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Perfect Gift for A Food-Lover: What cookbooks and other gourmet goodies are on your wish list this year?

After the tremendous popularity of the “not-so-perfect” gift for a food-lover thread:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7518...

I thought it would be fun to start a new thread to hear what food related finds and culinary delights folks are coveting this year.

Are there cookbooks you just must have? A special cutting board or serving dish? What about cookware, kitchen electrics, gadgets or gourmet ingredients?

‘Tis the season for sharing, what’s on your wish list this year?

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  1. Practical stuff that virtually any home cook can use: Years ago I went to a kitchen supply and bought a box of 1000 full sheet pan-sized parchment sheets because I hate fighting the curling tendency of parchment rolls. This being way more than a lifetime's worth, I have included parchment bundles in gifts for friends who cook and bake.
    I gently folded them around one of those flexible cutting mats, which cost only a few dollars but are useful. For people like me, who like to cook and have decent knives but are not adept at sharpening, and unlikely to have professional sharpening done, those little egg-shaped sharpeners which can be screwed onto a cabinet are useful and do a decent job, but must be replaced after a couple of years, depending on frequency of use. Another thing I'd put in a kitchen gift bag (for which I'd use a reusable grocery tote) is one of those aerosol fire extinguishers that's about the size of a large can of hairspray.

    Some unique, affordable grocery totes and other kitchen stuff can be found on www.etsy.com

    4 Replies
    1. re: greygarious

      I love those pre-cut sheets of parchment paper. I've gotten a big roll of them from King Arthur.

      You can also get cake-pan sized sheets different places. Then there's one less thing to do when you're in the middle of baking.

      1. re: greygarious

        The fire extinguisher is a good idea. I have a fire extinguisher in my kitchen, but I've had it for more than 20 years and never used it ... and I doubt it would work now. But giving a fire extinguisher to a cook might be perceived as an insult... like giving someone penicillin because you know they're going to need it!

        1. re: drongo

          I think a fire extinguisher expresses concern for the recipient's safety. It's not like giving a bottle of Pepto-Bismol. For that matter, a cookbook could be perceived as an insult, unless specifically requested, by an overly-sensitive recipient.

        2. re: greygarious

          greygarious I love the idea of those flat, pre-cut parchment sheets. We have a restaurant supply store close by and I'll be gifting myself with these!! Thanks for sharing!!

        3. This year on my list is a mandoline and the pasta attachment for my kitchen-aid. Plus I always have a ton of cookbooks on my list. I keep a "wish list" throughout the year on Amazon to send out to family and friends that request it.

          Last year my favorite gift I received was a digital timer that can keep 4 times at once.

          For generic gifts, I always appreciate various spices and condiments, as long as they're a nicer quality. One way or another they will get used. If you're somewhat familiar with their kitchen/home, a nice serving dish is always appreciated, assuming it "goes" with their style.

          8 Replies
          1. re: juliejulez

            Have you decided on a particular brand of mandoline julie? I have a Borner v-slicer at the moment and while it's good for some jobs, it doesn't give me the flexibility in slicing thickness that I'd like.

            1. re: Breadcrumbs

              http://www.amazon.com/Swissmar-Borner... This is the one I have on my list as it got pretty good reviews, not sure if it's the same as what you have. I mainly only want it for thin slicing, since I can do thicker stuff by hand or in my food processor pretty easily.

            2. re: juliejulez

              Love the sound of that timer. I've never seen one that can keep more than one time. I'm also going to ask for the brand please?

              1. re: LulusMom

                Here's the amazon link. There's a bit of a learning curve with it because of all the buttons and dials, but after I got used to it I really love this timer. Also when looking it up I realized I got it as a birthday gift, not Christmas, but it was a gift all the same :) http://www.amazon.com/Chefs-Quad-Time...

                1. re: juliejulez

                  I can definitely see what you mean about the learning curve! Cool though, just stuck it on my wish list. Thanks for the info.

                  1. re: juliejulez

                    I have this one ( http://www.amazon.com/West-Bend-40053... ) and like it so much I replaced one that a guest broke with exactly the same model. Only three, not four, different timers, but that's plenty for me. Not as modern a design, but only half the price. It's gets quite a workout at my house.

                    1. re: JoanN

                      Fantastic. Thanks - it looks a bit simpler to use. It is such a brilliant idea that I can't believe I'd never even bothered to look for something like it before.

                  2. re: LulusMom

                    +1 on the timer - brialliant idea! Please share the brand name and source if possible, JJ - TIA!

                2. The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern. Not sure if DH took the hint however.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: maplesugar

                    I have this and thoroughly endorse your choice. My favorite book. (Does DH need me to call him?)

                    (BTW, have you seen the thread that reviewed many of the recipes in the book? A great one.)

                    1. re: maplesugar

                      I've made the Ginger Stout cake from that book (some recipes from the book are on Epi) maplesugar and it was amazing.

                      Here's a link to some other recipes to tide you over. Maybe you should bake something from the book for your DH as a subtle reminder!!! ; - )

                      ETA: oops, I meant to add the Epi link to some recipes from the book for you:

                      http://www.epicurious.com/tools/searc...

                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                        Thanks, I've bookmarked both links :) Now I read downthread that King Arthur ships to Canada.... me thinks I may have to do some pre-holiday baking shopping.

                        1. re: maplesugar

                          Just a warning on that maplesugar (it was me who posted that below), the shipping/duty charge is a bit hefty but in the end, since I haven't seen those items here and felt the total cost was still within reason (and a little bit because I'm impatient and like to have things right away!!) I placed an order anyway!

                    2. My family doesn't do holiday gifts, so I buy myself things that are on my kitchen/cookbook wishlist. I just bought an oven thermometer and a 1/2 qt butter warmer yesterday. My upcoming purchases include: a mandoline, another silpat, knife sharpener, a mini cookie scoop, and a copy of An Everlasting Meal.

                      9 Replies
                      1. re: calmossimo

                        I love my silpats calmossimo, you can't ever have enough of them IMHO!! Have you decided on a brand of mandoline? This is on my list too.

                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                          Me too, and I particularly love the extra-large mat from King Arthur Flour that's made for rolling out pie dough.

                          1. re: roxlet

                            Oooh, what a great idea roxlet! I'll keep an eye out for these when I'm in the US next month.

                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                              I got mine from the KA website, but it seems to me I might have seen a similar one at either Sur La Table or Williams Sonoma, though I wouldn't want to bet on it.

                              1. re: roxlet

                                Is this it roxlet?

                                http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

                                Somehow I imagined it being marked w circles for various pie sizes...

                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                  This is it, and it's marked with circles:

                                  http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/i...

                                  And I particularly love that it has a ruler along the edge!

                                  1. re: roxlet

                                    roxlet thanks so much, I've ordered one and some of the flat single sheet parchment paper! So excited to see they ship to Canada.

                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                      I can't be without that flat parchment. I always have a package on hand, and I get nervous when I start running low!

                            2. re: roxlet

                              Yes, I have that extra large one too and it really comes in handy. Would make a great gift.

                        2. I am hoping that Santa brings me the boxed set of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." I don't have any of the classics and I've been on a Julia Child kick lately!

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Brazendame

                            Her beef bourguignon is a thing of joy!

                            1. re: hambone

                              That's one of the recipes I'm super excited to make!