If you’ve got a food lover in your life to shop for over the holidays, you’re in luck. We’re so easy to please!
Kitchen gadgets, if you get the right ones, are bound to score you some serious points in the gift-giving category. Many of my favorite gifts over the years have been for the kitchen. But where should you start when the market is flooded with uni-taskers and As-Seen-On-TV space-wasting delights like strawberry slicers (is that a thing? probably) and fad doodads like spiralizers.
(Ok, I actually liked my spiralizer, but honestly, how often does anyone really make zoodles?)
So, if you’re looking for some ideas this holiday season, how about some that have stood the test of time in my home kitchen?
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Here are my top 5 kitchen utensils and gadget recommendations for the holiday shopping season. Enjoy!
Look, I love a local coffee shop as much as the next person. But when I get out of bed, I always make a beeline for coffee, and while I’m not a major coffee snob, I do need a click or two up from plastic tubs of ground coffee in a drip coffeepot. (OK, maybe a little bit of a snob.)
A few years ago, every Airbnb my husband and I stayed in on a trip to France had a Nespresso machine in the kitchen and we fell in love with the quick, easy, and delicious coffee at the push of a button. It tastes worlds better than Keurig, and the pods are recyclable. Soon after returning from that trip, we treated ourselves/each other to a Nespresso and milk frother as our big Christmas gift for the year. And I’m telling you, it was the best money we’ve spent in the kitchen.
The coffee is tasty and it’s as fast and simple as you need something to be while you’re still rubbing the sleep out of your eyes. This may not do for someone who needs micro-batches of freshly roasted beans ground à la minute for a pour-over brew, but for the rest of us? It’s a winner for sure.
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Early in our “getting into cooking years,” my husband and I wanted a Kitchen-Aid stand mixer as much as the kid in “A Christmas Story” wanted his Red Ryder BB gun. Fortunately for us, my mother-in-law was more willing to go along that gift idea than little Ralphie’s mom was in that classic movie and she gifted us the workhorse of our kitchen, a classic white mixer.
Kitchen-Aid mixers come in all sorts of fun colors now (I’m looking at you, candy apple red!) but ours has been running strong for almost two decades worth of bread, pizza dough, and other goodies now, so we’re sticking with it. This is definitely a case of paying more once and keeping it forever — I can’t imagine ever needing to replace it — and it’ll probably go to a niece or nephew when we’re no longer cooking.
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Don’t you hate when you don’t drink all your Champagne and it goes flat? It happens more often at my house than you might think for someone who had a coupe of champagne and the French word for yes — “oui” — tattooed on her wrist as the answer to “would you like some bubbles?”
Fear not though, it doesn’t have to go to waste! Enter the $10 Champagne Saver. Bless humanity and science, for we have figured out how to keep bubbles bubbly with this gadget. Just shove it in your in-progress bottle top, stash it in the fridge, and when you grab it in the next day or so, it’s as fizzy as the moment you popped the cork.
This is a perfect stocking stuffer for the foodie (or beverage!) lover in your life. And you should definitely get yourself one while you’re at it, too.
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Raise your hand if you, too, work at your kitchen counter (the place most of these articles are written). How many cords are sprouting right now? One of the most common refrains in our kitchen as my husband starts to make dinner while I’m pecking away at the laptop is: “will you please make some room?”
That’s been a lot easier since I got this $40 charging station from Great Useful Stuff. You can tuck those gnarly cords inside, and the bamboo leans more butcher block than the typical black plastic electronics device does, so it doesn’t seem out of place on the counter. (Which is great because as much as I’d like to put the laptop away at night, it basically lives on the counter.)
If you’ve got a work-from-home situation (or just a jumble of devices), this is a must-have.
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There are more expensive blender and food processor kits out there that people swear by, but I’ve been a big, big fan of the Ninja line-up.
The kitchen system does come with quite a few pieces to contend with storing, but the fact that they all work on the same base is a big plus. It makes quick work of, well, anything and everything we’ve ever thrown its way (including spiralizing in case we ever do have a zoodle craving!).
Mixed drinks, smoothies, dough, you name it, it chops, swirls, blends, and otherwise pulverizes in short order — perfect for the home short-order cook in your life.
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