2016 Holiday Gift Guide

It’s Cyber Monday – which means you might be able to snag some deals on any holiday gifts you have left to buy!

I’m one of those people who try to have all of their shopping done BEFORE Thanksgiving. It’s not unheard of for you to find me snagging Christmas gifts on clearance in January for the NEXT year. However, I do typically have a few unexpected or hard-to-buy-for gifts to get. I’m also cheap…. so Cyber Monday is one of those days I always look for good deals.

This year, I wanted to share a few holiday gift items for that foodie or wanna-be chef in your life. These are some things that are must haves at our house!

Kitchen Gadgets

Pressure Cooker: probably my favorite and most unexpected gadget in my house. These make cooking a quick breeze! We love cooking soups, stews, chilis, rice and so much more. Seriously, I cooked a whole chicken in ours in less than 30 minutes!  This Keyton 8-in-1 Digital Pressure Cooker is selling at a ridiculous price, valued over $300 !  My favorite is the InstantPot Cooker…. but you can also find some cheaper ones like this one!

Dehydrator: Excalibur Food Dehydrator is a beast… it has 9 metal racks that will stand up to lots of dehydrating. Great for jerky, fruits, veggies, etc. If you want something on the lower priced end, check out this Presto Digital Dehydrator!

Blender: I’d like to NOT be a blender snob and I always said I would NEVER own one of those blenders that cost over $500…. but I lied. I do own one and it is AMAZING. Here’s the deal… I had the chance to snag a reconditioned, practically new Vitamix blender at the GFAF Expo this year… for $250. They are really all they are talked up to be – they make soups, clean themselves, turn cashews into the creamiest cashew butter, pulverize just about anything, etc. It sounds like a small airplane but gosh, it works. I can’t attest to the quality of a Blendtec but they are said to be very similar in price and quality. That being said, I make lots of smoothies, my own nut milks, etc. I use it often. If you don’t, or don’t want to spend that much, try my trusty Ninja Blender.

Stand Mixer: These things just make cooking and baking easier. Stand mixers do most of the arm work for you while you can be working on something else. I really love my Kitchen-Aid mixers (one for the house and one for the bakery) but I get it if you don’t want to spend that much on one. I’ve used a Hamilton Beach Mixer before and it seems to be great for the price.

Food Processor: If you want to make quick work of shredding, chopping or even making bread dough, a food processor is a great investment.  You can find a wide range of options from Kitchen-Aid to Hamilton Beach. I personally like this Cuisinart Processor – kind of a middle of the road price/quality.

Juicers: This is one of those gadgets that is great if you will use it, otherwise it might be one that just sits on a counter or in a cabinet. I don’t use mine too often so this Hamilton Beach works great for me. However, I have only heard amazing things about this Breville.

Slow-Cooker: Now this… this is a gadget that we use at least once per week, especially during the busy work week. You can prepare anything from breakfast to dessert in a slow-cooker. It does the all the work and food is ready when you need it. It is my favorite way to roast chicken! I’ve had my loyal Crock-Pot slow-cooker for years but I’m really kind of wanting this quick programmable one from Hamilton Beach. You can even get one that is Bluetooth enabled for your phone… not kidding!

Coffee Maker: We’ve had a Keurig for a LONG time but last year (thanks to Sophia Vergara), I got him a Ninja Coffee Bar System. We really love it. He’s the coffee drink (plain, bold and dark), I stick with tea but on occasion, I like a specialty cup with stuff in it that he wouldn’t drink. I love that you still have the option for the 1 cup or the full pot without having to buy the expensive cups. He still uses the Keurig at work and we haven’t had problems with it.

Food Saver: We live in Rural Kansas… we hunt – correction: I do not, my husband does. I know there are some misconceptions about hunting but we value animal life for nourishment of our bodies and do not hunt for just ‘fun’. Venison has proved to be a meat that my body tolerates and uses well. Our Food Saver has been amazing for keeping foods fresher in the freezer. No freezer burn or anything like that. It’s not only great for meats but fruits and veggies as well. If our garden is abundant, we can process and food-save many foods for later use. This is the only one we have used and we’ve had it for years….. 

Ice Cream Maker: we are always making homemade ice cream in the summer. We love our Cuisinart. Another option is a YoNanas maker – seriously amazing. It takes frozen fruits and turns them into delicious sorbet type desserts – FYI, frozen bananas taste like ice cream…..
Small Kitchen Items

Kitchen Knives: a good set of knives is essential for a busy kitchen. We have a wide variety of brands – varying greatly in price and quality. I do like our Chicago Cutlery knife set but there are so many out there.

Silicone Baking Mats: as a baker, I’m always using parchment paper to prevent items from sticking. In our home, I use washable baking mats and they work great – help with even cooking, prevent sticking, etc. One of my top useful kitchen items.

Springform Pan: these little pans are perfect for cheesecakes, regular cakes, etc. While it might not be something you use every day, it is great to have when you need it! These from Kitchen-Aid are great….

Baking Pan Set: if you need an upgrade on your pans or know some newlyweds, this set is great. It is really good quality and has a variety of pans. 

Cookware Set: another great option for upgrades or newlyweds…. Some people love stainless steel, others like the non-stick. I personally go for stainless steel and this set is awesome! It has so many different things and is a good quality brand.

Vegetable Spiralizer: This is another one of my favorite items – but we call it the ‘zoodle’ maker. I have many recipes using spiralized vegetables for pasta, etc. This tool is great. It also works for fruits, onions, etc. Very simple to use – my 8 year old can handle it by himself. It makes dinners fun!


Celebrations by Danielle Walker: a new, Paleo cookbook from one of my favorite authors. Danielle, of Against All Grain, is a true gluten-free icon when it comes to cooking. She has a great story, passion and amazing talent. This book features a lot of holiday recipes.

The Paleo Kids Cookbook by Jennifer Robins: another new book geared toward cooking Paleo meals with Kids. As someone who does this on a daily basis, I can tell you that these recipes are great for kids and adults alike.

Nom-Nom Paleo by Michelle Taman overall great cookbook- with something for families, kids, athletes, etc. Some of my favorite Paleo recipes in this one!

The Performance Paleo Cookbook by Stephanie Gaudreau: a newer book that I’m really into. This book features a lot of information on eating paleo while staying fit. You don’t have to be doing crossfit, HIIT, or any specific training… it’s just overall good tips for healthy eating habits while exercising.

The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook by Mickey Trescott & Angie Alt: a great resource for those with Autoimmune issues who are trying to avoid a wide range of foods to promote healing.


Whew – I know that’s a rather extensive list… BUT surely you can find something in there for that special gift!  As always, please ask if have any questions or want my input on a particular item in question! You can always find my bakery products local or even some items can be shipped. Check out my store here


*this post contains affiliate links. These links do not cost you anything; they are just a way for me to earn a small income for free content provided if you use the links to purchase. I was not compensated to promote any of these products or resources.*

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