This month Kate Heyhoe reviews her favorite cooking products, creating a holiday gift list (Chantal cookware anyone?) that no culinary aficionado could possibly resist.
by Kate Heyhoe
Welcome to winter—or maybe not, if global warming's got you in its grip. But no matter where the temperature goes, the Global Gourmet Gift Guide covers all seasons, from indoor to outdoor cooking, and all types of folks, from cooks to noncooks, and coffee lovers to tea sippers. We've also got more groovy gifts in the Global Gourmet Store. So grab your mouse and let the shopping begin!
Livestrong with Lance: with Lance Armstrong practically being a Texas neighbor (in a 20-miles-over-yonder-kind-of-way), how could I resist the LIVESTRONG line of ceramic ware? Actually, it's easy to fall for. The line is made by Chantal and a portion of every sale goes to the Lance Armstrong Foundation against cancer. I love its bold, handsome look, in a rich yellow to match the wristbands, and includes platters, snack plates, bowls, teapots, and mugs.
Kate's Livestrong Picks: Personal tea mug with infuser and Livestrong-imprinted lid (bundle it with an anti-oxidant tea for your favorite athlete or sipper, and present the whole thing on a matching large Livestrong platter). Give snack plates to noncooks, too, as coin and key catch-alls; they make a strong statement on a dresser or table. Suggested prices: $14 tea mug set; $15 for 14.5x10-inch platter; $12 for 4 snack plates.
i-Roast 2 Home Coffee Roaster: For the coffee gourmet who may not yet have (but still wants) everything. Fresh, I mean really fresh roasted coffee will spoil you. Green (unroasted) beans last a long time, but after roasting all beans lose their flavor quickly. So it pays to brew them at their peak, right after roasting. The i-Roast roasts and cools beans in under 20 minutes, and you can control roasting times and temperature, for a truly custom brew. In fact, the roaster itself is a gift that keeps on giving: give custom-roast beans as gifts for friends, or bring them as hostess gifts (you'll surely be invited back!) MSRP $179.
Fire Up That Pizza: Pizza stones help replicate the brick-oven effect, and this item takes the stone a step further. The PizzaGrill BBQ Pizza Maker's Stone sits in a sturdy stainless steel frame that lets you bake pizza in a gas grill, or in your indoor oven. The backsplash prevents pushing the pizza over the edge, and a built-in thermometer tells you when the heat reaches brick-oven-hot. Kate's Tip: For maximum flavor, toss some woods chips into the grill for wood-smoked pizza. Made by VillaWare. MSRP: $99
Roasting On (and In) Wood: Cook with the flavor of wood in your oven, using a cedar plank. The spicy, sweet aroma of cedar (or alder or maple) will fill your house as it bakes into fish, poultry, vegetables, and roasts. Nature's Cuisine Roasting Planks come from sustainable and renewable forests in the Pacific Northwest. Their newest product, Cedar and Alder Cooking Wraps, add fun with flavor. Roll up your food in these stylish little sheets, tie with a heat resistant band, cook on the grill, oven, or even stovetop, and serve the bundles whole, for guests to unwrap and enjoy. MSRP: Roasting Plank $48.95; Cooking Wraps $15.95.
Perfect Panini: Hot, slightly crisp, grilled sandwiches are all the rage. The VillaWare UNO Panini Grill whips them up in minutes, and grills chicken, steaks, and other foods as well. The hinge opens up to a hefty 3-inch height, and gooey cheese slips cleanly off the nonstick surface. It also stands upright for storage. MSRP: $89.99
Mr. Coffee Grinder comes with some nifty features not found on other small grinders. First, you can actually remove the grinding chamber, twist the top to scrape the sides clean of residue (the Chamber Maid cleaning system), and pour out the contents with the integrated spout. I love that the grinding chamber and parts can be washed in a dishwasher (unlike some grinders and base that are all one unit). The settings are basic (fine, medium, coarse), with a separate indicator for 4 to 12 cups, and the unit automatically stops when reaching the ideal grind. MSRP: $24.99
Stocking Stuffers: SiliGourmet Kitchen Tools may sound silly, but they're pretty and practical. The key: silicone makes them better. From long for grilling to short for pastry, silicone basting brushes clean up easy and the angled brush heads deliver the marinade or butter precisely where you want it. Aluminum measuring cups and spoons are color coded, and the silicone surface is stain and odor free. Prices range from $10 to $20.
Calling all cooks! This is your Thanksgiving Headquarters—everything you need to know about turkeys, stuffings, side dishes and desserts...
Copyright © 2006, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.
This page created November 2006
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