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I’ve been consistently cooking for the past 5 years, and have loved it enough to start my own food blog, which you are reading now – thank you! Through these years of cooking, I’ve come to LOVE certain kitchen items and cookbooks. Below you’ll find some of my favorite items, and they make great gifts for the cook in your life. I personally own all of these items, and can attest to how much I love and enjoy them!
- Sweet, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh: If you’re keen into the food world, you’ll know that everyone is talking about Ottolenghi, an Israeli chef based in London. I have several of his books and love all of them. Sweet focuses on everything that is, well, sweet. The pictures in this book are gorgeous; the recipes are unlike anything I’ve seen before; and the authors offer so many variations in case you don’t own certain baking items. One of my favorite recipes is the White Chocolate Cheesecake with a Raspberry Strawberry Compote.I made it for a dinner party and it was a huge hit!
- Cuisinart Elemental 8-Cup Food Processor: Having a good food processor is a “must” for your kitchen. It speeds up the prep time, lets you make make sauces and dressings in seconds, and is just a great overall appliance to have. I use mine all the time to make things like veggie burgers like this one here and this salad dressing.
- UberChef Premium Vegetable Peeler: I LIVE for this vegetable peeler. Really – I can’t believe I only started using one 2 years ago. It cuts down on your peeling time, and is perfect for extra tough vegetables. There are even two sides: one for long strips of peeling, and the other for small, tough spots like ginger. This specific peeler is wonderful,and it performs much better for rough, skinned vegetables than other peelers I’ve used.
- The Flavor Bible: This isn’t a cookbook per se, but it’s a great book for creating your own recipes and developing different flavor profiles for dishes. For example, if I want to create a recipe that has saffron in it, I can go to the saffron section of the book and read about the different ingredients and spices that pair well with it. This would be a great gift for the person that wants to develop their own recipes, or who likes experimenting in the kitchen.
- Le Creuset Dutch Oven Oval: I got this dutch oven as a bridal shower gift (thanks Grammy!) and have used it so much. It’s one of those investment pieces in your kitchen, but I think it’s worth it if you love to cook. The design is beautiful; it cooks food wonderfully; and it’s perfect for stove top cooking. I use it for soups, like this one and searing meats. My goal is to very slowly collect more pieces.
- Isa Does It by Isa Chandra Moscowitz: We received this book as a gift from Tom’s aunt and we’ve made several recipes that we love. This would be a wonderful gift for anyone that’s vegetarian or vegan, or anyone in general! Moscowitz does an amazing job in creating extremely flavorful vegan recipes.
- The Skinnytaste Cookbook by Gina Homolka: If you haven’t heard about Gina from Skinnytaste, you need to check her out ASAP! She’s one of the best bloggers out there, and her recipes are easy to follow, delicious, and always light on the calories. Her first cookbook, The Skinnytaste Cookbook, was one of my first inspirations, and I’ve definitely made over 50 of the recipes. My favorites include: Sweet and Spicy Sriracha Glazed Salmon, Skinny Chicken Parmesan, and Chickpea Potato Curry.
- Silpats: If you love to bake (especially cookies), I’d highly recommend getting some silpats. I’ve tested the same exact cookie recipe on parchment paper, and I’ve found that the cookies baked on a silpat bake more evenly and have a better color than those baked on parchment. And once you buy the silpats, you can reuse them as much as you like. No more going through rolls of parchment paper!
- Skinnytaste Fast and Slow by Gina Homolka: I love Skinnytaste so much that I had to include it twice! This is Gina’s second book, and it focuses on recipes that you can make in a slow cooker (this is the one I have and love) and recipes that can be whipped up in 30 minutes or less. The recipes here are equally as delicious as in her first book. Some of my favorites are: Slow Cooker Carne Desmechada, Brussels Sprout Hash with Bacon and Eggs, and Roasted Acorn Squash with Parmesan.
- Small Victories by Julia Turshen: Not only are the recipes so unique and delicious in this book, but Turshen’s writing is top-notch. This is a perfect gift for someone who is interested in cooking but can become daunted by recipes with multiple steps. Julia breaks everything down so easily and describes each kitchen achievement as a “small victory.” One of my favorite recipes in this book is the Moroccan Lamb Merguez.
- Lodge Cast Iron Skillet: Having a good cast iron skillet is a must-have. It is such a versatile piece of equipment that is so handy when it comes to getting foods at a really high heat for an extended period of time. Lodge is a great brand for skillets, and the one I’m linking here is only $15 dollars! I use mine to char peppers, make desserts, make fajitas, and plenty of other things!