Holiday Gift Ideas 2009

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  1. Mary Nagle

    Thanks for these great gift ideas. I own the soda maker and it is a perfect addition to our kitchen. My husband likes soda water with a meal so we use our machine a lot. It also makes delicious chocolate sodas for a treat.

  2. Emily

    Thank you for these ideas! I just put several on a wish list for me and also got a couple of ideas for friends. I appreciate you taking the time to do this. I love books like The Flavor Bible and hadn’t come across that one before!

  3. Alexa

    I’m like you and every year I tell myself that next year I’ll start earlier–so thank you for the great gift ideas. I like to give cooking magazine subscriptions to my friends.
    By the way, I’ve tried several of your recipes recently and have enjoyed every single one of them.:-)

  4. Jennifer

    If you’re into a lot of bread making, I’d recommend Electrolux’s Magic Mill Assistent Mixer. My mother in law has had a few Kitchenaids who have broken with moderate amounts of dough, but this seems to hold up. It’s pricey (and kind of loud), but worth it!

  5. Jen

    We’re almost convinced on that soda maker. I’m curious about refills though – I don’t see them available anywhere but from the manufacturer and you have to send them in to exchange… does it use standard co2 chargers as well? We’re worried that if the company that makes them goes out of business we’d be stuck with something useless. Have you or your friend dealt with getting new c02 chargers yet?


    Great question. I haven’t had to replace the CO2 cartridges yet, but on the Williams Sonoma website it says, “Depleted cylinders can be refilled or replaced at your nearest Williams-Sonoma store or by visiting” So I am planning to go to WS when I need to refill. ~Elise

  6. Gaelle

    Great list! I really like your penguin! Is it possible to use it to make espumas? My mother used to have one of these syphons machines and we would make our own Creme Chantilly (no whipping, just a cartridge to fluff some heavy cream). Nowadays, people in France are into espumas : they make a base of fruit/vegetables with cream, yogurt and then put it in the syphon to make a mousse.

    Hi Gaelle, I’m pretty sure this device is only for carbonating water. ~Elise

  7. Bettie Infante

    WOW! These are the best ideas I’ve seen this season. Instead of gifts, I am going to put some of these on my Christmas wish list. I will definitely pass this on to all my cooking friends. Thanks!

  8. Terry

    I got a Sodastream soda maker in September (the cheap model with the plastic bottles, I can’t afford the luxe glass model) and it is great. I use it every day and would recommend it to anyone who hates dragging seltzer home from the store, and bringing those bottles back, ’cause we are all trying to be green. Really, this is one of the best buys I have made in a long time.

  9. jen

    Ok, I know that this is EXTREMELY immature of me, but the best thing I like about the Penguin is how much it cracks me up whenever I use it. The penguin FARTS into the water!

    You had to say that, didn’t you Jenny? ;-) ~Elise

  10. Amy

    Nice list! I concur. In fact, I have everything on your list except the thermometer. I’m pretty fond of my remote style thermometer but the infrared looks like a fun toy.

  11. Jennifer

    What great gift ideas! The digital scale has been on my Amazon wish list for a while now, I really want one. And I am embarrassed to say, I have never heard of an infrared thermometer but I do make candy so I think I’m going to have to look into that a bit more.

  12. Anne H.

    I got the Flavor Bible at my local library over the summer and I fell in love. I’m hoping for one for Christmas. It’s fascinating, and it’s inspired unusual but delicious things in my own cooking, like plum compote with cinnamon.

  13. Meand3boyz

    Thanks for posting this. I’ve been eyeballing the KitchenAid Mixer for years. I’m not sure I would use it enough to justify the price tag. I have a digital scale, not the same as yours, but I highly recommend getting one. It’s perfect if you want an exact measurement of pasta.

    I’ve been a lurker on your blog for a few years now and want to tell you how much I enjoy it. I use one of your recipes at least once a week. My finicky kids love the meals I prepare using your recipes. I love that the recipes don’t start with “a can of this and a can of that”. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a food snob by any means, but the sodium and sugar in them are usually through the roof!

    Enough of my rambling. Thanks for doing this blog, I get excited when I see a new post on my google reader page in the morning. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

    Thank you for your kind words! I’m so glad you are finding the site useful. Happy holidays! ~Elise

  14. Jill Anderson

    Great list! I would also add a Tortilla Grill as a great gift item. I use mine to warm flour tortillas as well as to roast peppers. It makes the tortillas taste closer to homemade with a slight char on them. Delicious. I got mine at the Santa Fe Cooking School.

    I love that mesh top for stovetop grilling! Just ordered one. I love charring chiles directly on the gas stove, but without a mesh they can easily fall through the grates. Thank you for that suggestion. ~Elise

  15. GoneVeg

    To the person who asked about refilling the carbon cartridges

    a) Yes, they are only available from the company. We had them replaced once already: we left them outside our door and they came, grabbed them and left new ones that day.

    b) However, I just found out that a kitchen store in my neighborhood recharges them. If anyone else is in NY, Brooklyn Kitchen will recharge them for you.

  16. Alecia

    I covet a KA mixer… but alas I have no where to put one in my tiny house! Thanks for the great list, Elise. You’ve given me some inspiration for a couple of people I am drawing a blank on for gifts. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas – thanks for your awesome blog. :-)

  17. Andrea

    Great post Elise! I actually bought a Fountain Jet and then noticed the referral program. Not sure if it’s still eligible but I totally bought it based on your post :-)

  18. Honeybeast (Julie)

    I’m glad you mentioned the Flavor Bible, Elise – it’s so good not just as resource but as inspiration.

    And I have the way less cute but cheaper soda maker from Sodastream, and I love it (though I do wish I’d splurged for the cute Penguin model) – fizz whenever I want it and without having to buy new bottles each time.

    Mmmmm, truffle salt.

  19. Connie

    Okay, getting your wife an appliance for Christmas might not be what most men think is acceptable but that’s what I want. With all the talk about the dangers of grocery store cleaning product, I want to dump these deadly products for 2010. I‘ve dropped at least 1000 hints that I want a Ladybug vapor steamer for Christmas. John, are you reading this? Order it today!!! LOL

    It’s a lady bug! ~Elise

  20. Andy

    Great post! Thanks for the list. I would love to add “Mantra: The Rules of Indulgence” by Chef Jehangir Mehta to the list. The unique style of presentation in this book has amazed me; in other books we see divisions like cakes, cookies etc., but in this book the chapters are devoted to ingredients and the sections are like “herbs,” “flowers,” and so on. This book has been my inspiration to culinary innovations