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Well, the gift-giving season is upon us and people everywhere are rushing about to find the perfect gift for everyone on their list. Fortunately, those of us who are culinary inclined tend to be easy to shop for! Everything from a good skillet to an unusual spice blend can find its way to a gift box for an eager home chef.
With that reassuring thought in mind, we've put together a small guide highlighting some of our favorite holiday gifts. From ideas for the cook who seems to have everything to one just starting out, these themed gifts are just the proverbial tip of the iceberg when it comes to holiday shopping for cooks. Feel free to mix and match ideas from this guide, alter suggestions to fit your style or try something completely different. We're just offering some favorites to get the creative juices flowing. The rest is up to you!
Crabtree & Evelyn Gardener's Salad Bowl (sorry -- no longer available) is a special gift set that's perfect for those with green thumbs. Stuffed with everything from an oatmeal bath soak to bug spray, the gift is rounded out with a serving spoons and a beautiful aluminum salad bowl for all those yummy salads that are promised in the coming year.
For the cook who enjoys the challenge of making healthy food that's also good for you, consider a subscription to Cooking Light. Getting great ideas for cooking meals and treats that promote health while catering to finicky taste buds all year long is certain to be appreciated by that special someone on your list.
Every woman on your gift list actually should get a copy of Healthy Women, Healthy Lives. This new book examines a wide variety of women's issues ranging from heart disease to estrogen use. It offers the results of one of the longest running studies on women's health in a format that's easy to understand and geared towards prevention of disease and increased quality and quantity of life. Imagine being able to give a special woman in your life that for Christmas!
Everyone seems to be in love with grilling. And why not? It's simple, quick and healthy. Get the grill master on your list the Calphalon 18-Piece Barbecue Tool Set and you'll probably find yourself invited to next year's choicest backyard cookouts!
For the cook that's just starting out on her own, consider the Farberware Classic 13-Piece Cookware Set. Everything from mixing bowls to pots to pans are included -- all for under $100. All of the pots and pans have aluminum bases sandwiched in durable stainless steel for great heat distribution and years of continual use and abuse.
For the coffee hound in your like, there's nothing like an elegant french coffee press for a special brew. May we suggest Bodum's new Chambord 8-Cup Coffee Press? Its elegant design is sure to make it more than a morning must -- it's truly art for the kitchen.
For festive and practical entertaining, there's no beating Le Creuset's 2-Quart Pumpkin Casserole. Double-dipped in striking, flame-hued porcelain enamel, this conductive, cast-iron casserole is sturdy enough to use through every step of your meal, from marinating to slow cooking, service, and cold storage.
Dehydrating food is hot. Let your loved ones try their hands it with American Harvest's Snackmaster Pro 4-Tray Dehydrator. It's great for making fruit leathers, dehydrating garden vegatables, making beef jerky, drying herbs, and much more. It's an especially great gift for the gardeners in your life.
The ultimate Christmas gift for the chef on your list may well be the KitchenAid 300 Watt Ultra Power 4 1/2-Quart Stand Mixer. KitchenAid's stand mixer is a substantial piece of equipment: 300 watts of mixing power make child's play of creaming butter, kneading dough, and whipping cream. Seen in gourmet cooking shows and the homes of fine chefs everywhere, it's a cook's best friend!
For the person who loves to cook, but might be hard to shop for, gift certificates are a sure bet. They let the recipient know that you appreciate their love of cooking while allowing them to choose their gift. And, because they choose the gift, you just know it will be perfect! Some of our favorite places to look for gift certificates include:
Whatever gifts find their way under the tree this year, we at Seasoned Cooking would like to wish you all a joyous and festive holiday season and many more to come. Happy Holidays ... or, as we like to say here, Seasoned Greetings!
Editor’s Note: The prices listed in this article are reflective of late fall 2001 prices. They are subject to change without notice.