Forget White Christmas'. I'm dreaming of a white kitchen. No upper cabinets, I'm only 5'3" and can't reach half of the precious plates and half sets of Riedel wine glasses that I have. Windows with lots of light, please. Since it's a recession and soap stone is a little pricey (and not altogether practical) I'll *settle* for honed black granite and a large island with a hand oiled walnut butcher block top. While we're at it, Santa Baby, side by side Sub Zero refrigerator and freezers would be great. Please don't forget the glass subway tiles, pot filler, reclaimed antique pine flooring and double farm sinks. A large space for recycling that doesn't show, and Santa, a kiss under the mistletoe won't be all mama will give up if there is a custom spice rack for exotic spices like Paradise Seeds from West Africa and Madagascar Vanilla or Aleppo chilies from Turkey and and salts like Bolivian pink salt, from around the world that all have matching glass bottles in alphabetical and color order. I'm getting flush. Can you imagine what I would be able to do with six burners and a griddle in middle???? While you're elves are making the spice rack, perhaps they could take a shot at a wrap around bookcase for all of my cookbooks and a lounge chair for me to dream up dinner schemes.
Screeching brakes*****************I realized Santa wasn't "real" when I was seven. Architects have slightly recognizable handwriting, and, yup, my dad is an architect. That, combined with putting out HIS favorite cookie, was a dead ringer to this 2nd grader that Santa was not coming down our chimney. I win mother of the year for ruining that childhood truth for my 12 1/2 year old THIS year. She actually thought the Easter Bunny was a bit of a stretch (and a scary thought that a ginormous fake fur rabbit ala the mall bunny would be hopping around the 'hood with baskets), but Santa, he's real. Makes it all around the world to every house in one night. Gotta believe to receive! (Gotta get her head checked :)
Here are some really fabulous, realistic, kitchen finds for the foodie on your Christmas list! Forget Oprah's favorite things...
A subscription to one of the best cooking mags out there, Fine Cooking. I've never made anything from this magazine that didn't turn out awesome. Yes, Cooks is fantastic, too, but I'm a picture girl and there are some fine food photos for ya, too. $29.95 for one year (6 issues).
My girls fell in love with the mini chopper while visiting my sister this summer. Slightly easier to clean than it's grown up counterpart. A Sur la Table exclusive, these cute Cuisinart mini-choppers are just $39.95. They also have the hand immersion blender and hand held mixer in four fun colors. Guess what my girls are getting this Christmas? Mama's gonna start a little cooking hope chest for them for when they go bye-bye and have their own places to make messes cook.
Got a doodler? Love, love these chalkboard frames ($6.95) and placemats ($15.95) from Papersource. I was so inspired by the bedroom in 500 Days of Summer. Yes, I am too old for that movie, albeit clever. If I don't ever end up with a proper bedroom set for Mac, I will, in fact, draw his headboard and book cases in chalk. These reclaimed chalkboard coasters ($35) are "green", great and an inspired alternative to the "stem gem" wine glass tags from Uncommongoods.com.
And finally, some good books for cooks and even those who just like pictures, from Amazon.com!! (and a dvd). I really don't know why more publishers don't do audio versions of their cookbooks by the chef. Brilliant idea #687 for someone to steal and make money. Seriously, how do you think cooking shows on tv started? I can do anything someone tells me! Julia Child. The beloved first TV chef. Now available on DVD, The French Chef. These are classics. Most shows were done in one take without editing and there were a lot of practical jokes on the set, hence, Julia laughing all the time and looking buzzed. But, she wasn't!
I love watching Iron Chef, and had big hopes for Nate Applebaum from San Francisco's A16. Yes, he's super cocky, tatts in lieu of sleeves, and probably fibs too much, but his food was inspired. He got kicked off, so I'm gonna hit the city and have lunch at A16 instead of watching. Or maybe I'll just cook from the A 16 Food and Wine Cookbook.
Ad Hoc! Truth be told, I really use cookbooks for inspiration and flavor combining, not really so much for recipes. Ad Hoc is Thomas Keller's latest restaurant in Yountville, CA. It's namesake for "for this purpose", which was only supposed to be temporary, but got such great reviews they decided to stay open permanently. An upscale, California- family style eatery, not to be underestimated by thinking family style means Buca de Beppo. You can take me to The French Laundry (kicking and screaming, nooooooo! ha ha), but let's just say I can relate more to the Ad Hoc approach.
Teens Cook: How to Cook What You Want to Eat I can't tell you how annoyed I get when I look for cookbooks for kids. It's either they can do it all by themselves (i.e. spaghetti sauce on an English muffin with cheese) or parents are doing the cutting and stove top stuff. As long as I'm there, I'll even let my 6 year old make eggs. Claire goes on Epicurious.com all the time and makes great recipes. Kids will eat gourmet - especially if they own it! Here's a book where they can take on a bit more of what they are interested in eating.
The New Portuguese Table. I want to go to Spain and Portugal so bad I can taste it! Ok, I can't taste it, but maybe with the help of this book I can bring a little Portuguese village into my home!
Channel your inner June Cleaver?
"Jitterbug" apron from Anthropologie ($32.00) . I don't wear aprons. I have several stained sweaters to prove that. If I did, tho, I'd wear a little ditty like this. Maybe some pearls. Nothing else???? Never mind. Don't want to scare anyone. :P
There's an app for that.
And finally, the iPhone 3GS. For cooks you say? Absolutely! I love my Epicurious app. Not only can I search for recipes there, but also make a list for all of the items I need for it from the store. No time to wait in line? Chipotle has an on phone ordering app. You choose the location you want to pick it up, then create your menu item/toppings. Starbucks is also working on their app and soon you'll be able to phone in your drink order and pay via your phone! Don't know how long to cook steak? Try the Weber's On The.. app for grilling tips and recipes. There's even a Mixologist drink app for 7900 drink recipes and Pair It! food and wine pairing guide. And, if you don't feel like cooking, you can make a reservation and get points through Open Table, but check out Zagat '09 before you go for the best recommendations. I want a new iPhone so I can surf even faster!
Enough already. I'll work on my actual food and wine list for next week! Gee, all because I was thinking about a kitchen. Happy shopping.