December 15, 2009

The Wish List

It’s holiday time and it’s getting down to the wire for finishing your list and checking it twice. For those of you who are last minute shoppers, much like myself, I thought I would impart some gifting advice and help you navigate the world of food related presents that are easy on the wallet and require very little time to procure.

Thoughtful and useful, these knick knacks and do dads are perfect for those seeking to become more comfortable in their kitchen and more adventurous in their cooking. And if none of these suggestions strike a chord with your inner elf, you can always buy your loved ones a warm pair socks. I know I need some.

Cooking Classes

The best way for people to learn how to cook something is by actively watching and participating in its construction. And if your loved one is a classic type A, and wants the dish to be perfect the first time he or she attempts it, cooking classes will help them feel like an immediate master of the stove. As for the rest of us, cooking classes are also a fun and social way to get outside of your cooking comfort zone. So grab a gift certificate or save a date on the calendar for a class at one of these local culinary schools:

Salud, San Mateo Whole Foods

Tante Marie

Parties That Cook

Baking Arts

City Girl Cooks

First Class Cooking

Scents and Spices

Doesn’t saffron rice and truffle mashed potatoes sound delicious? But who really wants to spend upwards of $5 on oils and spices? This year, give the gift of ultimate flavor by supplying your friends and family with the taste bud tools that will take a no sodium dish from edible to extraordinary.

Penzy’s Spices

iGourmet – Flavored Oils and Aged Balsamics

McEvoy Ranch Olive Oil

Far West Fungi

Herb Tree

Cooking Utensils

One of the most difficult things about a dietary restriction is having to make the majority of your food from scratch. But by adding these few items to your tool belt, you can cut time and energy when creating home-made meals.

Immersion Blender


Rice Cooker

Cookbooks and Recipe Resources

We all need inspiration and when learning how to cook sodium free, the more resources for culinary creativity the better. These food muses will ignite your cooking instincts and will help you better understand where sodium lurks and how to find flavor in its absence.

The No-Salt, Lowest-Sodium Cookbook

The No-Salt, Lowest-Sodium International Cookbook

Pocket Guide to Low Sodium Foods

Healthy Heart Living Magazine

Cooks Illustrated

Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It

Miscellaneous Stocking Stuffers

And for the no sodium chef that has everything, here are two more gift ideas that can round out any fully stocked kitchen.

Farmers Market Tokens from CUESA

CSA Memberships

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