2015 Holiday Gift Guide

Are you the kind of person who does all your holiday gift shopping super early?

That organized person who has everything wrapped and ready to go the day the Christmas tree goes up?

Or are you like me, just getting around to making lists and figuring out what to buy friends & family.

Notice, that’s making lists…not actual shopping yet.

I suspect that I’m not the only one who is still woefully behind so here are some ideas for those on your list who like to cook and haven’t been too naughty this year.

1.) Like several of the items on this list, this Messermeister Knife Magnet came from a suggestion in the comment section of last year’s list. My friend Wes suggested it and I love the idea being about to free up some counter space by ridding myself of the giant knife block and putting the knives on the wall. You can find these in many styles and colors but I love that this one is wooden, stylish, and pretty rather than looking industrial.

2.) When you spatchcock your holiday turkey (you know you want to), your life will be made infinitely easier if you have a good Digital Cooking Thermometer. This one has a probe that is oven safe so you stick it in the bird and close the oven door on the cord. The thermometer base sits on your counter and lets you know the temp so you don’t have to keep opening the oven. You can set an alarm based on cooking time, cooking temperature, or both. The alarm is obnoxiously loud so you’ll be able to hear it over your blaring holiday music.

Oooh, one of these days I should write a post about my ridiculous (huge) Christmas music collection! 

3.) I love my Pineapple Slicer and De-Corer so much that you might remember I wrote an entire post singing its praises. I’ve been a pineapple fanatic ever since my sister & brother-in-law gave me this fantastic gadget. No more mangling the pineapple with a knife trying to cut out all those eyes. No more over paying for the pre-cut pineapples in the store. Plus they’re super cheap and make great stocking stuffers.

4.) If you like mashed potatoes and haven’t tried making them with a Potato Ricer, I am about to rock your world. This is an old school cooking tool that has been around for decades and yet I just saw the light a few years ago. You place cooked potatoes in the ricer and squeeze them through the holes like a giant garlic press. What comes out are the fluffiest, lightest, non-lumpy mashed potatoes you’ve ever had. Simply stir in some warm milk, cream, and/or butter and you are in mashed potato heaven. It’s worth mentioning that you want to buy one with removable plates for easy cleaning.

5.) Speaking of garlic presses, this Pampered Chef Garlic Press was the most recommended kitchen item in the comments on last year’s gift list and in discussions on the Idiot’s Kitchen Facebook page. Many of you are serious, evangelical even, about this particular garlic press. I’ve heard that they are indestructible which considering how many garlic presses I’ve broken, is a very good thing.

6.) For the rare occasions when you have leftover wine (which really just means you didn’t invite me), a Wine Saver Vacuum Pump is a great gadget to own. You simply use the provided stopper in place of the cork and use the handy pump to vacuum the excess air out of the bottle. A few easy pumps and the wine bottle will be sealed and stay fresh for several days. I’m getting an extra set of stoppers so I can properly store the bottles of sherry, marsala, and port that I use for cooking.

7.) Last year I made a whole list of cookbook gift ideas and I still stand by every book on that list. However, let me just cut to the chase and say that if you are going to buy one new cookbook, it should be Jacques Pépin’s Heart & Soul in the Kitchen. Simply put, I love Jacques. Most of the recipes are simple and straight forward. Every single recipe I’ve ever tried from him has been a success. I’m looking forward to some time off to catch up on his new PBS show.

8.) If you have nice cookbooks, you’ll want a Hinged Cookbook Holder to protect the pages from splashes and spills. I bought one of these with a gift certificate when we got married and use it all the time. It folds flat so that you can store it easily freeing up space on your counter when not in use.

These are a few of my favorite things for the 2015 Holiday Gift Guide.

Thanks to those of you who commented last year and gave me such good ideas! What are your favorite things for 2015?

Be sure you’re on Santa’s NICE list this year!



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11 Responses

  1. Great list! I must admit to being a sucker for cookbooks. Since Jacques Pepin is 80,his gets the nod!
    I’m with you on the pineapple slicer. My first one was plastic; I used it so much I actually wore it out, Now I have a sturdy metal one!
    Thanks for so many interesting recipes!

    1. It’s a great book. I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had a chance to cook much but I have pretty much the entire thing bookmarked with post-its. My parents are coming to visit next week and my dad is also a Jacques fan so I’m sure I will be trying several new things. I’ll keep you posted!

  2. I love my batter whisk from Sur la Table. It’s not something that I use often, but it’s a handy tool — much more efficient than a spatula and certainly better than a traditional whisk.

    Also, of the plastic pineapple slicers, I would recommend buying an OXO brand. I have two of these and the OXO is much better (oddly) than the lesser-known brand.

  3. Totally digging the pineapple corer; need this in my life!
    I have no favorites this year…..well, I would say having an actual kitchen with a dishwasher would be my favorite thing. SOON though. *fingers crossed*
    I did get one of the potato ricers; they are wonderful.

  4. So…what great gadgets did you get this year? I got the new model Thermapen digital thermometer Kenji and ATK rave about.

    1. LUCKY!!!!! That’s been on my wish list but I just haven’t been able to pull the plug because of the cost. You’ll have to let me know if it’s worth it. My favorite gadget this year will probably be getting a post sometime soon…I’m positive it’s not at all anything you would expect that I would love. Ha!

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