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Dec 9, 2008 11:02 AM

Gifts $40 & under for the cook who has everything?

Sorry if this has been done before, but if you had someone on your Christmas list who loves to cook and seems to every gadget or appliance known to personkind, what would you get him or her?

Along the same lines, if you were giving gifts of the following cookbooks, All About Braising, Zuni, and Bakewise, what would be good companion gifts (aside from a Dutch oven, which my giftee already has...)

[$40 doesn't have to be a hard limit...]

Thank you!


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  1. Truffle shaver? Also useful for slicing garlic paper thin - as well as bottarga. Will keep thinking. The one thing that I would really like is a mandoline, but that is more than $40.

    2 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      Good suggestions! I edited my post to say $40 doesn't have to be a firm limit. Ideally I want to keep it around that, but there's always a way to be flexible for the right gift!


      1. re: MMRuth

        I have the Kyocera Adjustable Mandolin Slicer, which was recommended by Cooks Illustrated. It doesn't do all the fancy cuts, but for a basic, easy-to-clean, easy-to-store mandoline, I'm pretty happy with it.
        I got mine at Amazon for $25.

      2. Silpats (silicone liners for baking sheets) to go with Bakewise. Around $20 each.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Lemonbar

          I'm not familiar with Bakewise, but if it has cookie recipes, you could get some interesting cookie cutters.

          1. re: Lemonbar

            Does a person need more than one silpat baking sheet? (I don't have one, and don't bake much, so I don't honestly know!)


            1. re: The Dairy Queen

              Yes, you probably need more than one. I often bake cookies and I have 4 half sheet pans and I have for silpata - oneof reach pan. That way I can have two pans in the oven, while I am filling two more pans that can go in after the first two are done. I actually could use a fifth pan/silpat now because I just bought a range with double ovens.

          2. Everyone on my list is getting a Fair Share mug with some sort of just add liquid recipe in it. You can google fair Share mugs top see what I mean.

            1 Reply
            1. If you didn't already buy Bakewise, check out reviews (Amazon and elsewhere) first. I love Cookwise and was about to order Bakewise, but after reaading the comments it seemed as though Cookwise covers the same material, and of course much more.

              5 Replies
              1. re: greygarious

                Actually, it probably won't be Bakewise as it doesn't look like it's doing too well on Amazon--people don't seem to love it the way they do Cookwise. I'm considering some older more tried and true cookbooks on baking.


                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                  The King Arthur baking books are good - the original and whole grain ones.

                  1. re: greygarious

                    Also the Martha Stewart Baking book is great. I use it all the time and have never had a bad expreience!

                  2. re: The Dairy Queen

                    I have the book "Bakewise" and while I haven't had a chance yet to spend any quality time with it, my general impression, after reading the reviews on Amazon (which I did before I bought the book) is that many of the people who left negative reviews did so because they didn't seem to get what the author was trying to do. I still have high hopes that this book is better than the reviews would make it seem... (I should add that I didn't buy the book for it's recipes - I have hundreds of baking books and didn't need anymore recipes - I bought it for the insights I think it will provide and because I'm hoping to learn what I need to know to start developing my own recipes.)

                    1. re: flourgirl

                      I just got a copy and have only paged through but I suspect you're right that the detractors are trying the original recipes and not understanding that she uses them as the starting point to develop an improved version to illustrate the chemistry of baking.

                      "Cookwise" is one of the books in my library that I'd *never* let go of! And if "Bakewise" gives me principles and understanding to improve my own baking that's sooo much more valuable than a dozen recipes. Even "Cookwise" was lean on recipes and heavy on illumination.

                2. If this person truly has EVERYTHING, i would go to Kalustyan & buy him/her a selection of hard-to-find spices, chutneys, teas, honey, grains, dals etc....or even some Indian/Asian specialty cookware. Here's the link:


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: fauchon

                    I was going to make similar suggestion along the lines of specialty ingredients. Like bottarga, maybe some truffle oil, something like that.