Gift Ideas for the 2013 Holiday Season

Apologies for the lack of posts last week– we hope you all had wonderful Thanksgiving celebrations! I have a whole mess of recipes I’d like to share from our week with family, but for now, let’s talk presents. 

I’ll be honest with you: every single one of these items is something I either own already or would like to. I’ve been storing these up for you guys, and they come in a whole range of prices, so maybe they’ll be helpful!

Amazon has been my shopping mode of choice, given our access to Amazon Prime ($70 for one year of free two-day shipping– it would be a great gift in and of itself!), but we at The Little Red Kitchen have no official affiliation with them. Anywho, without further ado, check out some of the great stuff on the market today, complete with prices, where to buy, and my reviews (if I can honestly offer them).

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1. Stickygram Instagram Magnets, etc. ($14.99 with free worldwide shipping)
As an avid Instagrammer, myself, I love the idea of using the tiny, altered images for something other than social media. You could grab a few filtered photos of you and your best friends, family members, etc. and see their faces light up when they realized they’ve been immortalized on fridge magnets. Or something. I’m definitely planning on getting some for myself and others sometime soon!

2. Joy Mangano Go Mini Steamer with Travel Pouch ($34.43)
I’ve already added this to Jay’s and my Amazon wishlist (hint, hint, honey). I keep imagining how convenient it would be to get the wrinkles out of dress shirts or dresses when traveling for conferences, weddings, etc. My parents shelled out for a full-sized one years ago, and it’s been great for them! At under $40 and with great reviews, I don’t see how you could go wrong. If you have a friend who travels a lot, this might be the gift for them.

3. Kuhh Rikon Julienne Peeler ($16.50)
Jay and I own one of these, I gave one to my parents last Christmas, and I’ve already sent one along to Lauren as well (apologies that the price has now been posted…)! We use ours all of the time in the summer for shredding zucchini and carrots into easily-steamed vegetable noodles. Since we’ve been avoiding gluten, the zucchini noodles have been an awesome pasta substitute (simply place in a microwave-safe container with a loose lid and microwave on high for 2 minutes). This peeler in particular makes short work of several large zucchini, and would be a great gift for a friend who loves to cook (or needs to avoid pasta as well)!

4. Breville Fast Slow Cooker ($179.95)
Wow…where do I begin? I could go on about this particular piece of kitchen equipment for days. To begin, it’s a 3-in-1: pressure cooker, slow cooker, and steamer/rice cooker. It also sautés and sears, so you can prep all of the meat/ veggies in the single piece of equipment. If you’re looking for a higher-price-tag item for the kitchen, look no further.
Jay’s parents recently gave him one of these as a very generous birthday gift, and I didn’t stop using it (or cook with anything else… stove, oven, and microwave included, for 2 weeks after we got it). I’ve made everything from stock and chicken soup from scratch to whole chickens, pork roasts, short ribs, and ratatouille. Although I was terrified of the pressure cooker setting at first (I jumped from halfway across the room anytime it made a noise), when I didn’t harm myself after the initial run, I became much more comfortable with generating recipes. In fact, we’ll be cooking a whole chicken with vegetables in it tonight. Yum.

5. Emeril by All Clad Pre-seasoned Cast Iron Skillet ($24.95)
I never knew how amazing cast-iron cooking could be until my parents gave me this pan last Christmas. We use it as often as humanly possible (obviously avoiding sticking-prone foods like fried eggs, etc.). It’s also great to be able to throw the pan in the oven after some stovetop cooking, for recipes like frittatas and quickbreads.

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6. Spa In A Jar (semi-DIY, price varies)
Although this is more of a DIY gift than the rest, I loved both the aesthetics and functionality of giving someone a spa day in a jar. The clever creator of this package (Tonia over at The Gunny Sack), thought of just about everything for a relaxing afternoon or evening… including chocolate. She’s marketed the idea as a Valentine’s Day gift, but I think this would be just as amazing for a friend who has been feeling stressed lately, or who doesn’t get much time to themselves. I was impressed that it all fit in this jar, and with such a cute label, too! If DIY presents are up your alley and you’re feeling inspired, please let us know if you decide to try this one out (I might)!

7. Penzey’s Sunny Paris Seasoning ($5.59 for a 1/4 cup jar up to $36.35 for a 2 cup jar)
Jay’s mom gave me some of this for Christmas two years ago… and I’m not sure the bottle even lasted 2 months. We replace it regularly, let me tell you. This spice blend (shallots, chives, green peppercorns, dill weed, basil, tarragon, chervil and bay leaf) goes well with everything savory. We’ve used it on roasted chicken, sweet potato hash, fried eggs… the list goes on. Penzey’s Spices in general are fantastic (see below for another Penzey’s gift idea), but I think this one takes the cake. Give it to someone who loves to cook… or even someone who doesn’t. Maybe this will change their mind (yeah, it’s that good)! Image courtesy of Nom Nom Paleo.

8. Penzey’s Kind Heart Gift Box, Yellow ($19.95)
For the home chef in your life– I don’t know that I have to sing Penzey’s praises any more than I did above, but… they’re so good. This particular gift box (there are several, you can check them out HERE) contains 1/4 cup jars of the following:  Turkish oregano, Penzeys cinnamon, dill weed, smoked Spanish paprika, California basil, granulated garlic, China powdered ginger, and freshly ground pepper. It also comes with a drying towel, lapel pin, and refrigerator magnet!

9. Little Gems Silicone Baking Cups, Set of 12 ($8.99)
I know I already discussed these a bit in my Egg Cups post, but these have done a great job over the years with all kinds of baked goods as well. Just stick these (ungreased!) silicone cups on a cookie sheet, and they’ll work even better than standard cupcake pans. Once the baked goods have cooled slightly, simply flex the cups and they’ll pop right now… again, with no greasing needed. They can be a bit funky to clean (and if you forget, and DO grease them, the oil will stick around for a looong time), but we love them all the same.

10. KRUPS Electric Spice and Coffee Grinder ($17.99)
I got this grinder for Jay a few years back, complete with a bag of nice coffee beans. I’ll be honest, it helps me get out of bed every morning. I can definitely say that we’ve been this little machine through it’s paces over the years (dropped it, the whole bit), and it’s done an incredible job. It’s definitely loud, but at less than $20 it’s a fantastic grinder that I believe is worth far more. Honestly, I had forgotten that it’s a spice grinder too, until I was writing this post… so I’ll have to try that out soon… hmm…!

Well, that’s all for now… I hope these gift ideas were helpful to you! I know I’m planning on picking some of them up myself (if I haven’t already)!

Thanks for reading!

– Kaitlin

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2 thoughts on “Gift Ideas for the 2013 Holiday Season

  1. Pingback: Foodie Gifts for the 2013 Holiday Season | The Little Red Kitchen

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