December 17-23, 2021, Lots of Cook-Loving Gifts

See you right back here Jan 7, 2022

with our great recipe roundup from 2021

Hosted by  Barbara J Nosek

Happiest Holidays! From Thanksgiving Eve to New Year’s Day

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01.29.21  Pantry Cooking Cookbooks   While this may have risen in popularity during the pandemic, there certainly are ongoing reasons to love a guide to using up what’s already on hand. Saving time, saving money, making space, avoiding waste. While the book shown snagged the definitive title you can find others to browse at the link, some including suggestions for the best staples to keep in your pantry or fridge to play a supporting role for whatever creative dish your making with the foods you want to use up whatever main ingredients you’re working with.   Amazon

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07.23.21  Herb savers {or savors}   Yes indeed, you can drop them in a glass of water, wrap them in damp paper towels and plastic, stick them in the freezer, make a paste, a compound butter, or flavored oil out of them. But only a couple of those preserve the herb’s freshness. And none of them can do it in style like these designer herb keepers.  Shown are just two of the many possibilities. On the page you’ll also see an avocado version and companion storage containers.  Amazon

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04.09.21  Sparkly Syrup, and now more  We featured sparkly maple syrup back then. And in the past we’ve also played with sparkly sugar and salt to be sprinkled on this and that. But we found on Amazon – edible glitter – that can go in or on just about anything. And how holiday-perfect is that for  a foodie friend or a blingy addition to your own kitchen. The one shown includes flakes and stars in so many pretty colors,  and the link takes you to even more sources. Maple Sparkle Syrup   Edible glitter

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10.29.21  Offset Spatula & 02.26.21 Supoon  They may look like cousins, but their zig zags have quite different roles. The spatula is one of my best cooking & baking helpers ever, inexpensive too. With it you can easily smooth out, e.g., tomato sauce, cheese mixtures, cake batter, pie fillings, etc, edge to edge. Then, the Suppoon Sit-Up Scraping Spoon, and what a fun gift for any cooking friend.  It’s helpful x 3 – “sits up” on the counter, no spoon rest needed. It scrapes bowls and pans clean. And it’s a measuring spoon with t & T lines. Both may be  at your market, or otherwise the links take you to Amazon. Offset Spatula   Supoon

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04.30.21  The Big Fun Kids Baking Book  Know any budding chefs, maybe even still in grammar school? Thinking they would just love this cookbook. If you’ve seen the kids’ baking competitions you know these munchkins turn out some pretty awesome confections. Recipes here for muffins, quick breads, brownies, bars, cookies, cupcakes & cakes, and there’s one extra fun chapter on Fake-Out Cakes, designed to look like other foods. Darn good creds too, created by the editors of Food Network Magazine, and a New York Times Bestseller.  Amazon

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11.12.21  Food Themed Candles  What a perfect hostess gift for a food-focused friend, or even a festive touch for your own holiday get-togethers. Vanilla you might expect. But how about salted caramel, warm buttered bread, lemon pound cake, blueberry muffins, pecan Belgium waffles, fresh strawberries, chocolate {shown},  marshmallow – and this too-fun cereal bowl. You can of course also search for a specific food.  Amazon

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06.04.21  Dried Fruit Gift Packs  There are so many ways this is a great gift. First, of course, it’s tasty, sweet and varied. Second, it’s such a colorful present, so festive. Third, there are so many choices of assortments, some also including nuts. And fourth, some even come in reusable containers, or on reusable platforms, boxes, platters, trays, boards – and the one we see here that pulls up accordion style and pops up a handle to become a fruit basket. The link takes you to all the beautiful possibilities.  Amazon

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05.14.21  Bento boxes  For your party-giving friends, here’s a fun way to serve snacks individually rather than communally. When I’ve had a bento box in Asian restaurants it was a little box of drawers, but these are mostly compartmented trays, or stacked boxes, both disposables and reusables. During the year we featured another way for personalized snacking – “jarcuterie” – little jars to be filled with “sticks” of say carrots, celery, cuke, green onions, deli meat, cheese, bread sticks, pretzel rods, etc. – the link takes you to a nice array of possibilities. All on Amazon.  Disposable Bentos   Reusable Bentos   Mini jars

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04.30.21  Decorative Wine Decanters  Want to wow friends with a touch of class for their cocktail scene –  or even your own. How about a decanter or decanters, instead of the just bottles. Amazon has lots of the traditional squat-bottomed ones, but also some interesting different forms, some swan-like, some elegant crystal, some seeming to have emerged from a first class art studio. Many quite reasonable including the very pretty Dublin design shown here.  Decanters   Dublin Decanter

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07.23.21  “How to Cocktail”  &  11.12.21  “The Food & Wine Guide to Perfect Pairings”  Now there’s a how-to book with a lot to like. It’s from America’s Test Kitchen and  promises, “After rigorous recipe testing, we’re able to reveal not only the ideal ingredient proportions and best mixing technique for each drink” – but also how to make big batches, plus your own tonic, liqueurs, vermouths, and cocktail cherries, wrapping up with a snack section.  What I especially like about the pairing guide is the page after page of ready-made duos, with the bonus that it’s from the pros at Food & Wine. The subtitle tells all: “150+ Delicious Recipes Matched with the World’s Most Popular Wines.” Both, Kindle & hardcover, Prime eligible, 4 1/2 stars on Amazon. “How to Cocktail”   “The Food & Wine Guide to Perfect Pairings”

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