Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Dear Santa... Part 2 - Food & Cooking

If only you could see the size of my kitchen, you'd understand that I really don't have the space for one more kitchen appliance or even a pan. My cabinets are like booby traps - you never know what will fall on your head when opened.

So here's my If I had more cabinets and counter space wishlist!

Every time I see a book sale, I can't resist getting at least one more cookbook...
1. Lidia's Italy: 140 Simple and Delicious Recipes from the Ten Places in Italy Lidia Loves Most, Lidia Matticchio Bastianich, Tanya Bastianich Manuali $23.10
2. Chocolate and Zucchini: Daily Adventures in a Parisian Kitchen, Clotilde Dusoulier $12.89
3. Falling Cloudberries, Tessa Kiros $30.26
4. Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen, Gina DePalma $23.10
5. Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey: Desserts for the Serious Sweet Tooth, Jill O'Connor $15.61
6. Pure Dessert, Alice Medrich $23.10
7. (not pictured) Basics: The Foundations of Modern Cooking, Filip Verheyden $19.77

The following tools are great stocking stuffers, with the exception of the Food Processor.
1. KitchenAid KFP750CR 700-Watt 12-Cup Food Processor, Chrome $199.95
2. I'm not sure how I'm living without one of these - Mario Batali Slotted Fish Turner $7.95
3. or this Typhoon Professional Cook's Wire Skimmer $9.99
4. I can't cook without my Tongs and would love a flat one just like this one Chef'n Tongo 12-Inch Stainless Steel and Silicone Tong Huckleberry $14.95
5. I haven't had an urgent need for a hand blender, so I'm really not sure why I'm obsessed with owning one. I might have seen it being used on Top Chef for soup-making Cuisinart CSB-76 Smart Stick Hand Blender $29.95
6. I hear that "Y" shaped peelers are easier to use than the more traditional shape - Zyliss Y-Peeler $6.99
7. Another item that I don't have and wonder how I do without Mario Batali 0-49307 13" Pasta Server, Solid Beechwood $6.95
8. (not pictured) Anything from Le Creuset. My batali dutch oven gets most of the abuse in my kitchen and I would love for it to have a few friends. These oval dishes would be perfect for both cooking and serving. Oh and these cute Petite Au Gratin dishes! If you're looking for a set, the 6 piece classic set would probably be my top choice.

I can spend all day in a gourmet food store. I love roaming the aisles and perusing exotic ingredients that I've never heard of or used in the past.

1. Bee Raw Varietal Honeys, Set of 9 $79
I guess I was taken by the packaging. This set includes 9 of America's finest regional honeys - perfect for honey & butter on bread!
2. Artisanal salt sampler $165
I'm obsessed with seasoning my food properly and I've just recently discovered the difference that salt can make in any dish. Not enough - and a perfectly executed recipe can go south. The words "does it need more salt?" always follow Hillsy's first bite of anything. This 24-jar sampler of salts from around the world, from Bali to Peru, offers food-lovers the opportunity to experiment with subtle, exotic flavorings.
3. Dean & Deluca Spice collections
I dream of covering one of my kitchen walls with a huge spice rack. Dean & Deluca has a great selection of herbs and spices. I would be happy to receive any of their collections (Indian, French, Mexican, Spanish, Middle Eastern or Chinese). It would be fun to explore new recipes and concentrate on a new spice per week.
4. White Truffle Butter by D'artagnan $10.99 - this would be perfect for the Odette Fada Raviolo recipe I want to try. Lord knows I won't be buying an actual truffle anytime soon ( $490-$820)!!! The white truffle hails from Italy's Piedmont region. It has an earthy, garlicky aroma and flavor. This decadent treat adds armomatic flavor to any menu. It will jazz up risottos, baked potates, and asparagus.
5. DEAN & DELUCA Salt Essentials $135
D&S's collection includes six artisinal salts from around the world. "Murray River is mild and adds flavor and texture to your meat and chops. Himalayan Pink is harvested from the beds of ancient sea salt with a mild flavor and pale pink color. Alaea has natural purified Alaea clay that imparts a mild earthiness. Mix with herbs to coat meats or fish that seals in moisture while roasting. Fleur de sel is known as the caviar of salts with a delicate flavor and moist texture. Fumee de sel has a savory oak flavor with a hint of sweetness. Cyprus flake is an extremely mild salt used for cooking, baking and garnishing."
6. (not pictured) Exotic Thai or Indian spices from Nirmala's Kitchen (one of Martha's secret sources).

see Dear Santa... Part 1 - Crafting

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