My Favorite Stocking Stuffers for Real Food Cooks!

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…

Stocking Stuffers on 100 Days of #RealFood

  1. 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).
    Microplane - #Stocking Stuffers on 100 Days of #RealFood
  2. 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.
    Cookie Scoop - #Stocking Stuffers on 100 Days of #RealFood
  3. 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.]
    Whipped Cream Dispenser #Stocking Stuffer on 100 Days of #RealFood
  4. 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!
    Cookie Press - #Stocking Stuffers on 100 Days of #RealFood
  5. 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.
    Marinade Bottle - #Stocking Stuffers on 100 Days of #RealFood
  6. 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! :)
    Chalkboard #Stocking Stuffer on 100 Days of #RealFood
  7. 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.Cookbook #Stocking Stuffer on 100 Days of #RealFood
  8. (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. Oh and FYI – if you act fast Blendtec is currently having a sale on their refurbished models (while supplies last)!
    Blendtec #Stocking Stuffer on 100 Days of #RealFood

So, do any of these pique your interest? What else would you add to this list? Happy Shopping! :)

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58 thoughts on “My Favorite Stocking Stuffers for Real Food Cooks!”

  1. A Butter Bell is a wonderful helpful gift…………………………..keeps butter fresh and soft in your cpboard 1 stick at a time!!

  2. I took a series of cooking classes this fall, and those instructors used tongs for EVERYTHING!! I’m giving some tongs this year, with a note saying to use them to:

    Flip meat (spearing with a fork allows the juice to run out)

    Toss stir-fry

    Serve salads

    Grab hard-to-reach items from high shelves

    Use instead of a fork to hold meat while you carve

    Use the inner edge of the tong arm to pop off bottle caps

    Hold the tongs closed and push the end into cut citrus halves to juice them

    Turn a dish without removing it from the oven

    Remove large items from boiling water, like corn on the cob, lobster, boiled potatoes, boiled eggs, etc.

    Move hot lids on and off pots

    Stirring and serving spaghetti

    Manipulating baked potatoes

  3. Great list! There were a couple of other thoughts that came to mind: a mister for olive oil and natural food dyes.

  4. I bought the cookbook after following this blog some. I was not sure how much I would actually use it but I was definitely interested. Turns out, it is one of the best cook books I have purchased. I have made so many recipes and the whole family enjoys them. We are slower than most the the real food/organic and general food watching business but this book definitely makes it easier and makes me confident we can “survive” more change.

  5. I just wanted to let you known how much I love your book. I made the Chicken Nuggets and my kids loved them as well as my husband. I’m just starting the real food journey. Keep up the great blog hope to see another real food cookbook down the road.

  6. I wish I had a whipped cream dispenser, NOW. you know, for the pumpkin pie next week. I need that in my life. I hate waiting 10 minutes of loud mixing for whipped cream.

  7. My favorite small kitchen gadget that I found this year is a garlic peeler. It’s a small silicone tube, on Amazon for under $10. If you love fresh garlic, it’s a MUST HAVE. I bless the name of the garlic farmer that told me about it.

  8. I have the marinade bottle and use it for homemade dressings. It is amazing how much better they are then store bought and the bottle makes it so easy to create and enjoy them!

  9. What is the brand of the cookie cutter? Where can I buy it? I have always wanted one since my mother always used one when I was a kid….would love to do it with my daughter.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi there. Just click on the highlighted words “cookie press” in the post. :)

  10. Do you have a recipe source for a dairy free whipped cream!? I would love one to make for my little guy!

  11. Thank you for posting the 2014 Stocking Stuffers. I have been waiting and hoping you would do this in time for the holidays. Last year I used your list and it was such a big hit with all the women in the family. Everyone especially loved the little measuring spoons that had a pinch,etc.

    I really love your post, videos and ideas. Here’s hoping you and your family have a wonderful Holiday.

  12. The ice cream scoop thing totally changed my baking- I used to HATE portioning out cookies/ muffin batter but this has made it so easy. Totally worth the money!!

  13. When buying ice cream/cookie scoops, it is also helpful to have the large 1/2 cup size. It is the perfect size for making pancakes and waffles (one scoop perfectly fills one side of my Cuisenart waffle iron. It is also useful for portioning our a large pot of steel cut oatmeal, for eating throughout the week.

  14. What do you use to cover foods when reheating in the microwave? (Although you may not use it very often.)

  15. Are the different models really that different. Every time I start looking at them I feel so overwhelmed I can’t decide which one would be the best one to buy! Any thoughts?

  16. I just put all of these (that I do not already own) on my Amazon wish list! Such wonderful things! I love the whip cream tool! Amazing! Thanks for the help with things I want for Christmas this year.

