Need some great gift ideas for the home cook on your list? We’ve got you covered. As regular readers of our blog know, we’ve been losing weight, but that has only made us focus more on the quality of food that we eat and cook at home. Because we want every calorie to count toward something delicious, we’ve spent quite a bit of time learning new cooking skills and finding the perfect kitchen accessories. If you have a foodie, home cook, or chef-wanna-be in your life, here’s a list of great gift ideas this holiday season. 

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Gift ideas for the home cookGift ideas for the home cook

Kusina Gold SeasoningWe just discovered Kusina Gold Greek Seasoning this fall on our trip to Clear Lake and Mason City. People there kept raving to us about this seasoning and how it makes every dish better. When we visited the local farmer’s market, we met the friendly lady who makes it and purchased some. We are now completely and totally hooked on this magic dust that can be used on everything from meat, poultry, and fish to vegetables both steamed and grilled to take them to a new level of good. We also love sprinkling it on bread and then toasting it with a little shredded parmigiano reggiano cheese.

Electric salt and pepper millsNothing will make a table feel fancier than these good-looking salt and pepper mills. With the touch of a button they go to work, freshly grinding seasoning. They even have a little light on the bottom so you can see how much you’re getting. We got them as a wedding gift and use them every day.

The Chef and The Dish gift certificate – This is the PERFECT gift for the home cook in your life. The Chef and the Dish will send a world class chef right into a person’s kitchen, via Skype, for a private cooking lesson. With classes on cuisines from around the world, the home cook in your life will have a blast learning from an expert. This is an excellent gift for anyone who enjoys learning about new foods and cultures. We’ve done two classes with The Chef and The Dish. We invited friends over for the risotto two ways course with a chef from Italy. And Ann and her friend, Cyndi Kane, learned how to make Spanish paella with a chef in Spain. Both were amazing and we can’t wait to do it again. 

Jura coffee makerIf your home cook is a coffee lover, and you REALLY love them and have a hefty holiday budget, then a Jura coffee maker is a perfect gift. At the touch of a button, this machine grinds the beans, then makes espresso, coffee, a latte, or a cappuccino. Best of all, it’s easy to maintain. We simply adore ours and love that we look forward to our coffee every morning.

Soup bowlsA delicious meal needs a good presentation, and these bowls from Sur la Table are perfect for a piping hot bowl of soup. We’ve used them lots this fall while losing weight on Noom. Complete with handles, they are easy to carry when full of steaming hot soup. 

Pioneer Woman CookbookThe Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond (from Pawhuska, Oklahoma) is a home cook’s best friend. With easy to follow recipes and lots of pictures, her cookbook makes the kitchen a much easier room to navigate. Her newest cookbook makes a wonderful gift for the home cook in your life. 

Unique gift ideas for the home cook on your list

Paella panA properly made paella is a wonderful treat, but to make it right, you need the correct pan. This one will get the job done. See what we mean and read about the time that Ann cooked Spanish Paella with the Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond’s best friend, Hyacinth.

Olive oil dispenserWe learned on our trip to Italy that a key to preserving the taste of olive oil is to store it properly. This olive oil dispenser fits the bill well. This gift idea for the home cook is perfect for storing olive oil in a dark container away from heat and light. And, it has a handy stainless steel pourer for easy pouring. 

Daelmans Dutch Stroopwafel cookiesNo cooking necessary with these sweet treats, and an easy dessert with your holiday meal or afternoon tea. There is something about these melt-in-your-mouth cookies that almost brings tears to the eye. Typically found at World Market, they are crunchy but chewy, and perfect for dipping in a cup of coffee (freshly brewed by the Jura, of course!)

Village Pie Maker pieSome of the best news we’ve had in a long time is that Village Pie Maker pies are now shipped! The folks who make these heavenly desserts use only fresh ingredients. Indeed, it’s the customer who bakes the pie right before serving. We got to tour the Village Pie Maker kitchen a few years ago. You can read all about the secret to these popular pies HERE.

Epicurean utensilsSo, basically, these are the best kitchen utensils ever made. Easy to grip, lightweight, durable, great for non-stick pans, and dishwasher safe, Epicurean utensils are game changing. Get this gift idea for the home cook on your list and forever be their hero. Get a set for yourself, too, while you’re at it. We also love that they are made in the Midwest — in Minnesota. 

