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Culinary Gifts for the Holidays

By Lori Rodgers –

Shopping for holiday gifts couldn’t be easier…if you are shopping for a foodie that is! There are some exciting new products on the market that will bring joy to those culinary enthusiasts on your list. I have selected a variety of items that will appeal to a wide range of skill levels and price points. Let’s go shopping!

Anova Sous Vide Bluetooth Precision Cooker, $149 

I love Starbuck’s sous vide egg bites and wondered how they achieve the perfect tender yet almost crispy consistency every time.  As most readers already know, sous vide is a French term meaning under vacuum. It is the process of vacuum-sealing food in a bag, then cooking it to a very precise temperature in a water bath. By no means a “new” cooking technique – this method of cooking was invented in the mid 1970’s by French chef Georges Pralusat – there have been many innovations that make this unique process simple and affordable to try at home.

The Anova Precision Cooker brings the same techniques professional chefs use into your home with a minimum of mess and fuss. The Anova Culinary app provides step-by-step guides and more than 1,000 recipes and the Bluetooth connectivity enables you to start, stop, and monitor from anywhere. Get cooking and get ready for rave reviews!  

 

Yarmoshi Garlic Press Rocker, $14     

          

Easy to use and made of stainless steel so rust is not a concern. I don’t know about you, but raw garlic stings my hands. Simply use a downward pressure and a “rocking” motion on peeled cloves and the garlic is forced through the holes, resulting in finely minced garlic. Easy clean up too! 

 

Uuni Wood Pellet Outdoor Pizza Oven, $299 

 

Have you ordered takeout pizza lately? Come on, you can admit it.  We all lead busy lies and sometimes or palates suffer the consequences! It’s easy to order a pizza but not so easy on the wallet. Seems to me the prices keep going up and the quality is holding steady or declining.

For a relatively small upfront investment–the equivalent of about ten deliveries –you can create authentic, wood-fired pizza in the comfort and convenience of your backyard or patio. This restaurant quality oven heats up to 900+ degrees in less than 10 minutes. Fueled by wood pellets, the heat source is cost-efficient and environmentally friendly. Pizzas cook in as little as 2-3 minutes!

 

Nespresso VertuoPlus Bundle, from $249 

While traveling through Europe this summer with my two teens, we stayed primarily in private apartments. There was a Nespresso in each one, albeit slightly different models from place to place. I struggled to master these machines. Every time I heard the pop and steaming hot creamy coffee was produced I almost danced with happiness. Or was it jet lag? The coffee was delicious bu ‘l’u t I found the portions to be skimpy compared to “American” standards.

The Vertuo line coffees are characterized by foam called “crema” that is naturally formed during the brewing process. The new technology responsible for this indulgent treat is called Centrifusion. Brewing both espresso (1.35 oz.) and coffee (8 oz.), with six colors to choose from, it’s hard to say no.  And the price point is very reasonable when compared to competing brands. My pick is the Deluxe Silver bundle priced at $269. All bundles include an Aeroccino milk frother to use with hot or cold milk.

Do I NEED a new coffeemaker? No. But I REALLY want this one. And did I mention how pretty the coffee capsules are? We encountered stores in Europe that have entire walls decorated with them. Nespresso sells more than 20 varieties and two Limited Edition Grand Crus are released each year.

 

Cuisinart Convection AirFryer Toaster Oven, $199

Okay, I have a confession. I’m a toaster oven junkie, constantly on the lookout for the perfect toaster oven. Features I crave are a tray that slides out when you open the door and digital controls. I really don’t like the “ding” of some turn-the-dial models. A sleek design is a plus.

Lo and behold I found a toaster oven that is also an air fryer. This caught my attention because I recently made vegan wontons. I had not fried anything for years and I was a bit nervous frying up multiple batches of these goodies on my new gas cooktop. My teens gobbled them down as soon as they cooled! Air frying utilizes powerful ultra-hot air, producing crunchy yet healthy dishes.

So if you have someone on your gift list who loves fried chicken, sweet potato fries, and calamari, help them meet their New Year’s resolutions for a healthier lifestyle with this clever oven.

 

And finally, for the gourmand and food lover who already has everything their heart desires, the pièce de résistance…

 

Smeg Dolce & Gabbana Saint Geneviève Refrigerator,

Wait for it…$50,000.00 

Just for kicks I thought I’d check out Neiman Marcus’ website for something unique. Truth be told there is not much selection in their home and kitchen section but they more than make up for that with eye-popping price tags.

Available exclusively at Neiman’s, this 1950’s style single door refrigerator is hand painted by Michele Ducato, in cooperation with Dolce & Gababana. Don’t care for this design? No worries, there are seven more to choose from. No ice maker but it does have auto defrost. Made in Italy. Guess that somewhat justifies the shipping fee of $495. But for $50,000, I thought they should have thrown in free shipping!

 

Lori Rodgers – Lori’s passion for food and fine dining began at an early age. She started reading Gourmet at 8, and was fortunate to have a father who included her in his travels to cites across the US, often frequenting restaurants she had read about in the magazine. After studying hotel and restaurant management at FSU for two years and thoroughly enjoying the summer program in Switzerland, she graduated with a degree in International Business with a minor in Spanish. Lori owned and operated the family business, Bert Rodgers Schools of Real Estate for 25 years, indulging her cooking hobby by whipping up meals for family and friends on the weekends. She has two teenagers who have adopted a vegan lifestyle, adding a new challenge to Lori’s cooking repertoire. Lori recently sold the business and is embarking on a new chapter and new career, returning to her true calling, cooking and exploring the multifaceted world of food!

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