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If you’re shopping for your foodie friends this holiday season, here are some fantastic gift ideas — all for under $20. Each of the items on this list are either something I already have and use almost daily — or they’re something I want!
Off we go . . .
Click on the images or item names to find them online.
1. Spices are so wonderful when you toast and grind them yourself, just before adding them to a recipe. I’ve had my spice grinder for well over 10 years and it’s still in perfect condition. (And it doubles as a coffee grinder!)
Krups Electric Spice and Coffee Grinder
2. A groumet food, wine and travel magazine that features essays about world cuisines. This is one of my favorite food magazines, and one of the only subscriptions I’ve kept going over the years.
Saveur Magazine – 9 issues per year/$13.00
3. This is an ancient tool is still used to grind and crush various ingredients such as, whole spices and fresh herbs. You can make pesto and guacamole the old-fashioned way. (And it looks really cool sitting on the kitchen counter.)
Granite Mortar and Pestle – $19.99
4. You can label these super cute, ceramic spice jars with chalk. They’re decorative, will keep your spices and herbs fresh, and you can change them up whenever you feel like it. (This I want!)
Chalkboard Spice Jars – $7 to $8.40 ea.
5. This is perfect for deglazing a pan. Think of when you’re browning mushrooms and add sherry to deglaze the pan — this wooden tool will work those super tasty caramelized bits of mushroom right back into your recipe. I have several of these and couldn’t imagine cooking without them!
Wide Olive Wood SpGenesis 2.6.1atula
6. I use my metal cooking tongs every single day at least once! Whether I’m grilling steak, tossing spinach, sautéing shrimp, or flipping bacon — I can’t fathom a day in the kitchen without them.
Oxo Good Grips Tongs – $11.99 to $12.99
7. This wonderful rice steamer from Thailand makes perfect, aromatic Thai sticky rice. (Okay, so this one I don’t use every day, but when I pull it out to cook a delicious Thai meal, I couldn’t be happier.)
Thai Sticky Rice Steamer Set
8. This absolutely stunning cookbook is at the top of my list for 2012. Gorgeous, vibrant fruits and vegetables jump off the pages, and the whole book is arranged by color. I love it!
Ripe: A Fresh, Colorful Approach to Fruits & Vegetables
9. Have you ever had rosemary pistachio caramels!? I thought not. This is just one of the delicious creations from my friend Gerry of Foodness Gracious. His caramel business, Toot Sweet is growing fast and for good reason. These beautiful caramels are divine, and would make a great gift for the ultimate caramel lover!
Artisan Caramel Lovers Pack – $18.99
10. This lovely salt is naturally smoked with sweet Applewood — it creates a delicious, savory, subtly sweet flavor. It’s delicious sprinkled on fish, poultry, salads, avocado — or say the rim of a Bloody Mary glass?
Applewood Smoked Sea Salt – $8.00
11. Let’s just say I wouldn’t want to make cookies without one of these!
Oxo Good Grips Cookie Scoop
12. I don’t think I could own too many cutting boards. I have a few large boards that are on my counter permanently, and I love having a smaller board to move around the kitchen with. This bamboo board is pretty and makes for a lovely gift.
Bamboo Cutting Board – $11.95
15. This time of year you can always find winter squash in my kitchen, waiting to be made into a comforting soup or stew. I think anyone who loves to cook would welcome these beauties into their recipes.
Winter squash Sampler from Melissa’s Produce – $16.49
17. The author and photographer of this book is one of my food blogger friends, Greg of Sippity Sup. It will be available on January 1st. (New Years gift, anyone?) I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek of some of what’s inside, and it’s amazing!
Savory Pies: Delicious Recipes for Seasoned Meats, Vegetables and Cheeses Baked in Perfectly Flaky Pie Crusts
18. My cast-iron skillet never leaves my stove-top. Every cook should own one.
Cast-Iron 10-Inch Skillet
19. I love the rustic look of this cool wooden platter. It’s called a wood slice and I think it’s the perfect cheese platter.
Southwest Rustic Tree Slice – $7.99
From dragon fruit to rambutan to over a dozen chile peppers, this book is a great guide to recognizing, purchasing, preparing and storing a huge array of fruits and vegetables.
Melissa’s Great Book Of Produce
I was not compensated for this post, and all opinions are my own.
Please note that the prices for all of the above items are current as of December 11, 2012, and will likely change over time.