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As A Chowhound, What Did You Get For Christmas?

This has been an especially good foodie gift year for me. My DH got me a chinois from Williams Sonoma, and for blogging- a Canon Elph 850 and a tripod.
I'm very excited to make sauces and take photos!

So, what did you get this year?

www.houndstoothgourmet.com

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  1. As a chowhoud 'who has everything', my wife struggles to come up with something useful/unique. This year it is a N2O fired whip cream maker. I'm pretty sure I can use it as a home defense system in the event I'm attacked by an angry mob of pastry chefs, but I'm wondering if I have to register it with the local police.

    I tried it. It does whip the cream, BUT - you are at the mercy of the N2O to decide how soft/firm the peaks are (they are way on the firm side) and if you're putting sugar in the cream, the lack of whisking leaves it a bit gritty. When you're done, you only have about 12 pieces of equipment to clean.

    It was a nice thought, but I think I'll stick with a whisk and a cold bowl...

    On the other hand, my daughter bought me a panini press. I'm not really into items that can only be used for one thing (which can be done with more basic equipment anyway), but I am actually excited about the press. I'm not sure I could duplicate what a press does with anything else, so if I can find a place to store it, it could work out. Anyone else actually use a panini press?

    7 Replies
    1. re: bnemes3343

      Don't forget you can use the whipped cream maker to also make all those foams that are almost a parody of themselves now ; )

      1. re: bnemes3343

        IF you use confectioner's sugar or splenda you can have the sweet but get rid of the grit...

        1. re: kmills9408

          I think the splenda would work with the cream. I made the big mistake of using it instead of sugar while 'creaming' butter in a muffin recipe a few years ago and learned a valuable lesson (NEVER do this again). But, in cream, it should be just fine.
          '

          1. re: bnemes3343

            Pardon the ignorance, but what happened? I'd rather learn from your mistake than making my own :-)

        2. re: bnemes3343

          Make sure you turn the whip cream maker upside down before pressing the handle. I sprayed my daughter's kitchen not 2 hours ago.

          Love my panini press. Fun to use at parties. Everyone can make their own. DH makes a mean sourdough, bacon, pimento cheese, tomato and avocado sandwich using ours.

          1. re: Pampatz

            I love my panini press too... actually I use it not only for sandwiches, but also for big rectangular pancakes!

          2. re: bnemes3343

            I got a panini press (VillaWare) for my birthday about 2 years ago. I love it! It is electric and I can grill with it too, but I don't grill too often. I may not make a ton of panini, but when I do use it, they come out perfectly. My sister visited my for Thanksgiving weekend and we made some marvelous leftover turkey panini the day after thanksgiving. Enjoy your gift!

          3. cool topic. i got:

            an egg wedger... (like alton brown, i'm not a fan of single job gadgets but maybe i can try it on mushrooms?)

            mini salt and pepper shakers...(i want to pass on them since the holes would call for fine sea salt at best - or gasp, iodized, and the pepper would have to be powder),

            a pocket size photo album with magnet closure for organizing my coupons... (brilliant considering my ziploc is probably the worst for coupons) and

            a Prepara brand "herb savor" - it's a thing to store your herbs in the fridge, upright, with a reservoir at the bottom. i imagine it's like a mini biophere. thankfully it's not big and i intend to do a side by side test comparing with the glass jar method.

            1. A stainless steel egg cup set complete with an egg spoon and tiny salt shaker.

              Meat thermometer.

              1 Reply
              1. re: dishchrista

                I got the book that I got for everyone else this year that I was secretly coveting...My Last Super! 50 great chefs sharing what their last meal would be, what they would drink with it, what music would be playing and who would they share it with....I LOVE it!!!

                BTW I do have a panini press and I love it, great for a quick dinner with a salad.

              2. Nice thread! I got a fabulous Kitchenaid Stand Mixer which I can't wait to try out! I'm especially excited to find new ways of using it for non-dessert/baking items, as that seems like the obvious choice for use, but not necessarily the healthiest... haha.

                Happy holidays (and good eats) to everyone on Chowhound :o)

                1. Almost forgot... my other daughter got me a chef's mat. It's actually very comfortable when you're standing at the cooktop. I'm not sure if 'real' chefs would use one, but I like it.

                  1. Santa was generous in my house:

                    8 qt oval Le Creuset in Cobalt

                    Pasta Roller attachment for Kitchen Aid

                    The Art of SImple Food(Alice Waters)

                    Rectangular Spring Form pan(never seen such an animal before...will have to think of something to do with it as I'm not much of a cheesecake fan)

                    1 bottle ea of Grand Marnier, Chambord, and Pama(pomengranate liqueur) looking forward to playing with all of these(use them more for cooking and baking then drinking though think the Pama will make a great variation on an kir royale!)

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: ziggylu

                      As to your rectangular spring form pan, you can make rectangular tarts with it, or all those funny layered ice cream desserts. It's not the most practical thing in the world, but I'm sure it will be fun to have.

                      1. re: alysonlaurel

                        Heh funny....my sister, BIL, and myself were teasing my now elderly mother about an ice cream dessert she made about 30 years ago....mom has always been a great cook/baker but had never made a box of brownies before....she found a recipe for one of those layered ice cream desserts and made a box of brownies...cooking them until the toothpick came out clean. She then layered them with bright green mint ice cream....

                        Come time to eat even the electric knife couldn't get through the thing as she'd overcooked the brownies SO LONG. It became a very memorable family history event...

                        Somehow it came up again tonight and while we were laughing and teasing her about it we did in fact agree we needed to recreate it(making the brownies correctly this time though!) in the new pan! Wonder if bright green mint ice cream is still on the market or was it a uniquely 70s kind of thing?

                        1. re: ziggylu

                          I'm sure it is, and I think that would be so much fun to recreate! And with homemade chocolate sauce poured on top!

                      2. re: ziggylu

                        Pama is sort of my new guilty pleasure. I love a PAMA gin martini with a splash of Rose's. YUM! Think I'll go make one now.

                        1. re: ziggylu

                          As for the rectangular sf pan, I bought a square one with the intentions of using it for lasagna for the presentation factor... also a Mexican layered enchilada will work.

                          1. re: ziggylu

                            zig, bake lasagna in the rec spring form pan-works fantastic! The thin sheet lasagna noodles for multi-layer lasagnas do really well. Also, eggplant parm !

                          2. I got a Ratatouille watch, mouse pad and notepad...guess where my son works!

                            2 Replies
                            1. I got a soda syphon, which I've been coveting for quite some time, and a Bialetti Brikka, as well as one of those wand things for milk frothing. Also a nice port. So more about the beverages than the foods this year.

                              1. I got a Santoku knife, the Ratatouille DVD, some homemade oriental party mix, and a jar of Jelly Belly jelly beans! My DH got a new coffee maker. And I have been sick, so my daughter has cooked every holiday meal!

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: danhole

                                  That's a mixed blessing danhole... I hope you are feeling better.

                                  I wanted the cuisinart griddler, but DH forgot. :(.

                                  I did get new meat lifters (4 tangs - is that the right word?), dishwasher safe bamboo spatulas, a bamboo cheese board, a silicone coated whisk, 2 regular whisks. I've tried all but the silicone whisk, and they're great. (I didn't really need 3 whisks, but DH and my sister didn't realize they were each getting me them!)

