Tip of the Month, December 2013: 10 Last-Minute Gift Ideas for the Cook(s) in Your Life

Sunflower Silicon suction lid

OK, all of my procrastinating friends and followers out there — do you need some last minute gift ideas for the cook in your life? If so, here are 10 of my current favorites, ranging from less than $5.00 to right at $300.00. There is something in here for everyone. And if you have finished shopping, consider treating yourself with any of these great gadgets, appliances, etc.

Plastic veggie keepers

Plastic veggie/fruit keepers. I was skeptical about these at first, but am so glad I tried them – they really do work. Tomatoes, onions and lemons, three of my favorite ingredients for whatever, do stay fresher compared to wrapping them in plain plastic wrap. Plus, they are easier to find in the fridge. You can find these in various places that sell kitchen goods for less than $5.00 apiece.

Silicone suction lid

Silicon suction lid covers.  My favorite find of the year! For $7.99 to $12.99, depending on the size, you get a great seal on all smooth-rimmed stainless, glass plastic and ceramic containers. They come in different patterns, such as the sunflower as shown, or hibiscus, snowflakes, etc. How cute and how useful – they really work! By Charles Viancin.

Space saving spice rack

Compact spice rack with tilting trays. I think I spent $14.99 at the Container Store for this spice rack, which works perfectly in a cabinet that is not very deep. It has three trays, all of which tilt down and then stay put. Great storage if you are cramped for space!

Cheese grater with storage

Cheese grater with storage bn. I have a couple of these and adore them. I have one that is mainly for finely-grated cheese — awesome for Parmesan. You do want to use the cheese in a couple of days, but if you’re making a big pot of chili, for example, you can grate a bunch of fresh cheddar to use for leftovers. Prices vary, but you can find a decent one in the $15.00-$20.00 range, if not cheaper.

Keurig Coffee filter

Keurig coffee filter. Since I am the only coffee drinker in my home, the Keurig coffee maker made great sense for me and Brad got me one for my birthday several years ago. The individual k-cups can be expensive (I  buy them only when on sale), so I invested in the coffee filter that Keurig sells to use with my own ground coffee beans. I get a much wider choice of coffee and can save $$$ to boot.

williams-and-sonoma-goldtouch-pizza-crisper

Williams and Sonoma Nonstick Goldtouch Pizza Crisper. This is my go-to pizza pan when I’m making homemade pizza and want a crisp crust. The pan has a perforated surface that exposes the bottom of the pizza to direct heat. It is one of my favorite pieces of bake ware, and well worth the money ($22.95).

Cuisinaart Hand held blender

Cuisinart hand blender. I recently bought this on sale (it normally retails for about $40.00, which is totally worth it) and have only used it a couple of times, but love, love, love it. Emeril calls it the “motor boat” but I call it “smooth operator” for making creamy soups and velvety smoothies.

Soda Stream

Sodastream. The first time I tried the Sodastream was at my friend Stephanie’s house. She had made one of the grapefruit sodas, which I love. My brother also loves his Sodastream and uses it all the time. I asked Brad for one for my birthday and he obliged. I use it all of the time. I am a diet cola snob – it has to be Coke (NO Pepsi!) But I really like the diet cola that you use with this – it is quite smooth. The cool thing is you get to add as much fizz and syrup as you want to each batch you make. The model I got runs around $90.00. The soda mixes are usually $4.95, and the CO2 canisters are $29.00, but they do recycle your old ones, which brings the price down to $15.00. According to its website, you pay approximately 25 cents for the equivalent of a can of soda. You can pick up the mixes at Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, etc. Each batch lasts several days in the fridge and there are a ton of flavors from which to choose. And BTW, no aspartame in diet flavors.

ninja-cooking-system 3-in-1

Ninja 3-in-1 Cooking System. For those of you who follow my blog, you know this is one of my favorite kitchen tools ever. I love how you can brown and slow cook in the same vessel. Check out my full review of this great appliance (which I saw on sale at Kohl’s last week for $139.00) at: https://kelleychisholm.com/2012/11/01/product-review-ninja-3-in-1-cooking-system/

Kitchen Aid Mixer

KitchenAid Mixer.  This is another new kitchen tool for me – I bought it online this summer and paid right around $139.00 for it (normally retails for $299.99) with a bunch of coupons and special codes, etc. I let Lexi be the first user to keep her inspired to cook, and she loved it! “This is so powerful, Auntie Kelley! It does a great job!” Why, yes, yes, it does. The only color option I had was the stainless as shown (for the price, bring it!), but it does come in some great colors such as hot pink and red.

I wish each and every one of you a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s. My sincere thanks to all for following my blog and hopefully enjoying some of my recipes, restaurant recommendations, etc. Here’s to a delicious 2014!

Eat, drink and be merry!

Follow Kel’s Café on Twitter at http://twitter.com/kelscafe

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