View Full Version : Help me with my Christmas list!

11-06-2006, 12:01 AM
My parents have asked for suggestions for DH and me for Christmas presents. I was thinking about something for our kitchen. We have a toaster, microwave and crockpot (oh, and a coffee pot for when we have company). That's it for small appliances.

What would you want? Rice cooker, bread maker, stand mixer? Something else? Brand/feature recommendations appreciated to!


11-06-2006, 06:31 AM
Zojirushi IH rice cooker. If you eat a lot of rice, you'll notice the difference. You can also do porridge and brown rice. I've got a 3-cup for everyday and a 10-cup for parties.

I don't know how much you cook, but do you have a need for a mixer or food processor? I love my Kitchen Aid stand mixer. Mine is 9 years old and still going strong. Great for baking. My Cuisinart food processor died around 8 years old. I didn't like the top because there were too many crevices to clean, so I replaced it with a Kitchen Aid model. It works pretty well for me and comes with a small bowl for small quantities. But for some reason I still miss my Cuisinart.

What about an immersion blender? Mine has a double beater attachment so I can use it as a regular hand blender as well.

And for fun, what about an ice cream maker? We had the Cuisinart elec maker and it was simple to use. Made cookies and cream, nutmeg, and all sorts of yummy flavors.

I also love my Le Creuset dutch oven. Perfect for soups, roasts, pasta sauce.

And a blender is also useful for frozen margaritas :9

11-06-2006, 12:52 PM
Thanks! I forgot we do have a blender. I don't use it very much because I hate cleaning it. I suspect I would not use a food processor much for the same reason.

And I do have a Le Creuset dutch oven courtesy of my mom.

An ice cream maker is a great idea. I've been thinking about getting one of those that is a ball that you kick around rather than cranking. I think it would be better to get for my birthday (April) though. . . .

An immersion blender is a great idea. Maybe it would get me over not making things that require a blender.

I've pondered a stand mixer. I do cook a fair amount, but more cooking than baking. I'm not sure if it would be worth the storage space for me (kitchen is not huge).

I think the rice cooker might be the best bet. I will have to research them. The nicer ones have more options and make better rice, don't they? We eat brown rice about twice a week and couscous about once a week. Would the rice cooker do the couscous too?

Thank you for all your thoughts!

The Review Mommy
11-06-2006, 01:07 PM

Hi there! I asked the same sort of question last year and got some great answers! Here are some links I think you would find useful. IMO I'd pick the stand mixer. The rice cooker if you'll use it but not the bread maker. Check out some threads on Chowhound.com for appliances and kitchen stuff.



Enjoy! :)

11-06-2006, 05:41 PM
The cook book "The New Basics" has this great check list at the back of the book on what a beginner should have in their kitchen and all the way up to expert (or some such category). I like to check it out now and again to see what they recommend.

This is my first Christmas where I don't think I need any kitchen stuff! Amazing!

For a while I couldn't decide which I could bear to be without...my 4.5qt KitchenAid or my Cuisinart. I decided that I would choose the mixer. The food processor is a bit more of a pain to clean (takes up more space in the dishwasher, mainly, and you also have to consider storing it).

For a relatively inexpensive gadget I love my mini Cuisinart. You can use it for onions, nuts, make a little puree, and just quck little things. It doesn't take up much counter space either.

I would actually consider an upgrade to a toaster oven someday but it shouldn't be a priority any time soon. SOunds like you have a lot of other gadgets to acquire. :)

Hmmm...I don't like my bread maker. Takes up too much storage space and I never liked how bread turned out. I used to use it for making challah and pizza dough but I haven't really used it much in the past few years.

The rice cooker is darned handy. Read reviews. Mine has issues with the bottome layer of rice. If you remember to stir the rice or turn the unit off right before the rice should be done (you'll learn how fast your rice cooker cooks) then it is OK. Otherwise I basically lose rice each batch. But, I do use it a whole lot!

Gadgets that I don' use a whole lot but find useful...hand blender (Braun) and George Foreman grill (makes great grilled cheese!).

Small, non appliance things...good bake wear, Silpat sheets if you make cookies, OXO gadgets like the swivel peeler, good knives(!!!!!- we have Henkles Pro-S), meat thermometer that has a probe you put in the meat and can leave the display on the counter, nifty collapsible Silicone measuring cups (takes up little storage space!), and silicone spatulas and pancake turner (can use up to pretty high heats).

If you are at all into baking and you or someone else has a Penzey's spice store near by I would recommend a giant bottle of Mexican Vanilla Extract; so much better than the vanilla you can buy at the regular grocery store and much cheaper than the Williams- Sonoma vanilla.

HTH and didn't make decisions harder!


11-06-2006, 10:02 PM
Thank you all! This is so helpful!