The kitchen is my favorite place in the house. Besides my bed, of course. I love to cook, so any new tools or ingredients I find are a huge help and give me more opportunities to be creative. The ideas you'll find below may help you do the same or might be amazing additions when you entertain friends or family.
I usually serve cheese and crackers of some sort every time I have company over. Even though I am lactose intolerant, good cheese off a good platter will sometimes make it into my diet. I really love the look of this one and might end up grabbing it for myself one day. Made in Vermont, this elegant cheeseboard is made from North American maple with a teak oil finish. $48
Do you or your friends ever blow on your beer bottle to make music? Swipe your finger across a wine glass a la Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality? I can't be the only one. These glasses are perfect if you and your friends get together and want to jam out on your glasses. Yes, you just read that. You can get the set of 8 or a set of 2 (and you can download sheet music as well). Imagine the Facebook Live videos that will come from this! $240
Tea drinking can be a serious business. Sometimes, making and drinking tea is so relaxing it changes my mood completely. This kit lets you create your own custom blend using 9 herbs and 3 different varieties of organic green tea. This is a great introduction to loose leaf teas for the beginner or a creative way for a veteran tea drinker to experiment. The kit also comes with reusable tea bags. $40
I found that one of the things I missed most living in the city (in teensy apartments) was having home grown herbs. This is a perfect little fix that you can place on a windowsill and grow some herbs. Urban Agriculture has Basil, Mint, and Parsley for $17. You can also look into Garden-in-a-Can that gives you 4 cans (2 Basil, 2 Cilantro) for $24.
Writing this now makes me want bread so bad. Fresh baked goods don't get the credit they deserve when gifted. Can you imagine getting anything above as a gift? That is beautiful bread! I'm so excited just writing about it. When I lived in Paris, the best moments were those walking into the bakeries and just breathing in the scent of pastries, cakes, and bread. That is what you'd get when you open the box. Now since these are shipped to you (most likely overnight or 2-day shipping), the shipping costs will probably be a lot more than the goods themselves. Make sure to get everything you want at once (I have put breads and cakes in the freezer and after they have been popped in the oven, they still taste great). And if you are sending them to someone, be sure to have them home to receive the package.
Happy Cooking Cookbook
I not only got this cookbook for myself, I have given it as gifts. If you know someone who loves spending time in the kitchen or someone who wants to start cooking more, this is a great cookbook with a bunch of fantastic recipes easy enough for anyone to make a creative meal. I love cookbooks in general (I do change almost every recipe, but they provide change, and change in your diet can be a really good thing), so if you know someone who would love to receive some, these are also some great ones to check out: Le French Oven, A Bird in the Hand, The Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook, Better Baking, Classic German Baking & Golden. $24
The soapstone piece in the center of the platter above can be removed and placed into the freezer to get super cold or even placed in the oven to get hot. What does that mean? You don't have to worry about your food getting cold while it sits out (or warming to room temperature). Entertaining guests just got easier! Or if you're like me, entertaining yourself when you're too lazy to get up from a movie but still want to be semi-fancy in your pj's. $65
This is for anyone who likes to really kick up the flavor with their food (or anyone who may just want some slight changes before making a real jump to something totally different). These salts reflect the flavors from different parts of the United States. From the Merlot of Sonoma County to Chipotle from New Mexico, and Hickory Smoke of North Carolina to the Citrus and Balsamic flavors (and black color from Lava) in Hawaii, there is much to experience and enjoy. This collection also comes with a guide to help you get the most out of your flavors while cooking. $60
For any coffee/espresso lovers out there, this is the perfect gift! There are different options for color, size, functions, and can range anywhere from $100 to $420. They also have a really nice range of flavor capsules for coffee, espresso, and limited edition lines (pumpkin spice, banana bread, gingerbread). If you are unsure about which machine someone would like, you always have the option of giving a gift card too.
I hope you love some of these ideas and keep them in mind for your gift giving needs this year. I have chosen these and given my honest opinion of everything listed here. I have not been paid or received anything from these companies for this post.