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Stocking Stuffers for the Kitchen

by kenzie on December 16, 2014

Do you have friends who love to cook? Then you already know what to give them – kitchenware! It does not have to be heavy on the budget, just simple things you could stuff in their stockings. However, when shopping for kitchen equipment to be given as gifts, always bear in mind that it should be something unique or something that he would like to have but never got around buying. On the other side of the spectrum, you can also give kitchenware they already have but something that is quirky or whimsical, giving it a personal touch. You can also look for gift items that are dishwasher safe so that you can add the gift of convenience to your stocking stuffer.

Here are some very affordable items you can give this holiday season:

-          Ice cube trays. Who does not need ice? The good thing about silicone ice cube trays is that the cubes can easily be removed from the tray, with very little effort. What’s more, the silicone ice cube trays come in a variety of themes and designs that can be fun to see swirling in your drink. For the holidays, you can go for Christmas trees and candy canes. For movie buffs, there are Star Wars versions. Other cute ones produce the following shapes: sharks (where the shark fins are floating above the surface of the drink), robots, Lego pieces, brains (for zombie-themed parties), dinosaurs and snowflakes. The standard ice cube trays that produce, well, cubes can also be used to freeze pesto, lemon juice or peanut butter (for smoothies).

-          Pizza cutter. This does not just help produce perfect pizza slices. A cutter can also be useful in slicing dough for cinnamon rolls, bread sticks, sandwiches, hotdogs, waffles and pancakes and fruit roll-ups.

-          Microplane grater. This is usually included in anyone’s list of must-have kitchen tools. Aside from shredding parmesan and other hard cheeses or zesting a lemon or orange, it is a very handy tool for other purposes. Your loved one can make chocolate shavings to add a flavorful garnish to desserts or ginger pulp (which is nice to add to stir-fries rather than minced or chopped ginger). This can also be used to grate garlic and fresh coconut.

-          Salt pig. For one, a cute pig can be a great addition to the kitchen. But this pig also provides the convenience of an open container whenever you need a dash of salt. These pigs have wide mouths (for easy scooping using a measuring spoon) but have hoods that ward off moisture and dirt and prevent the salt from caking. This is perfect for storing artisanal salt. So while you’re at it, you can dd some packets of flavored salts to your gift. These gourmet items come in amazing flavors such as espresso, rosemary, bacon (yes, bacon!) or black truffle.

-          Cookie dropper. This enables the production of uniform cookies faster with its measured scoop. This can help fill the cookie sheet in just a few minutes.

-          Heat resistant spoon-shaped spatulas. This is a multi-use device – you can scoop, combine, stir and scrape in just one handy tool. This will also not scratch precious Teflon-coated pans. These spatulas also come in bright and pastel colors to add more eye-candy to the kitchen.

-          Bamboo cutting board. Give your friend a head start at going green in their kitchen. Bamboo is a very renewable resource, and is eco-friendly and sustainable. Plus, bamboo is lighter than most hardwoods but not as porous so it will not shrink or swell.

-          Spice grinder. Don’t just grind pepper. Your loved one can also enjoy the delicate flavors that are preserved when you only grind at the time you need the spice. This grinder can also be used for nutmeg, cloves, dried ginger or cinnamon.

-          Silicone rolling pin and pastry mat. Pastry becomes hard and dry when you use too much flour, which you need to do when you’re using a regular rolling pin and pastry mat. Keep dough deliciously flaky and delicate with the use of a rolling pin and pastry mat made of silicon. The non-stick property in the silicone ensures you use no more flour than you need for the pastry itself.

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Rather than buying a generic gift, why not produce these out of your kitchen? Sometimes the most meaningful gifts are the ones you personally made. Homemade gifts are thoughtful gifts that say you care, without having to break the bank to say so. There are many possibilities – all you need to do is have your apron, measuring spoons, cooking materials and kitchenware ready.

But before you start, here are some key considerations:

-          The recipients’ preference. These homemade gifts do not just say something about yourself, but about the recipient and your relationship with them. Consider the recipients’ sensibilities with regards to food, as well as any allergies he might have. For instance, if you know that the recipient hates curry, then you can plan on giving him something else that he will like. If he is allergic to peanuts, you already use alternative ingredients.

-          Good presentation. Packaging matters. A festive design can put your really make a difference so make that extra effort in adding finishing touches – ribbons, Christmas-themed decorations and carefully selected containers.

-          Safety. Since you are dealing with food, make sure that there are no cleanliness issues with your preparations. Also, check to see that all the ingredients are fresh.

-          Labels and instructions. For some, instructions may be necessary so be sure to attach the instructions or recipe when applicable. Also, the ingredients of the goodies must be listed down so as to give prior warning to someone who may be allergic to one of the ingredients.

