Gift Guide: The Home Cook

Happy December!  If you’re anything like me, you’re already enjoying singing carols, decorating, and absolutely freaking out about what you’re going to buy everyone on your list.  Enter my Gift Guide Series — each Monday between now and Christmas (my holiday of choice), I’ll post a different gift guide.  Enjoy!

I think all of us know at least one avid home cook.  Oftentimes, it’s a person who seems to have it all together: they know the difference between mincing garlic and crushing it, maybe they have their favorite recipes memorized.  They might have the essentials, and maybe even a few specialized tools, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add to their arsenal and delight them at the same time!  Here are my five picks for your favorite home cook this holiday season.


One: The Julienne Peeler

This handy tool will help you quickly create everything from zucchini noodles to shredded carrots for carrot cakes.  It’s stainless steel, dishwasher safe, and deadly sharp.  I bought one of these, lost it in my move back to Pennsylvania, and loved it so much that I bought it again.  Note: this is also an awesome and more utilitarian alternative to spiralizers.


Two: Specialty Rada Knives

I mentioned my love for the Rada Tomato Knife in my Stocking Your First Kitchen post, but that is just the tip of the iceberg.  We use the Rada tomato, cheese, and bagel knives all the time.  I also have a Rada ice cream scoop that I love.  Rada products are lightweight, 100% made in the United States, and come in every variety from everyday to specialty.  You also can’t beat the prices (especially over on the ‘Zon).


Three: Cuisinart Immersion Blender

I sincerely never saw the need for an immersion blender until I started dating L and began making soup all the time.  They are so convenient and easy to clean!  My mother bought me the Cuisinart Smart Stick 2-Speed Hand Blender, and it is phenomenal.  The motor is unbelievably powerful, and I have had tremendous luck with all of its attachments.  It’s also always on sale at major department stores.


Four: Wooden Salad Serving Bowl

Let me start off by honestly saying that I love wooden salad bowls and I want one so bad.  I’ve seen many varieties, from budget to luxe, and would like to get something nice that I’m not afraid to use.  My pick is from World Market and clocks in at a reasonable $19.99 (always with a sale!).


Five: Gourmet Hot Sauce

Not all home cooks love spicy things, but a great many do.  Last year, I bought hot sauce from California Blazing Chili Farms and L really enjoyed it.  They have everything from habanero to ghost peppers, so you can easily find something for the heat-lover in your life in their Etsy store.


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