Can you believe someone will actually pay me for my opinion? I can’t either. I’ve been waiting for this day my entire life. This post is brought to you by the fine folks over at Wayfair. All opinions in this post are mine (naturally).
I get a lot of questions about kitchen tools. Actually, let me take that back. I don’t get enough questions about kitchen tools. I wish people would talk to me before they register for junky kitchen stuff when they get married. You don’t need a plate warmer, people (and don’t get me started on wipe warmers in a baby registry). You don’t need a monogramed door mat. What you need is a good pepper grinder and at least one damn good pot. Lucky for you, Christmas is around the corner. It’s time to rectify that horrible registry situation with a few key purchases. Ready or not, here come my recommendations.
Let’s start big, shall we? Did you register for a KitchenAid Mixer when you got married? I’ll bet you did. Good for you. You may not use it yet, but let me tell you that 13 years later, this is one of the best (birthday) gifts that I have EVER received. Thank you, Aunt Lisie. What you really need to go with that fancy mixer are some attachments. The pasta roller and pasta cutter attachment sets are the bomb. I actually do get asked about these because we make pasta quite a bit, and yes, both are worth the hefty price tag.
I was in my thirties when I got married and I had watched my grandmother use the same Le Creuset pots to cook Christmas dinner for my entire life. Most used pot in my kitchen? My Le Creuset 6 ¾ quart oval Dutch oven. Meatballs, soups, stews, braised lamb…you name it, this is the pot. If you didn’t receive this pot as a wedding gift, now is your chance to beg for one. Group gift opportunity here. These are not cheap but they are well worth the money. (I hate to admit that I use my 9 ½ quart, a Christmas gift from my husband several years ago, almost as much as I use my 6 ¾ quart. Lots of kids, people.)
The last biggie gift for your kitchen? This one is definitely a funky splurge, but get yourself a tagine. My husband gave me a tagine last Christmas because we both love Mediterranean food. Having this pot in my kitchen has forced me to diversify my cooking routine. This is the gift for you if you feel like you are in a cooking rut. I have yet to perfect the tagine, but I am trying and actually feel like I'm making progress. This is a really fun pot.
Ok. Those are the big ticket items. Let’s get serious about stocking stuffers for a minute. I am pretty opinionated about stocking stuffers (shocker!). Stocking stuffers should always be either totally unique or really funny or supremely useful. I do not believe in knickknacks. Ask my mother. This is what I would buy you if I had all the money in the world: a good knife, a good cheese grater, a good spatula, and, of course, a good pepper grinder.
You have seen all of these tools in various posts before. I have five of the red handled knives in my kitchen. Five. I use them every single day for every single function. My (older) kids use those knives every time they help to prep. Our microplane grater is used several times a week for parmesan or citrus. How about that spatula? Another gift from Aunt Lisie and I use it to flip pancakes at least once a week. That pepper grinder? The best ever. Sometimes I even dump my pepper corns out of it and use it in place of a mortar and pestle. This is seriously the most used tool in my kitchen.
As for the rest of my stocking recommendations, you can never have too many wooden spoons or silpat mats. A ginger grater is great for ginger or garlic. This is also a perfect tool to help engage your little kids in kitchen prep. Last but not least, the cherry pitter. Dumbest kitchen gadget ever, right? You obviously don’t have this one. It rocks. I bought more cherries this summer than I have ever purchased in my life because I didn’t have to fight with a beer bottle and a chopstick. Get someone you love this cherry pitter. You can send them a box of cherries later when cherries are in season. Trust me. Everyone in my house loves this tool.
And what would I love to add to my kitchen this Christmas? I would be thrilled with (1) a heavy cast iron skillet, (2) a set of white mixing bowls, (3) a stoneware baking dish in a pretty color, (4) a 15.5 quart Dutch oven, (5) a 14” non-stick skillet, and (6) a kitchen big enough to store all of these lovely things.
Happy kitchen shopping!