Okay, foodies. Hands up: How many of you have a cupboard full of gadgets, tools, and contraptions in your kitchen?
Yep, me, too. No judgement. And I need them all. Okay, so some of them I may only use a few times a year, but they are all still incredibly important. Your mashed potatoes would be lumpy without the potato ricer. No self-respecting foodie would serve lumpy mashed potatoes. Am I right?
The giving season is upon us, and serious food lovers are going to want to add some of these gizmos to their Wish Lists. If you love a foodie, gifting them with one of these items will no doubt make their eyes light up on Christmas morning.
Who doesn’t love s’mores? Gooey, melted marshmallow (which perhaps you’ve made yourself, or purchased a gourmet version at Butter), crispy, sweet graham crackers, and gorgeous, melty chocolate. They are a childhood camping classic. Well, you can now enjoy s’mores any old night of the week at home with this super cool Salton S’mores Maker for four. Price: $55
I own shelves and shelves of cookbooks, and I use them a lot. But I also use my laptop, iPhone, or tablet when cooking, as well. It’s always awkward; you don’t want to get your tech wet, or spill flour all over it. This super cool tablet stand doubles as a knife rack. Gotta love a tool that does double-duty. This one actually does triple-duty, because it comes with a sharpener, as well. Price: $70
I know I said we were going to talk about the latest and greatest, but you’ve got to allow me to wax nostalgic for a moment. I am not a collector, but I love my Pyrex baking ware. I have pieces that came from both my mom and my grandmother, and I treasure them. They really are exemplary, and stand the test of time. This year for Christmas, Pyrex has re-released some vintage redesigns, and they are totes adorbs! They even come ready for gifting, packed in a vintage hat box. Price: $40
If you don’t have the counter space for a large espresso machine, or you have one, but it’s steam-driven and doesn’t do a great job of frothing your milk, then this small and sleek gizmo is for you. All you do is plug it in, add your milk (dairy or non) and push the button. In a couple of minutes, you have hot, perfectly steamed milk to add to your coffee. Use a classic Bialetti Moka stovetop Espresso Maker (available at Bosa) for the authentic Italian touch. Price: $149
Christmas is the season of parties and pot lucks. This gadget is going to make your life so much easier, by, again, doing triple duty. When your sister-in-law calls and requests that you bring your world-famous spinach artichoke dip to the party, this is the right tool for the job. You can chop all of your ingredients in the glass bowl, slap the lid on to take it over to her house, and then the bowl goes right into the oven. Easy-peasy! Price: $80
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good, crystal wine glass. Most people swear by Riedel. But they tend to be brittle, and they break easily, either by accident (or perhaps one too many glasses of wine), or while you’re washing them (ouch!). Well, buy these wine glasses, and it might be you last wine glass purchase ever. Unlike unbreakable plastic glasses (which, let’s face it, are only appropriate for camping and picnics), these are real glass, and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes, like white and red wine, highballs, and Tom Collins. Price: $20 and up for a set of four.
I love my cast iron, but sometimes you need a real non-stick surface, especially for things like eggs. These PFOA-free pans are cadmium- and lead-free. Instead of Teflon, which we now know is not good for us, they are coated with a substance called Thermolon. 60% less CO2 is emitted during the curing phase when making these pans, and they also feature upcycled stainless steel for the handles and upcycled aluminium for the cookware bodies. Better for you, better for the environment. Can’t argue with that. Available in various sizes, exclusively at London Drugs. Price: $15 and up (depending on size)
Oh, sure, it’s super romantic, in a Lady and the Tramp kinda way, to knead pasta dough, roll it out, and cut it by hand. But it’s not especially easy, and it’s pretty time consuming. This sleek little number makes one pound of perfect pasta in just 15 minutes, and it comes with four different discs to make different shapes of pasta. Mange bene! Price: $250
These canteens combine form with function. They are super cute and come in many great colours, and three different sizes (while still fitting in your car’s cupholder or your backpack’s side pocket). They will keep your hot beverages hot for 12 hours and cold for 24. The mouth is big enough to accommodate regular-sized ice cubes, but still small enough to keep from spilling all over yourself when you take a drink (I own one, can you tell??). Oh–and the best part? It accommodates an entire bottle of wine, making it your new best friend for taking to the beach or on a picnic. Or maybe you can pack some Bailey’s Hot Chocolate the next time you hike the Grind. Price: $35
Let’s end the list on a note of kitsch and fun, because, after all, isn’t that what Christmas is all about? You can proudly display this mythical creature on your countertop or stove, and then simply turn it over to add magical rainbow sprinkles to your cupcakes or donuts. I believe! Priceless.