Monday, December 1, 2014

My Top 10 Holiday Gift Ideas for the Kitchen

Um, how is it December 1st already?  I really can't believe how fast this year has flown by.  It has been a year of ups and downs for me personally, but that is for another blog post.  This one is all about one of the best parts of the holidays - giving something special to someone special.  I get so much joy out of giving gifts to people I care about.   I haven't started my holiday shopping yet (yikes), but I did go through my own kitchen to list my favorite tools I use regularly to hopefully give you some ideas for people on your gift list.  Some are basic, some are a little off the wall, some would be a perfect stocking stuffer, some are great mid price items and others could work as a big ticket item. Each item is something I love and use all the time, so I can personally give my own stamp of approval!  Happy shopping!

1.  OXO Good Grips Apple Corer and Divider

Slicing apples is not super hard, but why not make it effortless with this Apple Divider?  I use this all the time whether it is for slicing an apple for my kids or myself.  It makes eating apples way less messy and you can eat some now, and save the rest for later, which is tough to do when eating it right off the core.  You can use it for other fruits like pears and its great for making apple pies or turnovers.  A perfect stocking stuffer! 

2.  Thermapen

This was a gift to my husband and I from my in-laws and I absolutely love it.  It is something I probably would not have bought for myself because of the price, but now that we have it, we use it almost everyday.  Whether we are baking chicken or grilling steaks, the instant read temperature makes sure we never over cook something or worse (when cooking chicken) under cook.  We have had it for about 3 years and it is still going strong and is super easy to use and clean.  I highly recommend this as a gift for almost anybody! 

3.  Microplane 40020 Classic Zester/ Grater

This was a wedding shower gift to me over 6 years ago and it still works just as well today as it did back then.  I use it all the time to zest citrus fruit or grate garlic cloves and hard cheese.  It makes the tiniest little strands for delicate flavorings and is super easy to use and clean.  A great stocking stuffer! 

4.  Kitchen Aid Stand Up Mixer
Well, this is the classic gift for any home cook.  It is by far the priciest thing in my kitchen, but I am obsessed with it.  These things are the work horse of the kitchen and makes baking so much easier and faster.  You can even shred meat in about 2 minutes and it has a dough hook to make bread.  The possibilities are endless and I love using it and just admiring it on my counter.  Plus, they come in so many fun colors!

5.  Nopro 330 Heavy Duty Adjustable Cheese Slicer

When I brought this home, my husband thought I was nuts.  He had never heard of one and was like, "why can't you just use a knife?"  And then he tried it and he never looked back.  This making slicing cheese so easy and you get the perfect size each time.  You can adjust it so you get the width you want to make pretty slices for a cheese tray or even just a sandwich for yourself.  We had one growing up and it has been a staple in my kitchen ever since. 

 6.   Ninja Mega Kitchen System (BL771)
I mean, it's The Ninja.  It is awesome and you can do so many things with it!  I literally use it everyday for smoothies, blended margaritas or my Roasted Garlic Salsa.  The kitchen system comes with a food processor attachment that is super easy to use and works so good for things like hummus or chimmichurri sauce.  The personal smoothie attachment is great for a one or two person sized smoothie or shake and it comes with the cup and lid to drink from it.  It is pricey, but the amount of time you save with this kitchen tool is priceless and it is dishwasher safe!  This is a big ticket gift that someone would get a ton of use from.   

7.  Rachael Ray Tools 2-Piece Lazy Spoon and Lazy Ladle Set

How many times have you been stirring something you are cooking and go to put the spoon you are using down and make a big mess?  Or have nowhere to put it?  This little set solves that life problem with a divot in the handle of the spoon and ladle so it hooks right on the pan or pot.  They are silicon, so no heat is transferred and you will not burn yourself on them.  They are dishwasher safe and come in a ton of fun colors!  A fun gift for the home cook in your life. 

8.   Paderno World Cuisine A49827299 Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Veggie Slicer

So this little machine has changed my life.  It is just so versatile and works so well with the kind of foods I try to eat.  Not only is it very reasonably priced it is also super easy and fun to use and dishwasher safe.  Almost any vegetable can be spiraled for veggie noodles or curly sweet potato fries or even grating cheese.  This is a great gift idea especially for someone who is trying to eat a more low carb or paleo diet.  There are so many uses for this gadget and it does not take a ton of room up when storing it.  A total winner. 

9.  Messermeister Meridian Elite 8 inch Chefs Knife

This knife was an anniversary gift to me from my husband and I adore it.  They say if you only have one knife in your kitchen, make it an 8 or 10 inch long chefs knife.  This one works great for just about any chopping, dicing, slicing or mincing you can do.  It is my baby in the kitchen and I feel like the real deal when I use it.  I would highly recommend this knife to anyone looking for fairly reasonably priced high end knife.

10.  Cuisinart ICE-21 Frozen Yogurt, Ice cream and Sorbet Maker

So this is a really fun and super easy gadget to make the best ice cream you will ever have.  There is no custard making or dealing with raw eggs and rock salt.  This a pour and go type deal and the finished product only takes about 20 minutes once it gets going.  You can do any flavor and add any candy you want or go the healthier route with a fruit sorbet or frozen yogurt. The taste is to die for and makes a soft serve like texture that my daughters love.  It is a reasonably priced fun kitchen gadget to have and would make a great gift for any ice cream lover of any age.

So that is my list.  What is yours?  Would love to hear your kitchen tool must haves!  Hope this was helpful and I really hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!  

 **If you have any kids on your holiday gift giving list, be sure to check out My Top 10 Holiday Gifts for Kids Ages 8 and Under**

**All opinions are my own and I am not paid for my reviews.  Amazon Affiliate**