Gifts for the Cook

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I love reading gift guides. They’re a peek into what other people treasure. In case you’re in need of gift ideas, I figured I’d share some of the things I use and enjoy most. All of the items in this guide are things I’ve purchased or received as a gift and that I’d wholeheartedly recommend. Most of them don’t take up too much room in a small kitchen; I’m working in an 11×10 space so every inch counts!

instant potInstant Pot 6-qt 7-in-1. This is the model I have. I’m still learning how to use it, but so far I’ve had good success with it. The sauté function is terrific for browning roasts before slow-cooking or pressure-cooking them, and this appliance makes it easier to cook potatoes for mashed potatoes (and you can mash them right in the cooking insert!)

oggi utensil holder.jpg

OGGI utensil holder. I’m short on drawer space in my kitchen, but I have more wooden spoons, spatulas, and other utensils than anyone reasonably needs. This stainless-steel utensil holder accommodates an awful lot of my tools, is easy to clean, and looks pretty on the countertop, too. It measures 7 inches in diameter, and it’s heavy enough that it won’t tip over even if you have a lot of whisks and ladles hanging over the edge.

cuisinart chef's classic 7 pc

Cuisinart Chef’s Classic cookware. I purchased this cookware two years ago to replace some worn-out Farberware, and I never looked back. It’s dishwasher-safe, oven-safe to 500°, and the pots feature tapered rims for easy pouring.

nordic ware sheet pan

Sheet pans, because sheet-pan cooking is a thing and you can never have enough of them! I’m a fan of these made-in-USA NordicWare half-sheet pans. I use them for cookies, roasting vegetables, and sheet-pan cooking — plus they make great trays in a pinch! I also have a couple of the quarter-sheet size. Sometimes I’ll have one half-sheet and two quarter-sheet pans in the oven all at once. Cover in foil for easy cleanup.


Aeropress. Make individual cups of coffee quickly and without a lot of mess. You can adjust the brew time to customize the taste of your coffee. These are easy to use, easy to clean and don’t take up a lot of space on the counter. If, like me, you don’t have a large kitchen, this is a big consideration!

marhet coffee frother

Milk frother. This Marhet frother is about the third one I’ve tried and it’s lasted longer than the others. I heat the milk in the microwave, froth it, and then add coffee for a fake “latte” that makes a nice treat. I usually replace the batteries once a month if I use the frother daily.

swell bottle

S’well bottles really do keep beverages cold; I’ve had ice cubes last 24 hours in it! My daughter gave me one of these for Christmas last year. I’ll drink water if it’s icy cold, and I carry this bottle around with me everywhere. These bottles look nice and are easy to clean.

pop up straw cap

The only thing I didn’t like about the S’well bottle is the cap. The screw top had no handle, so it wasn’t easy to carry the bottle around, and it required two hands to open the bottle and drink. I discovered this Iconiq Pop-Up Straw Cap that fits the S’well bottle. I can slide one finger through the loop and tote that bottle around even with full hands. It’s easy to flip the top up to drink.

2017 Christmas Gift Guide-CM

Copyright 2017 Barb Szyszkiewicz

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