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What Santa Brought the Chowhounds for Christmas...

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A follow up to this post:

http://www.chowhound.com/topics/349467

What did you get for Chritmas--food related, of course...

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  1. 1. A set of Wusthoff Classic steak knives (these are wicked babies)

    2. A Calphalon One sauce pot and lid.

    3. A Calphalon One large saute pan.

    The Christmas eve dinner and Christmas morning breakfasts that I prepared for the family were a wise investment on my part, it reinforced how productive I can be, when provided with the proper tools. ;-)

    1. A packet of home-made quince paste (to accompany the christmas goose) and a 750 ml house blend blottle of Stonehouse olive oil (from the boutique in the Ferry Building, sf)

      1. 1. A set of three Wüsthof Classic knives -- 8" cook's knife, 6" cook's knife, 8" carving knife.

        2. Gift certificate to Ad Hoc in Yountville, Napa County, for dinner (newest Thomas Keller restaurant)

        2 Replies
        1. re: perigord lover

          Lucky duck! Have you eaten at Ad Hoc before? I've eaten there several times and it simply doesn't disappoint. What a great gift!

          1. re: Non Cognomina

            Haven't eaten there yet, but we'll be there on Jan. 7! Looking forward to it.

        2. Le Creuset, Le Creuset and more Le Creuset!

          1. The ice cream maker attachment for my KitchenAid, a lime juicer from Williams-Sonoma, a mandoline, 8 Henkel steak knives (imagine the luxury of all my guests having matching knives!).

            1 Reply
            1. re: Elizzie

              I have that same ice cream maker attachment for my kitchenaid and LOVE it. congrats!

            2. I got a kitchen aid immersion blender.
              2 henkel knives.
              A magnetic strip to hang the knives in the kitchen.

              1. Santa finished the dumbwaiter from the garage to the kitchen so that his elf doesn't have to lug numerous bags of groceries upstairs. He also gave me the digital kitchen scale I requested.

                1. A Kitchenaid stand mixer! Have wanted one for many years and thrilled to have one this year. A little worried tho about how to get started with her but she sure looks beautiful in my kitchen. I like the idea of an ice cream attachment!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: holleybb

                    Congrats on the KitchenAid stand mixer! The first thing I did with mine was make bread--just a simple Pullman loaf. Then cookies, then a cake, then some more cookies, marshmallows, another loaf of bread...I use mine at least three times a week.

                    1. re: Elizzie

                      My husband chided me when I bought myself a KA last year as a congratulatory gift for a work promotion. He thought that it was a lot of money to spend on a kichen ornament. I proved him wrong by using it at least weekly for all kinds of baked goods, including bread.

                      He must have seen the light -- I got the food grinder and pasta roller attachments from him for Christmas! He will be getting from-scratch bolognese for New Years as a thank you!

                  2. A book on cheese making. Hmmmm, cheese.

                    1. A cleaver!

                      Mwaaahh haaa haaa haaaaaa!

                      Also a nice burr coffee grinder, a new coffee maker (ours died), some pastry brushes and a second muffin tin. And a bar!

                      1. Dear husband replaced my grungy old aluminum pasta pot with an All Clad multi cooker. He even measured carefully to be sure it would fit in the designated spot on my baker's rack.

                        http://tinyurl.com/ye8fvv

                        And, he managed to find a bottle of "Soter Beacon Hill Brut Rosé
                        Yamhill County Sparkling Wine", for our New Year Celebration. I think I'll buy a bottle of "Champagne Billecart Salmon Brut Réserve" and do a tasting of my two favorites!

                        http://www.sotervineyards.com/thewine...

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: BostonZest

                          I bought that very same pot last month. It's excellent.

                        2. Joy of Cooking, new edition- best gift of all cooking for days for friends visiting from Brazil and making them very happy- lots of compliments on lots of food. Nothing like good friends eating at your home for days!

