Five for Friday: Five Gift Ideas for the Weeknight Chef

I’m hoping on the blog bandwagon to give you some holiday shopping ideas. This week, I’m focusing on the weeknight chef. This is the person who wants to get a healthy meal on the table most nights, but is rushed for time to do so. They are designed to making cooking easier and all are things I have — and rely on — in my very own kitchen.

1. A Wok — As I’ve mentioned previously, this was something M “had to have” when we were registering for wedding gifts. I honestly thought we’d use it once and that would be that. Boy was I wrong. I use this at least weekly. It heats up fast and cooks proteins and vegetables in mere minutes. It’s fantastic for stir fry, Asian dishes, scrambled eggs, smoking, steaming and sautéing. Need inspiration for cooking in your new wok? Click here.

2. Ninja 3-in-1 Cooking System — I’ve raved about this to friends. They’ve bought it, and they rave. For all intents and purposes, this is a slow cooker, but it’s also a stove top and a second (or third) oven. One of my favorite features is the stove top setting. So many times a recipe calls for meats to be seared or vegetables to be softened before adding them to the slow cooker. With the Ninja, it’s as easy as turning a dial. On a rushed morning, nothing could be easier. Here are a few recipes to try in your Ninja.

3. Garlic Press — One squeeze and your garlic is perfectly minced. Fast, easy, and a perfect stocking stuffer or addition to a hostess basket.

4. Mini Chopper — This is the only appliance I keep outside of my pantry. The size makes it ideal for fresh herbs, breadcrumbs, grinding cooked meat, fresh salsa, pureeing soups. It’s easy to clean up and helps short cut timely dicing or mincing.

5. A Good Chef’s Knife — There is a reason chefs take their knives so seriously: it’s their main tool. Investing in a good knife is definitely worth the expense. I love Henckels, but knives are personal. Head to the store to find one that feels fantastic in your hand.

What are your go-to cooking tools?

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