Happiest of holidays everyone! I hope you are keeping warm and enjoying the season with friends and family.
If you are like me, this time of the year is packed with holiday parties, mad dashes to the post office, Christmas concerts, trees, ornaments, wrapping paper and ribbons. Fun, but hectic!
If you still have a few people left on your Christmas list, here are a few ideas for special gifts for the food lover, and some great cookbooks as well.
Delicacies Bracelets: First up, these lovely sterling silver charmed leather bracelets called “Delicacies“. With each bracelet purchased, the company donates at least 10 meals to a partner hunger relief organization.
Pick a sterling silver culinary charm, there are at least 25 to choose from, and the size (thin or thick) and color of leather bracelet. These bracelets are perfect for the food obsessed! My favorite, pictured, are lobster, artichoke, and octopus. The price ranges from $75 for the thin bracelets to $85 for the thick ones.
Citrus Zester: Next up is this citrus zester from KitchenIQ. I’ve been using microplane zesters for years, but this zester? It’s so smart! It comes with a slide-in bottom to catch, and measure, the zest as it falls.
The list price is about $15 (perfect stocking stuffer!) and is available (in green) from Amazon.com.
Themoworks Thermometers: The single most useful kitchen tool I own is my meat thermometer. Actually I have several thermometers, a whole collection, mostly gathering dust. The thermometers I actually use are these from Thermoworks.
On the left is their “Thermopop” thermometer, with a rotating backlit display and a fast temperature read of 5 to 6 seconds (only $29!). In the center, the favorite tool of chefs—the Thermapen, a highly accurate, super fast (2 to 3 seconds) thermometer with a folding probe ($99 but worth it).
On the far right, the Chef Alarm. This is a remote thermometer for oven roasts. Unlike every other remote thermometer I’ve tried, this one is easy to set up and use. It has a built in alarm that goes off when your roast reaches the desired internal temperature. ($59)
Pie Calendar: For the pie lover in your life, check out the Wild Ink Press Simply Recipes 2017 Pie Calendar. Each calendar is hand letterpress printed, with the illustrated ingredients and calendar dates on one side, and the instructions on the reverse side.
Every month has a different pie recipe. At the end of the year you can cut out the recipe to save as a beautiful recipe card. The calendar retails for $34 plus shipping.Use the code SIMPLYPIE17 for a 10% discount! (See our post about the calendar here.)
Nomiku Sous Vide: The Nomiku home sous vide machine has to be the number one cooking device I’m most excited about this year. Are you familiar with sous vide? It’s a method of cooking where the temperature is maintained at exactly the temperature needed to cook the meat you are cooking.
It’s the best way I know to poach chicken breasts. Great for steaks and ribs too. Because the sous vide environment heats the meat only to the point where it cooks and not beyond, it’s impossible to overcook the meat. The result is the most tender meat imaginable.
You just clip the device to the inside of a pot and fill the pot mostly with water. Place the meat in a plastic bag, and immerse in the water. Set the temperature and the Nomiku will heat and circulate the water. What I love about it is that you can set it up and walk away. Chicken breasts are done at 1 hour. If the sous vide goes longer than that, no problem! The meat doesn’t overcook.
So many amazing cookbooks out this year! Here are a few of my favorites.
Buck Buck Moose by Simply Recipes contributor Hank Shaw is THE book to get for the venison lover or deer hunter in your life. The book is beautifully photographed by Hank’s partner Holly Heyser, and is perhaps the most comprehensive book on preparing deer (and elk, antelope, and moose) ever written.
The recipes draw on culinary traditions from around the world—steak, tacos stew, short ribs, meatballs, pot roast, curry. It’s all here!
Art of the Pie. This must be the Year of the Pie. When I first met Kate McDermott, and she told me she taught pie making, I immediately wanted to be her best friend. Right? Who doesn’t love pie? Later I hosted one of her famous pie making classes at my home.
Kate is an inspirational, magical teacher, full of wisdom and humor. This is what she brings to her gorgeous book, Art of the Pie.
Marbled, Swirled, and Layered by Simply Recipes contributor Irvin Lin is a drop dead gorgeous cookbook from start to finish. I’ve actually had a slice of the cake pictured on the cover (well, maybe more than one slice, I kept going back for more), and it was delicious, just as everything I’ve ever had baked by Irvin.
Irvin’s mad skills as a baker is why we asked him to share some of his recipes here on Simply Recipes. This book, his first, is inspiring. So many beautiful, interesting and unique creations. Get this one for the cake lover in your life.
Back to sous vide! If you do take a dive into the world of sous vide, it helps to have a cookbook to guide you. Lisa Fetterman’s Sous Vide at Home is filled with inspiring sous vide recipes and practical advice.
Lastly we have The Perfect Blend by Tess Masters. This book won’t be shipping until after Christmas, but it is a perfect gift for someone (maybe yourself!) committed to more healthful eating in the new year. Tess, aka The Blender Girl, is a good friend with a big heart and a magic touch in the kitchen, especially when it comes to making use of a blender.
Her recipes are gluten-free and vegan, but even if you don’t roll that way, you’ll find the recipes compelling and full of flavor.
Well that’s it for now! I hope you find what you’re looking for underneath the tree. May you have a blessed holiday.
Hi, I’m Elise! Here are some updates from Simply Recipes.