'Tis the season for shopping for holiday gifts and surreptitiously filling my cart with things I want for myself. Like this gorgeous donabe and sepia mugs made by Kinto, and this Hedley & Bennett smock apron that's perfect for narrow shoulders—I want it in every color palette. I'd also treat myself to a Trader Joe's gift card so I can buy the snacks that I actually want and that my three boys can't raid.
Just for fun, the Simply Recipes team got covet-y and spilled the beans on what we really want this holiday season. And because we're a wishful bunch, we narrowed down our list to the delicious and delightful kitchen and food products we hope to unwrap this year and categorized them into two sections: our favorite gifts under $50 and our big-ticket dream wishlist beyond any dollar restraints.
P.S. Got tons of gifts to wrap? You deserve a cocktail or mocktail!
—Myo Quinn, Senior Editor
The Best Gifts Under $50 on Our Wishlists
Our wishful hearts aren't always filled with dollar signs. Here are the presents, all under $50, that would fill us with holiday cheer.
"I already have these old-fashioned glasses in grey, but I might just want a set in each color! They look beautiful in pictures—I'm a photographer—and they are pretty sturdy as well." —Wanda Abraham, Visual Editor
These are perfect glasses for sipping our Fall-Spiced Old Fashioned or Rum Old Fashioned.
"In another life, I own a pizza shop / wine store / book shop called “Grampies,” because our pizza offerings would be named after different grandfathers we know. Cute, right? Anyways, I digress. I’d love to perfect my pizza game in 2023, so I have this Detroit-style pizza pan on my holiday wishlist. According to Serious Eats, LloydPans has been around since the ‘80s, and they’re the very best." —Ariel Knutson, Editorial Director
Practical gifts are the best because you'll actually use them, like a handy garlic press or AA and AAA batteries, arguably the best stocking stuffers. Begone are the days of having to pull out your knife and cutting board to mince garlic. Plus, this one is dishwasher-safe. Win-win!
"I sure do love garlic! So why don’t I have a garlic press yet?! It’s time." —Andy Christensen, Art Director
"I finally found my on-everything chili crisp—it's from Fly By Jing. It has a kick without burning your mouth and an incredible aroma of smoky peppercorns. I drizzle them over eggs, into stir-fries and soup, toss with roasted vegetables, and dip dumplings and savory pancakes into it. It's so easy to get to the bottom of the jar. That's why a new one should automatically show up in my mailbox every month." —Myo Quinn, Senior Editor
"Growing up, my grandmother always kept her butter in a butter keeper, so whenever I see one I am reminded of her cozy kitchen and delicious homemade meals. This particular butter keeper from Food52 is chic, French, and unfussy, which is how I always want my kitchen to feel. Plus it's truly the best way to keep your butter soft and spreadable." —Brooke Schuldt, Senior Social Media Editor
"I've been meaning to add a few smaller cutting boards to my kitchen arsenal. Big boards take up too much space in the sink or dishwasher, while a cute 'lil board like this one from Fredricks and Mae is perfect for small jobs like slicing apples and oranges, and mincing garlic. Plus, the festive colors are sure to make me smile even while doing the most mundane tasks." —Laurel Randolph, Recipe Editor
"When I saw black garlic molasses imported from Japan on the packed shelves of my favorite fancy grocery store, I had to buy it. The verdict? Worth. Every. Penny. It offers the best aspects of dusky molasses and mellow black garlic, all in one easy-to-use form that's as dark as liquid opal yet not as sticky or slow as true sugarcane molasses. Santa, my bottle is getting empty." —Sara Bir, Senior Editor
"I love Hong Kong-style egg waffles and enjoy Nordic Ware products, so when I found this Waffle Puff Pan you bet I added it to my holiday wishlist! It's a stovetop egg waffle maker that's non-stick and can be used on either a gas or electric stove. A fun snack or customizable dessert—best served with ice cream—egg waffles always fill me with happiness. I’m excited for the day I finally make my own." —Munni Pramanik, Contributor
Splurge-Worthy Gifts Our Hearts and Kitchens Desire
These big-ticket gifts are guaranteed to get our oohs and aahs this holiday season.
