Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Gift Guide: You Can't Eat This

Gift shopping? The next few posts will be all about fun items for gifts for friends, family, and even for you. I've tried to include items for every price range, from stocking stuffers to stand-alone gifts, but most of these are very affordable.

Sure, some are splurges, but it's the holidays, right? Links will take you to Amazon or other places where you can check prices and buy.

Have fun shopping!

How about something hand crafted? This tapas plate is hand-made in Indonesia, so each one will be slightly different. Not into tapas? It would be great for small snacks, nuts, or even serving sauces or dips. This is a great gift for folks who prefer a hand-crafted item.

These are definitely high-end glasses, so save them for folks who are serious about their wine or cocktails. There are wine glasses specifically made for different varieties of wines - no just generic red or white, plus glasses for whiskeys and cocktails. Choose the right one for the right person for the right drink and it's sure to be a hit.

Anything from Dreamfarm

Dreamfarm has a wide variety of innovative tools, from their garlic press to their tongs to their spoons. I'd hate to call out just one of them, but if I had to, I think it would be the tongs because I like the way they stand on a countertop, so you're not leaving the business end on the counter. Plus, they all have really cute names. I suggest you just wander through their website or Amazon and pick a few for stocking stuffers.

All our tools are getting smarter, and that includes thermometers. The Maverick thermometer uses bluetooth to send information to the app on your phone or tablet, so you don't need to hover over the stove or the barbecue to check the temperature of the roast. This one has the ability to have multiple probes working at once, so you can watch the beef roast and the pork roast from a single device.

I'll admit it. Early silicone bakeware sounded like a great idea, but it just didn't work as promised. Cakes and cupcakes would stick and pans would sag. Now, those problems have been addressed and silicone bakeware is actually living up to its early promise. Trudeau makes a huge variety of bakeware shapes as well as chocolate molds ... that you could also use for tiny baked goods, if you're like me.

This is sort of a manual version of a food processor, with a variety of cutting surfaces for slicing and shredding. Then, attach the egg beater for mixing and whisking or the chopping blade for ... well, chopping. No, this won't replace your high-powered machine, but it's a single device with a lot of uses - great for someone who doesn't want a heavy machine.

GIR constantly makes innovative changes to common products and one of the latest is this ladle. It's a little soft and squishy around the edges, so you can really get into corners and grab the last bits of whatever remains in a pot. It just finished its run on Kickstarter, but if you don't want to wait, you can check out many of the other innovative GIR items.

How do you clean your cast iron pans? The Ringer Cast Iron Scrubber was made specifically for this task. It's made from stainless steel, so it won't rust, and it's sturdy enough to scrape off any burned-on bits that might be stuck to the pan. No soap needed. Although I haven't tried it, this might be useful for other surfaces as well.

Put some tech fun into your drinks with this cute ice mold. The ice is a decent size for cocktails and each one has a different emoji face to give the drinks personality. These were easy to unmold and the impressions were easy to see, but I found that once they went into drinks, they were less obvious. I'd suggest letting people pick their own ice emoji, or perhaps make the ice with a mix of two different colored liquids, with a thin layer at the bottom, let that freeze, then fill with a second liquid. That way, the impressions would be more visible, even when the ice is in the glass. This is not the fault of the product, by the way, just the way ice looks when you toss them in liquid.

Maybe you don't make melon balls often, but a melon baller comes in handy for so many other things, like removing the cores from apples or removing the hull from strawberries or tomatoes. This set includes two sizes of melon ballers, and one with teeth that's designed to be a huller. This is a great stocking stuffer!

These products were provided at no cost to me for the purpose of review.

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