Summer 2021 gift guide

Food-friendly gifts and gadgets!

Each summer, I make a mental wish list of things I hope to accomplish and places I hope to visit. This year, my goals are modest and mostly involve little day trips, tweaking some old tried-and-true recipes and hugging some friends and family members. As my world opens up a little, I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for new hostess gifts plus gadgets that will enhance my summertime cooking adventures. Below are a few of my new favourite things.

Hamilton Beach ice cream maker

If your family likes frozen treats, they’ll love how fun and easy it is to make it from scratch, especially with this 1.4 litre electric ice cream maker. No more manual churning – just pre-chill the cylinder and prepare the ice cream, frozen yogurt or gelato mixture. Here’s my favourite strawberry ice cream recipe for inspiration! Simply add the mixture to the easy-to-assemble unit; after 20 minutes, sprinkle your favourite add-ins through the opening in the top before scooping and serving your delicious dessert. Available at Home Hardware or

BeeBAGZ food storage bags

Made by a small Ontario-based company, BeeBAGZ are currently the only reusable food storage BAG made with beeswax. If you’re already a fan of beeswax wrap you’ll love this product, ditto if you are trying to reduce your reliance on plastic bags for food storage at home and on the go. They keep food perfectly fresh and are easy to wash with cold water. The company also offers a great product made from the trimmed bits from the bag making process; FireSTARTERZ fire starter strips are ideal for lighting campfires or charcoal barbeques. Available at

ThermoPop digital food thermometer

Food thermometers are important to ensure food is neither undercooked nor overcooked. One of the best value digital thermometers is the ThermoPop and it’s affordable, effective and easy to use. With a rotating display and big backlit digits, the splash-proof, very durable thermometer provides a superfast reading in your preferred unit of measurement (ranging from -58 to 572°F or -50 to 300°C). The included batteries offer about 5,000 hours of typical performance and the ThermoPop comes in a fun array of colours. Available at select kitchen supply stores or at

Cheese, Wine and Bread

Subtitled “Discovering the Magic of Fermentation in England, Italy, and France”, this book by Katie Quinn is ideal for both foodies and travellers (or armchair travellers). She’s a YouTube star with a knack for storytelling YouTube star Katie Quinn shares the stories and science behind everyone’s favourite  fermented fare — cheese, wine, and bread — as well as some classic recipes. She apprenticed with some European experts to learn more about fermentation and shares fun stories plus heaps of great information in a very accessible and interesting way. The book’s photos and illustrations make it even more appealing. Available in print, digital and audio formats.

Attitude natural care products

Constantly Cooking was founded to promote the joy of cooking and eating healthy food, and it has sparked a lot of exploration about other ways to incorporate healthy practices into daily living. We’ve recently discovered a line of Canadian products which are EcoLogo and cruelty-free certified. A particular favourite is the orange leaf micellar foaming face wash with its delicious natural orange and cardamom aroma – the perfect pick-me-up after a marathon cooking session! Their deodorants, sunscreens and home cleaning products are also favourites. Available at

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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