                                  1. re: jujuthomas

                                    Thanks Juju! I am still under the weather, and it was an odd year since I not only didn't get to cook any of my fav's, and my daughter is a good cook, but not very chowish, so . . . but I did make a tossed salad for Christmas dinner and got to use the new knife. Very nice, but so sharp I had to be very careful!

                                    I did get the other daughter a new blender. She liked my 14 speed Oster, so I was going to get her the same, but they had a newer version, 18 speeds and digital! It also came in black which is what she wanted. I was sorely tempted to keep it! Funny, I looked all over the internet and never saw this one!

                                  2. re: danhole

                                    I love my santuko knife and i LOVED Ratatouille when i saw it in the theatres !!!

                                  3. A case of Ken Wright Pinot Noir futures and a EuroCave Comfort 260 Wine Cellar

                                    1. My parents gave my husband a book about cheese from Murray's cheese shop in NYC, the American artisinal cheese collection from Williams Sonoma, and a few boxes of Carr's crackers. Yum.

                                      1. All gifts were wonderful - a set of red Staub -5qt pot, a square grill pan and a nice baker (perfect for tarte tatin) from hubby, from my daughter Paula Wolfert's "The cooking of soutwest France" (can't wait to use it ,expecially that I also got a bag full of unusual food items from a friend, and a nice jar of goose fat was in it!).

                                        1. I got some things that I'm pretty excited about. I am trying to stock my kitchen right now, so I got a microplane (finally!), a really cool kitchen timer from the MoMA design store, and a pepper grinder form MoMA. The pepper grinder is really cool, since you can use it with one hand. I tested it this morning, and it's really easy to use and grinds really well.

                                          1. So far (still have to get together with a few family members and a good friend, all of whom know I love to cook):

                                            A $25 GC to Penzey's, Michael Ruhlman's "Making of a Chef", Archer Farms Key Lime White Chocolate Cookies (my mother knows I'm a freak for anything key lime - hope these are good!), and a small 8-bottle wine cooler. I also bought myself the Ratatouille DVD. :-)

                                            1. I got:

                                              Bouchon
                                              Ruhlman's newest book
                                              My Last Supper (which is so far VERY entertaining)
                                              A water boiler so I can have tea at school
                                              A cookbook about making your own dog treats (not sure the logic behind that one - probably something along the lines of "She likes to cook and has dogs! Perfect!")

                                              1. I'm also the "girl who has everything"... so when my friends get that look in their eye I always tell them to get me some fabulous olive oil, spices, vinegars etc.

                                                This year I got an amazing aged Balsamic, that I would never spend the $$ on for myself... some walnut oil... saffron... great vanilla... and a set of Emile Henri ramekins that are going back to Sur La Table (I'm awash in ramekins!).

                                                Any thoughts on how I should spend my $25 credit?

                                                2 Replies
                                                  1. re: monavano

                                                    That's actually a brilliant idea Monavano!

                                                1. I was spoiled this year with two new all-clad pans and (sigh with eyes closed) the Lattissima espresso machine. I've already had two lattes and an espresso. I can't wait to make an espresso/Godiva chocolate liqueur martini tonight! I'll be up all night...

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: kmills9408

                                                    kmills, I am incredibly jealous! Though if I got one of those I would possibly never sleep again. Or at least vibrate through the next 7 to 10 days...

                                                  2. Two Ruhlman books;
                                                    A rice steamer/cooker;
                                                    Aeropress coffee maker;
                                                    Green beans from three continents.

                                                    1. I hadn't asked for anything food-related, but I got some nice surprises: a milk frother (for coffee), salad tongs, a serving dish for nibblies, sundae spoons, pretty napkins, and a microwave steamer.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: piccola

                                                        I love my milk frother! It works really well. It took me a little while to figure out how long to heat the milk in my microwave for best results, but otherwise it's terrific.

                                                        And I don't know why this is, but I found that organic milk froths better for me than non-organic - I always buy 2% milk, so that's not the variable.

                                                        1. re: flourgirl

                                                          I use cold, skim milk - that's what I find works best. Now if only I could get soy milk to foam...

                                                          1. re: piccola

                                                            And I couldn't get it to work at all on cold milk.

                                                      2. People here will possibly laugh, but i'm thrilled by what my hubby got me this year. It was simple, but have been wanting one since I saw it.

                                                        The Pancake Puff. Yes, the goofy, as-seen-on-TV cast-iron pan that makes "pancake-puffs" AKA Danish ableskiever pan. Yes, i'm going to play lots with it, when I get home tonite! ^_^

                                                        I'm a simple woman. Give me baked goods, and maple syrup, and i'm good to go!

                                                        1. I love the foodie gifts I got this year:

                                                          2 ROSLE whisks
                                                          A beautiful box of Fleur de Sel
                                                          A box of Maldon Sea Salt
                                                          A great stoneware container for my salts
                                                          A pretty little Cupcake Cook Book
                                                          A bottle of Truffle Oil
                                                          An amazing dinner.
                                                          Home made biscotti that I absolutely love!
                                                          (I was really hoping she'd make 'em again this year)
                                                          3 fabulous bottles of wine!
                                                          And Matthew is gonna cook his amazing rissotto for me before he moves away!!!

                                                          1. Well, I haven't "celebrated" Christmas for at least 10 years. And by this year I have decreased my gift-giving obligations to exactly 2. Me and DH simply buy "gifts" as "needed." Just when I thought I had everything, a couple weeks ago I "gifted" us with a Wustof 8" carving knife (totally practical) and a Wustof carving fork - $90 and so over the top but SO makes me drool and smile. Merry Xmas to me.

                                                            1. Excellent! I received the book Taste, following the history of England through food. I love history! My husband bought me a Shun knife to replace the one I was given at the cooking school I taught at last year, which disappeared about 6 months ago. Also, I got the new non-slip cutting board Cooking with Amy recommended. I must have been VERY good this year:)
                                                              Sophie

                                                              1. My DH and I always get our stocking stuffers from Cost Plus, so we both ended up with various chocolates and sauces. Unknowingly, we each bought an assortment of Dave's hot sauces in tiny bottles for our son, so now he's set for a while. I got my husband an "Irish coffee kit" consisting of four Irish coffee cups (from cost plus), a box of demerara sugar cubes, and a bottle of Bushmills. And he bought me 3 bottles of various red wines.

                                                                My BIL and wife got us both a Henckels knife set--assorted knives and a block, which sounds good but it's the "Made in China" type with only one little guy on it. Previous CH'ers have noted that the quality of the knives is indicated by the number of little guys on them. No gift receipt, but the sticker is from Kohl's. We're debating whether to attempt the return or not--one of those deals where the next time they come over, they'll be looking on the kitchen counter for the knives.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: coney with everything

                                                                  DH got me two Le Creuset items for Hanukkah and I have already shown my thanks by creating a stew in the oval casserole and a lasagne in the large baker. He also gave me a cool new salad spinner.
                                                                  I gave him one of those sci fi looking hydroponic herb gardens and a personalized chef's coat.

                                                                  1. re: coney with everything

                                                                    Maybe you could trade them in for the better set. I'm not sure if they make the better ones (with the two little guys instead of one) in a butcher block, but if they do... I'm sure your BIL would never notice.

