ingredient Quick and Easy Food cookbook. The simplicity of each recipe containing 5 ingredients (not including oil, vinegar and salt) is just amazing – I have post-it notes all over my copy for recipes I want to try soon… gotta find me some Tuscan kale!!!
Another great idea is some storage containers for things like different flours, sugars, oats, pasta, etc. These stainless steel containers by Oxo look top notch and I’m considering a set for myself (my pantry is a mess at the moment).
And last but not least a good kettle/tea maker. After a long day in the lab, in the kitchen or at the jewelry bench, a good cup of tea is what I need to end the day.
The Best Gifts:
The best gifts are the gifts that keep on giving – yes some of the above will bring great meals and baked goods to the table to share with friends and family. However, there are a couple more gifts I think are worth more than all the ones mentioned above.
Find something special in the gift catalog put together by World Vision. From their site, you can give a donation openly or choose from giving an artisan gift like these hand-carved spoons ethically made by Indonesian artists. Or help provide nutritious meals to underprivileged children attending school.
I hope you enjoyed my little gift guide!
Green links in my posts are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small affiliate commission. Thank you for supporting TBC!