It’s officially time to start making your list and checking it twice! So I’ve got some fabulous little gift ideas for you – some of my favorite items that I love and use in my kitchen regularly. In my mind, when it comes to gift giving there’s just nothing better than something that’s actually practical and useful. So here are six super affordable kitchen tools that fit the bill, plus one splurge bonus recommendation that will make the cook – or aspiring cook – in your life feel extra special! (Hey, even though that one is expensive it would still totally fit in a stocking.) :)
- “Roux” Cooking Spoon: $10
This spoon with a flat tip is just plain awesome. It was first introduced to me by my mother-in-law who lives in New Orleans. Forget that they tell you it’s just for making roux. I use it all the time when cooking on the stove, and it has quickly become my favorite. Need to scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan or break up ground meat while cooking? No problem.
- Hand Immersion Blender: $35
This is by far the most ridiculously smart and handy small appliance I own. I love to make homemade soups, and before I had one of these (also given to me by my in-laws!), I was wasting time and also creating a huge mess when pureeing soups. You see, I was transferring my soups (in batches, no less) to the counter top blender, and when your pot is still holding the chunky soup and the blender is filled to the max with pureed soup, where-oh-where do you put it so you can continue pureeing the remaining soup?? Once again, HUGE mess.
Not to mention a friend once told me the heat of the soup she was pureeing forced the lid of her counter top blender to fly off, and it almost burned her. So please do yourself a huge favor and invest in one of these bad boys, and while you are at it, get one for every cook (or aspiring cook) you know – they will love it!
- Salad Dressing Bottle (with recipe measurements on the side): $8
This is not the first time I’ve shared this awesome gadget here on the blog. It all started when I saw one in my mom’s kitchen and begged her to let me have it (yes, I still do that sometimes, even at 36 years old). As it turns out, she really does use it and want to keep it (duh), so I scoured the internet to find one of my own. This bottle seriously makes homemade salad dressings a breeze.
I love it so much that I gave one to just about every extended family member last year and also bought one for an annual gift exchange party with friends (along with some cool salad tongs) – oh how I love practical gifts!
- “Pinch” Spoons: $5
These inexpensive little measuring spoons are mainly just cute and fun. I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I am making a recipe that calls for a pinch of cumin, if I stick my fingers down into the spice bottle I’ll end up smelling like tacos for the rest of the day. Some might not think that is such a bad thing, but it’s just not my personal preference. I think these spoons are the perfect gift for a cook who seems to have everything already.
- Kitchen Scale: $25
This is not one of those “I use it all the time” tools, but when I do need to quickly solve a mystery, like “How much does this broccoli really weigh so I can use the correct amount in this recipe?,” it sure is handy to have around. And with this scale being fairly small in size, it’s not hard to find a place to store it so that it’s available for such occasions.
- The Best Reusable Shopping Bags: $20
If you follow my Facebook page, you may have recently heard me gushing about these bags. Yes, it’s the little things in life. But we got an awesome $5 off discount for our readers and didn’t want you to miss out! I got this reusable bagging system from my sister-n-law for Christmas a couple of years ago. They are so much easier to use (and more durable) than all the other bags I’ve tried. But many readers have questioned if I could really fit a week’s worth of groceries in them, so I risked looking like an idiot and had my picture taken with them at the store so you could really get a sense for how big they are.
The set comes with 4 bags total – 3 that are close in size to the light blue one plus 1 other that is slightly smaller (the black one). They are all labeled with what items go in each one, and even if I am shopping for extra house guests or Thanksgiving dinner, I have honestly never run out of room. And my favorite part is that they all neatly (and easily) fold and zip up together into one of the 4 bags (the brown one). No more bags flying all over the back of my car when they aren’t in use! That used to drive me crazy. This is another one of those great practical gifts for just about anyone on your list!
- SPLURGE: Professional Knife: $150
This is one of those coveted high-end items that you collect one of each year. Then over time you’ll have yourself a nice collection! I got this very same knife as my big gift last year, and it’s amazing how much better I like it than the other knives we own. I love everything from the handle to the blade to the shape to how it rests in your hand perfectly. Not to mention it’s just cool looking. :) This would be an extra special big surprise for someone who really likes to cook!
What food-related items are going to be on your list this year?