                          1. We both received some great food gifts: cookbooks, Bar B Q crock pot, Kitchen Aid ice cream maker; but the best was the Old fashioned kettle popcorn maker. It is a table topper, no room for the bigger ones. It looks just like the popcorn maker from the movie theaters of the 50's. We made popcorn all day.

                            1. Hmmm...got a lot of food-related gifts this year.

                              A new food processor! Cuisinart Prep 11 Plus
                              A big basket of Italian imported cheeses, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, pannetone, chocolate, olives, coffee, etc. from Igourmet
                              Silicon roasting rack and silicon pastry brush
                              Mini crock pot for dips
                              An onion chopper that also measures
                              Two books - Amy Sedaris' "Entertaining under the Influence", and the huge "Silver Spoon"
                              Some Lindt chocolate bars
                              and Jumbo stone crab claws for Christmas Eve

                              1. a panni grill!

                                1. oops!...that should be...pannini

                                  1. An alder cutting board and those salad toss thingies that look like hands (love 'em!)

                                    1. Oh, and I DID get my wine cooler! Yay! Holds 11 bottles!

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Andiereid

                                        The cuisinart model? I bought one for a gift for a special someone. Let me know how you like it!

                                        1. re: rabaja

                                          Yes indeed, it is the cuisinart one. We did have a problem with the first one we got - it died for three or four days, then came back to life. But this one came from Crate & Barrel and they were, as usual, perfectly wonderful about swapping them out. We had a new one immediately, and it has worked beautifully. I love it!

                                      2. My daughter bought me a santuko knife and a years subscription to Chocolatier magazine.

                                        1. KitchenAid stand mixer and food processor.

                                          1. I got several food gifts!

                                            A few cookbooks -- The new JOY, The Spanish Table, and a couple Rachael Rays.

                                            A gorgeous cobalt blue tagine, a sturdy dutch oven, and an 8-person raclette with grill.

                                            Some little odds and ends -- small strainers (we cut ours up as a quick fix for a drain!), sprinkling cans w/ 3 hole sizes, an oil spout bottle, popover tin, jam, etc.

                                            And -- GET THIS! -- A full ounce of good-quality saffron. Evidently, it was quite the deal, as in 1/7 of the normal price. So. Off in search of saffron recipes!

                                            Very excited to get using this stuff! I've been poking through JOY today, and am thinking agout making some of that no-knead bread in the dutch oven.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: juster

                                              I just looked up what "raclette" is and oh-my-god, that sounds heavenly. Great for New Years...

                                            2. An apron, a wine thermometer, and some books: Heat (Bill Buford), Best Food Writing of 2006, Sound Bite: Eating on Tour with Franz Ferdinand, United States of Arugula, A Gentleman Entertains.

                                              1. My sister-in-law gave me a T-Fal deep fryer. It is huge. I regret now asking for a deep fryer for X-mas. Who knew that they make such huge, oil guzzling fryers. I do great deep frying with my wok. But since there is no returning this gift I am seriously thinking of carting it up to our roof in Hells Kitchen this summer and having one huge fish fry.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: midtown diner

                                                  Yes, that would take up some serious Manhattan kitchen real estate -- but what a great tool to have in your cooking arsenal! Cool. Ignore the discarded Christmas trees starting to sprout on the city sidewalks and think ahead to this summer's fish fry.

                                                2. 1) A five quart dutch oven, made of pre-seasoned cast iron, by Lodge. Good thing Amazon has free shipping; it must weight 10 lbs.

                                                  2) "Flat Breads & Flavors", by Alford and Duguid, http://www.amazon.com/Flatbreads-Flav....
                                                  I already have their book on South-East Asian food and another on Rice; these are probably used more than my copy of Joy. This new book looks like a wonderful edition. I may not cook all of the flatbreads, but the related recipes will be useful. And I think my new heavy iron pan may come in handy.