"Uncle Nearest is a small, but quickly-growing whiskey distillery in Tennessee with a fantastic history. I love their original 1884 Small Batch, but have never had a chance to try their inaugural 1856 Premium Aged Whiskey. Neat, on the rocks, stirred into a Manhattan—I look forward to sampling them all!" —Emma Christensen, Associate General Manager
"I first heard about Animal Farm Creamery in the New York Times this summer and have been dreaming about how I might use that precious, precious butter. The hot commodity—which sells out every two weeks in about two minutes—is made from the most regal cows in Vermont. It’s the butter that Thomas Keller serves at Per Se and French Laundry. At $60 per pound it's incredibly splurge-y, but it might make for the perfect fancy holiday gift…for myself." —Ariel
"The dream is that having this wood-housed electric countertop grain mill will lead to a steady stream of wholesome, home-baked loaves made with freshly milled grain. It's an easy-to-operate German unit endorsed by the utterly adorable Maria Speck, a luminary of the whole-grain universe. The reality is me failing to justify owning another appliance. I may have to make an exception for just one more." —Sara
Sous vide cooking isn't just for fancy-schmancy chefs, it's for home cooks just like you and us.
"There are a few foods that I only ever cook sous vide. Beef tenderloin for one. Salmon for another. But alas, my immersion circulator broke a year ago after living a good life and I haven’t quite been able to talk myself into the price tag for a new one. If someone wanted to get me this for the holidays, I would squeal with joy!" —Emma
Your rice storage game can get a pretty big upgrade with this dispenser that's cute enough to sit on your kitchen counter. We can also think of a zillion other uses for it—oatmeal, cereal, mini M&Ms, and granola, to name a few.
"Is this rice dispenser practical? Perhaps not. But that isn’t the right question anyway. Let's talk about where on my countertop it would look the cutest instead."—Mariana Gonzalez, Email Editor
"A stackable cast iron cookware set is an apartment dweller’s dream! Living with limited kitchen counter space and storage, I am always on the lookout for maximal kitchen supplies for my minimal space without compromising on quality, and this cookware set is exactly that. It includes a Dutch oven, a braiser, a grill pan, and a lid and comes in amazing colors. Grenadine for me please!" —Munni
"Making lefse, a soft Norwegian potato flatbread, is an annual holiday tradition of my wife’s mostly Norwegian family. Now with two kids, we figure it’s due time to bring this tradition into our own home, and without having to borrow the equipment. This non-stick grill—it also comes with tools, like a rolling pin and a potato ricer—will also be great for pancakes or any number of recipes that might benefit from a larger, flat grill space." —Andy
"I love designs with delicate, curved edges—my kitchen cabinets have these gorgeous handles—so this toaster caught my eye. The marine blue color plus the sleek curved design is a retro knock out I want in my kitchen. Plus it's not just for me. It can toast four slices at once, perfect for my large family. I'd keep it on the counter for our daily morning toast. Santa, if you bring me the matching coffee maker, I'll leave out a few extra cookies for you." —Myo
"If I'm splurging on something, it's usually edible. One food group that gets a lot of attention from my bank account is chocolate. Dandelion Chocolate, a bean-to-bar chocolate maker based in San Francisco, is a personal favorite, and any of their gift sets (or all of them?) make a wonderful—you guessed it—gift. They also carry hot chocolate mixes, chocolate covered nuts, and brittle. More great gifts." —Laurel
"I don’t think anyone understands how badly I want the Caraway Bakeware Set. As a devoted Caraway fan, I love how this entire line looks chic but is perfectly organized within the included storage racks. The person I want to be most uses this baking set. Her bakes always look adorable, her kitchen is never messy, and her friends marvel at the organization of her kitchen whenever they visit to enjoy her freshly-baked treats. I may not be that dream version, but I’ll come close with this bake set." —Brooke
We are big fans of KitchenAid brand stand mixers, and though they are quite the investment, every time they release new colors—basically every year—we're smitten all over again.
"I like my current KitchenAid, and it's served me well, but I tend to store it away after I finish using it—it's a workhorse, but not very pretty. This one is so beautiful it would have a permanent spot on my kitchen counter." —Wanda
"I’ve been waffling on getting a new Vitamix for about a year now, so it’s high up on my dream holiday wishlist. I bought a refurbished one almost eight years ago, and it’s one of my most-used kitchen tools, but the motor isn’t what it used to be. I know, I know, you don’t need a high-speed blender to make amazing smoothies, but the heart wants what the heart wants. Plus, the rumors are all true: it’s easy to operate, it blends like a dream, and it’s quick to clean." —Ariel
"I thought my obsession with buying things because they’re the perfect shade of brown was finally waning. And then Le Creuset launched the most delicious ganache-colored Dutch oven that would look so beautiful in my kitchen." —Mariana