                                                                  2. As a recent graduate, I don't have a lot of kitchen equipment. This year I got a Lodge cast iron pan, a 3.5 qt enameled dutch oven, and a probe meat thermometer. I'm very excited about the thermometer because I hate trying to time a roast and sticking it with my instant read thermometer several times.

                                                                    Oh, and I got this great recipe organizer from Hallmark. I usually print out full page recipes from websites. So my desk and drawers are covered with a bunch of pieces of paper. This organizer is a 3 ring binder that has the sheet protectors in it (complete with dividers and labels). It's pretty much perfect for me.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Lady Godiva

                                                                      My hubby did really good this year. He gave me Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa at Home and Patricia Wells Vegetable Harvest, I really was totally surprised.

                                                                      But truth be told, my favorite "Chow" Christmas gift of all is when my 16 yo nephew goes back for seconds of whatever dish I've brought to the family brunch and dinner.

                                                                      1. re: Axalady

                                                                        I'd be curious to hear what you think of Vegetable Harvest - don't know if you saw the home cooking board threads on it when it was the cookbook of the month.

                                                                    2. well I have to say I was pretty darn happy with my gifts.. I got a set of Wolfgang Puck Sakoku knives (a four pack with a block), a 2 pack of flexible cutting boards and a food network cookbook.. so... I'm smiling today

                                                                      1. Nice thread.

                                                                        I got:
                                                                        A medium Farberware saucepan.
                                                                        A chef's jacket (clever, as I hate aprons and am forever staining my shirt)
                                                                        A cooking class at a local Italian cooking school
                                                                        Jamie Oliver's new book. Looks as good as his other books.

                                                                        1. Well, my husband thought it very very funny. I opened a box and there was a Sandra Lee cookbook and Rachel Ray cookbook! NOT. He said he just couldn't resist since they are the ones I love to hate. GEEZ, $40 bucks on those two!. Cracked open the SL one and the first recipe I spot starts out "toast a frozen waffle".

                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                          1. re: josephine

                                                                            ROFL!!! Awww, come on josephine, you gotta admit that's pretty funny! (I hope he got you anything else food-related to make up for it?) And you could probably recoup *some* of the money by selling the two books on eBay.

                                                                            ETA: Fixed the word "cookbooks" to just plain "books", as Shamdra definitely does *not* cook.

                                                                            1. re: josephine

                                                                              Return them... even for bookstore credit.

                                                                              $40 will buy some great cookbooks.

                                                                              1. re: josephine

                                                                                And remember, according to Miss Manners, good etiquette doesn't require you to keep anything. Good etiquette simply requires you pretend you like the gift upon reception.

                                                                                1. re: josephine

                                                                                  LOL! My husband did the same thing to me last year...wrapped up a Sandra Lee cookbook and thought I'd love it since I love to snark on her so much.

                                                                                  I made sure to tell him in advance this year that he coudl be sure I had absolutely no interest in the new memoir and perhaps to consider some other books instead this year! LOL

                                                                                2. Got for X-Mas:

                                                                                  New England Soup Factory Cookbook (boy do I love soup in this cold weather!) from my wife at my request;

                                                                                  Baking Sheet from my Mother-in-Law;

                                                                                  Best of All: A New Kitchen which was started about 5 weeks ago, new Cherry cabinets, new SS Appliances, new granite countertops, new recessed lighting, new hardwood floor, and because I essentially acted as the GC, we probably saved $25-30K, and it looks great!!

                                                                                  1. Lucky me! I live in Ann Arbor, so my SO made a trip to Zingerman's...a bag of great booty including Chilean olive oil, fleur de sel, dijon, white truffle oil, agrodolce vinegar, pear mostarda a knife sharpener and meat thermometer. Of course, he'll definitely benefit from these gifts.

                                                                                    And my niece sent me a box of Japanese food miniatures that are crazy cool.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: houndgirl

                                                                                      Good gifts:
                                                                                      - George Foreman 5-in-1 (Griddle, grill, etc., etc.), in new Bright Red.
                                                                                      - Cuisinart Combination Food Processor and Blender.
                                                                                      - Ratatouille Video.
                                                                                      Bad gifts:
                                                                                      - Cheap, UGLY Snowman Oven Mitt and Kitchen Towels (Target) from my clueless boss.
                                                                                      - Rachael Ray Cookbook (my sister got this, and she HATES RR) from her boss because she told her boss she likes cookbooks, but forgot to tell her boss, anything BUT Rachael Ray!!!) LOL

                                                                                    2. some sea salt, a snifter for when I am sipping tequilla, a couple of shot glasses, a couple of bottles of tequila.

                                                                                      Also for my bbq's, a Ladder Golf game for down time while the smoker is at work. A game my guests and myself can play one handed since the other will be holding a beer.

                                                                                      A good Christmas.

                                                                                      1. an herb-saver thingy to save excess fresh herbs from the supermarket - it's a little pot you put water in to keep the herbs' stalks in, and it has a glass housing to keep the humidity up

                                                                                        1. This year my brother, an equally intrigued foodie, got me a saber to open champagne. It is a chateau laguiole saber and is gorgeous, I have had to increase my consumption of champagne so I could gleefully open the bottles. Great gift for any wine geek!

                                                                                          1. I had a great Christmas. DH has been doing most, well all, of the cooking for the past few months while I completed chemo. Now that I'm back to cooking, he was generous with anything I wanted.
                                                                                            So, I got:
                                                                                            3-crock slower cooker from Hamilton Beach,
                                                                                            25th anniversary Silver Palate cookbook,
                                                                                            2 new silpat mats,
                                                                                            cookie sheet
                                                                                            various silicone spatulas and scrapers,
                                                                                            2 terrific deep soup mugs,
                                                                                            spices from Penzey's, and
                                                                                            a gift card for new dinnerware that we saw in Guadalajara last summer.

                                                                                            PS This was an unusually good Christmas for me. Last year - robe and slippers.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: Pampatz

                                                                                              Hey pampatz, welcome back to cooking. I'm glad you're recovering.It is true that when we are ill even the most mundane chores look enticing.

                                                                                            2. Unexpectedly-

                                                                                              A Breville Hemisphere Blender.

                                                                                              I am too excited to make anything with it!

                                                                                              1. Susan Spicer's Cresent City Cooking and RLB's The Cake Bible
                                                                                                A set of bowls in three sizes (that fit into each other) with spouts and handles (to replace the set that I had and used constantly, two bowls eventually cracked and one is on its way)
                                                                                                And, the one that I'm most excited about, a food mill! I can't wait to use it.

                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: JasmineG

                                                                                                  How does the Susan spicer book look? I saw it in a bookstore, and after a quick glance, was intrigued.

                                                                                                  1. re: Westy

                                                                                                    JasminG,
                                                                                                    Thank you so much for telling of Spicer's cookbook. I didn't know she had one out and I remember eating at Bayona the first week she opened.

                                                                                                2. *Joy of Cooking 1931 Facsimile Edition with a really fun cover
                                                                                                  *A book on cheese from 1964
                                                                                                  *A mandolin that I'm going to return
                                                                                                  *Chocolates from all over the world
                                                                                                  *Almond-flour crescent cookies
                                                                                                  *Waitress on DVD

                                                                                                  Other gifts were just as sweet.

