Here is my 2017 Holiday Gift List just in time for you to pick up gifts for the food lovers in your life or to add to your own wish list. From my favorite cookbooks to the equipment I use every day in my own kitchen, there is something for everyone here. Browse the following and I know you will find several things you, your friends, and family can’t live without!
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Up first, Cookbooks!
Food on Tap: Cooking with Craft Beer by Lori Rice – packed with amazing recipes that show how versatile beer is as an ingredient as well as enjoyable served alongside, this is a book that will have you looking at beer with a whole new appreciation. Lori teaches us about the qualities of different beers, what makes them different, and when to use each kind. She guides us through possible challenges and how to handle them guaranteeing success. For those of you on a gluten-free diet, you can substitute a GF beer in any recipe. With recipes for brunch, sides, main courses and even dessert, there is something to tempt you on every page!
Orange Appeal: Savory and Sweet by Jamie Schler, Photography by Ilva Beretta – With hundreds of books out there on other citrus varieties, Jamie is the first to truly celebrate the orange! From sweet treats to luscious savory recipes, you will find yourself drawn into this book with the beautiful photos, well written and inspiring stories, and tempting recipes. I will have a giveaway next week for this book, so come back and enter to win your own copy!!
Smashed, Mashed, Boiled, and Baked: A Celebration of Potatoes in 75 Irresistible Recipes by Raghavan Iyer – If you are looking for a side dish or vegetarian main course, or you simply love potatoes the way I do, you are going to find this cookbook captivating. Written by award-winning author Raghavan Iyer, you will be delighted at his use of unusual seasonings that transport an ordinary potato to extraordinary!
Art of the Pie: A Practical Guide to Homemade Crusts, Fillings, and Life by Kate McDermott, Photography by Andrew Scrivani – Already in its 4th printing, Art of the Pie is destined to become a classic cookbook and one you will want in your culinary library. Filled with the most delectable pies (both sweet and savory), what Kate really does is take away the fear of baking pies by giving you step-by-step guidance and how to fix it if something goes wrong. Everyone can bake with Kate by your side – and it truly is “as easy as pie”!
The Hamilton Cookbook: Cooking, Eating and Entertaining in Hamilton’s World by Laura Kumin – With the excitement of the musical “Hamilton” sweeping the nation, there isn’t a more timely cookbook on the shelves than Laura’s investigation into the foods and cooking of Alexander Hamilton’s time. With recipes adjusted for today’s kitchens and ingredients, we are transported to Colonial times and get to dive deep into what it meant to live when our country was being formed. Researched and well written, this is a fascinating history book as well. Crank up the soundtrack to “Hamilton” and tap your toes as you read page after page of this intriguing book!
The Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook: 200 Fast and Foolproof Recipes by Barbara Schieving – Pressure cooking is all the rage again like it was in my mother’s and grandmother’s era of cooking. With today’s busy lifestyles you can’t beat having a stew ready in 25 minutes or cooking a whole chicken in less than half an hour. The Instant Pot is the current darling of the pressure cookers and I am excited to use Barbara’s cookbook to play with my newest toy in the kitchen it for myself. The flavors of long, slow cooking in a fraction of the time is just what we all crave!
The Gluten-Free Bread Machine Cookbook by Jane Bonacci and Shannon Kinsella – If you or anyone you know are eating gluten-free, our cookbook is a great holiday gift and a blessing to those who love delicious bread … whether they have to eat gluten-free or are baking for someone else. I serve these all the time to friends who aren’t gluten-free and they are blown away. These are 175 breads and more that everyone will enjoy! If you love gluten-free breads but don’t own a bread machine, I have directions to make all the breads by using a stand mixer and your oven! Head to the blog or contact me for help.
And now for my favorite kitchen equipment – things I use all the time in my own kitchen!!
Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 5-1/2 Quart Round French (Dutch) Oven – There is no harder working piece of cooking equipment in my kitchen than my Dutch ovens. Covered with enamel, they are easy to care for and clean up is a breeze. All the benefits of cast iron with none of the hassle! You can make soups, stews, chilies, and sauces in it. Use it for deep frying your favorite chicken or use it to roast the bird or hunks of meat. Once it comes to temperature, turn down the heat because it holds heat beautifully and will keep food warm for a long time. This workhorse pays for itself quickly as you find task after task that are perfect for it.
Microplane Grater – What did we do before we discovered the rasp-inspired graters from Microplane? There are different styles for every conceivable kitchen task. Citrus zest is as fine as light snow, chocolate and hard cheeses are grated with ease, and nothing works better for nutmeg! This should be in everyone’s kitchen, starting with yours!
KitchenAid 3 Speed Immersion Kitchen Hand Blender Set – An immersion blender is a blessing especially when you are wanting to puree soups or other liquids. No more need to transfer scalding hot liquids to a blender – just insert the head of the immersion blender and turn it on. The force draws the liquids and solids down, pureeing them instantly. And nothing makes Hollandaise sauce better! If you are egg-free, use this to make your flax slurry when baking. It comes with a whisk attachment that makes quick and easy work of whipped cream!
Misen Knives – I discovered these knives during their Kickstarter campaign. I have one and am coveting the others. These are great knives, balanced perfectly, and really hold their edge. New technology for one of the most used tools in any kitchen. These are the best quality for the price that I’ve seen in the U.S.
Anolon Advanced Bronze Hard Anodized Nonstick 11-Piece Cookware Set – While I normally do not advocate buying a set of cookware, this is one where you will use every single piece with pleasure! Anolon has become my go-to choice when I am cooking and their products take a beating without showing any wear or tear, with the easiest clean up in the business!
KitchenAid 6 Qt Professional Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer – Others may argue that the tilt-head model is better, but I love my bowl-lift and it has been making my life easier for nearly 25 years – that’s quality folks! The 6-quart is big enough to handle the largest holiday gatherings with ease and will cut your prep time in half. The ability to walk away when it is mixing and attend to something else is a luxury. Do yourself a favor and buy an extra bowl while you’re at it – that way you don’t have to stop and wash the bowl every time you change projects!
Thermapen MK4 Instant Read Thermometer – Incredibly fast and accurate, it is hard to cook without one now that I’m used to having it around. I even carry it to other people’s houses and events where I am cooking just to be sure the cooking is accurate! This is one of those items that you say, “what did I do before I owned it” about. While the cost may seem too steep, but when you consider how much you spend for the cheaper thermometers and how often you have to replace them … I made up the cost in less than a year with a much higher quality product!
Instant Pot Ultra 6-Quart 10-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Cooker– I am jumping on the pressure cooker bandwagon folks! My mother and grandmother swore by theirs and countless of my friends love their Instant Pots so I got one myself to play with this holiday season. Just look at everything it can do … Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Yogurt Maker, Cake Maker, Egg Cooker, Saute, Steamer, Warmer, and Sterilizer. Just imagine being able to brown foods for depth of flavor and appearance, then leave it to cook for several hours, coming home to a hot meal. Or having a meal on the table in no time because of its pressure cooking speed – there is something for everyone here! This is truly a one stop shop when it comes to everything it can do and the speed of pressure cooking makes it irresistible. Pair this with Barbara’s cookbook and you have the perfect holiday gift!
Be sure to come back here next week for my Giveaway of Jamie’s Orange Appeal Cookbook! I hope you have a wonderful holiday season with your family and friends!
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
Check out your list of everyone you need to buy gifts for and if anyone on your list is into food, my gifts list may just help you!
To convert recipes to gluten-free, substitute with GF ingredients where possible or if not crucial, leave it out. If you are baking, use a gluten-free flour blend and use 120 grams per cup of flour called for in the recipe. Add 1/4 tsp of xanthan gum or 1/2 tsp of psyllium husk powder per cup of flour. They both help avoid crumbly results. If you have questions, you can find a lot of information above by clicking on the “Gluten-Free” tab at the top of the page and you are welcome to contact me for more assistance.