From vintage to modern, and little treat to big splurge, these are the products that I love. Check them out for great gift ideas, or even for a little treat for yourself. Come on . . . I know you deserve it! 🙂
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Category 1: Just a little something . . .
Channel Knife. This amazing little tool is used to create citrus “twists”– a gorgeous little spiral of citrus rind to garnish anything from beverages to cupcakes. If you find yourself “twisting” everything in the house, I won’t judge. 😉
Price: $7.51 for one channel knife. Get it here.
Sparkling White Sugar from King Arthur Flour. This little gem just sparkles . . . literally and figuratively. It adds the most glittery, crunchy, gorgeous sparkle to the tops of scones, pies, and Christmas cookies. I am never without this in my kitchen. Plus, KA Flour is a fantastic, employee-owned company that constantly gives back to the community and local food banks. Supporting this company is a win for your baked goods and a win for a good cause.
Price: $13.98 for 15 oz. Purchase it here.
Espresso Powder from King Arthur Flour. This stuff is amazing– a teaspoon or two of it added to any chocolate recipe takes your chocolate experience from “Yum” to “Oh my goodness . . . my eyes just rolled back in my head. Please roll them back to me, because I can’t move.” It also brings a delicious coffee flavor to custards, ice creams, and anything else you can think to add it to, really. Keep it in the freezer to avoid clumping after opening. 🙂
Price: $13.86 for 3 oz. Purchase it here.
SAF Red Instant Yeast. No kitchen where yeast bread is baked should be without this product. It keeps in the freezer (in a freezer safe container) for up to 5 years so that you don’t discover, after hours of waiting, mouth watering, that your bread didn’t rise and is now a brick. It can also be added directly to recipes, from the freezer, without the “proofing” step of allowing yeast to foam in sugar water before adding. This yeast is a staple in my kitchen. Give it a try. You will never go back to those little yeast packets.
Price: $8.78 for 16 oz. Purchase it here.
SAF Gold Yeast. This is the beautiful sister of the SAF Red instant yeast. This little beauty has all the miracle working power of the RED yeast, but it works especially well for sweet breads. When I am making Cinnamon Rolls or anything with a rich, sweet dough, this is my go-to product.
Price: $9.97 for 16 oz. Purchase it here.
Category 2: A little something more . . .
Scone and Muffin Scoop. I used to always make my muffins and cookies by dipping out batter with a spoon, and I thought, “Why do I need some fancy gadget to do what my spoons already do perfectly well?” This scoop opened my eyes. (Well, it didn’t literally open my eyes. haha). But, seriously, this scoop is a must-have. You can get them in a variety of sizes, but I love this one for perfectly proportioned muffins and cupcakes, as well as for scones made in a scone pan. It also makes perfect jumbo cookies. I like the 2 tbsp. scoop (the next size down) for perfectly sized chocolate chip cookies. Yum.
Price: $17.50 for 1 scoop (multiple sizes available). Purchase it here.
The Perfect Pie Blender is an absolutely necessity in my kitchen. This makes a fabulous gift for anyone who works with pastry, biscuit, or scone dough on a regular basis. Cut in butter or shortening with incredible ease, thanks to the flat bottom on this cutter. The old round pastry blenders got nothin’ on this guy. Pick one up, today. It will be a workhorse for you, every day, without a single complaint. I bet you’ll never go back.
Price: $14.00 for one pastry blender. Purchase it here.
Silpat Reusable Baking Mat. I use these things every single day. They are absolutely incredible– nothing sticks to them, making cleanup pure joy as run-over pie filling, sticky toffee, and grease and grime wipe right off with a wet cloth. They can go right from freezer to oven and make bread kneading a snap, since nothing sticks. Ditch the parchment paper and use these, instead.
Price: $24.90 for 1 half sheet silpat. Get it here.
Mason Cash 4.5 qt. mixing bowl. This adorable ceramic bowl comes embossed with cheerful lemons so that you can easily grip the bowl, even when your hands are wet. This is a modern take of the classic vintage Mason Cash mixing bowl, which became an English kitchen staple in the early 1900s to 1950s. If you are lucky enough to have a vintage Mason Cash mixing bowl, hang onto that baby. They don’t make ’em like that, anymore, but this one’s cuteness almost makes up for it. 😉
Price: $46.99 for the Lemon Zest mixing bowl, but other sizes and colors are different prices. Buy one here.
Category 3: This category contains the platinum level “goodies.” This is like, you’ve forgotten your anniversary for the last several years type of apology gift. Surprise a loved one or just pamper yourself, occasionally. Sometimes, we all need a little something fancy schmancy 🙂
Number 1 on the list of drool-worthy splurges is a gorgeous Le Creuset Dutch Oven. Not only are these ovens absolutely gorgeous, but they come with a lifetime guarantee, and roast, braise, bake, and broil like a dream. I could write pages of poetry dedicated to the many ways in which this piece has changed my life, but just read my posts . . . see the love there. If I had to choose just one size, it would be the 5.5 quart, which was the first piece of Le Creuset my wonderful hubby got for me. It is still my favorite and the piece I reach for most often. If you want to pamper and deliriously spoil a loved one (or yourself!), you cannot go wrong with a piece of this beautiful cookware.
Price: $319.95 for the 5.5 qt. oven. Purchase it here.
The Miracle-Gro AeroGarden is one of those things that makes you say, “I will never, ever in a million years pay this much money for a thing I will never use.” But just give it a week in your house, and you will never go back. With this 7 spot hydroponics garden, you can grow a huge variety of plants, including fresh lettuces for salads, tomatoes, flowers, and even kitchen herbs (which is what I use it for most often). Just add nutrients whenever the handy dandy light comes on, and channel your inner Grandma as you snip herbs right and left and throw them into recipes. I got this on deep clearance at Walmart, after summer was over, but if it ever dies, I will save up and buy another one. Treat yourself to fresh herbs on demand, and have the ability to start plants and vegetables inside, months before anyone else has even thought about planting anything.
Price: $169.99 for complete unit, including lights, seed pods, and fertilizer. Purchase it here.
Kitchenaid Artisan Stand Mixer. A Kitchenaid mixer was the very first thing that my Grandma bought after she got married– she used to walk to the jewelry store, every week (you could buy these things at jewelry stores, then, because they are such a precise piece of machinery) and make a small deposit, until she finally had enough to purchase it. She probably used that mixer for about 50 years until it finally died. Some relationships don’t even last that long. Seriously. Anyone who is serious about cooking and baking at home should have one of these. An absolute dream to own and operate.
Price: $279.99 for the 5 qt. Artisan stand mixer. Purchase it here.