7 Stocking Stuffer Ideas For The Foodie In Your Life

7 Stocking Stuffer Ideas For The Foodie In Your Life

Foodie Stocking Stuffer Ideas
Foodie Stocking Stuffer Ideas

(This post is sponsored by Kitchen Stuff Plus. You can read the original post that first appeared on November 21, 2018, directly on their website, here; all opinions are my own.)

As a food and lifestyle blogger, I love receiving gifts that are themed around entertaining and spending time in my kitchen. And, I think people who like to be around food always appreciate getting something new to use. Here are 7 practical stocking stuffer ideas, for the foodie, cook, baker, and general kitchen enthusiast in your life!

Foodie Oven Mitts

Foodie Oven Mitts (Cotton With Printed Silicone)
Foodie Oven Mitts (Cotton With Printed Silicone)

When I was looking through the many household items at Kitchen Stuff Plus, I was delighted by these cotton-silicone mitts with the word ‘foodie’ repeated all over them! How fun are they? They’re 100% cotton with 100% silicone printing, which provides additional grip. I think they’re perfect for someone who creates and entertains in the kitchen.

Mortar & Pestle

Stainless Steel Mortar & Pestle
Stainless Steel Mortar & Pestle

I chose this stainless steel mortar and pestle because it’s heavy-duty and easy to clean. Having one mortar for fresh herbs like garlic and another one for dry spices like cardamom is a definite advantage to having more than one set!

Kitchen Shears

Henckels Kitchen Shears
Henckels Kitchen Shears

Most people have at least one pair of scissors in the kitchen. This could be a lightweight pair for opening food wrappings. But most foodies also have a heavy-duty knife for cutting meat, and possibly one dedicated to herbs. I love these Henckels Twin L 8-inch multipurpose stainless steel shears, which you can sharpen. There’s also a built-in rotary to help open jars.

Mini-locking Tongs

Mini Locking Tongs With Silicone Tips
Mini Locking Tongs With Silicone Tips

When you’re entertaining, the more serving utensils you have on hand, the more prepared you are as a host, especially when guests bring unexpected gifts of food. These silicone-tipped mini-tongs are just the right size for vegetables like green beans, fruits, bite-sized desserts, or cheese cubes.

Spiralizer

Oxo Good Grips Hand Spiralizer
Oxo Good Grips Hand Spiralizer

One of the easiest ways to prepare healthy meals is by making ‘zoodles’ out of zucchini or carrots and using these veggies like pasta or just to add interest to a dish. I like using this Oxo Good Grips Hand-Held Spiralizer because of its compact size, sharp blade, and finger protector. It’s also very easy to clean.

Colorful Spatulas

Silicone Spatula With Bamboo Handle
Silicone Spatula With Bamboo Handle

Spatulas make a practical gift because they always need replacing from wear and tear. These silicone spatulas with bamboo handles are a useful and colourful addition to any kitchen.

Cookie Scoops

Oxo Good Grips Large Cookie Scoop
Oxo Good Grips Large Cookie Scoop

Cookie scoops are one of the most versatile tools in the kitchen and I’m sure the foodie in your life would agree! They can be used for many things like ensuring cookies are a uniform size or for scooping cupcake batter into liners. This  Oxo Good Grips 3 Tablespoon Cookie Scoop is great for egg salad and quinoa salad. It can also be used for serving ice cream or soft cheese.

By the way, these mantle stocking holders and cute knit red or white stockings are sturdy enough to hold many of the items featured here.

Red & White Knit Christmas Stockings
Red & White Knit Christmas Stockings

Finally, don’t forget to have fun with presentation, like using a mitt as a stocking!

'Foodie' Oven Mitts
‘Foodie’ Oven Mitts

I hope these ideas inspire you to personalize some stocking stuffers or holiday gifts for the foodie in your life!

Let me know of any cute ideas you’ve gifted in the past. Enjoy!

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5 Tips For Hosting a Casual Hanukkah Party Plus A Latke Recipe

5 Tips For Hosting a Casual Hanukkah Party Plus A Latke Recipe

Hanukkah Party Table
Hanukkah Party Table

(This post is sponsored by Kitchen Stuff Plus. You can read the original post that first appeared on November 21, 2018, directly on their website, here; all opinions are my own.)

As we approach the darkest days of the year, celebrating Hanukkah is one of the most anticipated events in the Jewish calendar.

Hanukkah is an 8-day holiday observed in November or December, depending on the Hebrew lunar calendar. This year it begins on the evening of December 2nd.

