Gift giving for the cook in your life!

I am a local chef who enjoys wandering around Farmers Markets in search a beautiful seasonal ingredients. My blog will hopefully demystify them and give you a few ideas and recipes for your table.

It's that gift giving time of year - although for me, it's all year long. I'm not sure when or how I started doing this, but I find things throughout the year for Christmas and place them in a big tub in the attic. At the beginning of December I pull it out and survey it with Larry. It makes the whole buying situation so much easier!

People always ask me what they should get for the home cook. First let's talk about where to go. There are many places to find the perfect kitchen tool (in no specific order!): Chef CentralBed Bath and BeyondWilliams SonomaSur la TableBroadway Panhandler, and those just a few with retail stores. Google the name of anything and you can find loads of links to on-line warehouses, Ebay and Amazon. Seeing and touching things are key though, so hitting a store at the mall is your first line of attack. Then you can shop for the best price.

Small items are relatively the same, but when you start looking at food processors, stand mixers or Vita Mix, like the one I got last Christmas, shopping around is important. The Vita Mix was my "big" present last year. I pick one thing that is in the "over $200" category and Larry finds it for me. I love that blender. It's got various degrees of  power and creates one mighty smooth blend for soups and drinks. 

On the other send of spectrum I have three different food processors, the typical 11-cup Cuisinart, a 1-cup Mini Chop, and a Kitchen Aid immersion blender. My little mini chop has to be at least 20 years old, maybe more. I think this might have been one of the first things I got a few years out of college. The bowl and blade were replaced through Amazon a few times over the years, but the actual machine still runs like dream.

My immersion blender base above is at least 10 years old and this past year I replaced the metal (stick) part, also through Amazon. Of all my kitchen electrics I would say the immersion blender is used at least once a week. I've given it as gifts and suggest it as a "must have" for every kitchen. The basic blender is under $50 and if you decide to get all the fancy stuff with it (which is really not necessary) it's in the $80 range.

To continue reading the rest of my story on gifts for the home cook click: here.


Also of note: Saturday and Sunday, December 8 and 9 head up to the Wusthof Outlet Store to get an additional 20% off already discounted prices on not only knives, but many wonderful kitchen tools. The address is 355 Wilson Ave in Norwalk, CT. Tell them "Maria sent you!"

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