This year we asked our Editors “What’s on your Holiday wish list?” in order to uncover some inspiring ideas you can use to thrill the food enthusiast in your life. If you happen to be that food enthusiast, print this list out and casually leave it laying around for that oh-so-subtle holiday “hint.” And, remember this Saturday is “Small Business Saturday.” Please get out and support the small businesses in your community who are making our lives so much richer here in New Jersey.
Beth Christian: I have two holiday wishes in mind. The first thing that I covet is a cooking class at Sur La Table in Marlton. The store is lovely, so I am sure that the cooking classes are too. I would love to be able to wield a cooking knife like a pro, or learn to bake desserts that give new meaning to the word “decadent.” Ahh, I can dream, can’t I? My other choice is far more utilitarian-I would love to open up a pretty wrapped box and find a microplane inside. Right now, when I use my grater to zest a lemon or grate cheese, those infuriating little bits get stuck in those tiny little holes. I usually scrape half the skin off of my palms trying to get those bits out-not an appealing (or appetizing ) sight. The microplane would cure these evils and make my culinary creations prettier as well.
Michele Errichetti: My Holiday Wish List consists of one item that I have been wishing for about TEN YEARS! It is a JUICER, not just any juicer, it is the Queen of Juicers! ……. THE NORWALK HYDRAULIC PRESS. There I said it. What is the big deal you say? The NORWALK costs $2,395 – $2,495!! Gulp! A girl can dream can’t she? This juicer is a MACHINE made in the good old U.S. of A. and delivers more juice and vitamins and the least oxidation of any juicer, which translates into more nutrition and antioxidants to nourish your every cell! I doubt this year is THE year, given the state of the economy, but I will not give up hope…anybody know someone who has a used NORWALK they want to part with? Check out their website at www.norwalkjuicerscalifornia.com
Sheila Hill: What is the right drinking temperature for wine? It’s a great debate. The Corkcicle, which is placed inside the bottle, chills wine from the inside and keeps it the right temperature for drinking. It is perfect for both reds and whites as it keeps the respective wine at their ideal temperature. The Corkcicle is washable and can be used over an over again. Ditch the ice bucket and grab a Corkcicle instead. Available at http://corkcicle.com/ and is packaged in sets of one ($22.95) and three ($68.85). Penguin’s “Great Food” book series A series of 20 food-related books that is as interesting on the inside as on the outside. This has got to be the one and only case where it’s perfectly acceptable to judge a book by its cover. Available for $12 a book at www.amazon.com
Any delectable delight available from www.atthemeadow.com With more than 120 different types of salt and 400 varieties of chocolate bars, it’s easy to be choosy at this online specialty shop. At The Meadow also offers countless varieties of gourmet grinding pepper and drinking chocolate. With salts from 30 different countries and Himalayan salt blocks, anyone would be inspired to cook. The right salt used the right way will enhance the flavors of any dish. My gift choice: The Meadow Foundations Salt Set, a collection of 3 sea salts perfectly designed for every kitchen. $40 for the set and includes a brochure describing each salt and its uses.
Kerry Brown: Carter & Cavero Old World Olive Oil Co. is one of my favorite shops to visit while on a day trip to Red Bank or Princeton. The walls of the spare retail space are lined with shelves holding gleaming stainless casks of olive oils and basalmic vinegars fitted with spigots so you can sample to your heart’s content with the bread cubes provided. Along with many different varietals of olive oil imported from Italy, Spain and other regions, Carter & Cavero also offers infused olive oils and balsamic vinegars. gourmet salts and other food items, home and kitchen items, gifts, and skin care and soap items. I would love to find a surprise from Carter & Cavero under the tree. I used their olive oil flavored with Meyer lemon all summer for lemon linquine which I made once or twice a week. Currently crushing on their House Blend which I flavor with a tuscany spice mixture and use for dipping french bread. Check out one of their 4 Locations – Red Bank, Summit, Princeton, Long Branch or online at carterandcavero.com.
