"Food" 2009 Holiday Gift Guide
Cookware makes for the perfect gift for any foodie at heart. Lucky for you, I've rounded up some of the best pieces of cookware to make your gift-giving much easier this holiday season.
1) WMF Perfect Plus Pressure Cooker helps home chefs do it all in less time - that means you, moms! Today's pressure cookers are so much safer than in previous years and they make for a perfect gift for that mom on the go. From roasting, braising, stewing or steaming, the pressure cooker makes daunting tasks easy and helps to create healthy and delicious culinary pleasures, including side dishes and even complete meals. Help your favorite cooks spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying the fruits of their labor with this must-have product. Available in the following sizes: 2.5-quart, 3-quart, 4.5-quart, 6.5-quart and 8.5-quart.
2) MARCUS Unity Cookware 11-piece Collection by Regal Ware features three distinct cookware constructions in one USA-made set of cookware. It's brought to you by the company synonomous with cookware, tracing a continuous legacy of manufacturing in the United States since 1911. I'm all about quality, and the fact that they have been around for generations tells me their pieces are built to last. This set was introduced in concert with celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson. This is a bit pricier than some so if it's out of your price range, check out my other recommendations for a more budget-friendly set.
3) The Lodge Pro Grid Iron is considered one of the premier pieces of Cast Iron Cookware EVER! It can be used on the stove top, grill or camp site with superior results every time. One side is a griddle, perfect for pancakes, French Toast, eggs or any number of griddle classics. The other side has raised ribs, the perfect cooking surface for burgers, steaks, ribs or veggies. We love Lodge and cooked steak on the iron this week. We also did our breakfast. My husband was having a blast using this piece of cookware, and to top it off, he said: "Oh man, we can use this outside, huh?" I just giggled!
4) 360 Cookware is unlike any set of aluminum or stainless steel cookware you’ve ever had, and if you're after a healthier eating lifestyle, this set if for you. This energy-efficient cooking system moves beyond traditional cooking methods and captures the magic of VaporTechnology to heat your food quicker, at lower temperatures and without added fat or excess water, ensuring your healthy recipes stay nutritious, flavorful and appetizing. VaporTechnology is a revolutionary cooking method that creates a low but intense heat that permeates food evenly from all sides, allowing food to cook in its own natural juices without the excess water. Cook chicken breasts to juicy perfection and baked potatoes to fluffy tenderness in a fraction of the time without turning the heat above medium or adding a drop of oil. No sticking, no burning, no drying out, no rubbery or hardened textures – just perfectly prepared food every time. It’s simple - by adding less, you get more flavor and nutrients.
5) Le Creuset 5 1/2 Quart Round Dutch Oven is to die for. Seriously, anyone and everyone wants to own a piece of Le Creuset and this piece is exceptional and highly recommended. I only own a couple of pieces but can tell a huge difference in the way they cook the food - not to mention how beautiful they are to look at. They come in every color imagineable to suit your kitchen lifestyle. And if you're looking for a cute, fun salt holder, check out the little mini ones - they look just like the bigger version. SO cute! The lid traps heat and seals in flavor and moisture. Phenolic knob is oven-safe to 375°F. It has handmade, enamel cast-iron construction, works with all cooking surfaces, and comes with a lifetime warranty - THAT is awesome! Built to last, I tell ya!
6) Infinite Circulon is the first-ever hard-anodized, nonstick cookware that is both dishwasher safe and compatible with all types of cooktops, including induction. The sleek design includes squared-off stainless steel handles and close-fitting stainless steel lids. The high-quality nonstick surface features Circulon’s signature TOTAL nonstick system of Hi-Low ridges, which helps to reduce abrasion by metal utensils for long-lasting performance. This is a high-quality set without a high price tag.
7) Scanpan Professional 12-1/2-Inch Wok is a great addition to anyone's kitchen and I'd pair it up with Jaden's new cookbook, Steam Kitchen. I know there are some fabulous recipes in there that would be great to make in this piece! It's an exceptional line that I recommend to all. I own several pieces of Scanpan myself. This 12-1/2-inch wok is made in Denmark of pressure-cast aluminum and has a Green Tek ceramic-titanium nonstick finish that is safe for metal utensils. The riveted 18/10 stainless-steel handle and helper handle feature stylish matte/polished finish. It's dishwasher-safe, though hand-washing is recommended, and is oven-safe to 500 degrees F. Wire rack and wooden chopsticks pair are included; the pan is covered by a full lifetime warranty.
8) Open Country Deluxe 6-Person Nonstick Camp, a high-quality set, is sure to fill the needs of those cooks out for a weekend of fun and serious campfire cooking. It includes three great cooking kettles with flat lids, two nonstick fry pans with a removable steel handle, and an 8-cup coffee percolator for preparing freshly brewed coffee over the fire. All items have been finished with a one-coat nonstick finish inside and out. The black outside finish allows for even faster heat transfer and faster clean up. The nonstick finish on all interior surfaces helps keep maintenance to a minimum. Couple that with six plastic compartment plates and cups and you have a great cooking set. The best part of all is that everything nests into the 10-quart kettle with the 10-inch fry pan serving as the cover.
9) Large Micro-Cooker from Pampered Chef Micro Cooking is hot this year. Everyone is seeking out fast and easy ways to prepare meals, and this handy piece helps you do just that. I had the chance to see this at a Pampered Chef Home party and it was fabulous. They were so creative with it and things that you would never have thought of came out wonderfully in it. I've always felt like Pampered Chef was high quality, and this cookware comes in two sizes. Check it out! Customized for microwave cooking — melt butter, heat soups or cook vegetables and really so much more. The vented lid doubles as strainer and the cooker includes built-in pour spouts. Dual handles; 2-quart capacity.
10) Lodge Logic Pre-Seasoned 10-1/2-Inch Cast-Iron Square Skillet is awesome. Any Lodge Cast Iron products are wonderful to cook with but this square pan is used all the time in our household. Comes preseasoned via a proprietary "electrostatic" vegetable oil spray system and is ready for cooking right out of the box - unlike traditional Lodge cookware, which needs seasoning in your home oven before use. During the timesaving preseasoning process, oil penetrates deeply into the cast-iron surface while a high-temperature gas oven seals it in, preserving the cookware for generations and creating an attractive heirloom finish. Its square construction ensures that chefs won't waste an inch of space whether cooking French toast, frying bacon strips, or searing beef skewers. The vessel is also suited for such tasks as roasting vegetables or browning pork chops, as its cast-iron material delivers a smooth, consistent temperature without wasting heat. The skillet also comes with a lifetime warranty.