December has arrived and I barely remember November. How did this happen? It’s so dark in the early morning and again by late afternoon, so we’ll be putting the tree up this week. I need that extra shot of light in my life.
It’s the holidaze, and soon, butter, sugar, chocolate, flour will be swirling around the kitchen as I bake up holiday gifts. I don’t do much shopping anymore, although I do spend months finding just the right things for Dennis, who not only has what he wants, but wants very little.
This is the time of year when everyone has gift guides, lists, and best-of’s to assist you with holiday purchasing, and I’m going to join the crowd, with a little group of items that make me happy in the kitchen.
First of all, let’s talk the King of DIY Kitchen Toys – the KitchenAid. I use the 7 quart mixer every single day, for all sorts of cooking and particularly for preserving projects. Put this big machine with a serious motor on your Santa list! I upgraded from the smaller tilt-head mixer earlier this year and I couldn’t be happier. The stronger motor means an easier, quicker time making sausages, applesauce, sauerkraut – you name it.
How do sausages, applesauce and sauerkraut emerge from a mixer? Why, with the attachment pack, of course! The FVSFGA – the one attachment package you need to turn that KitchenAid into an essential kitchen tool – it’s got a grinder, slicer, shredder and even a strainer (works like a food mill!) I just love this package. I’ve made tomato puree, tomato juice, and grape juice using the strainer and kimchi and sauerrueben using the slicer and shredder. It’s fabulous.
And for all you Charcutepalooza-ers, did you know KA has an ALL METAL meat grinder! This attachment stays colder longer, making those five pound batches of sausage infinitely easier to process. And from Butcher-Baker, you can get an ALL METAL sausage stuffer attachment, too.
And for those of you without a stand mixer, don’t dismay! You, too, can make sausages, hamburgers and turkey burgers at home with this easy to use hand grinder.
I’m laughing as I write this. Who would think I would be singing the praises of the FoodSaver? Well, I’m here to tell you, this machine has changed my freezer. I can actually find things! No more freezer burn! Easier salt curing with no refrigerator spills! Seriously, this is a fantastic addition to the DIY kitchen.
Not at all kitchen related, but so freaking adorable, this Wagging Tail Portrait ornament thrilled us!
Maggie Battista’s Eat Boutique has the most wonderful collection of edible gifts.
Looking for some special, one of a kind, handmade gifts? Laura Silverman of Glutton For Life has put together a small, perfect gift shop on her elegant blog.
Want to send someone a personalized, spectacular gift? There’s no one better than Gail Dosik (aka The Tough Cookie) for decorated DELICIOUS cookies. Order soon because she gets BUSY!
And, for those stockings, look at these chocolates from Byrne and Carlson, especially the Mendiant bar — gorgeous and taste as good as they look!
That’s it for today. Next week, I’ll offer up some ideas for cookbooks.
xoCathy, getting in the spirit