You know those people that you love to hate? The ones that gloat
because they've finished their holiday shopping before Thanksgiving?
Well, I used to be one of them. For years, I've had all my shopping done
way ahead of time, mostly because I don't like crowds and I'm a fanatic
about getting the exact thing that I'm looking for. Well, this year,
time got away from me and not only am I forced to shop late, I'm really
behind the eight ball since I'm still trying to figure out my gift list.
Just in case you find yourself still struggling to come up with
that perfect gift, I thought I'd share some of my favorite kitchen
equipment must-haves. I consider these items investment pieces,
high quality products that you won't have to replace for many years to
All Clad Cookware:
The sizes I use the most are the 10 and 12-inch non stick skillet, 4 quart saucepan and the 12 quart stockpot.
Epicurean Cutting Boards:
These are my favorite cutting boards by far and they are available in
different sizes. We've been using them in the test kitchen for the
last five years and they have held up beautifully.
KitchenAid Stand Mixer:
are three sizes that I would recommend, depending on what kind of
baking you'll be doing. Either the Artisan series, the 5 Plus or the
Knives: The three knives I use everyday are a Chef knife, paring knife and a bread knife. There's
no substitution for having good knives, however this isn't a present I
would pick out for someone. My suggestion is to either take them
shopping or get a gift certificate since the right knife is the one that
feels comfortable in terms of the construction, grip and weight.
Le Creuset 13 Quart French Oven:
favorite pot for soups, stews and roasting. It comes with a lifetime
guarantee and since it's porcelain coated cast iron, it heats evenly and
works equally as well on the stovetop or the oven.
A truly amazing blender that can handle making everything from salad dressings to chile purees to hot soup to creme anglaise.
The Spice House
This is a family owned business that has 5 locations in the Chicagoland
area. If you're in the area, it's worth a trip to the store, (you'll be
able to smell the store from at least a block away). If not, shop their
internet site. Not only do they have an amazing selection of herbs and
spices, they also have many custom blends for sale. They offer much
fresher products than are available in grocery stores and you can buy
smaller quantities so that you can replace them in a timely manner.