11 Gifts for the Aspiring Chef, Baker, or Mixologist

iStock
iStock

Whether the folks on your list are just learning how to boil water or have memorized Larousse Gastronomique, they'll love one of these handy tools and gadgets in their home kitchen.

1. FOOD FOR THOUGHT PLATES; $30

Z Gallerie

You can add a dash of humor to your giftee's next party by giving this cute set of four 7.5-inch porcelain plates. They all feature sayings with cheeky double entendres: "Holy shiitake," "I love it when you call me Big Papaya," "It takes two to mango," and "I'm kind of a big dill."

Find It: Zgallerie

2. CRUCIAL DETAIL PORTHOLE INFUSER; $120

MoMA Store

Designed by Crucial Detail founder Martin Kastner, the Porthole lets your foodie friends create their own infused oils, vinegars, teas, or even liquors. First, lay the six-inch-diameter, tempered glass vessel on its flat side and release the center screw. Add a selection of fruit, herbs, or chili peppers to the vessel. Reattach the lid to create an airtight seal, stand it up, and pour plain olive oil or other liquid through the spout. Then, steep until the mixture reaches peak flavor.

Find It: MoMA Design Store

3. PROJECT 62 COPPER CHEESE KNIFE SET; $17

Target

This four-piece cheese knife set is one of the items in Target's new line of mid-century modern-inspired housewares and décor, Project 62. The gray marble handles and bright copper blades will add flair to holiday cheese boards and hors d'oeuvre trays.

Find It: Target

4. KOLOSSOS GREEK ORGANIC WINE VINEGAR TRIO; $30

Rocky Luten/Food52

Enliven salads and other bites with a spritz from one of these piquant organic vinegars, all made from heritage grapes grown in Greece. The red wine vinegar uses fruit from 2000-year-old vines in Nemea, the white wine variety is made with D.P.O. Roditis grapes from Patras, and the white wine balsamic style uses the Roditis grapes with a splash of raw, unfiltered wildflower honey.

Find It: Food 52

5. YEDI DESERT GOLD CUPS AND SAUCERS; $30

Amazon

This elegant and affordable four-piece espresso cup set will perk up your pal's morning coffee routine. Each 2.5-ounce porcelain cup features a cobalt blue, grass green, sunny yellow, or slate blue hue on the inside of the cup and reflective gold exterior, plus a saucer in matching tones.

Find It: Amazon

6. MEEHAN'S BARTENDER MANUAL; $20

Ten Speed Press

Mixologist and author Jim Meehan, formerly of New York City's Gramercy Tavern, Pegu Club, and other hotspots, offers this chic compendium of everything there is to know about cocktails. From a history and evolution of drinks—did you know punch was popularized by the British navy because it didn't spoil on long sea voyages?—to serving techniques and cocktail recipes with beautiful photos, this hefty book will earn a special place on your giftee's bar cart.

Find It: Amazon

7. CRAFTHOUSE BY FORTESSA SMOKING BOX; $250

Amazon

When your friends consider a standard cocktail too pedestrian, offer them this streamlined smoker. Just place an adult beverage in the box, close the door, and put a pinch of woodchips (two kinds are included with the set) in the attached smoking gun's reservoir. Then, light the smoking gun. A stream of smoke will waft directly into the box, infusing the drink with smoky complexity. The smoker can also be used for non-alcoholic drinks and foods.

Find It: Amazon

8. TEN THOUSAND VILLAGES JIGSAW PUZZLE CUTTING BOARD; $29

Ten Thousand Villages

Fair trade artisans in Indonesia create these handy wooden cutting boards from sustainably sourced suar wood, which features a thick grain pattern and walnut-like hue. Chop up nibbles on the rectangular surface, then split up the four interlocking pieces to serve cheeses, fruit, crackers, and more.

Find It: Amazon

9. PHILIPS TURBOSTAR AIRFRYER; $227

Philips

This sleek appliance can fry, bake, roast, and grill with almost no added oil, meaning your giftee won't feel quite so guilty when a craving for onion rings strikes. The TurboStar technology circulates hot air through the heated chamber so one never needs to flip or stir food while it's cooking, and the control dial with presets for popular foods ensures the right temperature and cooking times for healthier, tastier meals.

Find It: Amazon

10. WILLIAMS SONOMA HOLIDAY COOKIE GIFT CRATE; $80

Williams-Sonoma

Whether your friends are noobs in the kitchen or could win the Great British Baking Show, give them this adorable gift set as a fun and delicious way to celebrate the season. Each crate contains rich shortbread cookie mix, peppermint "snow" to sprinkle on top, four stainless steel cookie cutters in snowflake, candy cane, pine tree, and gingerbread man shapes, a cute snowman spatula, and striped tea towel.

Find It: Williams Sonoma

11. RETRO CANDY GIFT BOX: CHOOSE YOUR DECADE; $35

Candy Crate

Better than any Halloween haul, Candy Crate's gift boxes include about 55 pieces of candy in full and fun sizes from the decade of your choice. For example, the 1980s box offers vintage faves like Nerds, Fruit Stripe gum, Charms Blow Pops, Atomic Fireballs, Jolly Ranchers and much more. Sugary selections from the 1940s to the 1990s are available.

Find It: Candy Crate

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.
Allwood/Amazon

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

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Turn Your Laptop Into a Multi-Monitor Hub With This Lightweight Accessory

Mobile Pixels
Mobile Pixels

If your dining room table has been doubling as your work-from-home station over the past few months, you’re probably missing the extra space, supportive chair, and the dual-monitor setup at your old office. The Mobile Pixels Trio, a portable triple-screen laptop monitor accessory, is designed to give you the space that multiple monitors provide without needing to be hardwired in a cubicle.

The Mobile Pixels brand offers an innovative multi-screen laptop accessory that's easy to use. Once you fit the magnetized accessory to the back of your laptop and plug it in, you simply slide the extra screens out and start working. The product began on Indiegogo with a single monitor attachment, but the new Trio model comes with an additional monitor, bringing the total number of screens at your disposal to three.

The lightweight tool comes in two sizes, Trio (12.6 inches across) and Trio Max (14 inches), and is compatible with any Mac, Linux, Chrome, or Android device with a USB connection. The Mobile Pixels Trio and Trio Max can be configured however you want, so if you need one monitor to be in portrait mode for design and coding work, you just need to turn the screen and you're good to go.

Right now, both sizes are discounted, with the smaller screen going for $214.99 and the larger one for $269.99.

Price subject to change.

Mobile Pixels TRIO: Portable Dual Screen Laptop Monitor - $214.99

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