Growing up my mom used to wrap up some of our favourite food items and stick them under the tree for Christmas. Yes, a box of Triscuits or a favourite cereal would be part of our gifts! Below find our Holiday Gift Guide, with our very own Amazon links to some of our favourite edible and useful kitchen tools are fantastic ideas for holiday gift giving. The best part? We've linked the products with fun cooking classes to create a full gift package experience! A box of salt under the tree? Not weird at all. Happy Holidays!
1. Salt: Both our everyday Kosher Salt and a special Vancouver Sea Salt are indispensable for the home cook. We use Diamond Crystal brand Kosher Salt in almost all of our recipes. LIght, sprinkled out of hand, it helps you to gain 'muscle memory' for general seasoning, so you learn to season those mashed potatoes or that whole roasted chicken perfectly every time. Pricier and fancier Sea Salt is reserved for finishing a dish: a few flakes on a perfectly cooked scallop or grilled steak makes every bite better and better. Salt under the tree? Yes please!
2. Spices: Our top two favourite spices are Garam Masala and Pimenton (Spanish Smoked Paprika). Of course you'll find Garam Masala listed in recipes for our Butter Chicken Cooking Class and other curries, but with its warm spice blend we also love it on spiced nuts or or shortbreads, or sprinkled onto roasted squash. Pimenton, or, smoked paprika is an absolute must in every kitchen. From rice, to shrimp, to your favourite chili recipe, kick up the colour and the smokiness with an authentic Spanish tin of pimenton. Our Spanish Supper Cooking class is pure paella love!
3. Asian Pantry staples: Soy sauce is not just one bottle in the back of your cupboard. Our favourite Japanese Soy Sauce, Kikkoman, is used for dipping where our favourite Chinese Light Soy Sauce, Pearl River is used for cooking. Chinese Light or 'thin' soy sauce is essential for the 'wok' cook looking for an authentic taste in stir fries. Pair Kikkoman Japanese Soy Sauce with Rice Wine Vinegar in equal amounts for the perfect dip for dumplings and tempura! Our upcoming Japanese Family Cooking Class is the perfect gift of an experience!
4. Baking Soda: ok, come on Chefs, baking soda? For a gift?! Yes! Baking soda is our new favourite ingredient that is transforming everything from chickpeas to ground beef. Most recently we showcased how baking soda can transform boneless, skinless chicken breasts in our Indian Chicken Karahi Class.
5. Tomato Paste: Double Concentrated Tomato Paste in a Tube! Essential, handy when you only need a little, and the #1 UMAMI flavour boost you can add to many many dishes. Tomato paste is quintessential for any braised dish, you'll find it coming up in our Braised Beef Short Rib Cooking Class!
7. Our 8" Wusthof Chefs Knife: the brand and type of knife we have stood behind for almost 20 years. A good knife = success in the kitchen. These knives are guaranteed for life and still made by the same family in Germany, 120+ years and counting. Pair it with our $5 Knife Skills Class!
8. Pasta Maker: we can't live without our Marcato Pasta Maker. One try at making pasta from scratch and you will be hard pressed to go back to the box! From start to finish you can have Italian authentic pasta in about an hour. We also use this pasta maker to make our homemade ramen noodles! Click HERE for our homemade pasta class, and click HERE for our homemade Ramen class!
9. This has definitely been the year of the wok for us, and the more we use it, the better it becomes. We recommend this YOSUKATA Carbon Steel Wok Pan. It's a great price point, highly durable and heats food evenly and FAST! Care instructions included.
10. The Potato Ricer (on sale this week!) is your guarantee for perfectly fluffy, lump-free potatoes every time. If you know Chef Jody, her ricer gets a workout almost everyday!
11. A fine mesh strainer is a chef's tool that we can't live without. From getting noodles to the pan sauce to straining out small amounts of shrimp stock, you'll need a fine mesh strainer. We like this three pack! Heat proof, strain everything from loose teas to hot chili oil.
12. A quality kitchen scissor, practical but appreciated! From cutting fresh herbs to even the backbone out of a chicken, check out this pair of ZWILLING Kitchen Shears.
13. Our favourite cutting boards for over 10 years now are the Epicurean brand. Made from recycled cardboard and dishwasher safe, this 14"x11" size is perfect for everyday chopping to carving a roast.
15. You've been thinking about it for years... the Vitamix blender! If you've taken a class you know Kirstie uses it for everything from grinding dry spices to making hummus to soups to everyday smoothies. Click HERE for our choice in a Vitamix Blender (and it's on sale right now too!).
And there you have it, some great ideas for the food lover in your life (or just for yourself!) By purchasing anything through these Amazon links, a tiny portion supports our small business as well, so it's win-win!