Often referred to as the ‘festival of lights’, Hanukkah refers to the rededication of the Holy Temple after the Maccabees defeated their Greek-Syrian oppressors. When the Jews went to light the menorah, or candelabra, oil that should’ve lasted for one day burned for eight.

Hanukkah is celebrated in as many ways as there are family traditions, but almost all Hanukkah party celebrations include lighting the menorah, playing dreidel, singing songs, opening gifts; and, eating latkes, gelt, and sufganiyot.

I only started making latkes when my kids came home from school one day raving about the latkes a mom had made in their classroom. Since then, my family looks forward to the one or two days when I go all out making latkes: they like to invite friends over to enjoy the party!

Here are 5 tips for hosting a casual Hanukkah party:

Tip 1: Use any variation of blue, white, grey, silver, and gold linens and platters that you have.

Hanukkah Table
Hanukkah Table

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Get Your Kitchen Christmas-Ready With These 7 Festive Pieces!

Get Your Kitchen Christmas-Ready With These 7 Festive Pieces!

Christmas Kitchen Ideas
Christmas Pieces For Your Kitchen Island

(This post is sponsored by Kitchen Stuff Plus. You can read the original post that first appeared on November 21, 2018, directly on their website, here; all opinions are my own)

It’s time to get ready for Christmas and the best place to start is in the kitchen, the central meeting place of our home!

My kids and husband love all of the décor and enjoy every piece I put out. How fun is it to eat off of Christmas plates and to be surrounded by the colours and scenes of the season for a few weeks a year?

I recently picked up these 7 festive plates and tableware items at Kitchen Stuff Plus and they instantly put my family and kitchen into the holiday spirit.

1) Placemats and a Table Runner

After using mainly plain red placemats, I changed things up this year by going with printed placemats. I chose the Festive Tree pattern because I liked the different coloured trees on the beige background and because they go with the mini-tree decorations I have around the house.

Christmas Table Runner and Placemats
Christmas Table Runner and Placemats

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10 Simple & Easy Kitchen Tricks From Henckels Knives

 

Tomato Bruschetta

Last week I had an amazing day with the Henckels & Staub product knowledge team, at the beautiful Miele Experience Center in Vaughan.

At the Henckels' Knives Event at the Miele Experience Centre, Vaughan, Ontario
At the Henckels’ Knives Event at the Miele Experience Centre, Vaughan, Ontario

Along with the Kitchen Stuff Plus team, we saw close-up product demonstrations by 5 chefs and a sales manager — all while preparing our own delicious lunch!

My favorite part was learning some food prep secrets from the chefs while trying out the different knives and cookware. I was on the team that made Tomato Bruschetta and Grilled Ratatouille Crostini and I very quickly realized that having the right knife, sharpened, could easily save me about 20 minutes a meal!

Tomato Bruschetta
Tomato Bruschetta

Here are some of the insider tips and tricks that I learned:

Pro Tip #1
The three most useful knives in any kitchen are a paring knife, a chef’s knife (can be a 6, 10, or 12 inch blade), and a bread knife. Continue reading

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7 School And Work Lunches Approved By My Daughter And Husband

7 lunch ideas for Back to School
7 lunch ideas for Back to School

(This post first appeared on the Kitchen Stuff Plus website, on August 7, 2018. You can read that post here and follow the hyperlinks there to learn more about the highlighted products.)

After meal planning and making lunches for many years, my family and I have decided to shake things up for our upcoming back to school and work routines: we’re eating more fruits and vegetables and trying out different food combinations and ingredients.

Recently, I sat down with my high school daughter, who prepares and takes lunch every day, and my husband, who brings lunch to work a few times a month, to discuss new and fun ideas.

My daughter tested these lunches when she was at her summer day camp job and my husband enjoyed the leftovers from the photo shoot – yup, all the meals got a thumbs up!

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What I’m Sending To University With My Daughter This Fall

 

Getting ready for back to school with Kitchen Stuff Plus
Getting ready for back to school with Kitchen Stuff Plus

(This post first appeared on the Kitchen Stuff Plus website, on August 1, 2018. You can read that post here and follow the hyperlinks to learn more about the highlighted products.)

Although it’s going to be very hard to say goodbye to my oldest daughter when she goes off to university in September, it makes me feel better knowing she’ll have what she needs to make her dorm room feel a bit like home.

When we looked at the Kitchen Stuff Plus website, there were many room décor and snack accessories to choose from! We chose items that are reusable and environmentally friendly, conducive to healthy eating, and durable – so she can still use them when she eventually moves off campus.

