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christmas gift guide: cooks & hostesses

November 14, 2013


If I have free time, I am probably spending it in the kitchen or around the table with friends.
These are a few (okay… a lot!) of things I think any cook or hostess would appreciate:


1. SpiceAce Spice Collection – curate your own selection of delicious spices, herbs, chiles, peppers, salts, sugars or blends. 
2. T-Fal ActiFry Low Fat Multi Cooker – this ingenious little fryer uses heat pulse technology and just 1 tablespoon of oil to make perfectly crispy fries.
3. Taste No. 5 Far Eastern Umami Paste – a natural flavor enhancer with tomato, garlic, anchovy paste, black olives, balsamic vinegar, porcini mushrooms, parmesan cheese, olive oil and just a touch of sugar and salt.
4. Bodum French Press – this beautifully designed coffeemaker produces superior taste and aroma.
5. Himalayan Salt Tequila Shot Glasses – these glasses naturally add salty note to your favorite tequila and add a fun flair to parties.


1. Lift-Up Apron – measurements, cooking times, techniques for gauging the “doneness” of steak, and other supremely useful tidbits are printed at the hem, upside-down for easy flip-up reading.
2. Norpro Cast Iron Bacon and Hamburger Press – get extra crispy bacon and perfectly cooked hamburgers with these presses.
3. Premium Balsamic Vinegar of Modena – good, syrupy Balsamic vinegar is such a treat; this one is perfectly sweet and tangy.
4. Edge Brownie Pan – everyone likes the chewy edges and now everyone can have them with this brownie pan.
5. Sliced Iberico Ham – Jamón Ibérico is the crown jewel of Spanish cuisine; with very little salt, the ham’s natural flavors shine through.


1. Nutmeg Mill and Chile Grinder – everyone knows spices are best when they are fresh.  Get more aroma and better flavor with these grinders.
2. Confetti Paper Placemats – spruce up a birthday party or dinner table setting with these festive mats.
3. Midas Collection Large Carafe – these carafes are simple, yet elegant.
4. Classic Cowgirl Creamery Collection – a decadent collection of Cowgirl Creamery’s most popular cheeses — a triple cream, a cow’s milk dusted in sweet and spicy dried red pepper flakes, and a semi-firm cow’s milk perfect for melting.
5. Takuro Yarai Cocktail Mixing Glass – for cocktails that are meant to be stirred, not shaken, which chills drinks without bruising the nuanced flavors of fine spirits.


1. Menu Winebreather Carafe – my hands-down favorite decanter, the Menu Winebreather is functional and easy to use.
2. GIR Silicone Spatulas – heat proof to 464°F and heat resistant to 550°F, these spatulas come in a variety of fun colors.
3. Dorset Cocktail Shaker – named for the picturesque county on England’s southern coast, this lead-crystal barware catches and reflects light, thanks to its hand-fluting.
4. Blenko Glass Pitcher – exquisite color, skilled craftsmen, and imaginative designs have made Blenko famous in the time-honored craft of hand-blown glass.
5. Polished Brass Coasters – these lovely coasters can be monogrammed.


1. Double Wine Cooler – add style to any gathering with this polished wine cooler.
2. Le Creuset 3½ qt. French Oven – a must have for beginners and serious cooks alike.
3. Reed & Barton Oxford Pewter Julep Cup – crafted in bright pewter with a contrasting brushed interior, this mint julep cup makes an impressive gift; monogramming available.
4. Edible Garden Kit – turn a humble patch of ground into a garden of delicious delights, brimming with herbs, salad greens and edible flowers. Just toss these little seed bombs down and watch what crops up.
5. Teroforma Issi Small Tumblers – form meets function: these non-lead crystal tumblers are individually mouth blown. 


Check out the rest of the Christmas Gift Guides:
Wine Lovers
Athletes – 11/15/13
Dog Lovers – 11/18/13
Bibliophiles – 11/19/13
Whisky Lovers – 11/20/13
Ladies – 11/21/13
Gentlemen – 11/22/13
Everyone – 11/25/13
Stocking Stuffers – 11/26/13

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