7 gift ideas for the chef in your life

Gift Ideas for your Favorite Foodie

by Paige Estigarribia

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I'm a self-professed lover of all things cooking. I love food - all kinds! From desserts, to odd vegetables like broccolini and radicchio, to star fruits, pastas, and pies. And almost as much as trying foods, I love to prepare them. Eating healthy meals full of lots of flavor is an important priority for me and my family. So as a chef in my own home, here are few gift ideas for that special cook in your life:

Frugal rebuttal: Cooks can definitely cook meals without any of the below tools - just using what's available in their kitchens. The tools below might make cooking meals quicker and easier sometimes. We've included this information simply as possible holiday gift ideas if you are in the process of looking or shopping for someone who likes to cook. We've included links to purchase some of the items through Amazon. Full disclosure: We are an Amazon affiliate. So if you are going to buy we'd be happy to see you do it through Amazon.

1. A Good Set of Mixing Bowls with Handles

Mixing bowls are an essential when it comes to cooking, and realistically you need several size bowls at your disposal. I have a set of both metal bowls and glass bowls, but neither of these sets include any mixing bowls with handles. The handles would be fantastic when you are pouring ingredients together or from one bowl or pot to another. A set like these from Amazon would be a wonderful addition for any cook.

2. An Olive Oil Sprayer

How great would it be to not have to buy cooking spray any more? You can stop buying it if you get an oil sprayer for your kitchen. My daughter has become more interested in baking, and as she practices, I've found we've been going through a lot more cooking spray. So I recently got an olive oil sprayer, and I'm so happy with it! I keep it right where I used to keep my cooking spray, and now, as long as I have oil...I have cooking spray! I found a Misto (like this one) at a local discount store, but there are lots to choose from if you look online.

3. A Mini Chopper

So many recipes call for fruits, nuts, or veggies chopped, but for a simple salad, baked treat, or sauce, who wants to lug out a big food processor? A mini chopper just might do the trick. I don't have one (wish I did!) but I could totally see how useful one would be for chopped nuts in cookies or brownies, or chopped tomatoes in a sauce. Just be careful when handling and cleaning because blades are sharp. Here's a link to a mini chopper so you can see what they look like.

4. A Set of Wooden or Bamboo Spoons

These are a staple in my kitchen! I use them when I'm cooking a dish and need to scrape the bits off the bottom of a pan. They are also perfect for any cast iron or enameled/coated pans, because they won't scratch the pans! For me, there's just something special about cooking with wooden spoons. Here's a nice set on Amazon that I think any cook would love to have.

5. A Zester

It took me forever to finally get a zester in my kitchen, and it's because I finally got tired of trying to use a grater for recipes calling for citrus peels. The peel pieces would come out too thick for the recipe, it would be too bitter, and it just plain wouldn't work. A zester is a very small grater specifically designed for producing the citrus zest, without the bitter under-texture of the peel. With a zester, citrus zest comes out perfect for recipe additions. I received my zester as a Christmas gift a few years ago - mine looks similar to this one.

6. A Cutting Board

A cutting board is always a welcome gift in my house. I usually have two out at a time as I'm preparing fruits, veggies, or meats, so they get lots of use. Bamboo cutting boards are beautiful, but remember they can be a little pricey, and they also have to be cleaned in special ways. My favorite cutting board is a simple plastic one (like this one) that I picked up at the grocery store. Sometimes you can even find them in really fun colors and designs.

7. Knife Storage

Lastly, every cook needs a safe spot to keep their knives. We were actually sent a a Knifedock to try out, and it worked great for knife storage both in a drawer or on the counter. It has a great cork compartment that keeps knives safely in place, and it has a lovely wood design too. Any knife storage would be a great idea for organization in your favorite cook's kitchen.

Holidays are usually such a fun time for anyone who loves to cook. Hopefully these tips gave you some ideas for taking care of your favorite chef this holiday season.

Paige Estigarribia is a writer for The Dollar Stretcher who enjoys writing about food, frugal living, and money-saving tips. Visit Paige on Google+.

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