Look to the kitchen for wide array of gifts

For friends who spend most their free time in the kitchen to family who'd never think to splurge on a new appliance for themselves, cooking ingredients and technology may be your gift-giving answer. (Getty Images)

Every chef knows a properly outfitted kitchen is a must in order to create culinary masterpieces.

This year, make sure the special food lover in your life has everything he or she needs to stir their passion for food and drink.

Expand their culinary library with a book that serves up helpful food tips and original recipes. Let them prepare their favorite recipes with a set of ergonomic and innovative knives. Perk up their mornings with a coffee maker that quickly brews a customized cup at the touch of a button. Or, help them serve up delightful dishes by keeping their pantry stocked with superior quality olive oil.

Whether you're investing in new technology or chef-quality implements that will last for years or offering some fun new tastes and trends, kitchen-based gifts can fit any price range.

A better brew

Create the perfect cup of coffee every time with the Keurig K-Cup Platinum Brewing System. This single cup brewer allows you to choose between five different cup sizes to brew your favorite coffee, tea, hot cocoa or specialty beverage with the simple touch of a button.
Whether it's a to-the-touch brewer for the office or a by-the-quart crock pot for family get-togethers, the newest generation of foodie appliances is sure to please.

Sharp gift-giving

Whether you're a master cook or you aspire to be one, everyone needs a good set of high-quality kitchen knives. CUTCO Cutlery's Kitchen Classics Set is the perfect foundation to build on for any home cook. The Petite Chef Knife, Trimmer and 2 3/4-inch Paring Knife will have you chopping, slicing and dicing like your favorite food celebrity.
Look in your favorite kitchen-supply store for other suitable gifts -- a new cutting board, an apron that just "says" the recipient the moment you see it. As they're used, you'll be thought of fondly.

Snacks in the stacks

Should you take a bath with your strawberries or blow dry your chicken? Clever culinary insights are offered in small bites in "Snacks: Adventures in Food, Aisle by Aisle," a book by food adventurer Marcy Smothers.
The book takes the reader on a grocery store journey, revealing Smothers' knowledge, quirky fun facts, and great passion for exploring food. It's packed with helpful tips, original recipes and tantalizing tidbits.
Cookbooks are great gifts, especially for young adults who may be setting up house on their own. Look for the encyclopedia type, which offers descriptions of vegetables, herbs or fruits as well as recipes to use them.
More established cooks may have their interest piqued by smaller snippets: stocking-stuffer books with quick recipes for one or a brief introduction to new trends and tastes.

Ingredients matter

With so many relatives and friends "downsizing" from big homes to townhouses or apartments, it can be a challenge to think of a gift to give that won't clutter a newly streamlined lifestyle.
Think consumables -- in this case, ingredients. Great dishes start with the finest ingredients, such as the superior quality of Olivari olive oil. The people at Olivari believe it's the little things that help make great olive oil. From harvesting olives so they never touch the ground to staying eco-friendly by making sure nothing goes to waste.
Tea lovers may swoon over the fresh aroma of loose-leaf from a tea boutique, and vinegar aficionados over one of the many herb-infused varieties.
This holiday, give the thoughtful cook in your life a gift that embodies care, quality and excellence.

— Family Features


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