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Birthday Gift for Myself

My birthday is next week and my mother-in-law has been asking me what I want. I'm at a loss, since I really don't *need* anything.

We just moved to a new house (from an apartment) so I have room for some new kitchen toys, but I just can't figure out what I want. I'm thinking maybe the Cuisinart Griddler, since people seem to like that and I certainly wouldn't buy it for myself. I was also contemplating a crock pot, but not sure if I would really use it. Also, aren't they rather inexpensive?

Any other ideas? Price could go up to around $200, which is certainly nice.


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  1. A bit hard to say, since we don't know what else you have, but it were me, I'd like a large oval Le Creuset oven.

    1. Depends on how many of the "basics" you already have. That Le Creuset sure would be a good one. But what about a Kitchen Aid mixer. Got one of them? If you have the basics tied down, then the Cuisinart Griddler would not be bad. There's another thread running about a $229 fuzzy logic rice cooker. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/416862 That sounds interesting. Look at what you have and what you'll use most. Or maybe what you'd never buy for yourself.

      3 Replies
      1. re: yayadave

        Just a thought, but if it is something you'd never buy for yourself are you sure you'd use it? It might sit on a shelf like my slow cooker gather in dust. On my to buy list for myself is a pressure cooker. Hard to go wrong with Le Creuset for any occasion.

        1. re: Candy

          I also started this thread, since someone mentioned pressure cookers.


          What exactly is the difference? (maybe it's obvious but I have no idea!)

          1. re: valerie

            They allow you to cook foods that might take a long time in a relatively short amount of time. Stews, tougher cuts that need time to become tender, beans etc. I have my eye on a Kuhn Rikon. I love slow cooking in Le Cruset but sometimes you need to gt it done now and the pressure cooker allows for that.

      2. Thanks for the ideas. I should have added that I do have several Le Creuset's, and while I could always use/want more, my MIL has already bought me 2 of them (at my request), I feel weird asking for another one. She also bought me a Zojirushi rice cooker 2 years ago (at my husband's request) and I've actually never used it.

        I thought about the KA stand mixer, but I'm just not sure that I want it right now. I feel like it might just end up standing there without getting much use.

        1 Reply
        1. re: valerie

          Nice to see you can spend MIL's money! Only kidding. I can always come up with a list of more goodies I would like it my kitchen.

          Slow cooker is great if you ever need to have dinner ready while you have been out, or busy, all day. I use it several times a month. Various models go from $30 to the higher end ones at about $129. I'd recommend it if you like stews or braised entrees. On the other hand, you could go for a new pressure cooker and take the opposite approacj -- speed. I'd also recomment it if you like stews or braised entrees. Check out WS for both of these items. If you don't have a KA or similar stand mixer, you must get one. This is a priority item. How about a mandoline? There is nothing quite like this gadget for waffle cuts or nice thin layers. Again, can run over $100. Stick blender? Electric Kettle? Copper cookware? Check out Falk on line or Mauviel at one of their many distributers. You don't have to use LC exclusively, you know. Look at Bridge Kitchenware on line. I just ordered a new roasting pan last night, I have enough pots and pans to outfit a restaurant, so there is always something really cool there. Happy Birthday!

        2. What about an ice cream maker?? I don't think I would ever buy one for myself, but I would like to receive on as a gift =)

          1. I was going to recommend either Le Creuset or a Kitchen Aid, but I guess both of those aren't really in the running. How about a *really* nice chef's knife?

            I got myself an ice cream maker about 5 years ago, and have only used it twice.

            What a wonderful dilema!

            1. How about a good set of steak knives?

              1. "Commercial" quality blender, maybe? To my mind, utterly "unecessary" unless you have some kind of OCD thing going with margaritas, but very nice to work with when they're available, which just screams "birthday present" to me...

                1. New house. Finally some storage space and room for entertaining!
                  Over the years, I asked for and cherished good bakeware/serving pieces. I got Apilco porcelain that is astonishingly durable - enough that it can be used for everyday - and classically elegant. Used by fine restaurants and I mix it with my good china, even the heirloom stuff, on my best table. French company has been in business almost 200 years. Never goes out of style.
                  Chefs. com appears to be discontinuing the line so they have some fabulous prices now. There's an oval au gratin large enough for a whole fish that you can take oven to table and some other great pieces you'll have for a lifetime. I've had some of mine for more than 30 years.

                  1. I think dishes (when you have the room to store) are always a great idea. But I just got the Cuisinart pressure cooker and I totally love it! It does what a crock pot would but in much less time. It's electric, too, so it's fast, easy and doesn't involve heating the whole house. I personally would vote for this. I absolutely love mine, and use it often, though I probably wouldn't have bought it for myself. Happy birthday, by the way!

                    1. Since you stated that you had moved into a big new house and had plenty of room for gadgets, how about a gift card to a store and you can purchase what you need. I do think the crock pot would be good. I bought one after I moved into my townhouse and use it more than I thought. You could ask for the crock pot, but be sure to specify a recipe book. Find the recipe, use your gift card or crock pot and enjoy your creation! Happy Birthday.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: ela0327

                        I thought about the gift card to someplace, but for some reason, my MIL is reluctant to give gift cards as gifts. I was hoping that she would have suggested it, but she didn't (and I'm certainly not complaining about someone wanting to buy me a nice gift!).

                      2. I just bought a Boos board; haven't received it yet. At $100+, I would have preferred that it was a gift.

                        My bday is next month; on *my* wish list is an ultraslim digital camera to take pics of chow!

                        I also have a Scooba that cleans my kitchen floors (I also have a Roomba for the other rooms). It's one of the best purchases I've made in a while.

                        What a wonderful dilemma!

                        1. I'd have LOVED this as a gift...alas, I had to buy it myself but have never regretted the purchase.


                          She can always toss in a USDA PRIME GRADE prime rib roast to make up the 200 buck thing...