Food and cooking equipment that make great holiday or stocking presents.
ASE reader Margaret S. gave me the idea of doing a culinary gift article again this year. Since I love to eat and cook, I happily agreed. Some of these items are best as stocking stuffers, others as major presents. I’ve combined some kitchen and cooking equipment with the food items because to me, the two categories are linked in ‘culinary’.
My go-to dessert gift is a 6” cake from Sugaree. I love the 6” size because I can get 8 – 10 servings out of it as it is so rich. My favorite 6” cake is their caramel cake and if you have a crowd, the 9” coconut cake is heavenly! The 6” cake flavors are caramel, chocolate, strawberry and lemon.
Who can beat a chest of chocolate from Harry and David? It has eight scrumptious chocolate selections. $69.99.
Seaweed by the sheet – Thin sheets of dried seaweed are called Nori. They have a briny flavor and are usually used as wrappers for sushi rolls, or as additions to both savory and sweet dishes. Korean-style nori is often eaten as a snack because it is crisp, thin, and seasoned with oil and salt. It is very healthy, and I find it delicious. For to 50-sheet packs of Korean style nori $14.99.
Give a home-made Spanish pantry staple – Smoked Paprika Paste. It is made into a paste to be easily added to many dishes for additional richness. It can be used as a condiment for sandwiches, especially grilled ham, and cheese, it can be mixed with vinegar and added to vinaigrettes, or as a marinade for steaks or salmon. Add it to soft butter and use on steamed vegetables. To make your own – heat ¼ cup of neutral oil over medium heat until warm, about 3 minutes. Take oil off heat and whisk in ¼ cup smoked paprika until combined. It can be stored in the fridge for up to a month. Stir well before using. Put into small decorative jars from Amazon and give as gifts or stocking presents.
Smoked Sweet Paprika $13.99 for 16 oz. Prices get lower for large orders..
A set of 12 mini-Mason jars with airtight lids and bands. Each holds 4 oz. $16.99.
Organic honeycomb is so good for us! Eat it as it is, or put it on toast, cheese or ice cream or in yogurt. Great for anyone with a sweet tooth. 12 oz of California sage raw unfiltered edible honeycomb is $37.95. A set of two is $49.95.
A wok is an important piece of kitchen equipment, especially for winter cooking. Stir-fry almost anything and it will taste delicious. This pan can also steam, simmer, and pop popcorn. This Joyce Chen Carbon Steel Wok is versatile, conducts heat well and holds very high temperatures. It is 14” and has birchwood handles. $31.85
This hand-held beater gets rave reviews. It has double the beater surface area than traditional beaters, it can handle thick or tough mixes, it has five speeds and comes with the two helix beaters, two dough hooks, and one wire whisk. For those with small kitchens it is easy to store and measures 3.8” x 10.8” x 9.8”. It comes in seven colors. $29.90.
I am working my way through a jar of Crazy Richard’s Peanut Butter and thoroughly enjoying it. It comes in both creamy and crunchy, contains 100% peanuts, no added sugar, salt, or multi-syllable chemicals. There are exactly 540 peanuts in each 16-ounce jar. $4.28 per jar. It can also be found in selected supermarkets.
I discovered Crafted House at my local farmer’s market. I was thrilled to learn that they take orders online and ship. I tried the Pistachio Butter, the Cashew Butter and the Fig Spread. All were delicious. Crafted House makes a variety of preserves, fruit butters, nut butters, and more. The Pistachio and Cashew Butters are $17.00 each, and the Fig Spread is $9.00, for 12 oz jars. www.craftedhouse.com
Marovato is a family-owned business providing one-pot meals (along with many other delicious products) from the Puglia region of Italy. The meals are pasta with flavorings and vegetables. They are vacuum-packed and couldn’t be easier to prepare. They offer several One-Pot Meal Bundle Packs with three selections for $18.99, or you can purchase the meals separately for $7.99 -$8.99. Try Cavatelli with Porcini Mushrooms, Fregola with Curry and Raisins, Linguine Puttanesca, Orecchiette with Broccoli, Risotto “Messina” Eggplant & Pea, and many, many more. Just add the salad and Italian bread.
