Wednesday, December 8, 2010

All I want for Christmas...

Well I want a lot of things.  But not all of them are food-related, so I won't list them here.  Actually, this isn't exactly my Christmas list.  Instead it's more like my "gifts I want, or have received and recommend to others for Christmas" list.  Does that make sense?  Whatever, we're going to go with it.  Or at least I am going with it.  All of you reading this can decide for yourselves. 

  1. Baked: New Frontiers in Baking and Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented - Baked is a bakery in Brooklyn that is famous for their brownies (and various other baked goods).  If you Google "Baked brownie" you will come up with dozens of blogs that have tried the recipe out (including mine).  The brownie is amazing.  I am also dying to try their Brewer's Blondies.  I haven't tried any of the recipes yet from Baked Explorations since it was just publised in October 2010, but I'm sure that the recipes there are just as amazing as the ones in their original cookbook!
  2. Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian - I am always looking for new vegetarian recipes to try so Alex and I can at least made a good faith effort to get the recommended daily allowance of vitamins, minerals, etc.  I almost always fail, but I think with this cookbook I would be much better equipped to succeed!  I already own two fabulous Madhur Jaffrey cookbooks so I have total faith in her, and I have paged through it several times at the bookstore, and there are tons of really delicious sounding vegetarian recipes.
  3. Ad Hoc at Home - For any somewhat accomplished home cook and foodie, this cookbook is a must have.  I know it's kind of pricey (and a little unwieldy since it is bordering on huge), but it is totally worth it if only for the Ad Hoc Creamed Summer Corn recipe, which is flat out amazing.  This cookbook is definitely not for the novice cook, nor are the recipes intended to be quick and easy weeknight meals.  They all require some level of preparation (including the right tools and ingredients) and some level of skill.  But the results are delicious.
More ideas after the jump!

Kitchen Tools:
  1. These state cutting boards by AHeirloom produced by a couple in Brooklyn are awesome. They are made out of "plyboo," which is made out of 100% renewable bamboo. I love how they place a little heart on whatever city you tell them to. Right now it looks like they are sold out on Etsy, but you have to check out the New York cutting board. They were written up a few times on various blogs and websites so that's where I first heard of them (see here for example), but I am coveting these from afar until they are available after the holidays.
  2. I can't even tell you how many times we have used our little mini-prep food processor. It's relatively small and inexpensive and totally practical. We have used it for loads of recipes, including Lemony Chicken with Cilantro and Charmoula Lamb Chops. It's great for making homemade breadcrumbs, purees, marinades or sauces, etc.
  3. I'm also a really large fan of Shun knives. Our most recent purchase was the Nakiri Knife, but I also adore our 6-inch Ultimate Utility Knife. It looks so goofy and yet we use it all the time to slice tomatoes, slice bread, cured sausages, etc. I love it. The Nakiri is a great knife for chopping, slicing or mincing garlic, onions or fresh herbs. We also have the Bread Knife, the Chef's Knife, Paring Knives, etc - all highly recommended. Just be careful because they are wicked sharp.
Other Kitchen Goodies:
  1. I'm currently in love with some of the pottery available on Etsy.  If I had an infinite amount of storage space, I would buy this set of Porcelain Artichoke Nesting Bowls and these adorable (and vaguely Japanese) Ice Cream Bowls.  I would probably also pick up one of the adorable bud vases from Cynthia Vardhan, although that's technically not a kitchen goodie, I totally covet them.  And I guess you could have bud vases in your kitchen if your kitchen is large enough...
  2. I'm also obsessed with some of the funky patterned bowls from Anthropologie, particularly their Flame Leaf Bowls.
  3. For some reason I find these quirky elephant salt and pepper shakers from Jonathan Adler to be quite amusing.  I want to buy them and put them on my bookcase.  I probably won't ever bother to fill them with s&p, but that's ok.  They're too fun to be practical!
  4. A new store called The Meadow just opened in NYC that sells salt - gourmet salts from all over the world, and then some chocolates and other things on the side.  I would love to own some of their Infused Sea Salts, Smoked Salts or their Chef Salts.
Well, I hope that this list gives at least a few of you some good holiday-shopping ideas.  Happy holidays everyone!

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