It’s that gift-shopping time of year. If you’re like us, you’d rather skip the mall and buy tokens for the nice people on your list online (OK, and the naughty ones, too). Have you checked out the Nourish Network Market? Lia and I have filled it our must-have kitchen tools–the stuff we use every day and what we think makes cooking easier and more fun.
Of course, you can head straight over to the Market and browse to find goodies for everyone or just make a wish list for yourself. We’ve also gone through and picked our favorite selections. Here’s what we suggest you slide under the menorah or tree.
- Stocking Stuffer: Oxo Good Grips Melon Baller ($9). “Mine went missing a few weeks back, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve dug for it since,” says Lia. “Aside from the fact that it makes balling melons a breeze, I use it to quickly de-seed squash, scrape seeds from cucumbers, core apples and much more.”
- Under the Tree: Colorful Oxo Nesting Mixing Bowls ($25). “I’ve got a mishmash of mixing bowls right now; some that nest, some … not so much,” says Lia. “I love how bright and colorful (and in Nourish Network shades, even!) these Oxo mixing bowls are. The fact that they’ve got a handle and anti-skid bottom makes them even more attractive.
- From Santa: Bormioli Rocco Food Storage Containers ($24). “I’m asking for three sets of these from Santa to take the place of my Tupperware,” Lia confesses. “I’m ready to give up plastic once and for all.”
- Stocking stuffer: Messermeister Pro-Touch Swivel Peeler ($7). I got this peeler in my culinary school knife kit, and I love how nimble and sharp it is. It can handle anything from delicate tomatoes to potatoes to thick-skinned winter squash.
- Under the Tree: Fagor Duo 6-Quart Stainless-Steel Pressure Cooker ($91). I used to be terrified of pressure cookers, but this model won me over. It’s foolproof, with a locking lid, easy-to-use pressure indicator and automatic pressure-release function. If you’ve resolved to cook more with dried beans and whole grains in 2011, you want this.
- From Santa: KitchenAid Professional 600 Series Stand Mixer ($321). These are the workhorses of the kitchen–you can use them to whip egg whites, knead bread dough, make cookie dough, cut fat into flour for pastry and, if you add attachments like the pasta maker and ice cream maker, do a whole lot more.
We both love…
- Stocking stuffer: RSVP White Marble Mortar and Pestle ($17). Lia makes a great case for using a simple mortar and pestle instead of food processor for everything from grinding spices to making pesto. This trim model is easy on your wallet, won’t hog kitchen counter space and can handle most any job.
- Under the tree: Lodge Enamel Cast-Iron 6-Quart Dutch Oven ($67). Nights are cold these days, and we’re obsessed with braising. For that, you want a sturdy Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid. This model by Lodge is pretty and affordable, too!
- From Santa: Chef’s knife. No kitchen tool is used more than a knife, and a high-quality chef’s knife is a must. It’s also a very personal choice. Lia favors the nimble, Japanese-style Wustof Classic 7-inch Santoku Knife ($100). I love the Japanese-made Mac 10-Inch Chef Series French Chef’s Knife $100), which is well-balanced and holds its edge.
What’s on your list this year? Let us know!
In the meantime, use a pressure cooker or Dutch oven to make our recipe for Pea Soup with Spanish Chorizo and Sherry Vinegar.