Holiday Gifts for the Cooks and Little Cooks in your life
Aren't the holidays fun? I love them. I've been ready since Halloween. I'm not usually this excited. But I think it's because my toddler is finally old enough to love Santa and all the magic. Whatever the reason, I'm ready for all things holidays. And now that Thanksgiving has sped past us at the speed of light, we can start thinking towards holiday parties, holiday food (I'm a sucker for cookies, latkes, anything with cinnamon, and party appetizers), and GIFTS. While I really enjoy a good and well thought out gift for myself, I really enjoy finding that perfect gift for someone. If you know me personally, you know I seriously can't keep a secret. I don't like surprises. Growing up I knew all the gifts under the tree because I'd drive my mom nuts until she broke. Poor woman. But now she doesn't even bother. And I love it.
I digress, focus, this is a big post.
As I was saying, gifts, they're awesome. That excited feeling you have watching a loved one unwrap THE. PERFECT. GIFT. Is the best feeling ever. I gave my husband a smoker for Christmas a couple of years ago. And he still talks about it (kind of because I went plant based and don't eat meat anymore, and kind of because he feels like a caveman, but whatever). He loves it. Another year, he gifted me with some incredible Foodie Dice (found below) and it did wonders sparking my culinary creativity. Now that our toddler enjoys the kitchen as much as I do, I've also found quite a few kitchen items for kiddos too.
If you have a loved one who likes to whip up delectable treats and feasts, keep scrolling and find something they'll love. Here's a few of my favorites (with Amazon Affiliate links)!
LITTLE COOKS GIFT GUIDE
Guidcraft Kitchen Helper Stool: Gone are the days where you can put your child on the counter and have them lick a bowl of brownie mix. Someone on the internet is going to call Child Protective Services on you. You're endangering their lives! THE SALMONELLA! They could fall off the counter, 3 feet and DIE! THE HORROR! But not anymore, this caged stool can keep your little tyke safe and sound while they are licking the bowl. In reality, this thing is amazing. I love it. We have a small kitchen, so the fact that it folds relatively flat and hides away when we don't need it is clutch. It's super easy to clean, and lines up flush with the counter. This means, little fingers aren't going to get stuck. I also really like it because I can angle it so my little guy can see and reach everything on the counter EXCEPT the sharp, hot, or deadly things. Another great option for this stool is to teach your child to do dishes. A little bit of water play with some dirty dishes can really help them earn their supper. I will use this forever. It's worth every penny. $149.95
Child's Chef's Apron: I feel like this isn't a necessity for the kitchen, but is stinking adorable. Sure, cooking is messy. But I doubt we do anything in the kitchen with our kids that demands an apron. Dressing up is fun for everyone. I know my son loves to wear his apron. He wears it while we cook, and he uses it in his play kitchen. Bonus is that it doubles as a cape in a pinch. $9.69
The Toddler Cookbook: A dear friend gave this to us for my son's second birthday. And it's so sweet. It has all kinds of delicious and healthy recipes for your little chef to make in the kitchen on his own, or with a little help from his sous chef. It has awesome pictures of kids cooking. My toddler likes to look through it and decide what we are going to cook. The independence it creates is so great. So, get this for your child or spread the love to another sweet kiddo. $12.95
Curious Chef Children's 3-Piece Nylon Knife Set: ($8.94), Crinkle Cutters: ($6.66), and, Beginners Chef's Knives for kids ($19.95) . Teaching knife safety skills is instrumental in allowing your child in the kitchen. I operate on the philisophy that exposure and explaining safety and risks is a pretty good way for your child to learn. If not, there can be fear and/or excitement that can lead to you or your child getting hurt. Exposure limits the craziness in the kitchen because it's just a normal knife, nothing crazy. And you get some funky looking shapes in your veggies when you give your kid the controls. It's actually pretty stinking cute to watch them focus so closely on a seemingly simple task. But think of all the motor skill and muscle strength they're gaining.