Clothing & Shoes Storage

Non-slip hangers and underbed storage containers
Non-slip hangers and underbed storage containers

These velvet-covered hangers ensure clothes stay put without sliding to the bottom of the closet. Because they’re all the same, the closet will look more organized and aesthetically pleasing.

For shoes, we chose an under bed container to hold out-of-season shoes and an umbrella.

Bath Accessories & Toiletries

Dark towels and a shower caddy are practical
Dark towels and a shower caddy are practical

We went with navy towels because they’re easier to keep clean-looking! A shower caddy is a must, à la sleep-away camp.

Keeping beauty accessories tidy
Keeping beauty accessories tidy

For holding makeup and hair styling accessories, this flat plastic container with high sides is perfect – she can move the bin around and then store it under the bed when it’s not in use.

Coffee & Water Bottles

Double tumbler perfect for hot and cold beverages
Double tumbler perfect for hot and cold beverages

We opted for two types of mugs, in two different sizes. We love that both containers can be used for hot or cold liquids and foods.

Travel mug with handle is perfect for students on the go
Travel mug with handle is perfect for students on the go

The smaller mug with a handle is just right because she can easily hold it and reach into her backpack for other things. And, both containers are wide-mouthed and easy to clean – yay!

Coffee Station 

In-room coffee station
In-room coffee station

My daughter is someone for whom writing comes at crunch-time, meaning late night studying. Having an electric kettle on hand means she can make coffee and tea in her room.

She also picked out a rose gold colored coffee press and an electric milk frother. She’s very excited about sharing lattes and drinks with friends while enjoying the usual fun conversations that come with dorm living.

Rose-colored coffee press and monogrammed mug
Rose-colored coffee press and monogrammed mug

By the way, we’ve been making iced lattes every morning at home for a few months now and one of our tricks is sweetening the drinks with simple syrup (recipe below). This reduces the need to store sugar in the dorm room, not to mention keeping ants at bay!

To quickly make a latte, pour coffee into a tumbler, add syrup to taste, and then pour in the milk – usually no spoon is needed for mixing!

Jars For Storage and Snacks

Jars for desk accessories and snack storage
Jars for desk accessories and snack storage

Keeping snacks such as nuts and chocolate in glass jars or plastic containers is neater, sanitary, and more conducive to having dorm-mates drop in for a chat and a snack.

We also liked this set of 3 mason jars in a caddy for storing markers, pens and pencils, coffee utensils, and reusable stainless-steel straws.

Himalayan Salt Rock Lamp

Himalayan Rock Salt Lamp
Himalayan Rock Salt Lamp

When my daughter saw this lamp, she loved it for various reasons. It gives off a warm, zen light, setting a calm mood for the room. And, the negative ions it emits help manage dust and odors.

Packing up for university is still a few weeks away, but getting these items ready is making the upcoming university drop-off feel like it’s going to run a tad more smoothly!

Simple Syrup

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Drops of lemon juice

Place the sugar and water in a small pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for a few minutes, adding the lemon juice a minute before you remove the syrup from the heat. Store in a closed jar, at room temperature.

What tips do you have for helping a student get dorm-ready?

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This post was sponsored by Kitchen Stuff Plus. All opinions are my own. A special thank you goes out to Sophie and Joanna for helping me with understanding dorm life needs today!

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How Colorful Tableware Changes Your Outdoor Dining Experience

 

Simple Steak Dinner on Tableware from Kitchen Stuff Plus
Simple Steak Dinner on Tableware from Kitchen Stuff Plus

(This post first appeared on the Kitchen Stuff Plus blog, on July 19, 2018)

It’s amazing how a set of outdoor tableware can change how one feels about eating outdoors. I recently won a flatlay contest sponsored by Collective Influence, a blogger/influencer association, of which I’m a member, and Kitchen Stuff Plus, one of southwestern Ontario’s leading kitchen and homewares stores. The prize was this beautiful tableware set for eight that my family and friends loved using this past weekend.

Outdoor Tableware from Kitchen Stuff Plus
Outdoor Tableware from Kitchen Stuff Plus

The tableware is called the Madrid and it’s part of the Blue Sky collection. It’s made out of BPA-free melamine that won’t mark when you use a steak knife on it like we did this weekend! It’s light-weight, dishwasher safe, and the perfect size for a bbq meal or just lounging around at home or in nature. The dinner dishes are the same size as indoor plates but the side dishes and bowls are slightly larger. These larger side dishes and bowls can be used as extra dishes when you have more guests. Continue reading

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