It’s the most wonderful time of the year!! I am approaching Buddy the Elf levels of holiday cheer over here in Chicago and it’s awesome. I spent all yesterday putting up our Christmas decorations while of course watching Christmas movies and listening to Christmas music. Can I fit one more Christmas in this paragraph? Yup!
I was thinking about writing a post on how to stay healthy during the holiday season, but I feel like that gets written over and over every year. Yes, it’s hard to stay on track during this time of year when there are a thousand opportunities to eat cookies and stuff yourself with a large dinner, but it isn’t entirely impossible. And you know what? It’s ok if you go a little overboard every now and then. I like Kathy’s approach to healthy eating over at Kath Eats Real Food. Healthy is a squiggly line. Sometimes it will be up and sometimes it will be down, but overall it’s about a healthy balance.
So in lieu of the tips and tricks to eat well during your Christmas and New Year’s celebrations, I am going to tell you to buy presents. Not for me (although if you’re feeling it, I am in desperate need of this Vitamix. Yes, desperate need), but for the cook/cooks in your life. You don’t need a ton of fancy utensils to eat well, but there are a few basics that I use over and over again that can really make a difference in the kitchen. So here is a gift list for some simple tools that can make healthy eating easy and even a little fun!
I use a spatula pretty much every day. From scraping things out of the food processor or a bowl to making scrambled eggs, a spatula is a must in my kitchen. Plus you can find some cute ones over at Target for less than $5. These would make a great stocking stuffer!
I’ve raved about these over and over again, but that’s because they are awesome. A Silpat is pretty much reusable parchment paper. Nothing sticks to these things so you can roast vegetables, bake cookies, roll out bread dough, and even make chocolate bark without working about half the food sticking to the pan. I have two that get used regularly and they have lasted me a long time.
Not a flashy or exciting gift perhaps, but a very useful one. You can use these for more than grinding fresh pepper, which you should be doing. No one needs to use pre-ground pepper when it’s so easy to do fresh. Just ask Alton. You can use it to grind coarse sea salt into a finer powder, seeds like cumin, fennel, or grains of paradise, and you can use it to make your own spice blends. This is a super versatile gift and one that is sure to be used over and over.
Pyrex Glass Dishes
If you are a leftover junkie like me (and you should be after I gave you all of these wonderful ideas!) then these will be a must. No more plastic containers that always lose their lid, get stained or smell, and that will inevitably melt at some point. These dishes are great for leftovers, can go in the freezer, and are perfect portions to stick into your lunchbox for a healthy lunch at work or school.
Ok, so this might be the one splurge item on this list, but it is worth it. Actually, you don’t have to spend a ton on a food processor because I made do with a secondhand Black & Decker for many years before Adam decided to upgrade mine for our anniversary. Food processors are great for nut butters, chopping a ton of vegetables, making dough, and pretty much anything else you can think of. Even though this is pricier than the other things on the list, you will use it enough to justify the cost.
Hopefully you can find a few gifts on this list that will work for you or your favorite cook. Only 17 more days until Christmas!!
What are some of your favorite cooking tools?