Becky Low shares her favorite gift ideas for the kitchen and food lover.
Instant Read Thermometer – “cook just right” (& for food safety) a must have for every kitchen. Choose one with a dial large enough to see and one that can be calibrated (quick show how to calibrate using ice/water). Spoons and Spice has a variety makes, models and prices – and nice discounts.
Parchment paper – one of my personal ‘must haves’ – it reduces cleanup, stick and mess – buy in bulk at Orson Gygi’s
Egg Timer – I added this item to my stocking stuffer list after Yahoo released their 2010 Year in Review top 10 Burning Questions. Believe it or not “How To Boil an Egg” made the list! So, here is the “Perfect” egg timer. Drop the timer in with the cooking eggs; it changes colors to let you know when the egg is perfectly cooked. (side note, when I asked food teachers what they could not live without, the egg timer made the list – at least for the husband of one teacher). I picked this one up at Williams Sonoma for $6. Get it online at Crate & Barrel for $5
Food Scale for precise measures. Second most asked question on the internet, according to Yahoo search engines – “how to lose weight”. Unfortunately losing weight safely (with lasting results) will always be based on calories in and calories out. Food scales help manage the weight by managing the portion size and calories – but the cook loves scales for precise cooking measurements (weights are always more accurate than a measuring cup – ie flour) Bed Bath & Beyond has a variety of scales at a variety or prices.
Whisks – different strokes for different yolks – simple, space saving tools are great for stirring, whipping, blending eggs, cream, puddings, sauces – and more. The stocking stuffer here is silicone whisks for non-stick pans. Spoons & Spice has large variety in stock
Plastic Wrap – Plastic wrap!? Yes, the big box. Caution, the cook needs the pantry shelf space (approx shoulder high), this is a bargain for cooks. Get the professional pull and tear box (not one with a slider that cuts the wrap) Easy to use – the wrap doesn’t smoosh and tangle because it allows two hand use. Bonus, the big box lasts longer, is wide width and is cost effective. Pick it up at Costco
Rubber scrapers – flat, scoops, spoodles, and flipping; high temp silicone scraper/spatulas replace the wooden spoon for cooking, frying and baking. Dishwasher safe, very nice stocking stuffer.
Sharp knives are on almost every cooks must have list. Give a Whet stone / sharpening steel to the cook to refurbish the set of once sharp knives
Humble Potato Peeler – often neglected and unappreciated everyday tool; needs replacing every 5 years (or sooner) – nothing fancy, inexpensive -but give a sharp one.
Melon Baller – cheese, melon, apples -for making spherical shapes or removing cores
Citrus Juicer – quick, easy, handheld for juicing lemons, oranges, limes – more of the juice less of the bitter
Egg and Mushroom Slicer – make a good cook look sharp.