Holiday Gift Guide

I completely forgot I was planning on putting this post together and now it’s almost too late! Hopefully this list will still be useful. Remember, Amazon Prime ships in two days. Everything on the list is under $100 and most is around $20, so perfect for the foodie you draw in the gift pool.

Most of these items are ones that we received as gifts ourselves, though some we picked out after much researching. I highly recommend everything on this list, and can virtually guarantee your giftee’s happiness. These are things you could buy yourself, but they’re really all perfect for gifts.

Holiday Gift Guide

To Cut

1. A great chef’s knife

I got this Shun 6 inch for G as a birthday present and it is without question the tool we use most often. We fight over who gets to use this knife. We have the Wusthof one too, but I wouldn’t recommend it over the Shun. Our next knife purchase will be a Global so I’d recommend those too.

2. Cutting boards

We have a small cutting board for limes and LOVE it. I originally thought this was an extravagance but it’s great to have a little board for when you don’t feel like bringing out and washing the big guns. I’ll put it out with cheese and a knife during parties or just use it during the summer for Coronas. For regular cutting, these flexible grip mats are eco-friendly, dish washer safe, protect better against food contamination, and serve as a clean area for prep. Once you get these, you won’t go back.

To Hold

1. A magnetic knife strip

I can safely say I adore this knife strip from the Container Store. People comment on it all the time. It looks nicer, takes up less counter space, and is cleaner than a knife block.

2. A fun olive oil holder

I wrote about this recently – it was a gift from my friend L and it instantly brightens up a kitchen. Anyone who cooks mediterranean style will love it and especially people who love salads.

To Drink

1. Wine preserver
If you manage not to drink the whole bottle, you’ll want some nifty way to preserve it. The Houdini Wine Preserver is cheap, small, and will really make your bottles last after you’ve already opened them. Before the preserver, our wine would last maybe a day or two after opening. Now, we can easily go a full week and it will still taste good. Plus, they close as tightly as a cork so you can put your white wine back in the fridge on its side. If you’re buying last minute, pop over to Bed, Bath, and Beyond for the Rabbit Preserver.

2. Wine aerator
I’ve written before about my new Vinturi wine aerator, which I love. But if you’re looking to pour more than one glass at a time (say, leaving the bottle on the table at dinner) this aerator that attaches to the bottle is a good choice. I have one from a winery, but there are a number of choices out there.

To Read

1. Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain
I’m a No Reservation fan, so I knew I would enjoy Bourdain’s semi-pretentious style of writing. I was surprised at how humble he is in this memoir recounting his first years in the business. He wrote the book in the wee hours of the morning after working 12 hour shifts on the line, so way before he became a network darling and celebri-chef. Anyone who’s ever dreamed of opening or working in the restaurant business won’t be able to put it down.

2. An Edge in the Kitchen, Chad Ward
This “Ultimate Guide to Kitchen Knives” is really a lot more fun than it sounds. The author has a dry sense of humor and it’s paired with step-by-step illustrated instructions on everything from the best way to cut a bell pepper to the different types of knives and what they’re good for. We’ve found this to be helpful AND entertaining.

So that wraps up 2009! If you have any questions on kitchen items you’re eying, let me know because I have an opinion on even the ones I don’t own yet. If you have any other suggestions for great gifts, leave them in the comments to help everyone else out.

Happy Holidays!

12 responses to “Holiday Gift Guide

  1. great list I love it!!

  2. Great gift guide! I love my Vinturi wine aerator too. Such a great thing to have.

  3. Happy Holidays, Lauren!

    My Kitchen Wishlist would be a sylpat baking mat. I got Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours and a pastry mat (looks oddly just like a quilting mat) and that would just make it even better. . . also want Slaughterhouse by Gail Eisnitz.

    I think my current favorite kitchen tool is my cutting board – it never gets put away because there’s always something new to chop! 😀

  4. Nice guide! And great minds think alike — I just posted my own.

  5. I really want a wine aerator! Great idea!

  6. Lynn at The Actors Diet

    terrific list! i just recently got a great knife and it has changed my life!

  7. I absolutely need a better knife as I am still using my 10 year old Ginsu knives…thanks for the suggestions!!

  8. Pingback: Take Two – Veggie Lasagna « Let Them Eat Lentils

  9. Wine Aerator is one of the best gift this holiday.

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