November 30, 2010

The Naptime Chef’s Foodie Holiday Gift Guide 2010! {Naptime Simple Tips}

In the spirit of the season, today I thought I’d give you a few ideas for some great foodie holiday gifts. These are all things I adore in my own kitchen. Each item greatly enhances the food I make in one way or another, and adds a great deal of fun to my daily cooking routine. I promise, fellow Naptime Chefs, I would never recommend any kind of complicated one-note piece of cooking gear or an uber-expensive tiny bottle of rare ingredients. Instead, I am sharing some ideas for things any cook would love, whether it be you, a friend or loved one, and are bound to add pleasure and joy to your kitchen!:

The Naptime Chef’s Foodie Holiday Gifts Guide 2010!

organic meyer lemons

1) Organic Meyer Lemons: It is not unusual you hear me wax poetic about Meyer lemons. I can’t get enough of them! Luckily the fun folks over at Food52 have found a place where we can order them by the case. Not all of us, a-hem Liz, live in a city where they grow naturally and this is the next best thing. Ship a big box to your loved ones, they can cook with some, preserve some and, of course, whip up a pitcher of hot spiced lemonade!

Square Tart Pan

2) Square Tart Pan: Tart pans can be used for all sorts of terrific desserts. I use mine for both sweet and savory tarts, as well as shortbread and thin pizzas. I love the idea of the square tart pan because the shape is so uncommon. This would be a great gift for the baker in your life!

Recipes Every Man Should Know

3) Susan Russo and Brett Cohen’s Recipes Every Man Should Know: The title says it all! I just bought a copy of this for my awesome bachelor brother, Uncle Will. Even though he is already an experienced cook I know these recipes will come in handy, especially the bacon-wrapped meatloaf and beef stew. This is a great gift for any bachelors or reticent cooks, the tempting recipes will easily inspire them to jump off the couch and into the kitchen!

OXO GOOD GRIPS MIXING BOWLS

4) OXO Good Grips Rubber Bottom Mixing Bowls: Those of us who cook with kids know that keeping a mixing bowl on the table is often a bit of a challenge. I love these bowls from OXO because they literally grip the counter, making them much harder to tip over. Buy them for the parent in your life who is often cooking with the kiddos!

Fiori de sicilia

5) Fiori Di Sicilia: This amazing extract from King Arthur Flour is a floral combination of citrus and vanilla. I love using it for flavoring cookies, muffins and cakes. The sweet scent is irresistible. It is very hard to find this extract on store shelves, but it is not expensive. Buy a jar for your favorite home cook, and treat yourself to one, too!

Paper Baking pans

6) Star Paper Baking Pans: My friend Barbara and I are obsessed with these star baking pans. They are terrific for home baked gifts for friends and loved ones. My daughter and I often bake cakes for friends in these and distribute them for the holiday season. Try baking pumpkin bars in each pan and packaging them individually for a holiday bake sale, they’ll sell out in seconds!

le creuset pumpkin spoon

7) Le Cresuet Pumpkin Spoons: This spoon seems so simple but it has the most unique shape. I swear by it’s ability to scrape down the sides of my mixing bowls and stir soups. It is also completely adorable. It looks so cute sitting in the crock on my kitchen counter.

OXO Silicone Oven Mitt

8) OXO Good Grips Silicone Oven Mitts: I’ve been known to burn myself in the kitchen now and again. In an effort to save my fingertips I got a set of these fantastic oven mitts and have never looked back. They are ideal for handling anything hot and are so easy to clean. Conveniently, they have little magnets inside so they stick to the fridge or oven when you aren’t using them. Best of all, they come in a whole bunch of fabulous colors to match your decor!

calphalon covered cake pan

9) Covered Sheet Pan/Cake Pan: This is the perfect pan for anyone who likes to take baked goods on the road. Cook up a fabulous dish, snap on the lid and off you go. It’s the most ideal way to transport just about anything you can make. And, when you’re done, everything is dishwasher friendly!

A good appetite

10) Cookbooks: This was a bang-up year for cookbooks. Here are my recommendations for some books any cook would love: Melissa Clark’s In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite, Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table, Amanda Hesser’s The Essential New York Times Cookbook, Nigella Lawson’s Nigella Kitchen, Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa: How Easy Is That?, Canal House Cooking Subscription

Malted Milk Powder

11) Malted Milk Powder: It took me about 10 years but I finally found a great malted milk powder by King Arthur Flour. I bake with this all the time. Sometimes in the summer I find myself running low, a sure sign my husband has been making malted milkshakes. This is great for both sweet and savory foods, the home baker in your life will definitely appreciate a bag or two.