The owner of the La Boite Spices in NYC, Lior Sercarz, has traveled around the world and worked with some of the most famous chefs in the world including spice master Olivier Roellinger. For his store he chooses the best spices with the most aromatic and strong flavors. In addition to his single spices, he has created over 40 blends that are amazing. Lior Sercarz gives a spice class once a month in the NYC store. La Boite Spices has the store in NYC or customers can order online.
The 20 oz Yeti Rambler Tumbler is stainless steel and comes in twenty-seven colors. I love mine and it is my kitchen drink holder because its insulation is excellent be it a hot or cold drink. It is BPA-free, dishwasher safe and does not sweat. Your drink keeps its temperature due to the double-wall insulation. It is just under 7” tall and has a 3.5” diameter. It fits in a standard size cup holder. It comes with a MagSlider lid that uses magnets to keep your liquid locked in. $64.98.
I am sure that you are all familiar with the success of Yeti insulated ‘Tumblers’ in several sizes. I am also a fan of the detachable handles which are now available. I have the one by Yeti, but there are lots of other brands competing. The same handle fits both the 20-ounce Rambler Tumbler and the 30 Ounce. This is just the handle. You still need to buy the Yeti Tumblers. One Yeti handle which will fit to 20 ounce or 30-ounce Rambler Tumbler. $9.99.
We’ve told you about these insulated, 10 oz. stemless wine cups by Yeti. The lids are sold separately. They are unbreakable and dishwasher safe. We use them for white wine at night, and coffee in the morning. There is no handle available for these, but you won’t need one. Lots of colors. These cups can be personalized. Yeti Insulated Wine (and Coffee) Cups.Prices start at $30.00 depending on color choice. Yeti Wine Cup Lid. $9.98 each
Pearl Street Caviar says that caviar is a “nutrient-rich whole food”. It is a major present for someone very special. I order the Siberian Select which is from Siberian Sturgeon and my entire family thinks it’s delicious. The Classic size serves 1-3 people and is $60.00.
Ginny was given this small hand-powered VeggiChop and uses it all the time for making pesto, salsa, and lots of little chopping jobs – from herbs and fruits to nuts. Place ingredients into the clear bowl, put on lid and pull the cord to make the four sharp blades spin. This is perfect for small jobs when a Cuisinart would be overkill. There is a storage lid for storage in the fridge. Bowl, blades, and lid are dishwasher safe on the top shelf. Comes in three colors: Arugula, Cherry and white. 5.5 x 5.5 x 5.2 inches. VeggiChop Hand-Powered Food Chopper. $14.71.
Do you have a cookie lover on your gift list? Send them these delicious Vanilla Dream Sugar Cookies. They are buttery and light. If you want to go big, send some of the Brown Butter Cookies while you’re at it. $9.00 for a 3.4 oz box.
I love receiving snacks as gifts that the whole family will eat. This White pepper Parmesan Popcorn sounds pretty good to me. $8.00 for a 5 oz bag.
I love soups. I always make extra for the meals when I just want to go to the freezer and pull out something easy to reheat. I love keeping single or double portion meals – from soup to Bolognese. Make a big batch of your favorite and avoid the stove for many nights. This Silicone Souper Freezing Tray makes four, 1-cup servings. $19.95. Two trays for $36.99.
ASE reader Janet W. told us about Goldbelly. They have meal kits that are not your ordinary culinary experience. These kits are based on the U.S.’s most popular and well-known dishes and meals and are shipped directly from the original source. Just scrolling through the possibilities I could order was a party for my taste buds. Among the offerings are the Fried Chicken Biscuit Sandwich Kit from the Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen in Chapel Hill, NC, Ribs & Chicken Combo Pack (serves 4) from Dinosaur BBQ in Syracuse, NY, Jim’s Philly Cheesesteaks – 4 pack, from Jim’s Steaks in Philadelphia, PA, and on and on. I hardly know where to start. Meal Kits.
Giving a Goldbelly gift certificate would also be a wonderful present. The recipient will choose from hundreds of restaurants and food makers!
Give someone two jars of this sauce because they will eat the first jar up in one day. It is a hot, crispy, unami-type Sichuan chili sauce. It is non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free and sugar-free. Fans use it on everything. It boosts the flavor of foods. $35.99 for two 6 oz jars.
See earlier ASE article “Gifts of Food”.