2015 Christmas Gift Guide

It’s almost time for presents, and if some of you are still left in the dark as to what to get your food-loving friends, I’m here to help!

For the ice cream lover:

Collage ice cream

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home ($10 – $16)

Wilton Incredible Ice Cream Scoop, cuts through even the hardest ice cream (~$10)

Ice cream containers – disposable or reusable – the choice is yours!

For the occasional ice cream maker, a Cuisinart 2-qt Ice Cream Maker (~ $50)

For the hard-core ice cream maker, go for the Cuisinart ICE-100 (~$200)

For the baker:

Collage baking

The KitchenAid Stand Mixer ($200 – 300) reigns supreme. If it’s just not possible, a well-made hand mixer can stand in, though it won’t be nearly as good for breads and heavy-duty doughs.

A heavy duty rolling pin ($20) and some helpful rolling pin guides ($8)

Durable measuring cups and spoons ($10)

I love these Oxo Containers ($17) – they’re great for storing flour, sugar, and anything else you can think of! (That size holds a 5-lb bag of flour)

A trusty kitchen scale ($11) for those recipes that measure by weight instead of volume.

For the pizza-maker:

Collage pizza

I’ve gone through a lot of pizza-cooking devices and this baking steel provides the best results by far.

Or go all out for the Pizzeria Pronto propane-powered pizza machine! ($299)

A nice pizza peel ($25)

A trusty pizza cutter ($12)

For the bartender:

Collage bar

No bar is complete without a cocktail shaker – get one with style like this adorable penguin-shaped masterpiece ($20)

Step up your skills with the ultimate bar book ($12).

Never miss out on a drink with this carry-on cocktail kit ($23). It makes an especially great gift for guests who will have to fly back home after the holiday!

Try something new with Scrappys Bitters sampler kit ($24).

Always have great-tasting wine with this pocket-sized wine aerator ($30).

For the coffee-lover:

Collage coffee

We use our Nespresso ($200-300) every day and I love it just as much as I did on day one. The perfect gift for the caffeine-lover who wants their coffee in 60 seconds.

The only thing I love as much as our Nespresso is its milk frother ($99) – which does hot and cold froth (who knew that was a thing?). Upgrade your espresso into a latte, cappuccino, or macchiato with ease.

Experience coffee in a whole new way with a Chemex coffee brewer ($45 – 65).

Whatever you’re drinking, drink it in style with a gorgeous double-walled Bodum tumbler ($20).

For the avid home chef:

Collage

When I worked at Sur la Table, we used the Breville Smart Oven ($200-250) for EVERYTHING and I could not get over how consistently amazing the results were. It is by far the best toaster oven around (and can make everything from toast, to pizza, to cupcakes!)

The InstantPot ($120) is the new 7-in-1 that is taking the world by storm. It’s even on my very own Christmas List this year! It is everything from a rice cooker to a slow cooker and even a pressure cooker all in one compact little gadget!

Ranked highest by America’s Test Kitchen, this slow cooker ($70-80) heats evenly and has extra features like a countdown timer and “keep warm” feature so you don’t have to worry about your meal over-cooking!

No kitchen is complete without a sturdy dutch oven, although Le Creuset really has the market cornered you can save a bundle with this one from Lodge ($60)!

Also on my own list, the Food Lab’s guide to better home cooking ($20-30) uses science to level up your kitchen skills.

These are my favorite kitchen spatulas ($15 for 4) by far, I use them for everything and they are super affordable (and dishwasher-safe!). StarPack has a large range of other products that are above-average quality and very durable, too!

DISCLAIMER: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase one of the products that I linked to, I may receive a small percentage of commission for your purchase.

labor day recipe round-up

Labor Day is this Monday, so I’ve scoured the internet for some tasty recipes for your Labor Day BBQ!

Start of with this delightful grilled pineapple salsa from My Name is Yeh 

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or some watermelon peach caprese salad from Joy the Baker

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this easy homemade snack mix from Playing with Flour 

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or a bacon-jalapeno cheese ball from Homesick Texan

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And continue on to some mini no-knead pizzas from I Am A Food Blog 

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or healthy ginger lime turkey sliders w peanut slaw from Loves Food, Loves to Eat

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or these super savory burrata-stuffed burgers with bacon from Foodness Gracious

burrata-burger-0611-590x393 or take it easy with these slow cooker carnitas tacos with quick pickled onions from Yours Truly which can be made ahead of time and re-heated for your party

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since it is a holiday, I think this american flag pie from A Periodic Table is definitely needed

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or maybe this no churn mint ice cream from The Vanilla Bean Blog 

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or who could resist these cookie pie bars from The Little Kitchen

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with some refreshing lavendar lemonade from east of eden

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and some sweet raspberry mojitos from Crumb: A Food Blog

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or take it easy with these pitcher-style margaritas for a crowd from Pinch of Yum

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Happy Labor Day!

cinco de mayo recipe round-up

Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner. If you’re like me, you look forward to just about any excuse to eat some delicious Mexican food.

I thought I’d supply you with some ideas to freshen up your Cinco de Mayo fiesta below!

Cinco de Mayo Recipes

Corn & cotija cheese dip from Minimalist Baker.

corn dip

Continue reading

thursday things – an easter recipe round up

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Easter is almost upon us. If you’re not sure how much food you’ll need, berries.com has created a super handy Easter Brunch menu calculator! Whether you’re making brunch, lunch, dinner, or brinner (that’s a thing, right?) this calculator has your back!

If, on the other hand, you’re still not sure what you want to make, that’s a whole different sort of pickle to be in. I’m a ham girl myself, which works equally well in breakfast, lunch, and dinner applications. But I always seem to get hung up on the accouterments, don’t you? Well fear not, because I’ve got some ideas for you.    Continue reading

thursday things

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When I logged in this morning I noticed an unusual amount of traffic from Reddit. When I followed the trail to the source I discovered this picture… featuring a League of Legends character running across my biscotti. And it made my mother-freaking day. I’ve been toying with the idea of getting into LoL lately and it might have just given me the push I need to start…

Other things that made my day this week include this tiny human who for some god-forsaken reason decided to turn Oreos into mascara… WHY ON EARTH you would waste PERFECTLY GOOD Oreos to make cosmetics is beyond me… Unless you wanted an excuse to to eat your eyelashes….

After the cronut and the cragel our slutty friend, the croissant, is at it again by now breeding with a cookie to create the “crookie”… WHEN WILL THE MADNESS END!?

cheetos-sweetos

Cheetos has created a sweet cinnamon snack, aptly named “Sweetos” which I can only assume is essentially a bag of cinna-twists (in untwisted form). I’m so down.

Although I’ve mentioned it with basil before, we finally have a definitive list of foods that will magically regrow themselves.

Scientists have found a way to let our astronauts enjoy espresso in space. Next up, maybe we will cure world hunger… but at least we found a way to fix space caffeine-withdrawal in the mean time.

The Super Bowl is taking place in my general vicinity this year, but I would be much more excited to score tickets to the Puppy Bowl. And by “score tickets” I really mean just roll around in the pile of Puppy Bowl pups.

And I could give you a super bowl round up but first I want to let you see this video of Will Ferrell blasting this cheerleader in the face with a basketball. I could watch this freaking loop ALL. DAY. LONG.

Super Bowl Recipe Round Up

Pretzel Bites from Yours Truly (cut the ropes into 2-inch pieces for bites)

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Hot & Cheesy Crab Dip from Foodness Gracious

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Sugar & Spice Cocktail Nuts from Some Kitchen Stories

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Make some chili to eat as-is or to put on hot dogs, or even some chili-cheese tots!

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Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Dip from FoodieCrush

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Spinach-Ricotta Turnovers from A Periodic Table

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Fig & Prosciutto Flatbread from right here

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Popcorn Party Mix from Smitten Kitchen

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