Sunday, November 17, 2013

Gift Ideas for the Foodie in your Life - Part One

Are you looking for a holiday gift for that foodie in your life, but really don't know where to start? In my next few posts, I'll share some of the things that have made my heart sing. And good news: most of them are very inexpensive!

First up: a magnetic knife rack. I never trusted those knife blocks. What's in there? At the very least the dust of the ages. The whole thing just makes me feel ooky. So when my better half surprised me with this magnetic knife rack, I was thrilled! As you can see, I have a nice little collection of knives, but if I had some extra room, I'd add my church key (that's "bottle opener" to you!) and my potato peeler. This thing is a champ. And you can get one for your favorite cook for under $11 for 12" of magnetic goodness. Trust me on this one: everyone who comes in my kitchen and lays eyes on this wants one of their very own.

My second suggestion is this flat, mesh skimmer. I originally got it to help fish out poached eggs. I hate it when my toast gets soggy from the cooking water, don't you? This does the trick. But it is good for a lot of jobs. For example, when I pop corn (in my wok!) I can use this to stir the corn while I spray butter on it. It's fabulous. It's good for fishing solids out of broth. I have had this for about 15 years and I bet I've used it 3 times a week every week since I bought it. I got mine at Williams Sonoma, but you might want to check out Amazon where I saw a nice one in the $8 neighborhood. Don't spend too much for this. You shouldn't have to!

Now, haven't you always wanted to own something by Ronco? Well, here is your chance! Let me introduce you to a little piece of heaven on earth - the Ronco ST3001SSGEN Showtime Compact Rotisserie. Yes, this is a little more expensive than the other two items in today's post, but at $80 it's still quite a bargain. This gem makes the juiciest, most delish chicken you have ever tasted, I promise you!. It takes a little effort to truss up a chicken and get it balanced on the rotisserie, but after you've done it a few times, you will be a pro. It takes about 15 minutes a pound to cook a chicken, and the drippings make a luscious gravy. I'm not a fan of those mega chickens they seem to have in the grocery stores these days. A chicken is not supposed to be 5 pounds! I find then to be rather tough. But not when they are cooked on this beauty - I guarantee they will be tender and juicy. My experience with small birds (cornish game hens, for example, that come in at a pound - pound and a half range) are not as good because they just don't take long enough to cook. But the smaller 3 pound organic free range chickens are wonderful Cleanup isn't hard because all the main parts break down and will go in the fridge. I think we use this about every other week when the outdoor cooking season comes to an end.

So, there you go: three ideas for some kick-ass presents! Next time we will talk about a noodle maker, a really nice frying pan, and mixing bowls.

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