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The Learn To Cook Gift List

It’s 8 days until Christmas! And, I am woefully behind on my shopping. But, I figured I would add my voice to the chorus of food bloggers out there writing about great holiday gifts for cooks/foodies. But, I’m adding a More Than Easy Mac twist.

My list comprises all things that you need in your starter kitchen that make life so much easier (beyond the obvious pots and pans, plates and silverware). Nothing too expensive or high maintenance, just really basic stuff.  🙂

Knives — I realized in grad school that I was getting older when I got way too excited about receiving a nice knife set for Christmas. I use these knives almost every day.  And quite frankly, existing without a big, heavy duty knife is pretty hard. You will never split a butternut squash without one.

A Collander — Even if you don’t cook that much, you probably know how to make spaghetti and consider it a staple for lazy nights when you have had a long day and don’t want to cook.  Therefore, you need a collander. My grandma gave me mine right before I moved to D.C. for an internship in college. It was my first non-dorm experience (i.e. no meal plan), so I used it at least once a week, probably more. I ate a lot of chicken and pasta during that semester.

Seriously, life without a crock pot is just dismal. Ok, only kidding on that one.  But really, I love my crock pot, which Santa brought me last Christmas. 🙂 My roommate in college had one, and every game day (Let’s go State!) we would put meatballs and sauce in the crockpot and come home after the game to meatball sandwiches. It was marvelous.  Now, I use my crock pot for chili, soup, and even roast.  You can just Fix it and Forget It!

A few decent/easy to understand cookbooks. You can see my copy of Fix it and Forget It on the counter there, but my real favorite is that white binder. It’s a cookbook put together by my two great aunts and their cousin. A nicer, bound edition is currently at my mom’s house, so I got the first copy. I love it.  Of course, my mom sometimes has to translate for my aunts. For example, oleo means margarine in my aunts’ world. I also have a clipboard of printouts of emails from my moms with recipes, or pages from magazines that I’ve ripped out.

And a few things that I didn’ t get a chance to take pictures of before my camera batteries died. A blender! You can use it for soup,  smoothies and chopping up veggies. Pretty much anything you need to blend.  Also, just a fun thing that my sister gave me in grad school that I love to use — a quesadilla maker!

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