Welcome to the 2014 version of My Favorite Kitchen Tools for Stockings (slightly renamed for this year)! I’ve thought long and hard about what to put on this stocking stuffer list so, with a practical theme in mind, here we go…
- Microplane: $12.60
This tool is just plain awesome. And I am embarrassed to admit I did not own one until this year. It all started with my daughter’s obsession with my Lemon Raspberry Muffins that call for the zest of one lemon. I thought using a zester was the only way, but then I tried doing it with a microplane and – OMG – I might as well throw my zester in the trash! Plus it has so many other uses like grating hard cheeses and whole spices (like nutmeg and ginger).
- Small Cookie/Batter Scooper: $14
I was clearly living under a rock when I once thought “ice cream scoopers” were just for ice cream. Turns out a small 1 1/2 tablespoon version makes putting muffin batter into the muffin pan and cookie batter onto the cookie sheet a total breeze! Plus you can’t beat this price for a gift. This is one of the items I actually did get in my stocking last year, and I love it.
- Whipped Cream Dispenser: $30 to $40 (depending on the brand)
This device is clearly a nice-to-have not a need-to-have kitchen tool. But let’s face it – if you are a whipped cream fan it doesn’t get much easier than this! You just put the cream in and voila – out comes whipped cream. You don’t even have to add any sweetener, but if you do I recommend only a touch of pure maple syrup. And I have not tried it yet, but I’ve heard you can make dairy-free whipped cream in there as well! So it’s time to say goodbye to the Cool Whip container full of highly processed additives. [Note: I own the Whip-It brand, but the reviews aren’t so great for that one, although we’ve never had trouble. After doing some research it looks like the iSi brand got better reviews and is close in price.]
- Cookie Press (with decorating tips): $25
I am not one to decorate cakes and pies very often, but when I do I love using my “cookie press” to do it. It’s super easy to use and not nearly as messy (or hard to clean) as one of those pastry bags. Plus, BONUS, you can make the cutest cookies with it. Just check out the fun shapes I made for a cookie exchange party last year. So many possibilities!
- Marinade Bottle: $7 to $11 (depending on where you buy it)
I think most of us here share the same mutual love for the Salad Dressing Bottle with all the recipe measurements on the side (mentioned on my holiday stocking stuffer post last year), so I know you’re really gonna love this one. I had no idea until I saw it on MightyNest’s website that there’s a version for making marinades! The 4 recipes printed on the bottle include Lemon-Herb, Pineapple-Ginger, Jamaican-Citrus and Spicy Oriental, and of course the secure lid makes it perfect for storing as well.
- Meal Plan Chalkboard: $20
OK so this might not fit in a stocking, but I love how organized this little chalkboard keeps me in the kitchen. As you can see, it’s the perfect size for writing up my weekly menu plan. It’s displayed for everyone to see, which helps with those “What’s for dinner?” questions AND it also helps me remember what meat or other items I may need to defrost in advance. So, if you’d like to get organized in the new year, add this one to your wish list for sure! :)
- 100 Days of Real Food Cookbook: $18 to $30 (depending on where you buy it and if you want a signed copy)
Did you really think I’d put together a gift list without putting my own book on it? :) Kidding aside, I wrote this book myself and still seriously use it all. the. time! What you can expect from the book’s 100 recipes is that they’re easy to follow, they only call for common ingredients you can find at most any grocery store, they’re mostly new (not previously on the blog except for fan favorites), and there is a big color photo for each one. In addition, the book starts out with 5 chapters full of shopping tips, advice for getting your family on board, meal plans, and much more. So far the book has an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars on amazon thanks to almost 450 reviews (thank you so much to all the reviewers!) so be sure to check out what they have to say if you want a second opinion. Also, before I forget – Park Road Books is where you can order the signed copies, and personalization is welcome.–
- (SPLURGE!) Blendtec Blender: $230 to $350 (depending on the model)
It’s official, Vitamix gets most of the brand recognition when it comes to high-end blenders, but Blendtec is my favorite brand. I actually own both, and I honestly stopped reaching for my Vitamix once the Blendtec entered my life – true story. Have you seen our video yet that shows the difference? Some of the commenters think the Vitamix could perform better than it did in the video, but only if you operate it a certain way – which I personally feel is a little high maintenance. Oh and FYI – if you act fast Blendtec is currently having a sale on their refurbished models (while supplies last)!
So, do any of these pique your interest? What else would you add to this list? Happy Shopping! :)