                                                  3) "The Thousand Recipe Chinese Cookbook" by Gloria Bley Miller. I had forgotten this was on my wish-list. It is a bit thick and unwieldy as an introduction to Chinese cooking, but the sheer number and of recipes is impressive. It seems to have most of the recipes that could have been found in San Francisco's Chinatown back in the 1960's; Hong Kong and Beijing are heavily represented.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: Joseph

                                                    Have you seen Duguid and Alford's Home Baking? It is an amazing book.

                                                    1. re: Candy

                                                      I had not. Thanks for mentioning it.

                                                  2. A set of 4 Williams-Sonoma kitchen towels that are HUGE...a W-S oven mitt, and a copy of the new America's Test Kitchen cookbook.

                                                    1. The Zuni Cafe, and Slow Mediterranean cookbooks. So I think I'm all set for January (and maybe February?) cookbook of the month threads.

                                                      AND I got a whisk shaped like a squid!! The plastic handle is the body of the squid, with big bulging eyes, and the tentacles are the wire whisker-things. It's the coolest.

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: birddog

                                                        I SO want to see a picture of that!

                                                        1. re: birddog

                                                          I have one of those!
                                                          www.pylones-usa.com/product.php?produ...

                                                          1. re: King of Northern Blvd

                                                            Those are wonderful! I love them!

                                                            1. re: King of Northern Blvd

                                                              That is AWESOME! Why does everyone think I'm hard to shop for?? Chow hounds are easy with a little imagination.

                                                          2. 1. Cuisinart 11 cup food processor
                                                            2. Pasta machine (hand cranked, not one of those Ronco things)
                                                            3. Remote meat thermometer
                                                            4. Kitchen scale (which I'm returning for a digital one - don't tell Santa!)
                                                            5. Small bottle of white truffle oil

                                                            I must have been a good girl this year!

                                                            1. I'm left-handed, so I received a left-handed can opener and a left-handed spatula. I always burn myself when I take things out of the oven, so I also received some oven gloves that are rated to something like 450 degrees. Also got a new temperature probe/timer (the old one mysteriously stopped working...). Good stuff!

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: Michelle

                                                                Left-handed spatula?

                                                                1. re: Joseph

                                                                  It is scooped and has a rounded edge on one side and a squared-off edge on the other, supposedly for scraping out the last bits of remaining residue from a container. So, when you hold it in your left hand, the scooped side is up and the squared-off edge is in the correct orientation for use. I've probably made this sound really confusing, I bet!

                                                              2. A week at a beach house in Mendocino CA devoted to making soup & bread when not walking on the sand -- hurrah! Santa knows what this girl loves! He even promised to make food-related stops on the way as well as cart the knives, LC etc that he knows I'll tote along.

                                                                1. a gift card to john andrews restaurant in egremont, ma and a gift card to restaurant moosilauke in kent, ct. cant wait :)

                                                                  1. A very generous gift certificate to Moto (http://www.motorestaurant.com/flash/i...) for Hanukkah (which boyfriend and I used this past Saturday... Amazingly interesting) and stemless wine glasses.

                                                                    1. A nice rubber-handled steel cooking spoon in my stocking. A book called "The Chicken and Fowl Bible", one of an originally German series of which I also have the "Vegetable Bible", very informative and well-designed. A jar of a ginger spread, and one of chestnuts. And, finally, a grownup crock pot that did NOT come from a yard sale! This is a 6-quart oval job from Hamilton Beach with a lid you can clamp on for transporting, along with a zip-on insulated jacket to keep things warm. I'm looking forward to using it to make my New Year's choucroute garni, which always in past years pretty much hogged the oven all day long.

                                                                      1. I got two new Silpats. Score!

                                                                        1. I got a Calphalon roasting pan, a Salter scale, an Oxo salad spinner and a gravy separater with a built-in strainer.

                                                                          Next year I'm hoping for a set of knives.

