Between family time, celebrations, festive decorations and more, the holidays are my favorite time of the year. Certainly not weather-wise – don’t get it twisted – but in every other way possible, bring. it. on. Perhaps my favorite part is surprising people with the perfect gift. Ben and I can’t help but giggle when thinking about what we got my little brother for Christmas this year. It is beyond outrageous, so him, and I can’t wait to show you. You’re going to fall off your chair. Actually you’ll probably think it’s extremely weird, but that’s how we roll.

ANYWHO. As they say, ’tis better to give than receive, and I’ve got 25 gift ideas for the foodie in your life that will make their eyes light up. Make them jump up and down. Make you gift-giver of the year! I can picture it now.

All the items in my Holiday Gift Guide for Foodies are ones that I own or have tried, love, and recommend to anyone who enjoys being in the kitchen, or simply loves food. Whether they’re cooking pros or novices, your foodie-minded friends and family members will be psyched to receive anything on this list. (And if you happen to snag something off of it for yourself, well, being Santa’s elf is hard work and I for one wouldn’t blame you!)

FYI – this post contains affiliate links though no cost is passed onto you.

Cooking Must Haves - 2014 Holiday Gift Guide for Foodies | iowagirleats.com

Cooking Must-Haves

These are the must-have items that every home cook should have in their kitchen to expertly simmer, saute, and stir fry – don’t forget a good chef’s knife and sharpener, too!

  1. Calphalon Simply Enamel Cast Iron Dutch Oven and Cover, 7-Quart – I have an older yet equivalent Calphalon Dutch Oven and use it constantly for chili, stews, gumbos, frying, and braising. Must. Have.
  2. Calphalon Katana Series Cutlery Japanese Style Santoku Knife, 5-Inch – This is the first chef-knife I ever bought and it’s seen me through 10 years of chopping. The 5″ size is great for a smaller hand, too.
  3. 9-Inch Poly Sharpening Steel – My brothers-in-law got me this knife sharpener for Christmas a few years ago and I wasn’t sure I’d use it. Boy was I wrong. It’s invaluable for keeping my chef’s knife in tip-top, razor-sharp shape.
  4. Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 10-1/4-Inch Skillet with Iron Handle – I just can’t quit this enameled cast-iron skillet. From stop top to oven it is the most versatile skillet I own!
  5. 3 Quart  Saute and 10” Omelette Skillet Combo – these are my rock star everyday skillets that I could not live without. NOTHING sticks to them and they are extremely high quality. Love, love, LOVE these skillets!
  6. Curtis Stone Hardstuff Hard Anodized Non-Stick Wok with Lid, 12-Inch –  this wok is ridiculously awesome (even better because I got it from the man himself!) 100% nonstick so you don’t have to use very much oil, I use it at least once a week for all the stir fry dishes Ben and I love.

 

 

Favorite Kitchen Helpers - 2014 Holiday Gift Guide for Foodies | iowagirleats.com

 

Favorite Kitchen Helpers

These are the kitchen gadgets and helpers that I use every single week. They’d make great stocking stuffers or filler for a foodie-themed gift basket!

  1. Garlic Press – no more sticky garlic fingers! I resisted buying a garlic press for years then smacked myself in the forehead for waiting so long to buy one. Invaluable. You don’t even have to peel the garlic cloves!
  2. Silicone Baking Mat – From baking cookies to roasting veggies, these nonstick, reusable baking mats are awesome for making sure nothing sticks to your baking sheets.
  3. Steamer Basket – I don’t know where I’d be in life if I didn’t have my steamer basket. Eating soggy vegetables, I suppose. I use my steamer basket every single week to make perfectly steamed veggies and squash, and used it to steam all of Lincoln’s baby food.
  4. Glass Measuring Cups – Trust me – got to have ’em. Buy a set for yourself while you’re at it!
  5. Fine Mesh Strainer  – Never lose a pearl of quinoa again. My fine mesh strainer is my best defense from losing small food I need to strain, and even works great to sift flour and powdered sugar.
  6. Mixroplane Zester/Grater – When I first got my microplane I didn’t think I’d use it very much but wrong-o! I use it for grating cheeses, microplaning fresh ginger, citrus, etc. Total mulit-tasker.
  7. Adjustable Measuring Cup – I’ve had my adjustable measuring cup for at least a decade. It’s perfect for measuring out sticky stuff like peanut butter, jelly, or molasses.

 

 

Kitchen Work Horses - 2014 Holiday Gift Guide for Foodies | iowagirleats.com

Kitchen Work Horses

The big kahunas of the kitchen, if you will. The recipients of these gifts will use them every week for years and are totally worth the investment, in my opinion.

  1. KitchenAid 5-Qt. Artisan Series Stand Mixer – I’ve shared countless recipes on the blog utilizing this beauty (well, mine’s pale pink!) From cookies, to cakes, and whipped cream, this mixer will be a home baker’s dream come true.
  2. Crock-Pot Programmable Cook and Carry Oval Slow Cooker – Say it with me – “just set it, and forget it!” Seriously, having a programmable crock pot is a life saver. Going to be gone for 8 hours but your dish only needs to cook on low for 6? No problemo. This crock pot will switch to the “warm” setting until you get home.
  3. Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus Food Processor – I got this mini food processor a few years ago and it’s perfect for chopping small batches of vegetables, making banana ice cream, chopping nuts, etc. It’s small size is great for tiny kitchens, too.
  4. Blendtec Total Blender, FourSide Jar – the baddest of all the blenders! There is seriously nothing my Blendtec can’t do. From chopping ice in under 5 seconds, making smoothies, sauces, purees, baby food, etc, I use my Blendtec for something at least 3 times a week.
  5. Cuisinart 14-Cup Food Processor, Brushed Stainless Steel – I have yet to show someone my full-size food processor then have them leave without asking where I got it and what it can do. #1: click that link, you’ll be glad you did, #2: EVERYTHING! Whip, grate, shred, blend, chop – the possibilities are endless.

 

 

Fun Kitchen Favorites - 2014 Holiday Gift Guide for Foodies | iowagirleats.com

FUN KITCHEN FAVORITES

These items are my fun, frilly kitchen items that will surprise and delight. For the cookbook enthusiast, snack lover, and cocktail drinker in your life.

  1. Inside the Test Kitchen: 120 New Recipes, Perfected – I actually asked for this cookbook for Christmas. Tyler Florence has turned 120 classic recipes on their head and I, for one, want to see what they look like upside down. Not literally, of course.
  2. The Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor – There’s a reason why this cookbook is blowing up the best-seller list – it is packed with delicious and healthy recipes and photos.
  3. Seriously Delish: 150 Recipes for People Who Totally Love Food – For the fun-loving foodie in your life, this cookbook is as much fun to read as it is to cook from!
  4. Solid Copper Moscow Mule Mug – Forget champagne flutes and wine glasses, give the cocktail lover in your life something FUN this year like Moscow Mule Mugs. They will last forever and are so fun to bring out at parties.
  5. Popcorn Air Popper – Oh air-popped popcorn, how do I love thee, let me count the ways!? Cheap snack, toppings galore, only the amount of butter that you want (LOTS.)
  6. Olive Oil Dispenser – I actually just bought one of these a few weeks ago and I feel like it really classes up my kitchen, plus it makes me feel fancy. Reason enough for me!
  7. OXO Good Grips Simple Mandoline – This baby is great for making homemade potato chips, french fries, shredded brussels sprouts, etc. Razor sharp and so much faster and more precise than a knife.

 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone!