Technically this isn’t what I want for Christmas. That would make it too easy for Doug. But if you’re having trouble figuring out what to buy at the last minute for the cook in your life then this list should give you some good ideas. And if Doug is reading this three days before Christmas in a panic then yes, these would be a good starting point…
Mexican Food Made Easy by Thomasina Miers
I have been smitten with this book since I visited Wahaca, the restaurant owned by Master Chef winner Thomasina Miers. The food there was to die for. Even my darling friend K who is not a fan of spicy food and had to be guilt tripped into going with me was won over. I came straight home and bought the book and have not been disappointed yet. From the oh so simple to the layers of complication this is a great present for anyone who loves cooking and especially those who love Mexican food.
The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook
Another great book and one of my Christmas presents last year. I have used this book again and again and again and been thrilled with each result. The best thing about this book is that it really encourages you to bake and to keep baking. It has been wildly popular in the UK (half a dozen of my friends own it and rave about it), so it may be worth checking if your loved one already has a copy. If they do then there’s a wide range of stationary available with these beautiful photographs and recipes including note cards, diaries and birthday books.
Anything from Le Creuset.
Really, just about anything. There’s a huge range of products and of colours so one thing you’re not short of is choice. The iconic pieces are the ultra-expensive casserole dishes but there are a lot of nice pieces in the range at better prices. I have a Le Creuset teapot in the red shown which I adore and set me back just over £20 from an outlet store. One of my favourite birthday gifts this year was a set of two soup bowls. I’d favour something like the mixing jug or a petite casserole dish if you’re looking to buy something without spending a small fortune. If you’re keen on a bargain and don’t mind a hunt then TK Maxx are well worth a visit.
A Silicone Spatula
Such a small thing makes such a big difference. I have been suitably cautious about the rage for all things silicone and haven’t spent much money on them, expecting this to be a craze that would move on. And then I cooked and baked at my MILE’s house with a silicone spatula. And it turns out that all that cake mix comes right out of the bowl with one of these. A great stocking filler. This Lakeland version can be ordered from their website right up to the 22nd December in time for Christmas but there are lots of others available at different shops.
Cook and Bake Mini Morsel set by Lakeland
I’m a sucker for small quiches, tarts and canapes and love the idea of this tin that’s perfectly sized for tiny tasty bites. It also comes with a wooden dibber to press the pastry into the tray and make the whole process even easier. I am planning party food already in my head even though it comes with a few recipes to get you started – including the smoked salmon mini quiches, lemon tarts and chocolate tarts pictured. A great gift for someone who loves entertaining – especially if they invite you round a lot!
The Flavour Thesaurus by Niki Segnit
Ever since I worked in a bookshop I’ve always had a rule about buying other people books: buy them something you loved and also something you want and they’re bound to like one of them. This is my “something I want” choice. It features hundreds of different flavours mixed together in sometimes surprising combinations with a small paragraph about each. After a quick flick through at my local book shop my mouth was starting to water. I’d recommend this for anybody who loves cooking and wants to find out more about what works – and what doesn’t!
Quick disclaimer: None of these companies know who I am or that I am writing such nice things about their products or even linking to their websites. I am just a Lakeland/Amazon/Le Creuset fangirl.