                                                                          1. The new Best Recipe from Cook's Illustrated.
                                                                            Some wonderful cheeses.
                                                                            Candy.
                                                                            New oven mitts which come halfway up the forearm (I burn myself regularly).
                                                                            Truffle oils.
                                                                            A flat silicon-coated whisk.
                                                                            A set of biscuit cutters.
                                                                            A brioche mold.
                                                                            Two sets of ramekins.

                                                                            Some stocking stuffers - lemon oil, a ravioli stamp, probably other things I'm forgetting right now.

                                                                            1. A ceramic crock from a ceramics line I fell in love with last weekend at a local kitchen shop- husband really does pay attention! :-)
                                                                              A really cool long wooden spatula that I have no idea what it's used for, but I love it!
                                                                              A gnocchi board
                                                                              A pyrex dish with carrying case and heat pack
                                                                              A $100 Barnes and Noble gift certificate, most of which I'm sure will go to cookbooks!
                                                                              Really nice kitchen shears- my husband was tired of seeing me use my kindergarten scissors in the kitchen!
                                                                              A mini food processor to replace my dulled one
                                                                              Sam Cooke's Greatest Hits, to listen to while I'm cookin'! Cookin' with Cooke! :-)
                                                                              Madhur Jaffrey's memoir- this was a surprise gift from my dad, he heard her interview on NPR, I'm excited to read this one!
                                                                              Chai mix from a local coffee shop
                                                                              Misc. fruits, chocolates, hot chocolates, etc. in my stocking
                                                                              One of those pumps that takes the air out of your wine with extra stoppers
                                                                              Silicone hot pads and new flour sack towels

                                                                              I'm sure there's more that I'm forgetting! It was a good Christmas!

                                                                              1. *Argh* I didn't get the steak knives I was hoping for!

                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                1. re: JudiAU

                                                                                  i was hoping for a nice set of knives too... but was v. happy w/the bread/pizza stone and silpat mat -- no more rolling on the counter!

                                                                                  1. re: JudiAU

                                                                                    You mean Laguiole en Aubrac with wood handles?

                                                                                    1. re: RicRios

                                                                                      i have those...how do i maintain the handles - they look like they're drying out (i live in the desert).

                                                                                    2. re: JudiAU

                                                                                      Its bad luck to get a knife as a present.

                                                                                      Tradition has it you give a knife with a nickel or dime. The "giftee" then hands the dime back to the gift giver, as if paying for the knife.

                                                                                      1. re: bengoshi

                                                                                        Yep. Grandma reluctantly gave me a chef's knife several years ago, but gave it to me with a penny and explained the practice.

                                                                                        What if you buy a knife with a gift certificate?? Should you go back and give a nickel? Or does the bad-luck-transfer end with the gift of currency, being free of knife associations?

                                                                                    3. 75th Anniversary edition of Joy of Cooking
                                                                                      Cocktail glasses
                                                                                      Cocktail picks
                                                                                      Swizzle sticks
                                                                                      Appetizer plates with vintage cocktail recipes on them (hmm, is my family trying to tell me something?)
                                                                                      Chocolove chocolate bar with crystallized ginger in dark chocolate (65% cocoa)
                                                                                      Mini bundt plans and other baking forms (so that I can bake things for a friend (and her husband) who cooks but does not bake)
                                                                                      Homemade coffee cake
                                                                                      Mrs Roberts chocolates

                                                                                      1. "Lydia's Family Table" - my pollyanna gift from a co-worker.
                                                                                        New electric percolator (for our boat).
                                                                                        A new whisk, parchment paper, chef's knife.
                                                                                        Florida oranges & grapefruits from dear friends who moved to Florida.
                                                                                        And a free bag of goodies from TJ's that I won in their monthly raffle!

                                                                                        1. I got about 15 new and used cookbooks (mostly baking and cake making books.) Hubby had some help in picking them out! I had to do a massive cookbook clean out last month knowing that these were coming. My local library hit the jackpot. Plus I got a pan to make my own hot dog buns.

                                                                                          1. 1. Kitchen Aid Hand Mixer (no room in my tiny kitchen for the real deal...But hey, at least I can whip egg whites!)

