Thursday, November 30, 2006

Holiday Gift Guide 2006

It's that time of year! Time once again for you to look like star giving fabulous gifts to the gourmets and gourmands in your life! As always, I'm here to provide you with a few helpful hints of what I, I mean, *anyone* who loves food or cooking would love to get for the holidays.

Masala Dabba: I'm a spice nut -- oh, OK, bad joke. I love spices and having expanded my ethnic repertoire greatly in the past few years, and now I long for my own Masala Dabba. Dabbas are the round tins or spice boxes with many small tins inside of the fragrant Indian spices needed for creating curries and wonderful spiced dishes. Many cooks keep their own and having your own dabba is a sign that you know what you're doing. In India, it's the equivalent of a knife bag. Small ones available at Sur La Table.

Wine Octopus: Having recently been party to half a case of a grenache that's much better after it's been aerated, I want one of these! This little pewter gadget fits in the mouth of your decanter and helps expose more of your wine to air as it's poured in. It comes in Octopus, Seahorse, and Puffer Fish (and unlike those decorative wine stoppers looks cool and is actually useful!)

Knife Bags: Speaking of knife bags, have you ever wondered where the contestants get those spiffy packs for their knives and other utensils on Top Chef? If the phrase "just pack your knives and go" means anything to you, or if you're a chef or caterer who takes your own equipment with you when you go to a job, check out these spiffy knife bags. Messermeister and Ultimate Edge both have a variety of sizes and, more importantly, colors to choose from.

Grill Pan: The single best kitchen purchase I've made all year? A cast iron grill pan. I can only encourage you to share the love with the foodie in your life. It's perfect for everything from bacon to panini and cooks fish perfectly right down to the grill marks. (Spend the money for a good brand -- mine is Le Crueset. Carried at Williams-Sonoma or Sur La Table.)

Silicon utensils: If you're looking for something just as practical but a little less pricey, no one can be unhappy with silicon. This new non-stick, high heat style of spatula and pot holder is fun to use, comes in great colors, inexpensive, and cleans up in a snap! What do I use most? Potholders and when they're sticky, they go right in the dishwasher! (Available everywhere that sells cooking gear.)

And last, but not least, if you're still looking for more gift suggestions, here's last year's gift guide Part I and Part II . (Hint: I didn't get everything on my list!)

1 comment:

jim said...

Aerating wine? Great idea. Using a utensil that looks like a slimy creature to do it? Bad idea. :)