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There are definitely a lot of reasons we would like to forget about 2020, but I think there’s been one positive to come from the year otherwise marked with so much negative energy: We’ve all been spending more time in the kitchen.
Whether people were trying new recipes, learning to cook again or just figuring out how to boil water, becoming a better home cook has provided a healthy distraction (and maybe a few healthy meals) for most of us. That’s also what inspired my Home Cook’s Holiday Gift Guide, which is my take on the gold standard of shopping lists, Oprah’s Favorite Things.
Everything on this list can be found in my own kitchen, on my wish list or in the kitchens of friends and family members who have been on the receiving end of these gifts. I’ve broken it all down by categories to help you check off as many friends and family members from your own shopping list. So, let’s get right to it.
FOR THE AMATEUR BAKER
Piping bags are a must, and I use my Wilton Decorating Kit for so much more than cakes and pastries. In fact, it’s most often used to pipe designed fillings into appetizers or make a perfect swirl of mashed potatoes for a plated presentation. Grab a 50-pack of disposable piping bags, so the recipient doesn’t run out too soon.
FOR THE MEAL PLANNER & MEAL PREPPER
Call me old school, but this handy Weekly Eats Long List Pad from Elum is a handy notebook to plan meals for the week on one side, while creating a grocery list on the other. One of these notebooks was gifted to me a few years ago, and I’ve replaced it multiple times.
The Zwilling Fresh & Save Vacuum Sealer Starter Set can also help the meal prepper without taking up as much space as the vacuum savers of years past. Zip-top bags, reusable containers and the vacuum apparatus is helpful for any kitchen.
FOR THE WINE DRINKER
If the wine drinker on your list already has it all, give them a Bear Wine Pourer & Aerator. The wine pourer has a rubber stopper that slips right onto the top of an open wine bottle and pours wine out of the bear’s mouth, while aerating it as it goes into the glass. It’s a great conversation starter and also comes in deer, dog and horse designs.
FOR THE DIGITAL GOURMET
The ThermoPro Ultra-Fast Digital Thermocouple Thermometer has a name that’s more than a mouthful, but it will make sure the internal temperature of meat and seafood is safe to put into that mouth. The quick-read digital display provides the temperature in seconds, and the foldable design is easy to tuck in a drawer.
Etekcity’s Smart Digital Scale is a great gift for anyone trying to track calories, eat healthier, bake better or meal prep. I treated myself to this scale after completing my last round of Whole30, and it’s been instrumental in helping me in my food freedom. The food scale pairs with a mobile app, where you can easily weigh, measure and share information with other health and fitness trackers.
FOR THE KITCHEN NEWBIE
A good knife aside, I think every home cook needs this Oxo Good Grips Zester & Grater. It’s my No. 1 go-to kitchen tool, as I use it to zest citrus and garlic for dressings, dips and so much more. It elegantly fine-shreds parmesan to finish off a pasta dish, too.
That zester pairs well with my other go-to kitchen tool, a citrus juicer. The Chef’n Fresh Force Lemon Juicer can juice limes, too, so there isn’t a need to have two juicers in the utensil drawer.
FOR KIDS IN THE KITCHEN
There’s a brand-new cookbook meant for the youngsters in the kitchen. My Very First Cookbook: Joyful Recipes to Make Together! is from Danielle Kartes or Rustic Joyful Food with illustrations from Annie Wilkinson. Pair the book with this Oxo Good Grips 7-Piece Measuring Cup Set to help get them started.