                                                                                            2. HUGE 9-qt Oval Le Creuset

                                                                                            Fun!

                                                                                            1. We buy our house gifts. I know that sounds odd but it might be something we both will use and it is rather impersonal. So our kitchen has received an electric kettle and the Food Saver I have been wanting for a long time. Merry Christmas kitchen!

                                                                                              1. - Henckels Four Star 8" chef's knife

                                                                                                - Strauss Le Cuivre 28cm copper saute pan

                                                                                                - buncha Mario Batali cooking accessories in Persimmon (love orange ;)

                                                                                                - mortar and pestle

                                                                                                - a few cookbooks (won't even name them because I probably won't use them but it is the thought that counts, right?)

                                                                                                - a chouriceiro pig; I love this thing! You throw high proof alcohol into it, light it on fire, then cook some chourico (or whatever) on it. Indoor BBQ baby. Picture: http://www.portuguesefood.com/acatalo...

                                                                                                1. Santuko knife
                                                                                                  HEAT - the book
                                                                                                  Ina Garten's - Barefoot Contessa at Home - signed by INA
                                                                                                  Max Brennan Hot Chocolate
                                                                                                  Frozen Mini Croissants - Williams Sonoma
                                                                                                  Battery operated pepper grinder
                                                                                                  Gift Certificate to Williams Sonoma
                                                                                                  New set of silverware and water glasses

                                                                                                  1. hmm, a very chowy xmas for the two of us!
                                                                                                    -his and hers aprons
                                                                                                    -specialty tongs
                                                                                                    -instant read digital thermometer on a lanyard
                                                                                                    -cast iron enameled grill pan by napa style in orange/yellow
                                                                                                    -jamie's italy cookbook by jamie oliver
                                                                                                    -the nyt passover cookbook
                                                                                                    -cover and bake cookbook from cook's illustrated
                                                                                                    -beer brittle
                                                                                                    -small tierra negra casserole from crate & barrel
                                                                                                    -the silver spoon cookbook
                                                                                                    -silicone spatula

                                                                                                    can't wait to get started on all those cookbooks!

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: litchick

                                                                                                      I am coveting the Tierra Nega - have you used it? How does it perform? It's on sale a C&B and I've stopped by 2 days in a row to admire it :)

                                                                                                    2. I got lots of chowy stuff for Christmas this year. But I have read everyone's lists and am adding to my own wish list right now!

                                                                                                      My haul included:
                                                                                                      Two gift cards for Sur la Table cooking classes
                                                                                                      Lime Salt
                                                                                                      Pink Crocs
                                                                                                      ‘The Cake Book’ by Tish Boyle
                                                                                                      Southern Living Christmas Book 2006
                                                                                                      Moet & Chandon Champagne
                                                                                                      Ove Glove
                                                                                                      8 Lion’s Head bowls
                                                                                                      Fondue Pot and plates
                                                                                                      Cupcake stand
                                                                                                      Pink Le Creuset rectangular baking dish
                                                                                                      2 Tramontina sauté pans – 8” & 10” w/ removable rubber handle
                                                                                                      covers
                                                                                                      ‘The Seasoning of a Chef’ by Doug Psaltis
                                                                                                      Entire set of Hallmark ‘Merry Bakers’ ornaments
                                                                                                      Gift basket w/ crackers, preserves, cookies, chocolates and
                                                                                                      olives
                                                                                                      Pampered Chef silicon pan for baking little shaped cakes

                                                                                                      Happy New Year, everyone! kim

                                                                                                      1. My brother sent me a box from D'Artagnon full of wonderful stuff including 8 whole duck legs confit and a most delicious terrine called, appropriately, Duck Terrine Mousquetaire.

                                                                                                        My oldest son got me a copy of the Washoku cookbook that I bought for my brother a year ago (on Yukari Pratt's recommendation) and had wanted since, but never gotten around to buying for myself.

