As the holiday season draws ever more near, it's certainly the time of year we start considering gifts to give our closest friends and loved ones. If you have a foodie/cook/entertainer in your life but you aren't sure what to give them, I have a few humble suggestions. These are all gifts I would love to receive. Generally, these skew towards the practical-but-not-really necessary, which in my experience are things most cooks won't buy for themselves. Click the pictures to take you to the sites where you can buy these wonderful prizes.
Just to be clear, none of these links are sponsored in any way- just items I love or would love to have.
If your budget is 25$ or less:
1. This insane onyx cocoa from King Arthur Flour. It's an extravagant item to have in your pantry but it makes an incredible difference in chocolate desserts. It's 10$ for 12 ounces. Double your whammy by picking up some espresso powder as well for another 8$.
2. A ceramic blade peeler. Not glamorous, but trust me: any cook would love to have one of these. The blades stay sharp forever and never rust. Having such a sharp blade allows the peeler to glide over more delicate foods (like peaches or ripe pears), not bruising or damaging them while removing the peel.
3. Buy a copy of your favorite cookbook. Write notes in the margins of all of your favorite recipes and include some handwritten recipes of your own. If you don't have a favorite cookbook, just write out some of your favorite recipes and have them laminated and bound at a copy shop.
4. Pie-crust pop out cutters. I have always wanted a set of these. If your friend is a pie baker, they will love having these around. 10$.
5. These super cute silicone flower drink markers. They will stick on the outside of any glass and you don't have to fuss with getting them on and off like traditional wine charms- plus you don't need the stemmed glasses for them to work. My mom has a set and they work great. 5$.
6. A marble rolling pin. You can find these for anywhere from 15$-200$, but you really don't need to go above 20$ for one that will be effective. These are great for rolling out pie and pastry dough, as they are nice and heavy and stay cool to the touch.
7. A melted mason jar spoon rest. I love my spoon rests and use them all the time- this one is so cute and would make a great addition to any kitchen. 15$.
8. One of these sweet stamped serving spoons for your sweetheart. 24$.
9. A do-it-yourself cheese making kit. These look like so much fun! 25$ for most of the options, anything from mozzarella and ricotta to soft goat cheese.
10. French linen kitchen towels. You can never have too many kitchen towels. I personally go through about 2 per day, so it's great to have enough to always grab another out of the drawer. I actually purchased this exact towel in France last year and I absolutely love it- it's my favorite. 18$.
11. These ice cream spades are so amazing. What a concept! For only 10$ you could have perfectly scooped ice cream every time! Seriously, I want these. 10$ for four.
If your budget is 50$ or less:
1. A really nice paring knife. There can never be too many of these in the kitchen and you can be 100% certain your gift will be used again and again. This Global knife is a steal at 32$.
2. This amazing garlic press. This Rosle garlic press is the luxury sportscar of garlic presses. It works easily, with little force from the hand, cleans easily, and can go in the dishwasher. Usually you can find it for 45-50$.
3. Aprons. Aprons, aprons, aprons. I collect them and use them every single day. One can never have too many. For your consideration, I offer the sweet shop Creative Chics. Their handmade aprons run around 45$:
and for a more unisex apron, these look amazing, also around 50$:
4. Custom kitchen recipe art. This graphic designer will take one of your family recipes and turn it into a beautiful print. 45$.
If your budget is 100$ or less:
1. Beautiful serving utensil sets. These are items most home cooks will never buy for themselves, but you can never have too many! I've always loved these, 99$.
2. A hand-painted serving platter. I love these ones and the artist will even 'carve' your initials of choice into one of the trees. 85$.
3. A really nice wood cutting board. I have a board made by these folks and it is absolutely beautiful. A person just can never have too many cutting boards, I say. You can get different sizes, but the 11x13x2 is 68.95$.
4. I have always wanted one of these, and this brand is the best. Kitchen torches are super useful for all kinds of tasks, from browning meringue to melting cheese. Your foodie will love it. 63$.
and if you have no budget:
1. Knives. You can't go wrong with a beautiful santoku or chef's knife. Even if your recipient already has a set of knives, there can never be too many of these beautiful tools in the house. I heartily recommend a santoku, as they are pretty much the workhorse of knife shapes and can be used for almost any task. Shun knives have ergonomic wood handles and incredibly sharp blades. This 7" santoku is 200$ (normally 450$) at Williams-Sonoma right now.
2. A really nice citrus juicer. I have been coveting this specific appliance for years but have never been able to justify buying it for myself. Having used one of these before, I can tell you it is definitely worth the price. Most cooks use a small glass dish or do it by hand, but for times when you need to juice ten lemons, having one of these around would be incredibly handy. 200$.
3. Do you have a serious craft cocktail maker on your list? Anyone that entertains with bourbon sours or makes their own bitters would love to have this crazy thing. The Cirrus sphere machine will make perfect spheres for your cocktails- the small version is 700$. Watch the video, it is amazing.
4. These hand carved porcelain bowls are out of this world. This artist only makes a few a year, so snatch one of them up now! 975$.