Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Favorite Things 2012

One of my favorite features on some of my favorite blogs is when they do their "Favorite Things" round ups.  I don't have the opportunity to do that type of thing here since my blog is a recipe blog and I strive to stay true to that format.  However, I figured with the upcoming holidays that call for gift giving it would be a good opportunity for me to share some of my favorite kitchen/food related things from the last year.  This isn't a collection of my most used kitchen items (although I can do one of those too if you would like ;-).  These are some unique/specialty items that probably don't appear on a typical wedding registry, but have become very popular in my kitchen.  Any of these would be the perfect gift for the food enthusiast in your life and they span a range of price points too!

1. I have wanted this cookbook for so long and finally ordered it a few weeks ago online.  I am a huge fan of Donald Link's restaurants here in New Orleans and I couldn't wait to own his cookbook.  It is awesome! I can't wait to make the Cajun Chicken and Dumpling recipe, it looks to die for!

2. This is a tablet/notepad of paper place mats - genius!  I can't get enough of these things.  We are a big place mat family, but they get so dirty and yucky that it is embarrassing to have them on our table after a couple of uses and in between washes.  But these you can use once, crumble and throw away - and they are so cute too!

3.  Ok, so I know I am late to the game on this one.  I remember when these things first started to become popular.  It was several years ago and I just wasn't interested.  I got one as a Christmas gift last year and have never looked back.  I have always loved coffee, but was never a morning coffee drinker.  Since I got my Keurig I can't function without my first cup.  I love trying new K-Cup flavors and I also use it to make mugs of hot water for my tea addiction.

4.  Forrest and I love using fancy salts to enhance normal everyday dishes or as a finishing touch to something that is already very special.  If you haven't dabbled in the world of fine salts yet I highly recommend it, you will notice a difference immediately!  We have become quite the salt snobs in our household.  And I mean how cute is this trio?  This is my idea of the perfect stocking stuffer!

5. Paper Straws are the new party hat in my opinion - the must have party supply.  They are so cute bunched together and displayed in a mason jar or already doled out into individual champagne flutes waiting to greet freshly poured cocktails.  They come in a variety of colors and patterns and I never host a get together anymore without a coordinating set.

6. I don't normally give pre-prepared packaged food items as gifts.  I like to cook and I know that freshly made goodies are always so much more delicious than the store-bought goods.  But if you aren't willing to spend time in the kitchen baking Christmas goodies and want to give an edible treat as a gift this year, these chocolate covered honey pecans are the way to go.  I first tasted these several years back when Forrest and I visited Pike's Place Market and I was instantly in love.  I still order them to this day for a special treat around our house.  The funny thing is that I don't really like chocolate OR pecans.  But it doesn't matter one bit, these are insanely delicious and would make anyone on the receiving end very happy.

7. The few people reading this that know me personally know that I am a HUGE champagne drinker.  Definitely my drink of choice.  The problem with being a champagne drinker is that lots of people aren't or only partake on celebratory occasions so I often don't have a partner to help me finish a bottle.  I love this little gadget and one little twist ensures a tight seal that will keep your bubbly bubbly.

8.  I love my Silpat baking mat and wish I had one for every cookie sheet I owned.  I normally bake in large batches and only having one makes me want to scream.  Cutting out parchment and trying to make it fit the pan is maddening.  This would be the perfect gift for the cook/baker in your life because even if they already own one, chances are they would love to have another one.

9. I never owned soup spoons until very recently.  I just didn't think to register for them and then once I realized I really needed them it was hard to find a good set.  I make soup a lot and was embarrassed to serve a bowl with a huge tablespoon.  I don't think my guest really minded, but I think eating soup with a proper soup spoon is so much more enjoyable and it irked me to not be able to provide that luxury to my guest.  Forrest and Rex gave me a proper set for Mother's Day this year and I couldn't have asked for anything better!

10. And last but not least is another local New Orleans cookbook.  Some of my most requested recipes have come from this book and once you read the premise it will be no surprise why.  "After Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, thousands of people lost their keepsakes and family treasures forever. As residents started to rebuild their lives, The Times-Picayune of New Orleans became a post-hurricane swapping place for old recipes that were washed away in the storm. The newspaper has compiled 250 of these delicious, authentic recipes along with the stories about how they came to be and who created them."

**Note: I have not been compensated by any of these brands for this post.  These are simply products that I use frequently in my day to day life and happen to love. 


Julie Green said...

Bizzy...I love reading your blog and I am excited about this entry. I look forward to trying each of these THINGS!!!

Dining Alone said...

I love 'favorites'posts too, clearly since I try to do one a week :) I definitely need some of those silpat mats!