                                                                                                  1. Between my Hubby & I we got: Fleur de Sel, Ratatouille and lots of cookboosk: BLT Bistro Cooking, Morimoto, Jean Georges goes Asian, Wagamama noodles, Culinaria Hungary, few Dutch cookbooks.....

                                                                                                    1. Santa was pretty generous this year. I got a 5.5 qt Le Creuset dutch oven, Jamie Oliver's new cookbook, 'Barefoot Contessa Family Style', Alice Waters 'The Art of Simple Food', a food scale, a wooden cutting board, a journal for my foodie thoughts and observations and my mother gave me an heirloom set of silver that has been passed down through the family.

                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: ms. clicquot

                                                                                                        What do you think about the Alice Waters cookbook? Should I be putting that on a wish list?

                                                                                                        1. re: danhole

                                                                                                          I haven't had a chance to look at it too closely yet but I did make the Green Beans with Toasted Almonds and Lemon for Christmas dinner and it got raves so I expect it will be book I'll refer to often. The focus is on fresh, seasonal ingredients prepared simply. I'm looking forward to sitting down with all my new books now that the family has left and I can rest a bit!

                                                                                                          1. re: danhole

                                                                                                            I started reading through the AW book last night(also received it for Christmas). I'm enjoying reading it. I think it would be a great book to recommend to someone just getting started cooking but for those well-versed it's still also an enjoyable book. I love her focus in this book(I have a couple of the Chez Panisse books as well...but this one is different as it's more a "how to" in many ways then a book of recipes).

                                                                                                        2. Snowman Chef ornaments, an apron from Williams-Sonoma, a saucier, a pastry scraper, a mini strainer, a few cookbooks (including one of my aunt's recipes -- v. cool, and I'm not the only CH in my family!), some homemade limoncello, a stovetop espresso maker, a silpat and a kitchenaid mixer attachment pack. Oh, and a waffle maker, which was sadly absent from my kitchen before and has left me craving waffles since.

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: Amuse Bouches

                                                                                                            I wonder if you and I got the same ornaments?? I really didn't get anything that spectacular. I got silicone oven mitts that my mother claimed for herself, an assorted basket of cookies and candies, a cell phone to call for take out on those nights I'm too tired/lazy to cook, and the promise of a bigger and better kitchen next Christmas. I did buy myself a Kitchenaid stand mixer as a pre Christmas-gift

                                                                                                            It's the thought that counts right?

                                                                                                          2. The Tenth Muse - Judith Jones
                                                                                                            Christofle sterling dinner fork and place spoon (now I have four three piece place settings - after 12 years!)
                                                                                                            My husband is not a good buyer of gifts for occasions, but bought me two Simon Hopkinson cookbooks in London a couple of weeks ago, and I've been more than generous with buying cookbooks for myself in the past month or so, including Sweet Myrtle and Bitter Honey, Dolce Italiano and Roast Chicken and Other Stories. He also bought 8 oz of Oregon truffles last week, so I count that as well!

                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                              Oh lovely! (the Christofle). What pattern?

                                                                                                              1. re: clepro

                                                                                                                Perles. She got the pieces at Replacements though - much cheaper - about half the price:

                                                                                                                http://www.michaelcfina.com/ic/mcfina...

                                                                                                                She also gave me a pair of "Ove Gloves" since I'm always burning myself - though as my husband said, I really need an asbestos body suit or something!

                                                                                                                1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                                  Hahah, my family says the same thing about me, MMRuth! You'll have to post about how those gloves work -- I've been hesitant to get them, since they seem harder to grip things with.

                                                                                                                  1. re: JasmineG

                                                                                                                    The joke in our family is that if mama (me) doesn't get burned making a family dinner, then it's just not good!

                                                                                                                    Seriously, the Ove glove is a great tool, but it needs to go up to my elbows to really protect me! LOL! I have pretty small hand and they are pretty big, but you can get a good grip with them, anyway.

                                                                                                            2. The kitchen that had everything but a tea kettle got a...tea kettle...a nice red one from Kitchenaid. And a 12 inch Calphalon "Everyday Pan," a Winnie the Pooh cannister set and matching platter, plus lots of Cuisinart utensils. Oh, and another Ratatouille DVD here. Santa was good...now he has to build more cabinets.

                                                                                                              1. Fun thread! Santa was very good to us this year! Foodie gifts: a Zassenhaus manual coffee mill, Taylor remote probe cooking thermometer, and a bottle of Pol Roger Brut bubbly. My daughter gave me a tee shirt that says "Instant Human, Just Add Coffee," my niece sent Asbach (German) chocolates, my parents sent an extravagant assortment of treats from Omaha Steaks, and a friend gave us a jar of her homemade jam, made with raspberries from her garden. WOW! Best gift of all was sharing Christmas dinner with my DH and our recently fledged daughter and son. This is the first year they're both living independently, and it was wonderful to have them home for the holiday.

                                                                                                                1. From Mrs. O, Judith Jones's "My Life In Food," plus two souvenirs from her recent Temecula weekend, a jar of "Ultimate Martini" olives and a jar of alderwood-smoked sea salt, both from the Temecula Olive Oil Co.

                                                                                                                  From the niece who's at UC Santa Barbara, a $50 gift card from Williams-Sonoma, a bar of New Tree Belgian chocolate with ginger (good!!), and a bag of those lovely Santa Maria pinquito beans.

                                                                                                                  From the niece who's in New York these days, a jar of McClure's pickles - spicy spears, in this case - and two issues of "meatpaper," which she describes as a "feminist food magazine." She appears to be right about that.

                                                                                                                  From my wife's brother and sister-in-law, a souvenir of France - a jar of Maille mustard with "Tomates Sèchées et Piment d'Espelette" - and a semi-gag one from Hawaii, the "Hawaii's Spam Cookbook." I say "semi" because I have a history of doing things with Spam. They also found a really lovely wooden ladle at an Asian market in Irvine and figured I'd like it, in which they were correct. Oh, and a $25 gift card from Trader Joe's. And a wonderful Christmas dinner besides, featuring a goose. Thanks!

                                                                                                                  1. We had a lovely Christmas. Between all in our house, we received Hendrick's gin and Anchor's Junipero gin, a bottle of walnut liquer, a bottle of rum, a great cocktail book called The Bartender's Bible, a slow cooker, Godiva coffee, a coffee canister, aprons, various kitchen tools, and a few healthy cooking books.

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: brandygirl

                                                                                                                      I wanna spend next Xmas at your house. <hic>

                                                                                                                    2. It was a very good year:
                                                                                                                      Global Santuko knife
                                                                                                                      Le Creuset grill pan
                                                                                                                      Le Creuset panini press - I will also be looking for ways to use this
                                                                                                                      a couple of silicone poach pods - looking forward to trying these
                                                                                                                      A bottle of Cognac Marnier which is like nectar for the gods
                                                                                                                      Jamie Oliver's new book
                                                                                                                      Jamie Oliver's flavor shaker

                                                                                                                      1. I got a vegetarian cookbook, a glass jar of pistachios, and a bottle of wonderful aged (18 years) balsamic vinegar.

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: ctflowers

                                                                                                                          Santa shopped at SurLaTable this year, so the goodies were great! A 3 1/2 qt. LeCreuset dutch oven, silicone bowls and a collapsable collander, and the 14-qt. Cuisinart food processor to replace the one borrowed (without my knowledge or consent and obviously never returned) by a neer-do-well DIL a number of years ago. Ive wanted another Cuisinart for more than 10 years and now that I have it I cant believe its here and cant decide what to use it for first. I also received "My Life In Food" and "Secret Ingredients", a compendium of New Yorker essays that pertain to food and eating. Delightful read! Mom sent pot clips, a salad dressing cruet and silicone LeCreuset prep cups. There is also $125 gift cert from Amazon, so I will be adding to the cooking toy collection in a few more days.