  17. Love this list. espcially the blender. I used to work for blendtec on the design line (putting the fan together) They take quality seriously. (grr to the guy who would send the fans back lol) They are really good. :) someday i will get one!

    1. I find the little refrigerator magnet clips really handy in keeping any cookbook open to the page I want. I also prop on a steel cookbook stand.

  18. Jeannine Bowermaster

    Is there a version of your cookbook that is spiral bound so it can be laid flat while cooking?

    1. oh yes. You can use the microplane for a lot. I’ve had mine for years. Parmesan, zest, garlic, chocolate. Love that thing. Though watch your fingers I’ve grated myself a few times, especially on garlic.

  19. I have the ISI whipped cream canister and really like it. Used it to top some little pumpkin pies for kids yesterday and they thought it was cool to see the cream come out all whipped up. It’s amazing how many kids have never had homemade anything let alone everything made from scratch. I like a previous poster added vanilla to my cream and it was wonderful.

    1. I’m in my early 30s and am still using my mom’s old ISI whipped cream canister. I love pulling it out every Thanksgiving for fresh whipped cream on top of the homemade pumpkin pie. We usually add a little vanilla and powdered sugar to the cream.

  20. Which size of the chalkboards do you have? There is a small and large, trying to decide which one to get so I can fit the whole weeks menu on there. Get gift ideas, I’m adding the whipped cream dispenser to my Christmas list!

    1. Nevermind I see the price now, you must have the small. Looks like you can get a whole menu on there so that’s what I’ll probably get.

  21. I love the Meal Plan Chalkboard, but the link takes you to one that has a handle, and I don’t see that on yours. Did you actually buy yours from this site? I am apprehensive to purchase one without seeing the quality if the chalkboard area because of the ease or difficulty erasing. Thank you for your insights!

    1. You can use a mixer to make whipped cream as well. You just can’t make it ahead of time or keep it for long after making it. Just put in cream and turn it on until you get soft peaks. Don’t go to long or you will have butter instead.

      1. My daughter’s Montesorri class made whipped cream by pouring cream into an empty jam jar and adding one marble. just shake the jar with the marble in it around for a bit and voila, fresh whipped cream. I was amazed at how quick and simple it was and my kids now do it for me and love it. they pass it around the table shaking it while i cut up dessert.

        PS – don’t use an empty pickle jar – it broke on me. my jam jars work great though.

    2. You can use any sort of hand mixer or even just a whisk. I tried it with a whisk a few weeks ago for the first time in my life (always used a mixer before) and I was astounded how quick and easy it was!

      1. Really? A whisk? I usually end up skipping whipped cream because I think it takes too long to stand there with the mixture….and I have enough butter on hand already, KWIM?

        I’ll have to try it with a whisk sometime. Then I wouldn’t have to clean the mixer afterwards, either.

  22. I’ve been cooking with your cookbook and adapting my own recipes for a couple of months now. I’ve done more cooking than ever before! So I think an EXTRA set of measuring spoons and another glass 2-cup measuring cup would be awesome to have. Mine are always dirty or in the dishwasher!

  23. I love the salad dressing bottle. My excuse for not making my own has been looking for the recipe and measuring everything out. But, this makes it so easy :) Thank you!

  24. I do the same thing, Angela. No one buys me any stocking stuffers, so I usually end up buying a couple kitchen gadgets that I like/need. This list has given me some great ideas.

    I might also put together a basket of gadgets for my dad’s gf who loves to cook. :)

    1. Well, no one buys me stocking stuffers, either! (Dads? Hint, hint–great idea for you & the kids to put together for Mom….)

      I remember my mom used to get herself a few little things for her own Christmas stocking, and then we would laugh as she pulled out the items, feigning surprise and exclaiming, “Oh, Santa….how did you know? It’s just what I wanted!”

      I would have to add a pie shield to the list. I get so tired of fiddling with the little strips of foil, and then they sink into the pumpkin pie mixture & leave a groove in the pie filling.

  25. You can use a cookie press to decorate with frosting?? I didn’t know that.

    All of these are great, but I’m excited about the glass salad dressing and marinade bottles! And – bonus – mighty nest will donate 15% of the order to my daughter’s school.

    In case you haven’t tried it, I add vanilla to my cream whipper when I make whipped cream and it’s delish.

  26. I love that meal plan chalkboard! I’d add something similar to this list. Emily Ley has some inexpensive, but beautiful, meal planning notepads that look great on my fridge! They would make a great stocking stuffer.

  27. I fill my own stocking and love some of the items mentioned. I would add a nice set of measuring spoons with a holiday theme. Love mine and I always need extra spoons when I cook/bake. thanks for your site to healthy eating.

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