Day 8 and 9: Stocking Stuffers

Hello everyone! My most sincere apologies for not posting yesterday, but as I’m sure you can relate, this is a crazy time of year, and life happens. In truth, it was my parents’ anniversary and I wanted to be able to spend the day with them uninterrupted. This especially is the time of year when it is so important to spend time with loved ones, and I wanted to be able to give them my full and undivided attention.

That being said, I knew I wanted to do something special to make up for missing a day! With that in mind, I have compiled a collection of kitchen items that I think would make for excellent stocking stuffers or small gifts. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and the first night of Hannukah, and I know there are some of you still frantically running around looking for those last minute gifts. I hope I’m able to help, and if not, best of luck!

First on the list is the StemGem by Chefn. This strawberry huller, first and foremost, works really really well. As an added bonus, it’s also adorable. This is one of those little kitchen gadgets that you wouldn’t think would be as useful as it is. If you’ve ever struggled with a paring knife and an overly ripe strawberry, you’ll love this huller. It also comes in handy  removing bruised or soft spots from the berries. Pinching and grabbing with its tiny claw always makes me feel like I’m playing one of those old class machine arcade games (cue Toy Story aliens: “The claaaaawwwwww”).

I feel like 2016 has been the year of the spiralizer. Am I alone in never having heard of spiralizing vegetables prior to these past 12 months? Given this, you might feel the pressure to buy, or give a spiralizer. For those of you afraid to spend big money when you’re not sure if it’s something you’d even like, I have a solution for you. I discovered this small, handheld “spiral slicer” a while ago, and for beginner spiralers (is that a word? Let’s make it a word, why not), this gadget is perfect. It works like a giant pencil sharpener, and has two blades, one that cuts extra thin sized noodles (think spaghetti), and one that cuts larger, flatter noodles (more like fettucini). It won’t spiralize any large fruits or veggies, and it can be a bit awkward to hold at times, but in a pinch, it’s wonderful. Zucchini in particular are easy to learn with. This would make a great gift for anyone hesitant or new cooks, or for anyone who might be making health related New Year’s Resolutions. Zoodles anyone?

This next stocking stuffer might seem like a bit of an odd thing to give as a gift to someone, but it’s also possibly the most practical on this entire list. The Paderno paring knife is so useful and so handy, you’ll want to pick one (or three…) up for yourself. It’s just big enough that you can quickly mince a clove of garlic or a few herbs. For any of you travelling over the holidays, whether to friends’, family’s or rental places, working with unfamiliar kitchen tools can add unnecessary stress to an already busy time. Bringing along a little paring knife can make a world of difference.

I have an extremely serious relationship with Williams Sonoma. I have to physically turn my head to avoid looking at the store at my local mall when I walk by, otherwise I can’t stop myself from going in. Last year, I picked up this vegetable peeler there and holy cow. I’ve heard so many people talk about how a y-shaped peeler is so much better, but I tend to prefer a straight peeler like this one (is that what this shaped peeler is called? Note to self, do more research before writing blog posts…). This peeler glides over vegetables. Potatoes, beets, yams, carrots, everything. It’s got a nifty little thingamajig on the end for picking out the eyes of potatoes and whatnot, and the weight of it makes you feel like you’re holding something powerful. Is this what knights felt like holding their swords? Probably.

Finally, the Microplane 40020 classic zester. I have so many thoughts and feelings about what is essentially just a piece of metal with holes in it. Microplane is a brand I’d heard about before I started cooking seriously, and before I’d tried any of their products, I assumed it was overhyped. There’s no way something could work that well right? I got my zester a while ago, and when I say that I used it every week, I’m not kidding. Parmesan, chocolate, garlic, lemon, nutmeg, the list goes on. This turns parmesan into the finest, more airy light cheesy snow you could ever dream of. It will, and I’m not just trying to sound salacious when I say this, turn your life around. Save this gift for someone special, because guaranteed, they’re either going to include you in their will or propose on the spot. This is powerful stuff.

Happy shopping everyone, and eat well!

All of these items are kitchen tools I genuinely use. I am not being paid to talk about any of them (I wish!) and just want to share with you because I love them so much!

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