                                                                                                                        2. Running out of storage space after this Christmas...

                                                                                                                          Vacuum sealer
                                                                                                                          Kitchenaid 3 cup food processor
                                                                                                                          Blender (burnt mine out weeks ago doing celeriac puree!)
                                                                                                                          11" electric griddle (no idea what I'm gonna do with this)
                                                                                                                          Stick blender
                                                                                                                          Kitchenaid oven mitts

                                                                                                                          1. Donna Hay's Classic Cooking #2
                                                                                                                            A beautiful set of white serving dishes
                                                                                                                            A funky 50's afternoon tea set for 2

                                                                                                                            But best of all, I got an 8kg pork haunch. Free range, organic and local (it's the other 1/2 of my pressie from hubs, which is a local lamb carcass http://www.rutherglenlamb.com.au

                                                                                                                            20kgs of lovely meat for the wood-fired oven this NYE!!!

                                                                                                                            (pray it's not a fire-ban day on NYE, will ya??)

                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: purple goddess

                                                                                                                              what do you mean by fire ban day purple goddess?

                                                                                                                              1. re: millygirl

                                                                                                                                I think she means that outdoor fires are sometimes banned when there is a high danger of brush fires, etc. We have that in California sometimes as well.

                                                                                                                            2. Santa got everything I asked for and a few I didn't (but they're still good!):
                                                                                                                              6-qt Chantal enameled cast iron stew pot (red)-- seems like this was the go-to gift for others this year- count how many Le Creusets you see on this thread!
                                                                                                                              A new paella pan (I must admit I had been making paella in an old non-stick wok until my husband finally threw it out. It was not ideal for paella anyway.)
                                                                                                                              New silicone rubber scrapers
                                                                                                                              Probe thermometer
                                                                                                                              Tiny strainer
                                                                                                                              Turkey baster- not that I baste my turkeys, but they're so darn useful!
                                                                                                                              Can opener
                                                                                                                              veggie brush
                                                                                                                              (you can tell lots of my kitchen stuff has worn out recently!)
                                                                                                                              Santa is at the store now returning a 12-inch everyday pan that we just don't need.
                                                                                                                              Pepper grinder- husband also threw out old one and I've been living off of pepper cracked in a ziploc bag using a meat hammer! My son loves doing this job...
                                                                                                                              Speaking of the son (almost 5) Grandma got him a Ratatouille chef's hat and apron. He was quite a sight wearing it over his spiderman jammies all day on Christmas! (I'm getting him an easy-bake oven for his birthday, along with one of those cookbooks with real recipes for the oven. Can't wait.)
                                                                                                                              What I didn't get that surprised me was a Microplane grater. Husband was asking me about them and I practically gave him a map to the stores that carry them. I think I'll just buy it myself. Can't wait any longer for one!
                                                                                                                              Oh, and my mom got me a cool clay pot for baking bread. This should be interesting.

                                                                                                                              1. I received:

                                                                                                                                Three... yes, THREE copies of Jamie Oliver's "Cook With Jamie" book. When I went to exchange them, I learned it was a sale book the week before Christmas. A tiny amount of charm let me exchange them for full price and I got nearly $120 towards a few new Portuguese and Brazilian cookbooks I'd had my eye on.

                                                                                                                                A couple large, beautiful orange and yellow serving bowls, made in Portugal. Love them!

                                                                                                                                A large sharpening steel - just what I needed.

                                                                                                                                An early Xmas gift was a new set of knives that I didn't need but wanted for culinary school; a 12" chefs, large boning, two paring and a large bread. All Victorinox with gorgeous redwood handles.

                                                                                                                                Still waiting for the Le Creuset I ask for every year... guess Santa doesn't want to lug the heavy thing to my place ;)

                                                                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: NovoCuisine

                                                                                                                                  Curious to know - what new Portuguese cookbooks are out there? My husband is from Portugal and I am always looking for new recipes. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Mothership

                                                                                                                                    I suppose I misspoke - they aren't exactly "new" but "new to my collection"; 'Portuguese Cooking: The Authentic and Robust Cuisine of Portugal' by Carol Robertson and 'Uma Casa Portuguesa' by Carla Azevedo.

                                                                                                                                    The latest-published book in my collection (2004) shares its pages with Spanish cooking, and is called "The Food of Spain & Portugal". Admittedly it's only about 1/3rd Portuguese recipes, but it's a book I enjoy a lot.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: NovoCuisine

                                                                                                                                      Thank you NovoCuisine. I don't have either of the first 2 books you mentioned. I will certainly be looking for these. I have the Edith Vieira book, Portuguese Cooking by Hilaire Walden, Jean Anderson's Foods of Portugal, Food of Spain and Portugal and many cookbooks I picked up in Portugal (some translated and others not - always a culinary adventure). I will keep my eye out for the first 2 you mentioned.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Mothership

                                                                                                                                        And I don't have the Walden book.. I'll be looking for that one. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                    2. re: Mothership

                                                                                                                                      Another excellent Portuguese cookbook is "The Food of Portugal" by Jean Anderson. It's not new, but well worth knowing about if you don't. It was originally published in 1986 but is now available in an updated paperback edition, Lots of wonderful and very reliable recipes.

                                                                                                                                      http://www.amazon.com/Food-Portugal-J...

                                                                                                                                      1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                        Actually that is what I mean't by Jean Anderson's Foods of Portugal - I had the title wrong and should know better. I have this book and it is one of mine with the dust cover tattered and hanging off. Taped multiple times yet still shabby. This is a great Portuguese cookbook.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Mothership

                                                                                                                                          My fault. I had typed my message before I saw your answer, got interrupted, and didn't see your message when I finally hit the post button. But it is a terrific book, isn't it? Well worth mentioning twice.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                          You're so right, that is a great book! I really appreciate the author mentioning the original ingredients but offering alternatives.. I'm sure when it was published a handful of the ingredients were hard to find, but I can usually get my hands on the stuff. I've made many things from that one that my Portuguese in-laws approve of.. ;)

                                                                                                                                    3. Patricia Wells' "Bistro Cooking" -Like it well enough, but it's mostly recipes already in my regular round of cookery (well, 'cept for duck gizzards and the like, but...)

                                                                                                                                      James Oseland's "Cradle of Flavor" - lots to read, and am liking it so far, but I'm looking to compare its sambals to some old cookbooks I have to see how they jive ( I know...it's me...)

                                                                                                                                      3 lbs of flour. I have no idea why, as I'm not such a baker. Still, useful.

                                                                                                                                      A pastry brush - from those who give me pastry brushes almost every year.

                                                                                                                                      An absolutely gorgeous ( can I add more of these: !!!!) vintage Arabia Ruska casserole. My favorite pattern ever. (If "pattern" is the right word)

                                                                                                                                      A big bag of dried porcinis. Nuff said. I approve.