Epicurean cutting boardLike kitchen tools of the same brand, this cutting board changes the rules when it comes to cooking. Made from a material originally developed for skateboards, these cutting boards are lightweight, easy to store, dishwasher safe (they can be sanitized after cutting raw meats and chicken!), and won’t damage or dull your knives. We have them in a multitude of sizes and use them almost every day.

Collapsible berry strainerIn truth, this small, collapsible colander can be used for more than just berries. In fact, its size and the fact that it easily slips into any drawer makes it one of the more useful items to have in a kitchen, and a wonderful gift idea for the home cook. 

A few more gift ideas for the home cook

Eleanor red wine from Francis Ford Coppola WineryA home cook goes to a great deal of work to make a delicious meal, so it’s only right to serve the meal alongside a great glass of wine. Eleanor from Coppola is a full-bodied, dry red wine that is simply delicious and one of our favorites. If dry reds aren’t your thing, no worries; Coppola Winery has great wines for every taste. Honestly, we’ve never had a bad one. 

The Pioneer Woman’s plastic wrap dispenserThis one is a life changer. Seriously. Just pull out enough plastic wrap to cover your dish, then slide the blade across the plastic. That’s it. No more wadded up wrap that sticks to itself. Plus, the box is equipped with little rubber feet so it won’t slide while it’s being used, and it even looks good enough to leave out on the counter. We have the plastic wrap, aluminum foil, and parchment paper dispensers and give them often as gifts. 

Le Creuset potThese enamel coated, cast-iron pots are terrific for about anything you want to do in the kitchen. Use them in the oven for a tender pot roast, or on the stove to make your favorite soups. Because they are cast iron, they distribute heat evenly. They are also beautiful pieces and we often display ours on our stove top. 

Rice for Risotto and parmigiano reggiano cheeseThe first step to cooking well at home is to have quality ingredients. When we learned to make strawberry Parmesan risotto with The Chef & The Dish we quickly saw that having the correct rice and cheese was as important as any cooking technique we’d use. This is the right rice and any home cook will appreciate a quality (and authentic) wedge of Pamigiano Reggiano cheese. Look for the dotted Parmigiano Reggiano stamp in the rind to make sure it’s the real deal. 

Avocado toolThis handy-dandy gadget makes all the difference and is a great gift idea for the home cook who likes to make guacamole. This scoops the avocado out of its skin easily, then mashes it up and can even mix in the other ingredients. Ann also uses this tool for scooping out the baked potato and separating it from the skin when making twice-baked potatoes!

What are your favorite gift ideas for the home cook in your life? Let us know in the comments below. 


Gift ideas for the home cook

  • It's time to pack our bags! We are getting ready for several weeks of travel and will be sharing some of our favorite packing and travel tips in our stories as we prepare. ⁣
In the next few weeks, we'll be traveling north where the temperatures are expected to be below freezing and then to the south where it will be hot and humid. And were hoping to each take just one suitcase. ⁣
Wish us luck, and see how we do it in our Instagram and Facebook stories. And let us know if you have any packing tips and tricks yourself. We'd love to hear from you. ⁣
#postcardjar #midlifetravel #emptynesttravel #goplaces #emptynest #emptynesters #midlife #couplestravel #couplestrip #packing #traveltips #travelhacks #packingtips #organized #pack #samsonite @samsonite
  • Like everything Ree Drummond does, the Pioneer Woman Boarding House is over the top in a really good way.⁣
Guests in the appropriately named Emerald Room receive a true luxury experience especially in the bathroom. With a claw foot tub, walk-through shower, two vanities and two toilets, this room is a jewel. ⁣
Have you stayed at the @pwboardinghouse? #postcardjar #midlifetravel #emptynesttravel #goplaces #emptynest #emptynesters #midlife #couplestravel #couplestrip #thepioneerwoman #reedrummond #pawhuska #mercantile #pwboardinghouse #oklahoma #ranchlife #oklahoma #visitok @visitoklahoma #okie @VisitOsageCounty
  • Strawberry fields forever...⁣
While traveling, we adore stopping in farmers markets and checking out the fresh produce available for sale. When we saw these strawberries in Tallinn, Estonia, we just had to take a picture.⁣
The vibrant color of the berries tells us they were ripened naturally on the vine. You just don't get that color trucked in to a supermarket. And that natural ripening means, of course, that these are some of the sweetest strawberries you'll ever taste. Yum! #postcardjar #midlifetravel #emptynesttravel #goplaces #emptynest #emptynesters #midlife #couplestravel #couplestrip #celebritycruises #cruising #seastheday #cruise #sea #beyondborders #humansatsea #cruiseaddict #cruisecritic #tallinn #lifeisbeautiful #cruiseship #cruiselife #estonia #strawberries #farmersmarket #lifeisshort #visitestonia #adventuregirls #tallinngram #berries
  • On our Baltic Sea cruise, we stopped in Stockholm, Sweden. To get there, we had to sail through the Stockholm Archipelago. ⁣
For days leading up to our arrival in Stockholm, the captain of the ship kept telling us that we should plan to be up early so we could take in the scenery as we passed through the archipelago. After enough repetitions, we resolved to get up early to see what he was so excited about.⁣
We are so glad we set the alarm. That morning, we sat on our balcony and had breakfast watching some of the most beautiful scenery we'd ever seen pass by our cabins. We had an up-close view of land that we've rarely had from a cruise ship unless it was docked. ⁣
Sure, we travel to see specific things. Who doesn't? But we really love it when we find something like this that we didn't know existed, but it is so amazing it enriches our lives and makes us want to go back again and again.
  • In the @visitmasoncityiowa airport, is a new restaurant called CAVU American Kitchen & Cocktail Lounge. Offering chef-crafted foods and incredible cocktails, this restaurant has the best airport food we've ever eaten. In fact, we'll call this airport a destination.⁣
Pictured here is Chef Cassie's fried potato salad. This was her elimination dish from the show, "Master Chef." Apparently, Wolfgang Puck didn't think much of it. After trying it, we don't think much of Wolfgang Puck's taste.⁣
This dish, which is served warm, is composed of crispy fried potato chunks covered in delicious potato salad dressing. The combination of flavors and textures had us going back for more. #postcardjar #midlifetravel #emptynesttravel #goplaces #emptynest #emptynesters #midlife #couplestravel #couplestrip #midwestliving #midwestlivingmag  #midwestmoment #igersmidwest #midwestisbest #masoncity #clearlake @masoncity
  • In Rochester, Minnesota, in the shadow of the famed Mayo Clinic, is a beautiful pedestrian area called the Peace Plaza. Because of its location, it's often the last area a person walks through as they go to the clinic hoping for help. And, it's the first place people pass as they leave the clinic sometimes with good news, other times to confront their own mortality.⁣
The designers of the plaza seemed to understand the huge role the space would play in the lives of the people coming through. They designed it as a calming, meditative space filled with tranquility. It's a place you can refocus a little, and take some time to transition from the clinic to the world. And, it's just one more example of the ways that @minnesotas_rochester demonstrates humanity to the hundreds of thousands of visitors who come each year to the clinic.
  • Are these salt and pepper shakers not the cutest?? Pawhuska, Oklahoma, is a magical place at Christmastime. We stopped by the @pwmercantile this morning and snapped a few new pics. Getting excited for the Holiday Lights Parade tonight!
  • We have four holiday gift guides up on the blog for the traveler, home cook, cruise lover, and road tripper on your shopping list! Just click on the link in our bio to check out our blog. ⁣
One of our all-time favorite items (it made two of our lists) are these @EagleCreek packing items. This starter set goes with us on every single trip. Last year, Steve packed 16 size XXL shirts in on of them. They are super lightweight, safe space in your suitcase, and help you stay organized as your travel. ⁣
What are your favorite gift ideas for travelers this year? ⁣
#postcardjar #midlifetravel #emptynesttravel #goplaces #emptynest #emptynesters #midlife #couplestravel #couplestrip #giftideas #giftsfortravelers #traveler #travelgifts #giftguide #roadtrippin #packingtips #packingbags #howtopack #packlight #eaglecreek #celebritycruises #travelblogger #packing #packinghack #giftsph #holidayshopping #giftidea #travelgram #packing101

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