Gifts for Kitchen Dwellers & An Easy DIY Gift

I don’t think it is any secret that I love food. I also love to be in my kitchen cooking – and sometimes baking. And having amazing kitchen tools is essential for me. I’m definitely not one of those home cooks who has to have every gadget – there are a few deciding factors when it comes to bringing tools into my kitchen: 1) They need to be totally functional. Multipurpose is a plus. 2) They need to be really good quality and most likely last forever. 3) They need to be beautiful.

So with all of that said, I put together a round-up of my favorite kitchen must-haves that meet all of my high kitchen standards:

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1. Rolling Pin $105.00, Herriott Grace – I absolutely love everything that Herriott Grace does – they are truly one of a kind pieces. I’ve been pining over one of these rolling pins for quite awhile as a replacement to my Ikea one (which has served me just fine, but the handmade ones are just swoon-worthy!).

2. Beeswax Wrap $21.31, Kaufmann Merchantile – I love the idea of this re-usable wrap and I’m a sucker for anything made in part by busy bees!

3. Iron Utility Scissors $18.00, Anthropologie – I splurged on a pair of these scissors last year for my birthday and I do not regret it one bit. I used to have a pair of kitchen specific scissors but they were awful (Cuisinart – their products keep failing me). I love this pair so much. Plus they are one of the prettiest pairs that I own (I have a bit of a thing for beautiful scissors).

4. Callebaut Dark Chocolate Pepins $6.00, Duchess Provisions – This is some of the best baking chocolate on the market, in my opinion. Did you know you’re not supposed to store chocolate in the fridge or feezer? Store it in a dark, cool location away from the elements, it will keep the true flavor preserved and prevent the chocolate from discoloring.

5. Marble & Wood Boards $54.00, Drake General Store – These are some true beauties! They would look beautiful hung on a pretty hook in the kitchen when not in use.

6. Fancy Olive Oil $29.95, Old Faithful Shop – I usually select my olive oil based on the most attractive packaging (yes, I am one of those people), but I’ve found that anyone who puts effort into an attractive package usually has an equally good quality product. I’m sure it isn’t true for everything, but it has seemed to work for me so far. Feel free to present arguments against me on this one, it is stupid logic, I know!

7. Heirloom Recipe Box $145, Rifle Paper Co – My husband bought this recipe box for me for Christmas several years ago and it is so, so beautiful and good quality.

8. Noble Bourbon Maple Syrup $34.95, Old Faithful Shop – I bought one of the small sampler bottles initially because I didn’t want to shell out for the big size before trying the product, but that little one got me hooked. This syrup is so good in cooking and baking or just poured over top of some fluffy waffles.

9. Little Deer Wooden Spoon $29.95, Williams-Sonoma – We were gifted a couple of Little Deer wooden spoons for our wedding from some foodie friends and I used the gift card that they’d also given us for the Cookbook Co. to buy more of these spoons since I loved them so much. They get used daily in our house and are probably near the top on my 10 favorite kitchen tools list. Even after over 6 years of heavy usage and abuse they have only gotten better within time.

And if you’re looking for an easy DIY that any cook or baker is sure to love, here is my favorite simple and fairly inexpensive gift idea:

IMG_2752

Left: Freshly made extract which needs to steep for a couple of months. Right: My supply that is very well steeped, smelling and tasting amazing.

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Ingredients

– 3 whole vanilla bean pods (Shop around for these – some places seem to charge an arm & a leg but I was able to purchase mine for $2 each from Planet Organic)
– Vodka (I use Prairie Vodka but you can use any type of plain vodka you want)

Instructions

– Use a sharp knife to cut the vanilla pods open to release more flavor.
– Put the vanilla pods (every part) in a clean sterilized jar with a lid.
– Fill the jar with vodka, seal the jar and shake
– Store the jar in a cupboard at room temperature, shaking daily, until you are ready to gift the extract (vanilla extract needs about 3 months to “steep” before it is ready to be used, so just make sure to instruct the recipient of this).

You can fancy up your jar with a pretty label and some baker’s twine.

Homemade vanilla extract will last a really long time – I’ve been using mine for about 3 years. You can add extra vodka and replace the vanilla pods as your supply begins to diminish.

As with all of my gift guides, the items are carefully selected by myself and all opinions are my own. I am not receiving compensation for any of these products – I just love them!

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