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

  • Late breakfast, early lunch. Time got away from us this morning so we had a bit of a brunch. We have been on an oatmeal kick this year for several reasons. It's inexpensive, filling, tastes great, and is typically readily available at grocery stores and hotels that serve breakfast. ⁣
One cup of oatmeal cooked in water is about 160 calories (and a "green" food on our @noom weight loss app). We like to add a teaspoon of brown sugar, a little cinnamon, and lots of fresh berries. Other options are: bananas, nuts, nutmeg, diced apple, flax seed, or dried fruits. ⁣
What is your go-to breakfast these days?
  • See how we lost a combined 150 pounds in a year while traveling! It was one year ago this week that we began our healthy living journey. We are travel bloggers with a new post (just click on the handy dandy link in our bio) about what we've lost and gained in one year.
See what we've learned about calorie density, exercise and ourselves in the process. We are so thankful for the resources that have helped us, including @noom and the @mayoclinic Healthy Living Program. (This is NOT a paid partnership) We feel like new people and hope our story will encourage someone else who wants to make a healthy lifestyle change. To stay up to date with our weight loss and healthy living journey, be sure to follow @PostcardJar on social media.
  • Our daffodils are in full bloom here in Nebraska and they just make us smile. We brought the  bulbs for these flowers from Ann's first house when we got married and moved here. Ann had dug them up from her grandma Rashleigh's home in Fremont, Nebraska, and her grandma had brought them to the U.S. from a trip that she took to England. ⁣
Ann's grandma passed away several years ago. Each spring, these flowers bloom and remind Ann of her grandma and her beautiful soul.
  • We love to travel but we're staying home to flatten the curve. As travel bloggers, writers, and influencers, we all have canceled trips, postponed adventures, and rescheduled experiences. ⁣
We know this is temporary and soon enough, we'll be traveling again. But for now, we are all staying safe at home and encourage you to do the same. And while you’re home, check out some of these influencers’ feeds for travel inspiration.
  • Last week, we had the pleasure of making handmade pasta (via the internet) with our friends, Deb and Massi, who were in their home kitchen in Italy. ⁣
You can read all about it, and get the recipe, on our blog. Yep, you guessed it, the link is in our bio. ⁣
We met Deb and Massi of @italyunfiltered a few years ago when they created an amazing food and wine itinerary for us. We've remained friends and it was so good to see them, even if they were a world away.
  • We were supposed to be in Rochester, Minnesota, this week for Ann to see a cardiac sarcoidosis specialist about some recent issues with her heart. Of course, we did not travel to Rochester for her scans and doctor visits because of the coronavirus outbreak.⁣
Instead, her cardiologists called her from their homes and her scans and tests will likely be delayed until June or July. We'll keep in close touch with them if anything changes, as well. We are so grateful for all of the healthcare professionals who are continuing to work crazy hours from home as well as in our hospitals around the world.⁣
This is such an unprecedented and stressful time for all of them. Words will never be enough to convey our gratitude for the roles they are playing in the battle against this deadly virus while caring for those with other diseases and illnesses at the same time. ⁣
Every healthcare provider we've talked with in the last two weeks has had the same message for those of us who don't have to go to work at a hospital. ⁣
Just. Stay. Home.
  • Yesterday was Day 16 of social isolation for us. Because of Ann's underlying heart condition and suppressed immune system, we've cooked all our meals at home (no takeout). We've starting to get more and more creative as time has gone by. ⁣
Last night, we made chicken and shrimp vindaloo and learned online how to make homemade naan.⁣
It wan't as good as our favorite Indian restaurant, The Oven, but it did satisfy the craving we've had for Indian food. ⁣
What are you craving these days?
  • We moved our living room furniture around this week and put two swivel chairs near the sliding glass door. Each day, we take time to turn around, rest our minds, enjoy in the view, and just be. #webelieveinhome

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