Foodie Gifts!

Our families spoil us, and we spoil each other. I wanted to share some of the food-related gifts I am really excited about. You may just want to spoil yourself or some other food geek with them, too.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer

I’ve never had the pleasure of tasting Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, but I really wanted a new ice cream cookbook. On a whim I added this to my wish list, after hearing a lot of buzz and reading great reviews. I almost always test out cookbooks from the library these days, so I don’t know what I was thinking. Now that I have the book it is blowing my mind, and I’m already trying to figure out how often we can make ice cream without it affecting our health. Once a month? Twice? It is hard to narrow down just a few recipes to mention: Roasted Strawberry & Buttermilk. Baked Rhubarb Frozen Yogurt. Scarlet & Earl Grey. Bangkok Peanut. Ylang-Ylang with Clove & Honeycomb. Berry Crisp Ice Cream! I could keep going and going. This book is a revelation.

India Cookbook by Pushpesh Pant

Last year I started to dabble in cooking Indian at home, mostly from library books. I don’t even know where to begin with this gigantic book, but it is spectacular. The sections are different colors of lightweight newsprint, separated by gorgeous, glossy photo pages. Levi was just telling me how much he is craving Indian food. I do believe 2012 will be the year we eat a ton of it.

mason jar stamp

Can’t you just picture the adorable tags and labels I am going to make with this stamp?

Homemade Soda by Andrew Schloss

Now this book I did test out from the library, and deemed it worthy of taking up valuable shelf space in our little house. I love that recipes include different instructions for just making a syrup to mix with seltzer OR actually brewing. Some recipe highlights: Coffee chocolate stout. Fermented honey soda. Original orange crush. Chamomile lavender kombucha. An entire section on shrubs and switchels! And herbal/healing waters! I’m think we’ll be trying the lavender grape migraine mitigator.

Silhouette Salt Mill from Crate & Barrel

Our pepper mill broke awhile back and we have searched to the ends of the internet for an affordable, aesthetically pleasing replacement. In the very long interim, we have been refilling Trader Joe’s mills (not intended to be re-usable) until they break (which is often). Finally, we found something cheap that will hopefully hold up. The salt and pepper mills look identical, but actually have a tiny “S” & “P” on the metal piece at the very top.

Schmidt Brothers 15-piece Downtown Block

I have hemmed and hawed about getting a couple really fancy knives that individually cost more than this entire set, and finally decided to try out a decent set of knives and a sharpener. These won’t actually be in our kitchen until February, so I’ll have to report back!

OXO Food Mill

I can’t wait to see what Jess makes with a food mill, something we found would come in really handy in 2011.

Did you get any great food-related gifts this year? Do tell!


Filed under holidays

17 responses to “Foodie Gifts!

  1. Emilia

    Do any of the recipes in the soda book have low/no sugar options?

    • misterkrista

      The book definitely isn’t for artificial sweeteners. Part of the great thing about homemade soda is the natural ingredients. The recipes range from stuff with less sweeteners (some use things like honey or agave and not cane sugar) to stuff that is syrupy and sweet. Since there is the option to make syrup and mix it with seltzer, you could use less syrup when you mix. Some of the drinks seem to be lighter on sugars – fizzy juices, kombucha, shrubs, tonics, but I don’t think there is a low sugar section specifically.

  2. Nice post. I have just written a post that will go up on on at 19.30 Irish time tomorrow. It concerns the perils of gifting food related items. Have a look.
    Happy New Year,

  3. YES! I got a rice cooker. A fancy rice cooker that I’ve been wanting for aaaaages. See, most rice cookers in America DO IT WRONG. You put a pot inside the cooking unit, directly on a heating element. This sucks and it always results in a stupid crust of burned rice starch on the bottom of the pot, particularly if you make rice for only two people. Enter the rice cooker of my dreams, one not at all unlike the cheapie that my parents bought when they lived in Japan before I was born. Thank you, Tatung TAC-06KN, for making my fantasy a reality. It’s a little bit like a double boiler — not only do you put liquid in with the rice, but you put a little in the main body of the cooker (which is fully sealed, away from the heating element), and then put the rice pot in that. Rice comes out crazily perfect every time. I’ve used it three times in a week to make a spiced basmati, regular converted rice (for ripoff Chipotle-style cilantro-lime rice), and regular short grain white sushi rice. All divine. I’m over the moon.

    I will also be getting that sodas book (and the ice cream book) from the library. WIN.

    • misterkrista

      Oh very interesting! I’ve never heard of a rice cooker like that. I have always wanted a fancy rice cooker.

      And I’m glad you’re checking out those books. I love getting cookbooks from the library. Best thing ever!

  4. Thanks for sharing! I have a foodie in my life who is in desperate need of that Indian cookbook.

  5. annie

    for the longest time i wondered if i needed a food mill, i thought it was redundant or too expensive or something. well that’s because i hadn’t started canning yet and i hadn’t squeezed a million concords out of their skins or fished straggler seeds out of hot applesauce. i got this OXO food mill last fall and was converted the first time i used it. it makes the best applesauce- so easy, so smooth. quarter the apples, cook them, mill them, done. (or almost done if you’re canning.)
    this food mill is the jam! HA!

  6. Wow. You guys always inspire me — and make me a little jealous. I also wanted to let you know that I gave your blog a little shout-out today.

  7. Jeni Britton’s ice cream book is on my list…I just might have to treat myself! I am so intrigued by this whole soda making idea. Can’t wait to see what you guys come up with!

  8. Great knives are a must have and well worth every single penny IMO. I bought a set of 3 Wusthof knives a couple of years ago and every single time I use one I think, “I’m so glad I spent the money for these!” Every time. It’s weird.

  9. Oh man, the Jeni’s book. I have it, and here is my #1 advice: cut the sugar down. I never use any corn syrup or liquid like agave at all. I have found that if I cut the sugar down by 1/3 its much better. I made at least two recipes first that were good, but incredibly sweet, and I adjusted them.

    I would like to pronounce my love for the Early Grey w Cherries ice cream publicly though. So far that, and the darkest chocolate ever are my favorites.

    But as you probably realized, the basic ice cream base recipe is awesome and easy. I haven’t even moved on to using eggs, though I got a great book about sorbetto and gelato from the library to go a more custardy route. but seriously, that book is great. (Make ice cream for your friends’ birthdays as gifts then you get to try way more flavors but not have like, a quart of ice cream in the freezer at all times–thats my tip. Plus friends looooooove you.)

  10. oh and might I add that the cognac ice cream is awesome. its like the best vanilla you ever had + a bit of boozyness.

  11. Looks like you’re going to have a busy 2012 in the kitchen with all the new equipment and books!

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