Do you have your Christmas gifts ready to go? Not me. I have a list, though! This gift guide is for my fellow shopping procrastinators. I wasn’t sure what to call it—Kate’s favorite things? Holiday gift guide? Entertaining essentials? Well, I’m not sure a waffle maker qualifies as essential, but it’s earned the shelf space in my little kitchen.
Basically, these are all items that I own and love and would buy for all of my friends if I were Oprah. On that note, this post contains affiliate links. Here we go:
Le Creuset cast iron Dutch ovens: My babies! I own two of these and I’m convinced that they are magic because they make everything I cook in them taste better. I love the idea of passing these heavy duty pots on someday. I have a smaller 3 1/2-quart oven (shown here, great for cooking for four or so) and a bigger 5 1/2-quart oven for larger quantities. Available in tons of colors on Williams-Sonoma (free shipping through December 20 with code FREESHIP) and Amazon (also with free shipping, no code required—here’s the 3 1/2-quart and the 5 1/2-quart).
Red and white baker’s twine: This twine makes everything wrapped in it look festive. I like to wrap gifts in brown kraft paper and wrap them a couple of times with this twine. Then I address them with a gold gel pen for a little sparkle. Tie on a small pine cone or sprig of evergreen or rosemary if you want to be extra cute.
Caldrea green tea verbena hand soap: I love this hand soap from Target. It doesn’t have any bad-for-you chemicals in it and smells fantastic. I’m a big fan of the refillable glass bottles and just bought some replacement soap for when I run out.
Everlane silk button-down: Have you heard of Everlane? It’s an online-only shop that cut out the middlemen to sell high quality pieces at low prices. Their silk blouses are absolutely gorgeous and so well made that I plan to wear them forever (they’re much nicer than J. Crew and cost less!). I’m obsessed with the silk pocket blouse. I also love the silk round collar shirt, which has a slightly oversized fit. The cashmere crew is on my Christmas list!
The Vegetarian Flavor Bible: Meet my most-used cookbook, which is an unconventional one. It doesn’t have any recipes inside. It’s a flavor thesaurus, if you will—you can look up any ingredient and see what other flavors might go well with it. The authors of the original Flavor Bible just came out with a more extensive vegetarian book (shown here) and I’m in love.
Wusthof classic 7″ santoku knife: This is my chef’s knife. I use it every day. It slices through vegetables like butter and fits nicely in my hand. I’ve bought one for my mom and my uncle just bought one, too. I won’t stop until everyone owns a great chef’s knife!
Bose soundLink mini bluetooth speaker: I can’t listen to music on tinny, trebly little speakers. They make my ears hurt. I bought this little guy for my office and have also used it to play podcasts in the kitchen. The sound is incredible and fills the whole room (even my living room!). I read way too many reviews for small Bluetooth speakers when I was shopping for one—just do yourself a favor and buy this one.
Schott Zwiesel “universal tumblers” (set of 6), otherwise known as my wine glasses. I break even the “unbreakable” stemmed glasses and have to worry about Cookie’s wagging tail knocking them over. I replaced my cheap, clunky wine glasses with these crystal clear stemless glasses over a year ago and I haven’t broken a single one! They’re beautiful, practical and durable and I swear, those sexy rims make cheap wine taste better.
Olde Thompson pepper mill & salt shaker: I feel strongly about matching salt and pepper sets. As in, everyone who takes the time to cook at home should have a set. This pepper grinder and salt shaker set is super affordable (under $20!) and looks way nicer than plastic throw-away grinders. The pepper grinder leaves a little bit of pepper dust underneath it, but so do all the expensive grinders.
Metrokane Champagne sealer: Attention fellow bubbly lovers! Did you know you can seal off the bottle and save your bubbles for later? I love this thing. One time I thought it broke, but then I read the first review on Amazon and learned how to fix it. Super easy. It’s lasted for several years and saved lots of bubbles.
West Elm heirloom scissors: Sharp, handy little scissors with pretty gold handles. I think these scissors will last forever.
Cuisinart 7-Cup food processor: Maybe you’re tired of hearing me wax poetic about this food processor. It’s small, which I like, because it leaves more room in the top rack of the dishwasher for other items. It can grate carrots, slice zucchini and whip up some pesto in no time flat. Combined with my Blendtec blender, I can process/blend anything that comes my way.
Calphalon no-peek waffle maker: This waffle maker is SO MUCH BETTER than my old one. It has a large cooking surface, which means I can cook up a whole batch of waffles in fewer presses. I’ve never had a waffle get stuck inside, which is a huge plus, because cleaning out waffle grates is one of my least favorite tasks in the whole wide world. This would be a fantastic gift for a breakfast lover! I also recommend Calphalon’s 5-in-1 Grill/Griddle, which is about the same size and is really handy for cooking up batches of pancakes or pressing panini sandwiches.
Tovolo king cube ice tray: Dudes love these giant ice cube trays. The big cubes of ice melt more slowly, which means their whiskey doesn’t get all watery. They keep my margaritas nice and cold.
Get It Right spatulas: This company sent me some spatulas a while back and I had no idea how hard I would fall for them. They’re the new wooden spoon! They’re heat resistant and you can throw them in the dishwasher when you’re done. This spatula doesn’t do all their other fun colors justice. Available in the “ultimate” size (shown here), as well as smaller sizes for managing smaller amounts of liquid (like getting the last bit of peanut butter out of the jar). Here’s the skinny spatula and mini spatula.
Sur la Table Baking Steel (not shown because it’s not cute): A pizza stone made of steel that will never break. It produces the most impossibly crispy-on-the-bottom, bubbly-on-top homemade pizza (see?). While the steel is preheating in the oven, I roll out my pizza on parchment paper, add toppings and transfer it onto the baking steel in the oven using a cookie sheet. I see pizza nights in your future!
This one’s not for sale, sorry! Happy holidays from Cookie and Kate. ♥