Buying holiday gifts for home cooks can sometimes be challenging because they already have an abundance of kitchen gadgets. However, most home cooks enjoy receiving gifts that reduce time spent in the kitchen, expand their culinary knowledge, or add pizzazz to the dishes they cook.
If you’re in need of holiday gifts for home cooks, I’d like to share my list of favorite things. As one who has more cooking gadgets and gizmos than any person should be allowed to own, I still yearn for a few that can impress my guests or minimize time standing in front of the stovetop.
ThermoWorks Original Cooking Thermometer and Timer: Eliminate the worry of undercooked or overcooked meats and foods. ThermoWorks is the cream of the crop when it comes to food thermometers, yet it retails for a mere $19. Home cooks simply insert the cooking thermometer into the food, select the preferred temperature, and wait until the timer goes off.
One appealing feature of ThermoWorks cooking thermometer is it includes “chef recommended” settings which calculate meat resting time to ensure the meat is cooked to perfection after it is removed from the oven and given time to rest. Another feature is ThermoWorks sells replacement probes which can prolong the life of the thermometer. This must-have kitchen gadget is available for purchase at www.ThermoWorks.com.
The Pampered Chef: Long ago, I was a Pampered Chef consultant and fell in love with their product line. While many of the products are priced well above $25, Pampered Chef offers a line of spices, herbs, sauces and oils that are certain to please any home cook.
Good choices for holiday gifts include: Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla, Lemon and Rosemary Oil Dipping Seasoning, Ginger-Wasabi Sauce, Thai Peanut Sauce, Crushed Peppercorn and Garlic Rub, Sweet Mocha Hazelnut Sprinkles, Cherry Almond Sauce, and Chocolate Raspberry Sauce.
Pampered Chef herbs and spices retail between $4.25 and $6.50, while sauces cost between $10 and $12. Most people know a Pampered Chef consultant, but holiday gifts can also be ordered directly from the Pampered Chef website at www.PamperedChef.com.
Happy Chef Uniforms: Most home cooks appreciate having a few aprons on hand and Happy Chef Uniforms offers some of the lowest prices available online. With prices starting as low as $2.25 for a basic white bib apron or $3.45 for a colored bib apron, you can give your home cook an apron for every day of the week.
Happy Chef Uniforms offers the option to customize aprons with embroidered logos or words. Embroidery costs are $5.95 for the first line, $3.50 for the second and third line, or $3.95 for the addition of a flag or ribbon.
Happy Chef Uniforms also sells an assortment of chef wear including jackets and pants, headwear, footwear, and an astounding collection of affordable knives, peelers, slicers, spatulas, melon ballers, kitchen shears, and sharpening steels. Visit www.HappyChefUniforms.com for all your home cook holiday shopping needs.
Hand Immersion Blender: This kitchen gadget is a huge time-saver for home cooks who prepare soups, sauces, batters, and salad dressings. Immersion blenders can also be used to chop vegetables, fruits, nuts, chocolate, and garlic.
KitchenAid offers an immersion blender with whisk attachment for $22.99 via their website at www.KitchenAid.com. Overstock.com sells refurbished Wolfgang Puck immersion blenders for $19.99. Amazon.com offers most brand name hand blenders including Proctor Silex, Cuisinart, Waring Pro and Hamilton Beach.
Silicon Cooking Utensils: These handy gadgets make clean-up a breeze and reduce the incidence of kitchen burns. Silicon cooking utensils are heat-resistant and stain-resistant. They are the perfect choice for home cooks who use Teflon-coated pots, pans, and bakeware.
Silicon utensils include: spatulas, turners, spaghetti strainers, tongs, ladles, and pastry brushes. Most retail stores such as Wal-Mart and Target carry silicon cooking utensils, as well as online stores such as Amazon.com and Cooking.com.