Every cook needs a great Cast Iron Skillet. Most brands are adequate but the cast iron is an amazing surface for browning and searing. They are oven and broiler safe and most importantly retain heat while cooking. This one is preseasoned so it’s ready to use.
At every cooking class my students ask me about knives. YES, they are super important and a good quality knife will both save you time chopping and be much safer while cutting. I love Global Knives, they are made of stainless steel in one piece and stay sharp. A good size is important and I like the indentations on the sides to prevent vegetables from clinging to the knife. Start with one, but you will go back for more at every holiday.
My new favorite cooking toy…Sous Vide Precision Cooking, with wifi and phone connection. Rub your meat, turkey, veal, fish…with a great dry rub, seal it in an airtight bag and let the sousvide work its magic in the water bath. This one knows exactly how long and at what temperature to circulate the water, and BAM! A few hours later, the perfectly, soft, juicy recipe is done. I sear the fished meat, for some great texture and served it Shabbos day at room temperature. So far, I’m on a roll, with amazing London Broil, veal breast, and pastrami. Stay tuned with exact recipes, but get into the new craze!
If you don’t have a copy of my cookbook (WHY NOT?!?!) Get one now or remember it makes a great Hanukah gift or Shower gift or Hostess gift or just anytime gift It’s on Amazon.com or directly from Emunah.org
I’m a big fan of kosher salt and finishing salts. I use this marble holder to easily toss in a nice pinch of salt to every dish. This is both chic and functional. It keeps the salt dry and fresh too. Available at Surlatable.com
I still love the Thermapen or Thermapop for those on a budget. A thermapen: Good quality, instant read thermometers make everyone a better cook. They are so helpful when making chicken, turkey, caramel and so much more. Again, get one that’s got a bright color and have fun with it! You’re giving it as a gift so wrap it up in a fun way too! This one is a bit of a splurge so it’s a great gift and it’s the best one out there.
I still love these too.
1. A sorbet machine: My kids bought this for me last year and we all reap the benefits. I use it almost every week and have so much fun experimenting with different flavors. I’ve made pareve Italian straccata and tons of fruity varieties for summer Shabbos and dairy versions for Shavuos. My favorite machine is the Cuisinart, it’s small and easy to use. Watch for specials, mine came with two bowls as a promotion.
2. An immersion blender:
If you don’t already have one of these, then you must be given one as a gift. Every household needs a juzer (that’s my word for what it does, juz the food)! It’s the best for pureeing soups and making salad dressings. Have fun, buy it in a funky color. Immersion blenders come in all sorts of colors and prints. I like the Cuisinart immersion blender and they go on sale often too.
3. A grill pan: I use this pan all-year long but especially when it’s too cold to grill outside or you just have a small amount to grill. It’s great for people who don’t have the space for a grill or simply don’t own one. I have one for Passover too!
4. Photo gifts: This is a good idea for the mom who does not want another kitchen item. My mother-in-law’s favorite presents are anything with photos of the kids on it. We have created them all, umbrella, blankets, ties, photo books and this year personalized oven mitts. That’s perfect for the kitchen lover too.
5. An ihome: One of my favorite childhood memories is singing and dancing in the kitchen with my sisters while we helped my mom prepare dinner. Lucky for me, my children and I continue to do the same thing all the time. Cleaning dishes and setting the table has become so much more fun when we play music and sing along. With technology today there are so many ways to get music going in your kitchen and share the good times. Costco usually has a good deal on some kind of ihome too.
6. A Bosch Universal Mixer (for Challah):
Admittedly, I was married for 15 years before I got one, but now, wonder why I waited to get one. This is the best and easiest way to make challah. High capacity, high quality, great challah!. I highly recommend this to anyone who frequently makes bread or challah and even for those who are interested in starting to make challah but find the kneading time too daunting by hand or a smaller machine.
7. A peppermill: This kitchen essential is not only helpful but super chic too! I love finding different pepper mills that match the season or the kitchen space. These are gorgeous and decorative.
8. A thermapen: Good quality, instant read thermometers make everyone a better cook. They are so helpful when making chicken, turkey, caramel and so much more. Again, get one that’s got a bright color and have fun with it! You’re giving it as a gift so wrap it up in a fun way too! This one is a bit of a splurge so it’s a great gift and it’s the best one out there.