                                                                                                        My wife bought me a large silicon brush - I think she expects that I will now throw away that old mop I keep around (which is admittedly, very hard to clean) - hmmm... I will have to use the silicon brush and see for myself.

                                                                                                        My #2 son bought me a copy of MS Flight Sim X... relevant only in that it may affect my chowhounding time, never mind starting dinners late - only after I successfully land the PBY in Lake Geneva.

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: applehome

                                                                                                          will you please please post your Washoku experiences?!
                                                                                                          I got it last year and never got going on it . . . but I still want to!

                                                                                                        2. A 5.5 quart dark green Le Creuset round dutch oven, perfection.

                                                                                                          1. Fannie May Chocolate Caramels
                                                                                                            A huge bottle of Ketel One Vodka
                                                                                                            Some fun Santa swizzle sticks
                                                                                                            Mini-casserole dishes (not ramekins)that are just begging me to make French Onion Soup
                                                                                                            Basting brushes
                                                                                                            Artsy glass water pitcher
                                                                                                            Salad Tongs and wine stoppers that parents brought back from Italy – Tuscan pottery (I think)
                                                                                                            Ginger Grater (Please let this one work!)
                                                                                                            Gift Certificates, Gift Certificates, Gift Certificates = Le Creuset Dutch Oven, A good 8 qt. stock pot and some items to be named later!

                                                                                                            1. Gift certificate to Din Tai Fung (Arcadia, CA)
                                                                                                              A new Canner
                                                                                                              Various Indian spices from my friend (who gets them from her mom/sister in India - they grow and grind them themselves) BEST stuff in the world - I guard it with my life!
                                                                                                              Digital scale
                                                                                                              Kitchen towels
                                                                                                              Oven mitts
                                                                                                              Various truffles and other chocolate
                                                                                                              Happy New Year!!

                                                                                                              1. A Wusthof Santoku knife set.
                                                                                                                A microplane grater set.
                                                                                                                A Matfer mandoline.
                                                                                                                I ordered it all online and put it on Mom's Visa.

                                                                                                                On Christmas I used the mandoline to make a fennel and apple salad with blue cheese vinaigrette. To my surprise, everyone loved it. I was so happy.

                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: Ellen

                                                                                                                  ooh, your salad sounds delicious! Recipe please.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Rubee

                                                                                                                    1 bulb fennel trimmed, bottom part of core removed and shaved in 1/8 inch slices.
                                                                                                                    1 granny smith peeled, cored and also sliced to 1/8 inch.
                                                                                                                    To make the vinaigrette whisk 1/4 cup honey vinegar or cider vinegar with with 1 tbsp honey and 1/2 cup of a mild oil. Macadamian nut oil is perfect for this but canola or safflower will do (I've found olive oil too assertive), 2 tbsp fresh chopped parseley and some salt and pepper. Toss all together to coat and serve with additional blue cheese crumbled on top. It looks nice served on a bed of baby greens. This serves two generously.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Ellen

                                                                                                                      Thank you so much. I'll have to call it "Ellen's Salad" when I serve it :)

                                                                                                                      1. re: Ellen

                                                                                                                        Is there supposed to be blue cheese in the vinaigrette itself? You say "serve with additional blue cheese", but I don't see the cheese mentioned otherwise.

                                                                                                                        (Sounds wonderful, either way!)

                                                                                                                        1. re: abowes

                                                                                                                          Oops. Yes, there should be about 1/3 cup of good quality crumbled blue cheese in the dressing and more to sprinkle on top when serving. This is an amazing little salad.

                                                                                                                  2. I got a brown Mario Batali braising pan, to go with my persimmon panini pan. It is so heavy! I love. Also some Le Creuset ramiekins, some cookbooks, and a $50 giftC to Williams-Sonoma.

                                                                                                                    1. Wallace Siversmiths'wine funnel, perfect shape.

                                                                                                                      1. i bought my husband the Riedel Amadeo Lyra Decanter, however he said to me yesterday, "i asked santa for silpats and didn't get them". HELLO, THE DECANTER!!!!!! I had no idea silpats were more excited than a decanter.