                                                                                                                                      My darling Crown Prince, the son, got a fondue pot from an aunt. I was surprised at his reaction of joy. (I never knew 20 year old guys that wanted to cook...) He's planning an evening of fondues and Sinatra songs. The longer you live, the more you learn.

                                                                                                                                      Happy New Year, all...enjoy your new kitchen stuff!

                                                                                                                                      Cay

                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: cayjohan

                                                                                                                                        Forty years ago, when I was moving into my first apartment, I bought complete place settings for 8 plus a few additional serving dishes of Arabia Ruska at a Dansk outlet store. I had no idea it had become collectible until about a year ago when I broke one of the large mugs and tried to find a replacement. I was absolutely flabbergasted. After decades of daily use, I became afraid to touch it.

                                                                                                                                        I do love it. But there's a reason nearly all those gorgeous food photos are shot on white plates. Upon being presented with a plate that looks like this, my BF is likely to say, "Ahh. Another brown dinner."

                                                                                                                                        http://www.chow.com/photos/95434

                                                                                                                                        1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                          Joan, I am wholly envious! I would walk over broken Sevres for those settings! Truly beautiful. They only quit making it in 1999, dammitol.

                                                                                                                                          What a treasure...and a brown dinner is not so bad!

                                                                                                                                      2. Honey from a beekeeping friend
                                                                                                                                        Saffron Shores by Joyce Goldstein--I am looking forward to reading it from cover to cover!
                                                                                                                                        I Like You, Hospitality Under the Influence by Amy Sedaris (I have another copy and will pass it along to a friend).
                                                                                                                                        Candy: Dots and Peach Rings
                                                                                                                                        A couple of gift cards to chain restautants
                                                                                                                                        and my gift to myself: Sunday Supper at Lucques
                                                                                                                                        DH got a suitcase with three tequilas (Patron)

                                                                                                                                        1. As a recent college graduate with a degree in culinary arts, I'm in the early phases of starting my personal chef business. I asked for essentials. I recieved a 15 piece set of nice pots and pans (previously I had Mom's leftovers!) as well as a set of bakeware (cookie sheets, muffin tins, etc.) I also was given a set of four mixing splatter bowls, made by foodnetwork. LoL, not a fan of foodnetwork, but they are lovely bowls.

                                                                                                                                          Anybody have any idea what they will request next year?

                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                          1. Such fun! I got The Tenth Muse by Judith Jones, Moonstruck Truffles, Mariebelle Aztec Hot Chocolate, a set of Reidel Bordeaux wine glasses and a flat whisk because I had worn out my old one!

                                                                                                                                            1. I bought myself a small Christmas gift during an after-Christmas sale at Williams-Sonoma. It was a set of Williams-Sonoma glass prep bowls in two sizes. I've been making do over the years with various small bowls that are parts of graduated sets (some glass, some stainless) which was OK, but I think I will be much more consistent with my mise en place with this set of bowls that stack and will all be located in the same place in my cabinet.

                                                                                                                                              1. I got my BF a fancy cheeseboard, grater, $$$ balsamic vinegar and a box of pate des fruits.

                                                                                                                                                He got me a book by Anthony Bourdain.

                                                                                                                                                1. I also got My Last Supper, and a 9 qt oval Le Crueset dutch oven and a three piece Le Crueset set with a frying pan, small saucepan and smaller dutch oven, so I am also styled out with the Le Crueset (is their marketing campaign working particularly well, or is braising just the thing to do these days?)

                                                                                                                                                  I also got an olive wood salt box (and a box of Maldon in my stocking) the Indulge dessert cookbook by the French Laundry's pastry chef Claire Clark, and a magnum of Veuve Cliquot. I usually get a box of Burdick chocolates, but we recently discovered a local brand we really like here in San Diego (Guanni) so the husband didn't bother this year.

                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Alice Q

                                                                                                                                                    Wow, the 9 quart! How awesome. I got the 2 3/4 quart and the 5.5 quart Le Creuset dutch ovens, and then took myself to Home Goods to use a gift card on an armful of English pottery (pudding bowls and little prep dishes.)

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: brendastarlet

                                                                                                                                                      if you're envying the 9qt...the 9qt Doufeu is currently sitting on the clearance rack at WS near my house...I think it was around $210 marked down from $295.

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Alice Q

                                                                                                                                                      I have a 9 and 7... I've been coveting the 3 to make the no knead bread!

                                                                                                                                                    3. I got a 3 qt. le creuset casserole w/lid,
                                                                                                                                                      I got the 75th anniversary edition of the Joy of Cooking,
                                                                                                                                                      and an IOU for a the set of of chef knives of my choice (once I choose them!)

                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: vvvindaloo

                                                                                                                                                        oh, i forgot-- my best friend gave me "Foodie Fight: A Trivia Game for Serious Food Lovers". I played against my mom, and it was freat fun!

                                                                                                                                                      2. The matched set "Bouchon" and "French Laundry".
                                                                                                                                                        A one cup french press coffee maker.
                                                                                                                                                        The heavy silicon pot holders in colors so bright DH will never "not be able to find them"
                                                                                                                                                        A set of tongs that are short and strong enough to pick up and turn a five pound roast.
                                                                                                                                                        And Ratatouille, the DVD.

                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: shallots

                                                                                                                                                          Oh man, I'm really jealous of the French Laundry book. My old roommate had a copy that I used to use - GREAT photos and complicated preparations. Definitely a great book though.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: azhotdish

                                                                                                                                                            I got it for my birthday in August.

                                                                                                                                                            It's become a coffee table book. I love to look and read it, but the idea of making any of it is daunting.

                                                                                                                                                            Not to mention I'd have to copy each looooooong recipe on paper and bring it to the kitchen. The book is too large to keep safely on the counter to cook from.

                                                                                                                                                        2. Santa let me purchase my own gifts with his credit card early because I"needed" the goodies prior to Christmas:
                                                                                                                                                          7 cup cuisinart
                                                                                                                                                          Provence salt box
                                                                                                                                                          gold tone half sheet pans
                                                                                                                                                          candy thermometer (for fudge-thanks Sheila for the great recipe)
                                                                                                                                                          The new Alice Waters cookbook
                                                                                                                                                          Dorie Greenspan's Baking cookbook

                                                                                                                                                          1. A set of BLT Steak's beautiful, nicely weighted knives!

                                                                                                                                                            1. I am thrilled to have received a ton of new cookbooks - Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, Bistro Cooking at Home - Hammersly, The Zuni Cafe Cookbook, Molto Italiano, Bittman's Best Recipes in the World, Dolce Italiano, Molly Stevens' All About Braising and James Peterson's Cooking. I don't even know where to get started.

                                                                                                                                                              One daughter got me a nice jar of Fleur de Sel. Her Fiancee ( he proposed on Christmas Day - quite the big moment!), got me a Santoku ceramic knife from WS ( apparently she is training him well already...). And my other daughter got me the Ratatouille DVD.

                                                                                                                                                              Prior to Christmas, I finally purchased a food processor - the 12 cup Kitchenaid with every disk and the egg whip (my husband said it would be better for me to order it myself and get what I really needed - smart and wonderful man). It was quite the over-the top Christmas for me and I couldn't feel more lucky.

