Today we’re got a bunch of small gift items perfect for your favorite cook. Kim Campbell, our director of culinary education, curated this list from her well-stocked kitchen cupboards, bringing you some great recommendations for handy, time-saving gifts. So wrap a few of these up and tuck them under the tree for the cook in your family.
Silicone Nonstick Baking Mats: $10–$25
These come in a variety of brands and sizes and allow for oil-free baking without the use of parchment paper or aluminum foil. They are very durable and made to withstand temperatures up to about 500 degrees. They save on cleanup time and roll up easily, requiring minimal storage space.
Set of Silicone Spatulas: $10–$20
Kim prefers a silicone spatula to a rubber spatula because they are heat resistant up to 500 degrees. It’s important to have a few different sizes on hand for those harder-to-reach places in blenders and food processors. These also come in a variety of fun colors.
Multipurpose Stainless Steel Scraper & Chopper: Price Range $10–$15
Kim recommends the OXO Good Grips brand. If you chop a lot of vegetables (which Kim certainly does), this tool is perfect for transferring chopped veggies off the cutting board and into the pan. It’s perfect for cutting dough; chopping softer vegetables, such as artichokes or olives; slicing brownies; sectioning; and marking for precise measurement. It’s a simple tool, but very useful and time saving.
Kim recommends the Microplane 40020 Classic Zester/Grater. A microplane is a great tool for grating ginger, garlic, lemons, limes, and oranges. Many people purchase separate zesters and garlic presses that are unnecessary if you have a microplane. You can also turn blocks of chocolate into pretty little sprinkles for garnishing pies and ice creams, and you can even use it to grate chiles and peppers, allowing you to keep the heat of these veggies manageable.
French Fry Cutter: $20–$30
Kim’s favorite is the Easy Grip Apple Slicer/Corer Mango and Potato Slicer by Savant Kitchen. This little tool comes with three blades: The first one cores and slices apples into perfectly sized pieces; the second one is for making french fries; and the third blade is a mango slicer. She says her family loves to have baked sweet potato and white potato fries, and this little tool makes the process pretty painless.
Photos courtesy of Amy Bissinger and Laura Dietrich.
I try not to be overly dramatic in my writing, but I think most of us would agree we live in troubled times. We might define these troubles differently, but most of us have this sense. Most distressing in my view, however, are not the actual problems we face, but our inability to work together to find their solutions.
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