Like it or not, the gift-giving season has begun! Once again, I’m doing all my holiday shopping online—I mean, in CYBERSPACE. It’s called “Cyber Monday” for a reason, people.
In honor of the year-end race to empty our cyber-wallets, I’ve compiled a cyber-list of some of my favorite cyber-gifts. They run the gamut from inexpensive stocking stuffers to—literally—the whole hog. And trust me: every gift mentioned in this post is an item I’ve used/bought/gifted/craved myself. These are gifts that definitely don’t suck.
Sleek Tools for Design-Loving Cooks!
Get It Right’s silicone cooking tools aren’t just gorgeously designed eye candy—they’re among the best weapons in my kitchen arsenal. I was first introduced to GIR’s silicone spatulas a couple of years ago, and they remain my go-to tools for stirring, flipping, tossing, you name it. Buy a rainbow of spatulas and stuff ’em in your pals’ stockings. (P.S. The bacon one is extra groovy.)
More recently, Get It Right launched a successful Kickstarter campaign for silicone lids, and let me tell you: they’re a game-changer. With these artfully styled lids, ANY bowl or cup can be instantly transformed into a storage container—and the lids magically seal and stay on! Plus, they’re super heat-resistant, so you can use them anywhere, from fridge to oven. GIR offers a variety of sizes and colors so you can choose the right lids for your picky design snob friends.
Okay—one last item from Get It Right: Silicone scrapers! I use this nifty tool to transport items from my cutting board to the frying pan and to divide dough whenever I dabble in grain-free baking. (Which isn’t often, but hey—it’s the holidays!)
Gifts for Bone Broth Lovers!
If you’re going to invest in one kitchen electric this year, get an Instant Pot. No, really. Get one. I have an older model of the Instant Pot, but the one I’ve been buying for the people I love (including my mom, my sister, my mother-in-law, and a lucky reader,) is the new 7-in-1 cooker, the Instant Pot DUO60. This year, I’m upgrading to this model. That way, I can make bone broth, braised greens, or stews in two Instant Pots at once.
Yeah, I know I crush on appliances all the time, but this one’s a keeper. The Instant Pot takes the place of multiple counter-cluttering devices. It’s like a Transformer, only it won’t attack a major metropolitan area.
As I mentioned in an earlier tutorial about bone broth storage, I keep an emergency stash of frozen bone broth cubes in our chest freezer at all times. These Freshware silicone molds are indispensable for this process. You just freeze the broth and pop ’em out when they’re solid.
In the winter months, my hot beverage of choice is bone broth, even when I’m on-the-go. I’ve test-driven a bunch of different vacuum thermal containers to keep my broth steaming hot, and I’ve found these sleek ones by Thermos to be the absolute best. My Thermos keeps my bone broth hot for hours, and it’s completely leak-proof. It’s super-cool looking, too; when I carry it around, I look all cyber and stuff.
If your hot beverage of choice is blended butter coffee (a la Bulletproof Coffee), try Pure Indian Foods’s Coffee ++ Paleo Butter Coffee Creamer made with grass-fed organic cultured ghee and medium chain triglyceride (MCT) oil. Even if you’re skeptical about the health claims, you can’t deny that this stuff makes for a creamy, frothy mug of java.
I love Jacobsen Salt Company. These guys make the best finishing salts, bar none. Everything that comes out of my kitchen tastes better with a light sprinkle of these flavored, crunchy flakes hand-harvested from the Oregon coast. I jazz up crispy eggs, salad greens, roasted veggies with whatever flavor I’m in the mood for. The flavors I’m digging the most right now are smoked ghost chili pepper and lemon zest, but you can never go wrong with Jacobsen’s pure flake salt.
Another fantastic flavor booster is Red Boat Fish Salt. I use it just like I use fish sauce, but this stuff’s in powder form, making it perfect for finishing a dish, and for travel, too. It can’t explode in your luggage like a bottle of fish sauce. Ew.
Gifts for Carnivores!
No one wants to ruin an expensive cut of meat by cooking it poorly. The easiest way to mess it up is to overcook it, so give the carnivore in your family a crazy-accurate thermometer to ensure perfectly cooked proteins. The ThermoWorks Thermapen is fast and precise, and the ChefAlarm monitors the temperature of meat that’s roasting in the oven. (I often use BOTH because I’m weird like that.)
Got a pork lover in your life? Belcampo Meat Co. has an epic feast for your favorite meat eater! This package features Ossabaw-Berkshire-Duroc hogs, which are California-raised, organic, pastured, and raised with the utmost of care to ensure the tastiest pork products out there. Belcampo’s Whole Hog Holiday Special includes head cheese, sausages, bacon, marinated chops, marinated spare ribs, and Braunschweiger (which my computer wants to autocorrect to ”Schwarzenegger”)—head-to-tail dining at its finest.
[Photo: Alanna Hale]
Gifts For Fitness Freaks!
Henry and I recently bought each other his and hers QALO silicone wedding bands because nothing signifies eternal love like a stretchy, durable, heat-resistant silicone ring. Wearing these rings allows us to practice our deadlifts and pull ups in the garage at a moment’s notice without removing (and possibly losing) our more expensive metal bands.
I’ve lost track of all the fitness tracking devices I’ve tried over the years. Just like the growing appliance graveyard in the garage, my nightstand drawer’s overflowing with out-of-commission trackers like my BodyBugg, Fitbit, Jawbone Up, and Basis. I stopped wearing ’em because of a myriad of reasons: lost chargers, too bulky, rash-inducing, uncomfortable. Some simply stopped working. But the one tracker I’ve been sporting day and night for the last few months with zero problems is the MisFit Shine. It’s light, elegant, and has a long-lasting battery. If you’ve got a data geek in your life who needs personalized analytics to motivate him or her to get fit, this one may be your best bet.
Do you have someone in your life that needs a nudge to get cooking in the kitchen? Our cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food For Humans is a fun, engaging, cartoon-riddled tome that will appeal to a wide range of folks. Even the hard-to-please Christopher Kimball of America’s Test Kitchen recommended it as one of the year’s top cookbook gifts in the Wall Street Journal!
Some (really forward) folks have actually requested that I physically join them in the kitchen over the holidays, but I can’t be in multiple places at once without Hermione Granger’s Time Turner. The next best thing to having me around? Get a Mini Michelle vinyl action figure that can accompany you wherever you go!
The greatest thing about Mini-Michelle? She doesn’t get grumpy, and she hardly ever makes a mess in the kitchen.
That’s all I got folks! (You can check out last year’s gift guide if you need more ideas by clicking here.) What do you want to give (or get!) this holiday season?
Looking for more recipes? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPad® app, and in my cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel, December 2013).