                                                                                                                                                              My best Christmas gift was just to have a lovely dinner at home with my family. Hope everyone else had a wonderful Christmas too and best wishes to all for a fabulous, foodie New Year!

                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Mothership

                                                                                                                                                                I also got the Zuni Cafe Cookbook. Christmas is a relatively minor holiday in my very-culturally-and-religiously mixed household, but hubby decided he wanted something for me to open, and after doing research online, and narrowing it down to either that one or one of the Alton Brown cookbooks, chose Zuni because a lot of reviewers mentioned how well-written it was...

                                                                                                                                                                The reviewers were right! I enjoy just reading through it. And the threads from last January when it was cookbook of the month have been a great help too!

                                                                                                                                                                Yes, of course I started with the roast chicken and bread salad. This will be my new way to roast a chicken from now on. I am not as convinced about the bread salad, but am also not sure I used the best bread for it...anyway, hubby thinks he got the better part of that gift. (though I have already warned him that a trip to Zuni Cafe is in his near future so I can compare the taste of the chicken if actually made in their oven, with my own) :-)

                                                                                                                                                                Other than that, not much in the way of food related gifts to report on, though unlike some of the other posters here, my boss is definitely NOT clueless, and perhaps in recognition that it had been a tough year, got me a very, very nice bottle of Syrah....

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: susancinsf

                                                                                                                                                                  Hey, if I recall you also got a decent bottle of Scotch from yours truly...but of course we managed to drink most of it before you even left our house :-)

                                                                                                                                                                  I didn't get any Christmas presents from my DH this year. (In our house, Christmas is really more for the kids, who are just about old enough that they don't qualify as kids anymore.) OTOH, if all goes well I will have a new kitchen in two weeks, along with a new house.....does that count?

                                                                                                                                                              2. I got a stick blender, a digital scale, a knife sharpener and a bunch of cookbooks. I'm going to make some soup as soon as I get back home to take my blender for a test drive.

                                                                                                                                                                1. Cuisinart Griddler - haven't used it yet - maybe turkey pannini :)

                                                                                                                                                                  1. I got "My Last Supper" from my youngest son and that's really the only food related gift I received, but Mr CF received from his mother a very exciting gift certificate to a local liquor store.

                                                                                                                                                                    We're calling it "The Great Burgundy Experiment"

                                                                                                                                                                    Wooo Hooo!

                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Cookiefiend

                                                                                                                                                                      I got 2 cookbooks Lidia Bastianich and Jamie Oliver's new one, a beautiful bottle of truffle oil, some pomegranite jelly, cheese and shortbreads. The hubby got an 18 year old scotch (sorry don't recall which), a bottle of sherry, couple of bottles of wine, and best of all the gift that keeps on giving - subscriptions to both Gourmet and Bon Appetit. Even the dog got herself some fine foodie treats!!!

                                                                                                                                                                    2. After a stunned couple of hours of package opening, I had tons of cookbooks heaped up alongside my chair: Alice Water's latest, Into the Vietnamese Kitchen, Sunday Suppers at Lucques, All About Braising, and The Bread Baker's Apprentice, along with a Lodge cast iron dutch oven, a beautiful big All Clad pot, equipment for making jellies and preserves, and various foodstuffs...truflles, home-preserved citron and cherries, Virginian nuts, an excellent Minnesotan port, Alaskan salmonberry preserves from my partner in the Jammin' Jelly Exchange, and my sister's delicious hazelnut biscotti.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. Between the two of us, we did very well!

                                                                                                                                                                        We got 2 icecream makers (one will be returned to Crate and Barrel, any ideas?)
                                                                                                                                                                        Stainless Krups coffee grinder (to replace the one my roommate broke)
                                                                                                                                                                        A chinois
                                                                                                                                                                        Heirloom popcorn (red and black sable)
                                                                                                                                                                        Several obscure cookbooks
                                                                                                                                                                        AllClad sauce pan
                                                                                                                                                                        Rolling Pin
                                                                                                                                                                        Just add water- Upsidedown tomato patio plant
                                                                                                                                                                        Champagne flutes
                                                                                                                                                                        Wines from our birth years

                                                                                                                                                                        In fact, I don't think there were any non-foodie gifts at all.....

                                                                                                                                                                        Except my ENGAGEMENT RING from my favorite chef of all!

                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: naughtywaitress

                                                                                                                                                                          Congratulations! You must have been a very "good" naughtywaitress to have received a ring!

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Good thread idea.

                                                                                                                                                                          A gc to Upton Teas https://secure.uptontea.com/shopcart/...
                                                                                                                                                                          Several varieties of delicious dates from California http://www.hadleyfruitorchards.com/
                                                                                                                                                                          Boxes of some of my favorite cookies--almondina, almond butter thins, shortbread, and waffle cookies--enough to last me until spring!
                                                                                                                                                                          Gift subscription to Saveur magazine

                                                                                                                                                                          1. wow, we are loved chowhounds!
                                                                                                                                                                            Dh bought a food tour/NYC, we'll save it for the spring
                                                                                                                                                                            Our oldest son bought us shares in a vineyard! He has great gift ideas every year!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. A friend sent her homemade vanilla extract. I haven't used it yet but knowing her it will be wonderful. Another gave me chocolates from a shop in Phoenix with interesting flavors like clove...
                                                                                                                                                                              argh, I've spent the past 15 minutes trying to find it so I could tell you the name of the shop it came from but I can't find it! I set it aside to eat later and now I don't know where it is. Oh brother.

                                                                                                                                                                              This has been a great thread to read.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. Several lumps of charcoal and a new Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker from my SO.

                                                                                                                                                                                So far, we've had smoked pork butt and a smoked chicken, and a smoked brisket is about an hour away from being done. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: hohokam

                                                                                                                                                                                  I think we found a location for a PHX chow meetup. :D

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: azhotdish

                                                                                                                                                                                    Heh. Give me about 6 months to master the technique, clean the house, renovate the house, and then clean again. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: hohokam

                                                                                                                                                                                    hey! I'll offer my house up for a meetup! My husband has been researching smokers all week and thinks he wants a WSM....looking forward to your reports on your new toy, hohokam!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ziggylu

                                                                                                                                                                                      maybe we should set something up in early '08 - i just got a new 8qt Presto pressure cooker for my birthday and am looking forward to trying it out!