Silicone Garlic Peeler: I know, is this for kids or for you? Honestly, both. I HATE peeling garlic and I hate even more listening to my toddler get frustrated because he doesn't have the fine motor skills to peel the delicate paper. So, here is this wonky little tube that does it for you. You massage the garlic with this sucker and the paper peels right off! And you can use them for a ton of other things, in the kitchen and in your house. There's a ton of jokes I could make about these things, but seriously, just get one. These are great stocking stuffers for kids of all ages. $5.59
GROWN-UP COOKS GIFT GUIDE
Now, you can get the Sur La Table ones, or you can go the thrifty route like I did and get the Amazon Basics ones. They are just as good. When you inevitably cut a hole in them because you didn't slice your carrot finely enough and decide to do a last minute slice and dice on the mat, you won't be upset because you barely spent anything. Plus, these get dirty. I like using these because they are better for the environment than using aluminum foil and you don't have to worry about running out because they are always there for you. They will never abandon you. You still get that crispy, slightly burnt bottom of your veggies you want when you're roasting. Or you get a perfectly cooked cookie that doesn't stick to your pan. I was resistant to change, but I'll never go back. How can you say no to this super easy environmental change. $13.99
Breville Juicer: Ok, so to be fair, I didn't pay for this. But I've been dreaming of one forever. I recently gained one through a Buy Nothing group online and it's amazing. I'm not sure how the witch magic works to pull the juice and leave all the skin and pulp. But it does. Just remember, you can juice anything EXCEPT bananas and avocado. Obviously they don't have juice. Juicing is a great way to get a quick jolt of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Plus, your kids will love it. It's safe for them to use (with supervision, obviously) and it's juice! SO GOOD! It's an easy way to get some vegetables in your children (or husband). $99.95
Breville Joule Sous Vide: I know, another kitchen gadget. But this one is incredible. My husband got this for me for Christmas 2 years ago. Way back then, I was cooking extravagant meals and making sure every dish was a work of art. Then kids. Kids happened. And all of that went out the window. So, can you make some gorgeous food art with this? Sure. But what I really love about it is that I can cook hard boiled eggs, vegetables, meats, you name it, at the beginning of the day and eat them later that evening-without eating overcooked food. There's a time and a place for a slow cooker or Instant Pot, but if you want perfect eggs or crisp and crunchy vegetables that you didn't have to babysit, the sous vide is your friend. I really like that this one can be operated from your phone. As in, fill the basin with water before you leave in the morning, add your food, and turn it on whenever you want. It's so simple. And their app has a ton of recipes on it. If you like the sous vide eggs at Starbucks, you can make them at home! $159.96
Glass Storage Containers: When we got married, I registered for plastic storage containers. After a few years, those get pretty dingy looking. And, you really shouldn't microwave plastic containers. A year ago, I upgraded to all glass. I think we have 2 or 3 plastic containers left. But, realizing I can't store everything in Mason Jars and old Rao's marinara bottles, I made the splurge. I really like these for the snap lid and rubber ring. They are dishwasher safe, don't stain, and are travel friendly. And, it's hard to lose the lids, which means your storage cabinet will look prettier (#goals). Be forewarned though, the lids are plastic, so top rack in the dishwasher only. They are BPA free though, which is a bonus. These ones are microwave and oven (not the lids!) safe. $39.99
Pastry Scraper: Ok, you've probably already got one (or two) of these hiding in the back of a drawer. But I'm here to throw a little tip that I learned at a pasta making class a few years ago: NEVER scrape up vegetables (or anything that you've cut) with you blade. I got REEMED at this class for doing this with some garlic. The chef who was teaching the class said that even knives that aren't serrated have itty bitty serrations in them that make them sharp. When you scrape them at an angle to pile food onto the knife you can ruin it, or at the very least, dull your knife. And we know there's nothing worse than a dull knife. So, do yourself a favor, save a future sliced finger, and use the scraper to pick up whatever you've cut. Or just use your hand. $9.99
Immersion Blender: This is one of the most used items in my kitchen. You can use it for soups, sauces, hummus, baby food, and milkshakes (yes, milkshakes). My MIL gifted this to me a few years ago and I have probably used it at least 6 times a week since. Sure, I LOVE my KitchenAid Food Processor. It's magical, always delivers, and never dies. But it's big. And it's a pain to clean. Especially if I have a small project. That's where this blender really comes in handy. If you want to make a soup creamier, or puree some bananas and fruit for your little one the immersion blender is perfect. It's hella easy to clean, and comes with a measuring cup that you can use for small portions. Kids love using it, and parents like the double button safety feature! $29.00
Foodie Dice: These are definitely a really cool stocking stuffer for your kitchen loving loved one (say that 5 times fast. They're great for a date night in the kitchen or when you need to get your creative juices going. Each dice is either a cooking method, protein, carb, herb, seasonal veggie, or bonus ingredient. It's also a pretty great way to try cooking something new. I had never cooked with endives or lamb and I rolled them on my first shot. I won't lie, the dinner did not taste good. But I had a lot of fun exploring new ingredients and taking a new food risk. You can use these with your kids too if you like to have them help in the kitchen. Have them roll the dice and then help you shop and cook for whatever he rolls. $24.00
I'm sure I should have some more glamorous options on here like a hand smoker, air fryer, or whatever the new and upcoming kitchen trend is. But I'm just not that kind of woman. No part of me is trendy (or in style, really). The kitchen is my retreat. It's a place to have fun. And while I'm all for something that can make my life easier. My husband isn't all for something that can clutter up our counters.
Kitchen Tongs: $13.90
Food Saver: $127.45
Calphalon 13-piece Cookware Set: $348.00
Lodge Cast Iron Pans: $69.95
Silicone Trivets: $11.99
Flexible Cutting Boards: $18.99
Nesting Mixing Bowls: $19.99