Lifestyle & Parenting

5 Gifts for the Home Cook

December 8, 2017

At my place the holidays (both Hanukkah and Christmas) are centred in the kitchen—in addition to ’round the menorah and under the mistletoe, it’s where the magic happens. That’s why, this season, my personal gift wish list includes the following drool-worthy counter- and stove-top tools. —Noa Nichol

foodie gifts

steam works. As a tween, teen and twenty-something, every snack and meal I made for myself was either a toaster oven, microwave or grill à la George Foreman (remember those?) creation—these countertop appliances just seemed so much easier to deal with (to adolescent me) than the stove. Now well (well) into my 30s, my mentality hasn’t changed much, making the Panasonic 3 in 1 Steam Oven ($700) my current go-to when it comes to cooking. Forget the fact it’s speedy and super simple to use—its ingenious use of steam technology makes every dish a healthier (read: oil-free) version of itself. Apologies to my gas range.

foodie gifts

toast of the town. Popular U.K. appliance brand Russell Hobbs has launched in Canada with a retro collection that includes a coffee maker, kettle and toaster ($120 each at Lowe’s and London Drugs) that, despite their throwback stylings, boast some futuristic functioning. The kettle, for instance, boasts a quick-boil setting that takes up to three cups of water to temp in under a minute, while the toaster has a lift-and-look feature that lets you check the progress of your crisp without cancelling the cycle. Genius.

foodie gifts

mini mixer. My recent downsize to a smaller space has created a need for smaller appliances. New from KitchenAid, the Artisan Mini ($550 at Hudson’s Bay) perfectly fits the fewer-square-feet bill, featuring the same power as the brand’s classic stand mixer, only 25 per cent lighter and 20 per cent smaller than the original. Plus, with nearly a dozen available attachments, it’s the best sous chef a small-space chef could ask for.

foodie gifts

smooth operator. So, this is beyond cool. From our fave soup-, sauce- and smoothie-maker, Vitamix, the new Ascent series (starting at $550) constitutes the first collection of premium blenders to incorporate wireless connectivity that lets them “talk” to compatible containers—in other words, these machines can actually sense what size container (big, small or tiny) is in use and automatically adjust its blend settings accordingly. Blending-mind blown.

foodie gifts

canadian cookware. I love made-in-Canada stuff, and made-in-Canada stuff I can cook with even better. The first Canadian Paderno plant was opened on Prince Edward Island in 1979 (my birth year!) and the company continues to produce cookware there today. From the collection, the 32 cm Canadian Signature Fry Pan ($350 at Canadian Tire) offers performance and durability for perfect cooking results (with an autumn leaf-red interior, to boot) and the 10 x 20 inch Maple Paddle Board ($50 at Canadian Tire) boasts a strong, versatile design for preparing food and serving with ease.


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