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Shameless self-promo aside...
I've gotten a few emails and tweets asking for brand and model recommendations; plus gift ideas for foodies -- so here is my list:
Knives: A good knife will totally change your experience in the kitchen! I recently purchased a Victorinox Chef's Knife and I love it! It's inexpensive and feels really comfortable in my hand. ($27.99).
Microplane: I love my microplane zester -- It's my favorite kitchen accessory! Necessary? No. Worth the purchase? YES. ($10.75)
Pressure Cooker: My friend JL is always raving about hers, so I bit the bullet and bought a Presto 6-quart when I moved to Colorado. Let me tell you, I'll never buy canned beans again! They're inexpensive and handy! ($38.00)
Food Processor: I have a mini food processor and a 7-cup food processor. While I managed to live without both for a year (I relied on my blender or chopping skills) having them both has made all the difference -- they save me so much time!
Glass Straws: I know -- a straw sounds like the lamest gift ever but strawesome sent me a free sample recently and I love it so much I'm buying a couple for friends. It's a great stocking stuffer!
Cookware Set: I use Emilware, Emiril's line of kitchen pots and pans. It's a splurge, but worth every penny!
Kindle Fire: Santa brought Scott a Kindle Fire early. It's awesome -- like the iPad, but cheaper.
Books: I gave my mom the Hunger Games Trilogy for her birthday. I read all three books in the span of a weekend! I read Switch and What I Wish I Knew When I Was Twenty when traveling in Europe and both books were life-changing awesome!
Finally, Nutritional Yeast: Because everyone needs a bag of nutritional yeast in their stocking!