The Ultimate Kitchen Gift Guide for the Holidays

Can you believe that it is already that time of year again?  Tomorrow is December 1st!  The holidays are almost upon us and you just might be looking for some gift ideas for the chef or loved one in your life.

These gift suggestions are for those of you that have been really, really good this year.  These are the BMW’s of holiday gifts, however, investing in one or two of these items will give you a lifetime of cooking and kitchen enjoyment!  I have put together a list of kitchen appliances and cookware that are built to last.  If you are looking for the gift that keeps on giving, then you may want to consider some of these for your holiday gift giving this year.  I also have a few suggestions for some stocking stuffers that I would not want to be without in my kitchen! 🙂

Here are ten of my favorite kitchen toys tools that any home cook or aspiring chef would love to have!  There are other models or similar products available, but these are the best of the bunch, in my opinion.  By the way, since I cook most of my dog’s food, these are approved by him, too, so don’t listen to his fussing.  He gets plenty of bones. 😉

KitchenAid 7-Qt. Stand Mixer – If you are going to own one mixer, I suggest this one.  It is KitchenAid’s newest stand mixer.  With a commercial design, it is the largest and most powerful mixer they have brought our way so far with 1.3 horsepower.  It is incredibly quiet and and enables you to tackle the big jobs (like strong yeast doughs and large batters) in addition to your regular mixing.  It is extremely versatile when combined with the KitchenAid attachments and accessories.  This one is built to last and you will have many years of cooking and baking enjoyment when you invest in a kitchen staple like this.  You can read the review I just wrote about this mixer.  This mixer is $649.99 and is available exclusively at Williams-Sonoma.

Polyscience Sous Vide Professional – This one item can change the way you cook in your kitchen.  Many chefs are now using the sous vide method of cooking in their restaurants.  One of these chefs is Colin Bedford at Fearrington House Inn in North Carolina.  We had several of his dishes during our cooking class and stay at Fearrington House Inn that were prepared by this method and they were spectacular.  He says that” if it can fit in the circulator, then its going in there!”  Cooking sous vide allows you to prepare meats and other dishes ahead of time.  They are cooked in a vacuum sealed bag in a water bath that is set to a specific temperature.   This method allows for prep and cooking ahead of time to ease entertaining.  You can read about a few of our experiences so far with the Sous Vide Professional.  The price is $799.95.

Magimix by Robot-Coupe 4200XL 14-Cup Food Processor – I have owned several food processors over the years and this is by far my favorite.  This food processor is heavy-duty and built to last.  The Robot-Coupe company originally began in France in the 1960’s to create a commercial food processor for chefs to allow them to do many different tasks in the kitchen.  Many restaurants and professional kitchens use these machines and have for years.  Magimix, combined with Robot-Coupe in the 1970’s, created food processors for domestic kitchens, so the technology is based on commercial use.  This food processor has three different size bowls and an arsenal of attachments (that are stored in their own case).  It is powerful, yet quiet, and can handle a multitude of kitchen tasks that would otherwise take so much time to do.  If you invest in a product like this, you should have it with you for many years to come.  I wrote a review of this product several months ago.  The price on this food processor is about $350.00.

Big Green Egg – According to their website, the Big Green Egg is called “The Ultimate Cooking Experience”.  Mr. B wanted me to add this item to The Ultimate Gift Guide for the Holidays since he has been asking for one of these for several years (could this be a hint??!).  This big, bad green boy grills, smokes and bakes at exact temperatures by adjusting air control flows.  It will also achieve very high temperatures that are so critical for searing steaks and baking certain breads.  The ceramic cooking chamber retains the heat and keeps food moist.  The Big Green Egg now comes in many sizes from Mini to XL.  Would I be wrong to say this is truly the ultimate gift for the man in your life?  If Mr. B gets one from Santa, I think I will be enjoying many meals to come that have been lovingly prepared on the Big Green Egg. 😉  These range in price from $500.00 for the Mini to $1,000.00 for the XL size.

Cuisinart ICE 30BC Pure Indulgence 2-Qt. Ice Cream Maker – You may know that we love ice cream!  Mr. B surprised me with this larger version last year since we were making so much ice cream.  This model is perfect for slightly larger batches (the other Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker makes 1 1/2 quarts).  Ice cream is such a favorite in our home that I have a Cusinart Ice Cream Maker giveaway to celebrate my 2nd blogaversary right now for the smaller version of the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker.  This is a special edition and comes with 2 freezer bowls (so be sure to hurry over and enter the giveaway when you are done here!).  The retail price on this ice cream maker is approximately $64.00.

Le Creuset Cookware – I adore anything Le Creuset, in particular, their Dutch Ovens.  I use them frequently in my kitchen.  If you can own only one, I would suggest the 5 1/2-Qt. round Dutch Oven.  I have found that this is the most versatile size from cooking a whole chicken to soups and stews.  It is my first choice when I am preparing those types of dishes.  I love the way Le Creuset heats evenly and goes from the stove top to the oven.  They are excellent for cooking dishes like Coq au Vin and Boeuf Bourguignon.  This size Dutch Oven retails for approximately $250.00.

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