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My November started with a quick trip to Louisville to do a bourbon run. We visited 15+ distilleries in three days and I had more old-fashioned than a person needs.
It ended with the usual holiday rush, and shopping, gifts, and holiday treats.
I like to give people gifts that are useful, but also exciting. I’ve made some lists of things I have and love, and some things I wouldn’t mind getting myself. Mostly kitchen and cooking related, but since I have a life outside of the kitchen, I included some of those things as well.
This is a long list, so let’s get started, shall we?
First, things I love. These are things I use and love and would recommend over and over if asked.
Oxo angled measuring cups: have these in all sizes, but use the smallest (2 ounces) the most. They’re perfect when you just need a little bit of vinegar, oil, or lemon juice. I use these literally every single day.
Silicone mixing bowls – These are perfect for mixing liquids because you can just squeeze and pour with no mess. I have a set of Pyrex bowls but rarely use them in favor of these.
Big metal bowl – This bowl is huge, I know. But that’s why it’s useful. If you ever make bread dough, gigantic salads, or anything for a crowd, this is the bowl you want to make it in, I promise.
Milk Bar All About Cake: A trip to NYC years ago introduced me to Milk Bar and I’ve never looked back. My favorite is the classic birthday cake, but I’ve made several out of this book and all are delicious. A bit complex, and you’ll need special equipment, but if you have a cake lover in your life, this is a must.
Not a baker? Get a Milk Bar Cake instead. My husband surprised me with one of these cakes for my birthday and it was my favorite birthday yet.
Jeni’s Ice Cream — This is the best ice cream out there, hands down. They have an inventive flavor list, but still manage to keep a few classics, and they use only the best ingredients. And they deliver all over the United States.
Ava Jane’s Kitchen Salt, Spices, Oil: I should tell you, I have worked with this company for years creating recipes using their products, so I have a lot of experience with them. This is why I can tell you that they are some of the best products out there. If you want to get someone a fancy gourmet kitchen product, get a subscription to one of these amazing products.
Pepper Cannon: Okay, this is a lot of money for a pepper mill. A lot. BUT if you like pepper, you will not find a better one, and I was pretty happy with the one I had. There are no plastic pieces in this, so it won’t break, it cranks out more than enough with just one turn, and has a fitted container on the bottom that you can grind into.
Solo Stove — if you like to camp (I don’t) or like a backyard fire on a chilly night (I do!) then this smokeless fire pit is for you.
Ooni Pizza Oven: There’s nothing like a wood-fired pizza, and with this, you can make them anytime you want.
These are things I have on my wish list this year.
Breville Dual Boiler: I’ve wanted one of these for a while now, but it’s pretty pricey for a home coffee setup. A girl can dream, right?
Le Creuset Enamel Cast Iron Dutch Oven — this seems perfect for bread baking and is beautiful as well.
Kitchen Aid Cordless Mixer – I have a stand mixer, but it’s a pain for small projects. This seems like the best solution since I’m always up for anything cordless.
Mid-Century Modern Art Print — I saved this a while back and still want to hang this somewhere in my mid-century house.
Smitten Kitchen Keepers: New Classics for Your Forever Files: A Cookbook — I don’t have a lot of cookbooks that aren’t baking-related, but this Smitten Kitchen has never let me down.
As we head into a new year, these are recipes that will definitely be on my favorites list: