Foodie X-mas Wishlist

Well, I am back on the interwebs! Besides a little problem with my mouse, I am back in blogging business. Without further ado, here’s a full-blown gift report!

There are 10 days left (almost nine) before Christmas. If you’re still procrastinating or not quite sure what to get that foodie on your holiday gift list, here are a few of the items that stuck out to me while browsing magazines and store shelves this festive gift-giving season:

Breville Pie MakerBreville Pie Maker at Williams-Sonoma

This Williams-Sonoma exclusive may just help me get over my pie-making phobia. Simply take any crust (even a store-bought one), place one in the bottom, add whatever filling – sweet or savory, then top with another crust.

The machine crimps and bakes four mini-pies in minutes. Now, that is a cool tool for the countertop. Right now, it retails for $79.95.

Zoku Quick Pop MakerZoku Quick Pop Maker at Williams-Sonoma

Another exclusive to the high-end culinary retail store is this popsicle treat maker. Create innovative icy treats that freeze in minutes instead of waiting for hours with some wooden sticks in paper cups to appear.

The specially-designed tray will help you make layered fruit pops. Purchase the additional tool sets and add some zing with cut-out shapes or inject some other flavors into your pops. The pop maker sells for $49.95 with additional accessories costing extra.

Subscription to Cooks Illustrated

If there’s a serious cook in your life, they have heard about Cooks Illustrated. These magazines – plus their PBS TV shows “America’s Test Kitchen” and “Cooks Country,” are full of great recipes that have been tested and tried.

I frequently refer to my old issues and cookbooks whenever I have a question. Plus, their detailed reports of product testing (ever wonder who has the best stainless steel non-stick frying pan or who makes the best real maple syrup?) takes all the guesswork out of buying the right tool. Think of it as “Consumer Reports” for the foodie.

There’s no fluff in these magazines, just pure cooking from start to finish. A one-year subscription (six issues) is $24.95.

J.A. Henckels Knife Block SetJ.A. Henckels Knife Block Set

You can find this at various retailers, but I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my set of Henckels knives. They cut like butter. I don’t know how I lived without these knives.

Everything from bread to steak cuts in a breeze. The black handles fit perfectly in my hands and don’t slip. Plus, they match perfectly with just about any kitchen decor. Included in the set is the wooden block, sharpening steel, steak knives, bread knife, paring knife, utility knife, chef’s knife and more. The only thing missing is a Santoku but I need something for next year’s wish list, right?

Racine Danish KringleDanish Kringle from O&H Bakery

It’s been voted Racine, Wis.’s best kringle for a reason. Because it is. With holiday flavors like cranberry, chocolate peppermint and pumpkin caramel, a kringle is the perfect gift to land on someone’s doorstep just in time for Christmas morning.

Pair it with some kringle-flavored coffee or one of their other signature bakery goods like coffee cake or cinnamon-apple bread pudding and what says “Happy Holidays” better?

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