Sunday, December 13, 2009

For the Cooks on Your Holiday Shopping List

As you finish up shopping for the 2009 holiday season, I wanted to share some fun gift suggestions.

I always have a few cooks on my shopping list and am perplexed about what to buy them that they don't already have. Here are a few items I scooped up this year:

Chez Panisse Vegetables: this 368-page cookbook should be in any serious home cook's arsenal. This book was published in 1996 by Alice Waters and includes recipes from the famous Berkley, California, restaurant. I was introduced to the cookbook a few months back at my friend Kate's (we made the butternut squash risotto and it was TO DIE FOR). Pick up a copy for about $25 from Amazon.
Pan Scrapers: practical, affordable and perfect for stocking stuffers. These durable, plastic scrapers are safe on non-stick surfaces and will likely prevent lots of frustration and angst following baking, broiling and sauteing. I picked up colored ones (99 cents each) at the Decatur Ace Hardware (they have AWESOME gifts) but you can also find them on Amazon and on

Chop2Pot Cutting Board: another find from Intown Ace Hardware ($15). This cutting board lays flat while you chop and dice, then when you're ready to scrape your veggies into the pot, you squeeze the handle and let them roll right in. My description may not make sense, so hopefully the photo helps you get the idea. Chop2Pot cutting boards are also available on Amazon (though I hate that one review says the boards don't last long!).

Flying Biscuit Cookbook: perfect for your friend or family member who appreciates healthy and hearty breakfast cooking. Atlantans will especially appreciate the recipes, as the restaurant started here and has grown into a successful local chain ($12.95 on the Flying Biscuit Web site or at Intown Ace Hardware).

Fire Wire: How cool is this flexible, stainless steel grilling skewer? This gift is great for the occasional or hardcore griller. The skewer can be locked and loaded with veggies, meats and other deliciousness. One big perk is that the skewer's flexibility allows you to easily marinate in a plastic bag or bowl. I bought on Amazon for about $14 (set of 2) but these are also for sale at Intown Ace Hardware. Check out this Tailgating Ideas article on Fire Wire.

Utensil pot clip: another practical stocking stuffer. By clipping this handy thing to the edge of your pot, you can rest your spoon or spatula so that it drips back into the pot versus making a mess on your counter or cooktop. Available on the Vat19 site or at Intown Ace Hardware for about $7. (As an aside, Vat19 looks to have lots of nifty cooking gadgets with its motto of "Unique Gifts and Unusual Gift Ideas.")

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