Heidi Raker Goldstein: Vita-Mix 1300 TurboBlend 4500. Tops on my holiday list this year is this bionic blender, which puts my sunbeam to shame. Chefs around the globe rely on this powerhouse for everything from soup pureeing, emulsions, juicing, ice cream making, smoothies, nut butters and even flour grinding. This workhorse has a 7 year warranty and would not leave my work area, never being relegated to the dark depths of cabinets. Coming in a bit under $400, this would be quite a lovely and hefty addition to my arsenal of tools.
Matfer 915901 8 Piece Bourgeat Copper Cookware Set. As beautiful as it is hardworking, this super heat conducting classic group of cookware essentials would tempt me to toss all my All-Clads, as much as I love them. But at $1,400, these French beauties will have to wait.
The best gift of all? Kids who don’t need to be asked to set/clear the table or empty the dishwasher. And, of course, less pollution for our challenged planet to contend with so we can be sure our farmers will have better seasons than they did in 2011! Happy Holidays and Good Eating To All!
LauriLee For those of you who want to eat healthier, easy one pot meals, please consider purchasing a clay pot for the holidays. It’s a great gift for someone you love. For the holidays my friends at Yoursmartkitchen.com will be offering a very special deal to anyone interested in purchasing a clay pot. Go to where it says clay bakers/ Romentopf and pick the pot that suits your needs. Use coupon code ‘Laurilee’ on check out and receive an additonal 10% off! This is the best price you will find anywhere. The discount does not apply to shipping and handling but it does apply to any other items you might like on this high quality website.www.yoursmartkitchen.com/clay-bakers/romertopf.html
Colleen Wood: I would love to get this Recipe Rock from Crate & Barrel. The small gadget has a curved base and magnet that will keep a recipe sheet or pulled out magazine page upright while cooking. The Pecan Pumpkin Butter from Williams Sonoma would also make me very happy. I love bread so the more stuff you can give me to maximize that joy the better! Williams Sonoma also says you can blend the jar with eggs and cream and lop in a pie shell for a quick pumpkin pie.
Deborah Smith: I think its about time Santa brought me a KitchenAid Mixer. More specifically, Santa, I would like a KitchenAid Pro 500 Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer in Silver Metallic. If you need the model number big guy, here you go KSM500PSSM. Oh, and I’d also like the pasta and meat grinding attachments. I promise to make fantastic cookies for you next year and of course some homemade ravioli.
I’m also putting these delicious mouses and pates from Alexian Pate and Terrines on my list. You can find them at local specialty stores which they list on their website and check this out, they’re giving away a package of pates every week from now until Christmas, so be sure to register here.
Gina Glazier: This 5-pack sea salt sampler for $20 looks awesome. The flavors include black truffle, roasted garlic, habanero, among many others. www.salt-farm.com is where they can be found.
Lauren Weiss: This Holiday Feast spice set from the Savory Spice Shop in Westfield is a great gift although you’d need to make it an early Christmas gift to make sure it gets put to good use. I’m also putting their Bloody Mary Spice Mix on my list as well. For the stylish cook, this Stilletto Spoon Rest from The Spoon Sisters is a fun way to keep your counter clean.
Rachel Bozek: After buying countless gifts for friends and family at Go Lightly, a small Montclair shop that sells planet-positive gifts and home goods, I’m ready for a gift of my own! Their “Plates With a Purpose” 5″x10″ trays might be a good start. They’re made from recycled glass, and a portion of the proceeds for each one is donated to a charity (recipients vary by designs). Go Lightly also offers an eat-in-or-take-out vegan menu. Go Lightly, 4 South Fullerton Ave., Montclair, 973.744.7889.
From quirky patterns to bright solids, fishseddy.com is all about fun kitchen stuff. Topping my list this year is a set of their glass, floral storage bowls, and as a chronic last-maker, I’ve also added their lined-paper-themed Memo mug and tray to my, well, list. And fans of our big-city neighbor to the east might also love the Tunnel Vision and Bridge and Tunnel lines. Happy holidays and happy shopping!
Well, we’ve heard from our team, now its your turn. “What’s on Your Holiday Wish List?” Please leave a comment with your suggestions for the perfect foodie gizmo, gadget, treat or experience. We’d love to hear about it.