                                                                                                                        1. The Silver Spoon -- Italian Cooking "Bible."

                                                                                                                          An Italian Classic, now available in English. Brilliant.

                                                                                                                          http://www.amazon.com/Silver-Spoon-Ph...

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: bengoshi

                                                                                                                            Excellent, isn't it? I received it as a gift too. I think it has something like 2000 recipes in it. I love it too, can't wait to try out a couple of recipes.

                                                                                                                          2. A sushi cookbook and dinner to a lovely steak house in town, A big huge oval shaped stainless steel warming (chafing) dish for large parties. Beautimus!
                                                                                                                            Little oval casserole dishes for individual servings, say for canalloni...Happy Happy~

                                                                                                                            1. Amy Sedaris' "I Like you, Hospitality under the Influence"
                                                                                                                              This is HILARIOUS! But be forewared you should have a flexible sense of humor and not be easily offended!

                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: mellycooks

                                                                                                                                HA! I got that too. It IS hilarious, though I wouldn't buy this for just anyone - HA. Her one-liners and "helpful tips" had me laughing out loud.

                                                                                                                                1. re: mellycooks

                                                                                                                                  oh, I love this book! I unashamedly bought it for myself when it first came out :)

                                                                                                                                2. Multiple cookbooks: Barefoot Contessa at Home, The Working Cook, Biba's Italy, and a vintage cookbook titled, The Art of Cuisine. Gift certificates to Ramekins Cooking School in Sonoma, the Paragary's restaurant group and Williams-Sonoma. Flour sack towels, truffle oil, balsamic vinegar, and two food books: Red, White and Drunk All Over and Forks and Corks. A half-case of sparkling moscato and a bottle of BV Tapestry, and a wonderful "Christmas Cocktail" family recipe from a friend/co-worker. Oh, and new granite countertops, a Franke sink and a new faucet for my kitchen. Santa was very good to me this year.

                                                                                                                                  1. Juster,

                                                                                                                                    I need to know how you're using your raclette. It sounds like something I shouldn't live without.

                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                    1. re: puss58

                                                                                                                                      Heh. Yeah, it's great, and too much fun! So far we've just had the traditional raclette, scraping the melty raclette cheese onto steamed new potatoes, gherkins, pickled onions, and meats and veggies we grilled on the top (shrimp, sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes, green onions, ham).

                                                                                                                                      There are lots of fun little recipes for side dishes in a booklet that came with it. Little mixtures topped with cheese and things like that.

                                                                                                                                      We're figuring that we can do the same sort of thing we did, but with different cheeses and foodstuffs. Mexican style, Italian style, etc. And I think the grill will be handy, too! It gets pretty hot, and would be great for things like quesadillas, or just having a fun little grilled meal in the living room.

                                                                                                                                      Oh, and on the flipside of the grill is....... a crepe maker! Two round divets for two perfect crepes. Too cute!

                                                                                                                                    2. Some fabulous indulgences from Zingermans!
                                                                                                                                      30-year old balsamic vinegar
                                                                                                                                      cold pressed olive oil pressed in December
                                                                                                                                      flor de sel
                                                                                                                                      cognac mustard
                                                                                                                                      fixin's for their fabulous Reuben sandwiches

                                                                                                                                      1. bottle of 30-year balsamic from Zingerman's (guess houndgirl and I got the same kind!)
                                                                                                                                        excellent sea salt
                                                                                                                                        a new silpat
                                                                                                                                        a finger protector from WS
                                                                                                                                        a freakin' awesome espresso machine
                                                                                                                                        bunches of new utensils from Crate and Barrel
                                                                                                                                        some cute white serving dishes

                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                        1. re: IndyGirl

                                                                                                                                          I'm jealous of both of you. One of these days I'm going to splurge on aged balsamic.