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$100 Williams-Sonoma Gift Card - - What would you buy?

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HoneybeeSF Dec 19, 2006 07:32 PM

The DH and I were given a gift card for the holidays. Our kitchen is stocked with the basics in cookware, bakeware and appliances, as well as dishes and glasses of all sorts. I'm wondering this, Chowhounds, if you were given this gift, what would you buy? I was thinking about the Russell Hobbs Immersion Blender ($99.95.) Look forward to hearing from you!

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  1. b
    Buckethead Dec 19, 2006 07:35 PM

    Any kind of electric appliance is usually a good bet at WS because of their awesome extended warranty on electrics.

    1. a
      AnneM Dec 19, 2006 07:39 PM

      I was admiring some beautiful cutting boards in there the other day.

      1. a
        asitnick Dec 19, 2006 07:39 PM

        I got a WS gift card for my bday. It was the best present ever. I waited and thought about what I was going to buy, and when I went in there, I bought all kinds of extravagant spoonulas, wisks, etc. Yes, you can get this stuff at BB&B, but theirs are so much better. It makes me so happy just looking at them! It's the little things...

        1. f
          foodie_girl Dec 19, 2006 07:47 PM

          If I had a well stocked kitchen, I would buy gifts for others with it, or regift the whole thing to one person, OR 2-$50.00 gift card.

          1. l
            LauraB Dec 19, 2006 07:55 PM

            I have no experience with that particular immersion blender, but I recently acquired an immersion blender myself and was amazed how much easier it was to puree soup with it compared to a normal blender. The one caveat is that it was not completely smooth, but since I prefer my soup with a bit more texture I was very pleased with the results and the amount of work required. I always make a bit of mess transferring to and from the normal blender, but with the immersion blender my kitchen stayed clean.

            1. s
              Sherri Dec 19, 2006 08:04 PM

              Some of the French classic white Apilco pieces - ramekins, platters, souffle dishes, etc. I've had some for many years and they always bring pleasure. They go from the oven to table looking beautiful.

              1. c
                cwatts Dec 19, 2006 08:44 PM

                I got a GC recently for WS and I bought lots of expensive ingredients that I don't buy often for my every day baking/cooking...stocked up on vanilla beans, some good cocoa powder, fun flavorings, etc.

                1. s
                  Sam Harmon Dec 19, 2006 08:48 PM

                  What do you need? Combine something that you need (want) with something that you might hesitate to buy normally.

                  A top of the line knife?

                  A set of Peugot pepper/salt grinders?

                  A mandolin?

                  1. j
                    JudiAU Dec 19, 2006 10:15 PM

                    Simple things like apilco are wonderful because they are ovenproof. Wonderful for entertaining.

                    1. phofiend Dec 19, 2006 11:19 PM

                      I really like W-S table linens. They are substantial and colors stay true. Also, some of the serving pieces are lovely. I think their cookware, while a nice selection, is overpriced.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: phofiend
                        j
                        JudiAU Dec 20, 2006 12:27 AM

                        Good point. If I didn't already have several dozen of their plain white dinner napkins I would get more. They wear well and stay true to size.

                      2. t
                        tlegray Dec 19, 2006 11:30 PM

                        This happened to me several years ago and it was almost overwhelming. It took me several months to figure out what I wanted....Villaware Belgian Waffle Maker. I'd go to the store and walk the place to see what most attracted my eye. I've never been sorry. I'll make a batch of waffles, let them cool completely, and then freeze. Pop them in the toaster and hot crunchy on the outside and sweet goodness on the inside waffles.

                        Now I'd buy utensils that I don't have; smaller ladles, cookie scoops in all the sizes,silpats, linens, oh and I'd check out the apilco too. I love the ones I have and I'm always adding to the set when I find something new.

                        1. m
                          MRS Dec 20, 2006 12:29 AM

                          More knives!!!

                          1. beetlebug Dec 20, 2006 12:35 AM

                            I received the Russell Hobbes Immersion Blender as a gift and I love it. I was a little leary at first because of all the attachments. But, I actually use some of them, such as the whisk and the mini-chopper. The best thing about the immersion blender is that the motor is strong and doesn't burn out. I've burned out two previous immersion blenders by blendy leafy greens in soup. This one, as long as I run it for less than the recommended times, blends the soups beautifully. Whatever you choose, I'm sure you will have fun doing so.

                            1. Bob Mervine Dec 20, 2006 02:08 AM

                              Truffle oil and aged Balsamic vinegar.

                              Bob

                              1. s
                                sheiladeedee Dec 20, 2006 02:37 AM

                                I love their linens. Easy to care for and wonderful in the hand.

                                1. LindaWhit Dec 20, 2006 02:22 PM

                                  They now are carrying varying levels of Reidel wineglasses. I recently broke three wineglasses on three successive nights, so that's on my list (perhaps not Reidel, however, considering my recent breakage record. <g>)

                                  You said you have all the basic glasses, appliances you need, but I used a $100 GC to W-S to get my DeLonghi toaster/convection oven which at the time was $199. I wouldn't have bought it without the GC, so I'm glad my SIL and brother gave me the GC.

                                  Perhaps upgrading what you have?

                                  1. m
                                    Main Line Tracey Dec 20, 2006 07:36 PM

                                    I had the same thing happen and I bought: a large container of the really good vanilla, the extendable tongs, the lemon juicer (that is yellow & green), a meat thermometer, pastry tips and something else that I am forgetting.

                                    I already have an immersion blender that I got for $40 that works great. Never had any difficulty with it and it makes smooth soups and sauces.

                                    I would recommend buying things that you always wanted but never picked up/got. Quality immersion blenders can be bought cheaper at other places.

