Happy Black Friday! It's not really a thing in Canada - our day to trample one another for a sale is Boxing Day - but it is just about the time we start planning our Christmas shopping. So I've put together a list of gifts I love, for all the foodies you love! Here they are, in no particular order:
1. Product of GIR spatulas - they're sturdy, they're flexible, they're BPA-free and heat-resistant up to 550ºF with no hidey-holes for bacteria... and they're so pretty! They've just launched all the sizes you could ever want (plus a bunch of other cooking goodies). And I have everything in a giveaway for you!
2. Nordic Ware Cast Aluminum Griddle - I bought one for myself a few months ago, and use it all. the. time. Now I can't imagine making pancakes, eggs and bacon, or grilled cheese for more than two people without it. Break it in for Christmas morning brunch!
3. Sur la Table Marble Pastry Slab - functionally, it stays cool so pastry doughs are easier to work with. Personally, I use it for more of a serving platter, as a great surface to arrange appetizers or a cheese platter. Plus, it makes a fabulous food photography surface, fellow bloggers!
4. Pacific Design Lab Serving Board - I'm in love with these charming "Live Edge" cherry wood serving boards, designed and handcrafted in Vancouver. Shapely, natural and beautiful.
5. Quicklids - the makers sent me samples of these months and months ago, and after a week with them, I literally put all my other lids in storage. They're universal - between the three sizes, I can cover every pot and pan I own (and I'd probably even be fine with only two). Because of the design, the condensation drips back down into the pot and they're transparent, so you can see your food without lifting the lid. These things are amazing, and having them cleared up a crazy-pants amount of kitchen space. I'm a fan.
6. Silpat Nonstick Baking Mat - I go through an inordinate amount of parchment paper. Having one of these eliminates the need. It's a great non-stick surface and wipes clean easily. Great for regular cookie-bakers, but you can also use it as a surface to bake chicken, etc.
7. Counter-Candy. Husbands/boyfriends/partners, if you're reading this and your leading lady doesn't own a KitchenAid, she probably wants one. Pick any one of those pretty colours in the Artisan family.
8. Top notch professional cooking thermometer - this was another goodie that was delivered to my doorstep and was a game-changer. I threw away (or gave away) one, two, three, four, FIVE thermometers after taking this Thermoworks Thermapen for a test run. It's impeccably accurate, super-fast, and... pretty. What can I say, I'm a sucker for things with brains and beauty. Not pictured is their ChefAlarm, which is a probe thermometer that stays in the food while it cooks and alerts you when the set temperature is reached. Also awesome. I asked them to give away a set to you, too - details coming soon!
9. Stainless Steel Cookie Scoop - every baker needs one. This particular baker needs one every year - I use it so much that it wears out. It's an inexpensive tool that I don't mind replacing, because the perfectly portioned cookies (meatballs, etc.) are so worth it.
10. Los Cinco Soles Vanilla Extract - I brought it back from Mexico in 2009, and it was the most incredible vanilla I have ever used. I couldn't stop thinking about it when it ran out, and was so relieved it was available online - I might have taken up residence in Cancun, otherwise. Amazing stuff.
11. Vancouver Candle Company Candles - their entire line is gorgeous, but I'm hooked on Point Grey, with the fragrance of cedar wood, balsam wood and vanilla. It smells like Christmas tree, without being too masculine, as some woodsy smells can be. I love that they're hand-poured in an apartment in Gastown, Vancouver. Why is this for foodies? Because of the innumerable times I've cooked something insanely delicious that... lingers... in the apartment for days. Who wants people to walk in to their home and sniff curiously at 2-day-old curry smells?!
12. Dr. Bronners Peppermint Castile Soap - this is my #1 favourite natural cleaning product, and I use it for everything from washing the entire kitchen, to mopping the floors, to bathing in it - for real. The natural peppermint fragrance is incredible - I love it all year, but especially during the holidays. Makes a great stocking stuffer, or a present for yourself.
13. The Espro Press - a beautiful insulated french press impeccably designed by engineers in Vancouver to solve every problem with a traditional french press. I found the elusive perfect cup of coffee!
14. The new Vitamix S30 - it's no secret that I'm a major Vitamix fan. This is the latest in their line-up, a personal sized blender with the super-strength you love in their full-sized models. Giveaway of this coming very soon, too! Woohoo!
Have a great day of shopping - online, I hope, for your sake! :)