Constantly Cooking’s 2021 holiday gift guide

Suggestions for cooks, eaters and coffee lovers!

As happens every autumn, I’ve been busily testing products in order to compile a select list of items to offer a little gift-giving inspiration that, as always, is focused on truly practical items. I, for one, am delighted that the past two years have seen a resurgence in home cooking, so why not treat those on your gift list (or even yourself) to something useful to make time in the kitchen more enjoyable and successful?  For additional ideas, you can also check out previous gift guides on this site, including this year’s cookbook gift guide and my holiday 2020 guide.

ZWILLING’s Fresh & Save vacuum food storage system

Are you ready to revolutionize how you store your food? Zwilling’s unique food storage products with a double-sealing system preserve flavours and nutrients, prevent freezer burn and keep food fresh up to five times longer than non-vacuum food storage methods. As a bonus, you can also use the food storage bags to thoroughly marinate meat or fish in just 30 minutes prior to cooking.  The bags are also perfect for sous vide cooking. The Starter Set features 2 vacuum containers with double-seal lids, 4 reusable vacuum bags with easy-zip closures, and a compact, rechargeable vacuum pump that pulls the whole set together. There’s even a free app so you can track what you’ve stored and be alerted to use-by dates.  Find more information on the Zwilling website.

wax + wane coffee

This Canadian coffee company is focused on freshness. Working in partnership with a local Ottawa artisanal coffee roaster, they source only the best quality beans – including a great selection of Fairtrade options – from around the world, then roast them, to order, in small batches before shipping directly to happy clients across North America. Subscriptions are available as well. The company’s coffee and merchandise offerings are carefully curated to help us pause and mindfully enjoy the tiny magical moments between the waxing and waning moon, with a delicious mug of coffee in hand, of course. Peruse the collection and place your order here.

Ninja Foodi Dual Zone air fryer

Air fryers are hot this year (pun intended) and for good reason – their convection-based technology is so versatile and efficient. The Ninja Foodi 2-Basket Air Fryer is the cream of the crop, offering multiple modes and the opportunity to cook larger volumes of food (like up to 4 lb / 1.8 kg of fries!) with ease, or cook two different items, with the option to set separate times and temperatures for each basket. In addition to Air Fry mode, it can also Air Broil, Roast, Bake, Reheat, and Dehydrate. It’s a perfect tool for busy kitchens, and a healthy option for fast, fresh meals cooked with little to no oil. Look for product details on their website.

de Buyer Mineral B carbon steel pan

Cook like a pro with heavy-duty pans offering a smooth, chemical-free non-stick cooking surface. Made in France since 1830, de Buyer’s Mineral B pans can withstand high heat and respond to temperature adjustments quickly, giving you total control of how your food cooks, allowing you to sear, stir, brown, and grill both on the stove and in the oven. Significantly lighter in weight than cast iron, Mineral B pans come in a variety of sizes, with sloped sides to make it easier to manipulate food. The hard metal makes it difficult to scratch or damage your pans, hence the lifetime warranty offered. See the various sizes available via new-to-Canada online kitchenware retailer, Zestspot.

Cuisipro Pack-it silicone storage bags

These travel-friendly bags offer endless possibilities for food and other items. They’re leakproof, airtight and stain resistant. Because they can be heated to 425F, you can use them to cook in the microwave, oven or in a pot on the stove. You can also tuck them in the fridge or freezer to keep food fresher longer. They’re easy to clean too – including in the dishwasher –  and you can label them with a dry-erase marker (great for noting who’s sandwich is whose when you’re packing a lot of lunchboxes). Available in four sizes, from 200mL to 2L. Learn more on Cuisipro’s website.

Prepara deluxe oil mister

This handy misting bottle is made of glass and BPA-free plastic and it’s an easy yet healthy way to add more flavour to dishes with less fat. Use your favourite purchased oils (consider having several if you use different oils for different purposes). If you want to get creative, it’s easy to develop your own signature oil flavours by infusing dried herbs, dried spices or even ingredients like dried chili peppers, sun dried tomatoes and dehydrated onions or garlic right in the mister’s container – your add-ins won’t clog the sprayer, thanks to the unique built-in washable filter. The mister’s wide-mouth glass container makes it easy to fill and best of all, it’s also dishwasher-safe. Check out Prepara’s full line of oil sprayers, cruets and pourers here.

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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