Today I wanted to start with my favorite kind of gift to buy and receive, one for the home cook! Way back in the day when Keith and I were registering for our wedding I studied the reviews and lists that deemed certain tools and items for the kitchen a "must-have", and now after 4 years of some serious cooking in the kitchen I think I have a pretty good idea of what is actually helpful and what we could have done without. So with that knowledge in my brain I've compiled a Gift Guide with all the things I would stock my kitchen with if I were starting from scratch.
iPad Stand $24.99 - Most of the recipes we try for the first time are found online these days, hello Pinterest! This iPad Stand is the easiest way to follow the directions while cooking without having to fuss with printing it out.
Vitamix Blender $329.00 - We love our Vitamix Blender! I know the price tag turns most people off, but once you try it you will agree, there is no better blender out there. Plus, the Vitamix is capable of making nut butters, almond milk, soups, ice cream, and so much more!
Immersion Blender $99.99 - I use our Immersion Blender all the time. It's so easy to use when I want to make a quick, small batch of salad dressing, whip egg whites or puree a soup in pot. It's really compact too, so it's great for people living in tight quarters like college students.
KitchenAid Stand Mixer $349.99 - I'm pretty sure anyone who has ever made cookies or breads has wished they had one of these! Mine gets a ton of use during the holidays, and all year long.
Williams-Sonoma Melamine Mixing Bowls $29.95 - If I were to only have three mixing bowls in my whole kitchen they would be these ones! They have a non-skid ring around the bottom, so you never have to worry about them tipping over while you stir. They nest together, which is super space efficient, and they have a nice pour spout! They're one of my favorite gifts to give at a bridal shower too.
Rectangular Baking Dishes $54.99 - Another item that will get used all the time for everything from cakes to enchiladas are these nesting baking dishes. Just like the mixing bowls they save a ton of space and are really versatile.
Le Creuset Oval Cast-Iron Dutch Oven $120.00 - If you have one of these you really don't need any other pots or pans because this pot can do it all (of course it is convenient to have more so you can cook more than one thing at a time, but the point is that this is one great piece of cookware!). Before buying my first Le Creuset I did a lot of research and found that most people found the oval 6 3/4 qt. to be the most versatile in the kitchen. The size is big enough to hold stew (or whatever you like to cook) for a big group, and the oval shape suits itself well for roasting a chicken in the oven.
Trucks Potholder $12.00 - Potholders like this one make great, inexpensive gifts because people are always in need of new ones since they get burned and stained easily. I love tying one onto a cute cookbook for a fun gift!
Salt Cellar $16.00 - I just recently discovered how convenient it is to have a salt cellar right next to the stove. No more diggin' through the spice rack for salt, and the copper top on this one makes it special enough to give as a gift!
Gourmet Knife Block Set $179.95 - Chopping with dull knives will drive you crazy, and might even result in a cut or two. A great set of knives is a must in the kitchen whether you cook often or very seldom. These are the ones we have, and I love having them right next to our sink and cutting board for convenience and accessibility.
Williams-Sonoma Hand Soap & Lotion Caddy $39.95 - This soap & hand lotion set is a classic gift that anyone can appreciate (and put to good use)! The lavender is my personal favorite!
Monogram Cheese Board & Spreader $25 - This makes a fantastic hostess gift and a great presentation! It would be great to bring to someone's house filled with cheeses for a cocktail party too.
Some cooks might disagree, but I think every kitchen needs at least a few great cookbooks! Weelicious: 140 Fast, Fresh, and Easy Recipes and The Pioneer Woman Cooks are two of my favorite cookbooks when I'm cooking family friendly meals, and The Skinnytaste cookbook and Seriously Delish should be arriving today, and I can't wait to share my thoughts on those two!
What are your must-have kitchen items?
Ps. Today is my birthday and all I want is a GIANTS win today, which would be the second time in the last few years that they've won the World Series on my birthday!
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