Here are some great food gifts you can make loved ones and friends:

-          Desserts and pre-made mixes in a jar. Mason jars are all the rage! You can make no-cook desserts as well as cake and cookie mixes. For mixes, be sure to carefully layer the ingredients in such a way that the colors of each layer contrasts with the ones above and below it. A wooden spoon can be an extra touch. Another idea would be to produce homemade hot chocolate mix and put the ingredients inside the jar.

-          Do-it-yourself gingerbread house kit. This is another delightful edible project where you can prepare the gingerbread “construction material” for the walls and the roof, frosting for the cements and candies, marshmallows and other small sweets as the finishing.

-          Flavored sugar cubes. Make sugar cubes infused with cinnamon or espresso to make unique tasting drinks. Place the cubes inside brightly colored tin cans and wrap a bow around it for that extra flourish. Recipients can simply drop these into a cup of cocoa or coffee.

-          Chocolate spoons. This lets one add a touch of chocolate to a cup of coffee. Take several clean wooden spoons. Melt chocolate and dip the spoons. Take them out, add any garnishing you want and wait for them to harden. Once the spoons have hardened, include designs carefully drizzled into the hardened chocolate. Place the finished spoons inside a wide-mouthed jar or a Christmas themed coffee mug.

-          Jams and marmalades. Add flavor to their toasts with your own special jams and marmalades. Look for clear jars with easy-to-close lids as containers. Be sure to label your creations carefully to avoid confusion.

-          Christmas cookies. Present these edible goodies inside a tin can or in a clear plastic tube.

-          Grilling rub. Dry rubs are a mixture of salt and dry spices and herbs that are used to add flavor to grilled meat, seafood and vegetables. There are plenty of grilling rub recipes avail. You can test run some to discover your personal favorites. You can also try adding unexpected ingredients such as chocolate powder or ground coffee. Next, you can get recycled glass bottles for a greener gift.

-          Personalized tea blend. Create a tea blend with your special combination of teas and spices. Again, a Christmas-themed tin can is a good packaging option for this.

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Holiday Cooking and Baking Essentials

December 6, 2014

Ah! Christmas! After Thanksgiving, this year-end holiday evokes memories of the aroma of cinnamon and spices wafting throughout the home or homecooked meals being prepared for a sumptuous Christmas banquet. As you gear up for the busy days of preparing for a gathering of family and friends over food, here are some kitchen equipment that […]

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Gifts You can Give to Your Kitchen

December 1, 2014

The holiday season abounds with gifts for loved ones and friends. But how about a trusted “friend” who is your partner in whipping up culinary creations – your kitchen? You do not need to spend a lot to update your kitchen, but you can equip it with restaurant supplies and equipment so that you can […]

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Kitchenware Checklist for Bakers

November 24, 2014

Do you love baking? Or are you dreaming of making the perfect homemade breads, rolls and cakes? When equipping your kitchen for baking, you first have to determine what type of baker you are. Are you into pies or cheesecakes? Or are you a bread lover? The type of equipment you will need will depend […]

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Countertop Appliances for Your Home Kitchen

November 17, 2014

LionsDeal can be your provider of quality wholesale kitchen equipment, such as countertop appliances that can help you make easy work of basic cooking functions. Whether you want to have a better equipped home kitchen or desire to fit your commercial kitchen with all the bells and whistles that make your staff more efficient. Here […]

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Commercial Kitchen Essentials to Improve Safety

November 10, 2014

The busy commercial kitchen is fraught with hazards. Sharp knives, hot pans and ingredients and the possibility of contact with fire can all mean serious injuries to your staff.  As a restaurant owner, it is important to provide essential restaurant supplies and equipment that promotes kitchen safety. Here are some of them: -          Fire extinguishers. […]

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Griddle Me This: A Griddle Buying Guide

November 3, 2014

For a restaurant, a griddle is one versatile must-have. This piece of equipment is a healthier way of cooking fatty meats such as bacon, pork chops or sausages. The oil can drip out of the food and thus produce dishes with lower cholesterol content. Griddles can also help in tenderizing meats and thawing frozen items. […]

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A Burger Lover’s Buying Guide: Must-Haves for the Burger Aficionado’s Kitchen

October 22, 2014

Are you passionate about your burgers – so passionate that you’d rather make them at home yourself? There is a unique joy in donning the apron, putting on burger patties to the grill, hearing the sizzle of the juices and smelling the aroma of a finely cooked patty. Preparing your dream burger, however, will need […]

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Equipping the Vegetarian Kitchen

October 15, 2014

Have you decided to go the vegetarian route? Your kitchen equipment may need some updating to help you whip up vegetarian gourmet meals. The equipment will make it easy for you to prepare raw vegetable and fruit meals. The key is in investing in some quality kitchenware that will also be environment friendly and long-lasting. […]

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