The Holiday Gift Guide for the Everyday Home Cook has something for every price range from under $10 to over $100 if you really want to treat that special someone. I know there are jokes about giving cooking tools and vacuums for Christmas gifts but I love them. I'm a practical gift person. That's not to say I don't enjoy something special but something that would make my everyday life easier is much more appreciated over time. There are all sorts of gourmet and foodie gift guides out there but I wanted to give you things that are perfect for the everyday home cook.
Do you often buy kitchen tools and appliances and they are not quite what you wanted? I have and I hate spending money on things and being disappointed. I also hate settling on a cheaper appliance only to have it break in a year and then I have to buy a new one. What I would have spent on quality in the first place would have been cheaper in the long run. I'm going to give you my tried and true faves so you won't have to wonder and I'm also going to give you a peek at what I have on my list this year and why I know they are a good value.
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Small Kitchen Gifts for the Home Cook
I have all of these in my kitchen, they are some of my favorite tools. I use them on a daily basis and would buy the same thing again if given the chance.
KAI Pure Komachi II 9 Piece Cutlery Block Set – I gave this stainless steel knife set to my husband last Christmas. Not only are they fun to look at but they are the best knives we've ever had. They are still sharp after a year of daily use. KAI will also sharpen them for free if you just ship them to them via UPS.
Rachael Ray Stoneware 10 oz. Ramekins – These ramekins come in lots of fun festive colors and can be used for a multitude of things. We keep two on our stove with salt and pepper in them but they are also great for serving sauces and salsas.
Cuisinox Whisk – I love this whisk! It's heavy duty and doesn't get bent. It's also sleek to look at.
OXO 2 Cup Angled Measuring Cup – This angled cup makes getting the exact measurement a breeze. The measurements can be seen from the outside or from looking down into it. No more crouching down to look from the side to see if you are at the line anymore.
Kitchen Appliance Must Haves
These are the workhorses of my kitchen. They are the foundation for almost everything I cook and I could not live without them. Some of these are investment pieces but are well worth the money as they will stand up to the test of time.
Keurig 2.0 K350 Brewing System – This is how I start every day! I have used Keurig for years and this is their new version which will brew one cup for you or a small pot for more. I love being able to change up my flavors with different K-cups and the kids can make their own hot chocolate without worry of burns.
KitchenAid Artisan Series 5 Qt. Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield – This mixer can do it all. I not only bake cookies and treats with it but I also use it to shred chicken and make whipped potatoes. You can buy additional attachments over the next few holidays to shred cheese, grind meat and even make homemade pasta. You can see here how I pimped mine out with some vinyl and my Cricut.
Blendtec Designer 625 Blender – This blender isn't just for smoothies. It will crush ice in seconds but also makes nut butter, pureed soups without blow ups and ice cream! I even use it to make pie crust for my Strawberry Frozen Yogurt Pie.
Ninja 6-Quart 3 in 1 Multi Cook System – I have had many slow cookers but this one beats them all hands down. It not only slow cooks but browns meat right in the same pot. This saves me on more dishes to wash and it's the first crockpot I've had that keeps my food warm without burning it. You can even cook a turkey breast in it for sandwiches. If you want to know more about this crockpot see my page on What is the best crockpot to buy?
What's on my Christmas List of Kitchen Gadgets?
Norpro Anti-Freeze Ice Cream Scoop – This aluminum alloy ice cream scoop has anti-freeze in the core so it quickly slices through the hardest ice cream. My son has ice cream every day after school and this is to save me from wrist strain.
Calphalon Simply Stainless Steel 8 Quart Multi-Pot with Steamer and Pasta Insert – We love to make homemade pasta and lugging a heavy pot to the sink to pour into a colander is a burn accident waiting to happen. This pot with a pasta insert allows you to cook the pasta and just lift the insert out to strain right over the pot. It's also got a steamer basket which would allow me to eliminate another appliance taking up valuable cabinet space.
BoosBlock Commercial 1.5″ Walnut Cutting Board – BoosBlock is the premier name in wooden cutting boards. They are solid wood and you can use either side. I have a small one but would love this large one. It comes in many colors and all are Made in the USA.
Taylor Commercial Wireless Thermometer – We cook on our Big Green Egg a lot and we have an old wireless thermometer that is starting to wear out. Our old one is also huge and cumbersome to carry around so this smaller compact one would make keeping an eye on our smoked BBQ that we cook for 12 hours much easier.
Le Creuset Cast Iron Signature Skillet – Le Creuset pans have an enameled outside that makes them last forever. They are sturdy and will last a lifetime. Cast Iron is one of the best things to cook in and will even transfer to your oven. Make this yummy Skillet Potato Cake and try it out.
Rachael Ray Stoneware “Bubble and Brown” Round Baker Set – I already own Rachael Ray Stoneware 2 Piece Open Baking Dish Set and use them all the time like for this crab casserole. They look great on your table and the handles make taking them from the oven so much safer. This round smaller set will be great for side dishes, desserts, and dips.
Emerilware Cast Iron 20″ x 10.5″ Reversible Grill Pan and Griddle – We are fine with grilling outside in the winter but sometimes when it rains or we are in a hurry this reversible grill pan and griddle is the ticket. We also use it for pancakes and bacon on the weekends.