Guest Picks: Gifts for Foodies
20 gifts for the cook, baker or food lover in your life
I'm a writer who ended up making lots and lots of cookies. I was a cookie decorator at a shop for almost ten years. I published a cookbook on cookie decorating in 2007, "Cookie Sensations." My second cookbook, "Sugarlicious," was published in early 2012 and is all about decorated cookies, cupcakes, marshmallows, and other crafty sweets, much like I offer on my blog, "the decorated cookie." http://www.thedecoratedcookie.com I'm also the Edible Crafts editor at http://www.ediblecrafts.craftgossip.com. I have an MFA in Literature and an MA in Liberal Arts. I live in Washington, DC with my husband, two daughters and three cats, and we're slowly fixing up our 85-year-old house.
I'm a writer who ended up making lots and lots of cookies. I was a cookie... More
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This collection offers gift ideas for cooks, bakers, food lovers, party hosts — anyone who loves and uses their kitchen. Gift giving is serious business for me; I really do agonize over what gift perfectly matches the interests and personality of the recipient. And when that recipient already has everything, the pressure is on to find something that they never even knew they wanted until it is in their hands. — Meaghan from The Decorated Cookie
Square Lacquer Trays | West Elm - $29
These trays are so unique and sleek, I think they'd make a perfect gift. I'm picturing one on my kitchen counter to corral all those random items scattered messily about. Even better, you can wrap the tray loaded with goodies such as pasta, sauce and wine for a well-rounded gift.
Split Decision Pie Pan - $20
For the indecisive pie baker, there's finally a resolution. The really indecisive can always get two. This also works well to stop sibling rivalry at the holiday table before it even starts ("Mom likes me better, she made my favorite pie!").
Chalkboard Pig - $49.95
I don't know exactly why, but it's imperative that I have this. A chalkboard pig just feels like it's important to own. Think of all the things you could write on this guy if he were perched on your kitchen counter.
Cutting Mats - $12
I seriously love this idea: keeping germs nice and tidy and separate. Plus, give this gift and you'll feel safer going to the recipient's house for dinner, yes?
Tie Tea Cup by George Lee - $25
Perhaps it's merely inexperience as I'm more about coffee, but when I do make a cup of tea, I almost always lose the string in the mug when pouring the water. You know what happens next: fishing through your hot tea. So I find genius in this simple idea of adding two little slits to anchor it.
Pac-Man Cookie Cutters - $25
When it comes to video games, I'm all about old school (my only exception is for Angry Birds) — none of these fancy-schmancy new games. Nope, give me the '80s and an Atari joystick. And I'm a cookie decorator, so Pac-Man cookie cutters are the perfect gift. I've even made Pac-Man cookies before but was forced to cut them out by hand. Never again. Never. Again.
Spice Measuring Spoons - $14.95
Ever try and jam your tablespoons, and even teaspoons, into spice jars? I frustrate easily, and this is always one that gets me. These spice measuring spoons definitely had me go, "duh" and maybe even "why didn't I think of that?"
Message-in-a-Cookie Cutters - $19.95
These have been on my wishlist for years now. (Hint hint, Mom.) As a cookie decorator, I usually pipe my messages with icing. But these would give my eaters a much more readable message than my handwriting.
Reclaimed Slate Cheese Board - $48
What got me about this cheese plate is that it's made from reclaimed chalkboards from an elementary school in Illinois. Sigh, I remember chalkboards.
All Up in My Mini Grill in Cilantro - $67.99
This isn't just a mini grill, it's a bright green mini grill. That's some stylish grilling. (And, um, by the way, my big secret is that I've never grilled anything by myself. Not even a hot dog.)
City Plates - $50
These plates are perfect for foodies who love their spaces (or just love to travel). You can choose from cities like DC (woo hoo, that's me!), Shanghai, Paris, New York, LA, Berlin, Vegas (woo hoo, that's where I got married!), New Orleans, London (woo hoo, that's my other favorite city!) and more.
Nielsen-Massey Vanilla - $8.50
Why is it we always splurge on gifts for others and not ourselves? I buy my own vanilla from the supermarket, usually on sale, but I'd easily buy these for a baker friend. I can almost smell these pure vanilla products: extract, beans, paste and sugar, all from Madagascar.
Personalized Casserole Dish - $69.95
For the cook who already has everything, just start putting their name on things. And bonus, if you own these and you bring your amazing mac 'n' cheese to a potluck and everyone raves, you can play humble. "Who me? Oh, yes, yes, I did bring that."
Batter Dispenser - $14.95
This is an actual item on my wishlist. (Another hint, Mom.) I bake a lot of cupcakes. I've tried measuring cups, pancake pens, spoons, spatulas, everything for drip-free and consistent pouring, and no luck yet. I'm holding out hope that this dispenser is the answer.
Recipe Keeper - $26.95
I love the bright and vintage feel to this recipe book, but it's also ideal for the home cook or baker. Included inside are not only fill-in recipe cards, but also 20 plastic adhesive sheets to add all those slips of paper with random recipes jotted down or ripped from magazines.
Joseph Joseph 4-Piece Baking Set - $44.99
I own an adjustable rolling pin from Joseph Joseph, and I love it. While I prefer a regular rolling pin to have closer contact with my doughs, this adjustable one let's you roll out cookie dough to consistent, even thicknesses. Since I use all three thicknesses (1/8 inch for traditional cookies, 1/4 inch for my decorated cookies, and 3/8 inch for my cookie pops), I use my pin all the time. This gift set also includes a spatula, pastry brush and kitchen timer.
iSi Stainless Steel Creative Whip Cream Whipper, 1/2 Pint - $89.95
Make your own whipped cream? I mean, sure, you can sit there and use your hand mixer, but isn't this way cooler? And it's fancy stainless steel.
Round Wooden Trivet - $108
Now, this would be a big splurge for me, but this wood trivet is such a stunning conversation piece. Rustic is not the best word to describe my home, but it can be nudged that way with serveware like this.
For the bacon lover who has everything, what about perfectly flat bacon? I didn't even know these presses existed. Is flat bacon important? It is when you can flatten it in style.