6 kitchen gadgets to put under the tree for the home cooks

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      Most people who are reading this story may have moved past the concept of Santa and his bag full of toys, but that doesn’t mean we don’t get the same giddy excitement in our veins when opening up a holiday gift—especially when it’s an item that you’ve had in your online shopping cart for the past three months.

      If you know an aficionado or two of the culinary arts, we’ve rounded up a few items that may even score you invites to some tasty home-cooked meals. From a slow cooker to a pasta machine, here are six kitchen gadgets that make great gifts.

      Le Creuset

      Disney Magic

      They say the kitchen is where the magic happens, and we don’t disagree. If you know a few hobby chefs obsessed with cooking and a bit of Disney, go for Le Creuset’s Mickey Mouse round French oven ($399). The famed French cookware company has partnered up with one of the world’s biggest brands to create this whimsical enamelled cast-iron product. Bright red and adorned with Mickey-shaped embellishments and a stainless-steel knob, this cookware is ideal for slow cooking, braising, and roasting. We can guarantee that die-hard lovers of the house of mouse will appreciate this gift, even if they rarely whip up meals.

      Find it on Le Creuset's website.


      Ming Wo

      Precise Measurements

      Ever make a dish that didn’t taste quite right because you decided to measure the ingredients by hand? To avoid potential culinary disasters, go for Joseph Joseph’s Shell compact digital scale ($79.98). This sleek and futuristic-looking product features an integrated measuring bowl, LCD display, and various controls. Convenient for weighing liquids, solids, and multiple ingredients at once, this versatile gift will make baking and cooking much more efficient. Who knows? You may even receive a batch of holiday cookies in return.

      Find it at Ming Wo (various locations).


      Gourmet Warehouse

      Cooking Slow

      There’s nothing better than coming home to a fully prepared meal such as garlic-Parmesan chicken, buffalo ranch wings, or paella—all of which can be easily made with one specific cookware item. Give the gift of culinary ease with All Clad’s 6.5-quart slow cooker ($189.99), which comes with a black ceramic insert and digital display. Fully programmable and dishwasher-safe, this popular product can slowly cook everything from appetizers to entrées to desserts. Once you wrap up this baby, the hardest part will be deciding whether to keep it for yourself or become another person’s favourite gift giver.

      Find it at the Gourmet Warehouse (1340 East Hastings Street).


      Cook Culture

      Fresh Pasta

      Italian-food lovers will agree that fresh pasta is the Holy Grail, thanks to that cuisine’s large array of gourmet offerings. Marcato’s Atlas Wellness 150 pasta machine ($99) is likely on many food lovers’ wish lists—made with light alloy, its aluminum rollers don’t release heavy metals and resist corrosion. This cookware can create everything from fettuccine to ravioli to lasagna, which can definitely impress guests. It simultaneously serves as a great arm workout, because it features a hand-operated cutter that will require the user to exert energy.

      Find it at Cook Culture (various locations).



      Versatile Eggs

      Know an egg-obsessed individual? Surprise them with the Dash rapid egg cooker ($28) in a fun aqua hue, which can add a bit of charisma to dull-looking kitchens. We wonder why this invention—known to cook perfect eggs in less time than needed to boil water—hasn’t gone mainstream. Equipped with a boiling tray that can hold up to six eggs, and a separate nonstick poaching tray that can poach two eggs, this is a versatile goody that can also make omelettes and scrambled eggs. Receivers of this gift will never be able to cook eggs the old way again.

      Find it on Indigo's website.



      Frozen Dessert

      Ice cream never goes out of season, and Vancouverites often attest to that fact by eating frozen treats around town even when the temperature drops below zero. Cuisinart’s stainless-steel ice-cream maker ($99.95) is the perfect gift for frozen-dessert fanatics and can create everything from ice cream to frozen yogurt to sorbet. It features a double-walled insulated freezer bowl and can make two quarts of frozen treats in a single batch. A clear-plastic lid at the top allows for mix-ins like nuts and chocolate chips, and recipes are also included. What better way to say “Happy holidays” than with a present that practically screams “Make me some ice cream!”?

      Find it at Williams-Sonoma (2903 Granville Street).

      Follow Tammy Kwan on Twitter @ch0c0tam and Instagram @ch0c0tam.