Monday, December 17, 2007

Gifts for the Cook and/or the Foodie

Someone around here has the good sense to take a nap.

Like many of you, I'm busy cooking, cleaning, baking, decorating, etc. My least favorite thing to bake are . . . cookies. Yep, cookies. And I'm baking dozens of them. I realized that I was bored out of my gourd baking the same old things every year, many of which I never really liked. So this year I decided to shake things up a bit. I'll be posting about that later, but take a hint: if you haven't baked Dorie Greenspan's Chocolate Chunkers from her marvelous book,Baking: From My Home to Yours, you should. I doubled the recipe and I am so glad that I did.

Because I had Dorie on my mind, I decided to take a long overdue cruise to her blog, and discovered a link with her suggestions for gifts for the cook. Homesick Texan has a post on her suggestions for gifts from Texas, including Dr. Pepper made with real sugar, not corn syrup.

I have a few suggestions myself:

(1) a Microplane Grater/Zester
(2) a gift certificate to Penzey's, a great resource for spices, herbs, and rubs
(3) Chicago Metallic Professional 8-inch Round Cake Pan - a lot of recipes call for eight inch cake pans, and most cooks have a standard nine inch pan.
(4) Pralus Infernale Bar, a chocolate bar filled with the most exquisite gianduja
(5) Slitti Nocciolata, which makes Nutella taste like old wax. I have to restrain myself from eating it out of the jar with a spoon, and I must say, I do not succeed.
(6) a Le Creuset Dutch oven, one at least 7-1/4 quarts.
(7) a heat resistant silicon spoonula, such as this one from Le Creuset, which is what I use every day.
(8) a set of Boyajian's citrus oils
(9) a baking stone

And finally, for the baker in your life, who needs something more powerful than a KitchenAid, there's always:

(10) a 5 qt. Hobart mixer. You can always go bigger, of course.

Now, I think I'll join the pups for a nap!

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