                                    1. h
                                      HillJ Dec 20, 2006 07:46 PM

                                      Dh and I were just at W-S today enjoying all the baking and food samples! If you have all the great pots and gadgets I would go for the food stuffs. Their food products are always pricey but inevitably delicious...homemade marshmellows, peppermint bark, pound cake mixes, gourmet this and that... A GC would make the shopping spree so much more yummy!

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: HillJ
                                        Glencora Dec 20, 2006 10:21 PM

                                        I was in a W-S yesterday and saw a jar of carmelized onions for sale. Ten cents worth of onion, maybe. Who would buy it? Most of the other food stuffs look nice, though. I'd probably try them if I were lucky enough to have a giftcard.

                                        1. re: Glencora
                                          h
                                          HillJ Dec 20, 2006 10:45 PM

                                          It's hard to justify 18.00 for a few homemade marshmellows too...when I make them for pennies...but there they were..calling my name...hot chocolate for tonight...LOL!

                                      2. lollya Dec 20, 2006 10:05 PM

                                        ooooh i was just there today and purchased a popover pan!
                                        delightful!

                                        1. ajs228 Dec 20, 2006 10:49 PM

                                          How about a coffee grinder? Or maybe a nice Le Creuset enameled dutch oven?

                                          1. roxhills Dec 22, 2006 01:00 AM

                                            The croissants that you get by mail order. Regular and Chocolate. AMAZING. We live in LA and I can find most of the items at WS for less at places like Surfas but I splurged on those croissants and they are incredible. In fact, I am thinking about ordering more.

                                            1. p
                                              percheron Dec 22, 2006 04:46 AM

                                              I received a gift certificate of $400 from Pottery Barn for problems with an order - and used it for WS. I bought a Le Creuset saute pan, a Villaware wafflemaker, blue latte mixing bowls, French water glasses, and a few other assorted items.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: percheron
                                                Chocolatechipkt Jan 4, 2007 04:52 PM

                                                Are their gift cards interchangeable? I have a PB gift card I can't find a use for--but there are plenty of things I might buy at WS. One thing I do want is a nine-inch square cake pan from WS, two of them actually. The round cake pans I bought from them years ago are still going great, and now I want ones with sharper edges and corners than my current cheapy square pans.

                                              2. z
                                                ziggylu Dec 22, 2006 02:31 PM

                                                Last year we used our $50 GC from my MIL towards a Villaware wafflemaker which we love! (especially with Carbon's malted waffle mix!)

                                                This year we have a $50 from my MIL and a $50 from my SIL...not sure what we're going to do with it yet...we need a new coffee maker and we've been thinking about a toaster oven so put it towards one of those two items.

                                                1. c
                                                  cooknKate Dec 26, 2006 11:41 PM

                                                  The chardonnay smoked sea salt at WS is fabulous.

                                                  1. c
                                                    chucktowneater Jan 3, 2007 03:46 PM

                                                    I cashed in my WS giftcard yesterday and bought:
                                                    2 Riedel "O" Syrah wine glasses (they seem practical for everyday glasses)
                                                    1 Pizza stone (something about making pizza at home)
                                                    Instant read meat thermometer (didn't have one, might need one at some point)
                                                    4 Dish towels
                                                    Metal Tongs
                                                    Herbs du Provence
                                                    Cheesecloth
                                                    All of which came out to $105, which I didn't think was too bad for WS.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: chucktowneater
                                                      b
                                                      Buckethead Jan 3, 2007 05:46 PM

                                                      It's 2 hours later, have you broken both of the O glasses yet, or just one? :)

                                                      I got a pair for christmas one year and they lasted about two weeks, they're ridiculously fragile. You may want to take them back if you haven't used them yet, especially if you intend them for every day use. I dropped a spoon near one, it bounced into the glass (not hard) and shattered it. I am now the proud owner of some Tritan stemware, they are much more durable (so far).

                                                    2. ballulah Jan 3, 2007 03:54 PM

                                                      That is exactly what I bought with my $100 gift certificate! The Russell Hobbs immersion blender! Truth be told, my kitchen has been under some kind of renovation or another for a year, and the blender is still sitting in it's very handsome box a top my black enameled stainless steel kitchen rack.

                                                      I also considered a mid-range mandoline, but then someone gave me one of those while I was still hoarding my gift certificate.

                                                      WS also had a gorgeous and cheap trifle dish that reversed into a punch bowl and a covered cake plate that I was eyeing. That was only about $40, which I thought was outrageously cheap for WS. It wasn't as cheesy and cheap looking as other trifle dish/punch bowl/cake plates I've seen.

                                                      I also thought long and hard about KNIVES. But $100 isn't a lot for a good knife. And Le Creuset's tagine was calling to me. (However, I've found that Le Creuset's outlet is far better priced than WS.)

                                                      1. litchick Jan 4, 2007 02:50 AM

                                                        I'd go for 4 tins of beer brittle!

                                                        1. SauceSupreme Jan 4, 2007 04:01 PM

                                                          I would buy a nice cutting block and all the maintenance accoutrement (oils, towels, etc)

                                                          1. manomin Jan 4, 2007 04:55 PM

                                                            I go for one of the beautiful wreaths in the catalog, something I normally would
                                                            not treat myself to.

                                                            1. c
                                                              ChefD Jan 4, 2007 08:38 PM

                                                              I'd go to the store, find a beautiful (single of course) lady and ask if she could help me decide how to spend it at dinner that evening. :-)

                                                              1. m
                                                                mermaidsd Jan 5, 2007 03:44 AM

                                                                i try to use gc's towards bigger ticket items that i wouldn't necessarily buy for myself.

                                                                the convection/toaster oven sounds great.

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