                                                                                                                                                                                  3. A beautiful wine box complete with wine opener, pourer, stopper and a 1989 Tenuta Secolo Barolo. Now I just need the special occaision to drink it!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. 2 tins of castaing block of goose foie gras with truffles
                                                                                                                                                                                      cuisinart frozen ice cream & sorbet maker
                                                                                                                                                                                      set of solicut steak knives
                                                                                                                                                                                      world of dumplings cookbook
                                                                                                                                                                                      bourdain's nasty bits

                                                                                                                                                                                      We should have Christmas more than once a year ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Apron with a lighthouse picture on the front panel from my best friend!
                                                                                                                                                                                        Greenpans (dutch oven and 9.5 inch skillet with shared lid, 11 inch square grill pan, 2 qt saucepan with lid, from my parents
                                                                                                                                                                                        Calphalon One chef's pan from my spousal equivalent (SE)
                                                                                                                                                                                        6 qt. Rival Crock Pot from my SE
                                                                                                                                                                                        Wolfgang Puck Reversible Electric Grill/Griddle from SE's brother and sis in law
                                                                                                                                                                                        Sunbeam kitchen utensil set from SE's brother and sis in law

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I think i gave more foodie gifts than recieved this year. I got lots of Godiva chocolates and liquer, some stocking stuffer gadgets food wise, seasonings etc. A few years back i was given one of my prized possessions, my Kitchenaid stand mixer, and following a year or so later, my equally coveted stick blender. I think i tend to buy my own foodie stuff most times though.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. All the makings for Tom Yum soup from a friend
                                                                                                                                                                                            A dwarf kaffir lime tree
                                                                                                                                                                                            A Devil in the Kitchen [Marco Pierre White]
                                                                                                                                                                                            The Art of Simple Food [Alice Waters]
                                                                                                                                                                                            The Middle East Cookbook from my boss, who is Syrian
                                                                                                                                                                                            The boxed DVD set of Food Safari
                                                                                                                                                                                            A fondue set with chocolate molds
                                                                                                                                                                                            And, from my husband, a SS French Door fridge. It is awesome.
                                                                                                                                                                                            My resolution is to be as good as I was last year, cause something worked.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I got a Butter Bell and Julia Child DVDs. I was really excited about these (and I'll be viewing the latter while I'm on the new exercise cycle). I also got a jar of white chocolate raspberry peanut butter, which needs nothing more than a spoon.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Perhaps the best gift was visiting my family and getting to cook Christmas Day dinner with my sister--who, along with my best friend from grad school, is my favorite person to cook with. In fact, those two are probably the ONLY people I like to cook with!

                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: nofunlatte

                                                                                                                                                                                                I think that one of life's sublime pleasures is finding someone you TRULY like to cook with. Sounds like your gift trumps everything else.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Cay

                                                                                                                                                                                                P.S. The Child DVDs are amazing - the lobster episode is a hoot for the...well, SIZE. Enjoy! C.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. It was a chowhound Christmas for me! I received a new cutting board, some excellent chef knives, and an Oxo mandoline. Santa knows me well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cmoore618

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I got one (OXO mandoline) also. Have you figured out how to put all the different slicers in yet? I have used it for slicing so far, and that works like a dream. Fast, and every slice so uniform. But I can't quite figure the other little slicers, and how to get them into the mandoline...

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I got a set of bacon hangers, so I can hang and smoke bacon. I also received a polish cooking cookbook, an 'OVE' glove (which works amazingly well), and a box of dark chocolate spong candy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I got aching feet from doing all of the cooking :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Actually, I think my friends and family are uncertain about what to buy me, so they just bring wine or brownies or other consumables.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. My husband and I gave each other a little trip to Paris for Christmas. We left on Christmas night and arrived next morning, on my birthday. I can't think of a better Chowhound gift than that! Besides, while my NYC apartment kitchen can't possibly accommodate another new appliance, there's always room for delicious memories.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. This was a food themed Christmas for me! From BIL got assorted Godiva chocolates (ho hum) but with a bottle of Graham's Tawny Porto (woohoo - never had this before). From sister1, Friday Night Dinner Date for 2 at the Natural Gourmet Institute. From brother, new magnetic wine charms (those clasps are usually such a pain) and a microplane grater. From sister2, a class of my choice at the Viking Cooking School (yes, on all their equipment). From mom, a class of my choice at the Natural Gourmet Institute.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        And best of all, from DH, my very own seltzer maker (soda club.com). I've been wanting to a) cut down on the plastic bottles and b) stop paying for grocery delivery with the cases of club soda. So voila! My own home seltzer. It's very cool. I just have to remember to completely screw the bottle in before pressing the CO2 button (oops - but at least it's only water that sprayed all over the kitchen!).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LNG212

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I just used my brand new ISI soda syphon for the first time last night and had a similar experience with the CO2 cartridge. The dining room tablecloth will be fine, but I'm not sure if this week's Entertainment Weekly has finished drying yet...

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. My wife and I gave ourselves a wonderful little trip to Los Angeles (we live in Washington DC) for the holiday, complete with 5 days of perfect weather and great eating. breakfasts/brunches at Bread Bar, BLD, 3-Square Bakery and Cafe (Venice); picnic lunch on the beach courtesy of Malibu Kitchen in Malibu Country Mart, and seriously great dinners at Pizzeria Mozza, Osteria Mozza, La Guelagetza, and Happi Songs. And let's not forget the ice cream sundae and smoothie at the little "diner" inside the Beverly Hills Hotel!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          My wife also gave me a jar of dulce de leche, as a sweet reminder of a recent trip to Argentina.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Now, if I could just bend over far enough to tie my sneakers, i'm going out to exercise.......

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I got great stuff- attachments for my Kitchen Aid Mixer (grinder, juicer and pasta extruder-- which was the waste of time that CH posters led me to expect), Aunt Sally's Pralines (http://www.auntsallys.com ), Jacques Torres Chocolates (http://www.mrchocolate.com/ ), Wen Chocolates (http://wenchocolates.com ) and Truly Wize cookies (http://www.2sweetkidz.com/

                                                                                                                                                                                                            )

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I gave my most Chowhoundy friend a Chantal enamelled cast iron pot and a jar of lard that I rendered. She was thrilled (and is one of the few people I know who would have thought that was the best thing ever and not the most disgusting thing ever!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Last year I got a Country Living Products grain mill. This year I got a Caphalon pan, and now I know what all the fuss is about. But the real food related gift, one of the most special of my life, was a large donation my brother and his wife made in my honor to Heifer International (www.heifer.org). I've lived in Kenya and know that a gift of this kind will keep on giving for generations: not just food, but also an income that will help provide access to education. I am deeply grateful.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Father Kitchen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                That's terrific. Heifer is a great organization. We've done the "flock of geese" for people a couple of years in a row. Food that keeps on giving - absolutely right. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LNG212

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This is the first year I've done anything with them - bought 3 flocks of chicks for my sister and BIL, and my mother bought them one-third of a sheep or a goat, I think. :-) Definitely something I'm going to continue.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Father Kitchen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We are big fans of Heifer International in my family. We have given various gifts through them over the past few years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. My brother got me the CIA Cookbook, which must weigh 8 pounds!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Great topic:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    gourmet salts from Paris, Chefmate cast iron dutch oven and Foodie Fight Game (blast) and a fabulous book by Danny Meyers (NY Restauranteur and Hospitality Guru)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: lexpatti

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach by Anthony Bourdain
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Service Included: Four-Star Secrets of an Eavesdropping Waiter by Phoebe Damrosch (currently reading and excellent so far)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. A good year for me, too!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM3300 espresso machine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      20 qt stockpot
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ceramic pie plate
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      cute ceramic terrine from Le Creuset
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen by Gina DePalma
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Canon SD1000 for blogging
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Meyer lemon olive oil (I've had a hard time finding it)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ratatouille cupcake liners
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Cake stencils (I love baking and decorating cakes)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Homemade raspberry jam (wild raspberries... yum!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Food-related gifts I gave:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian (thanks, Chowhound, for the rec!)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Omnivore's Dilemma
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Heat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      block set of Wusthof Classic knifes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      high-heat resistant silicone spatulas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A lot of wine/beer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. yogurt maker--still experimenting with getting it right.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. An 8.5 quart Le Creuset dutch oven. I had the smaller one which was starting to feel problematic for larger meals.