11 Gifts for the Home Chef in Your Life


Everyone knows someone who just loves to cook, but they can't show off their skills if they don't have the proper kitchenware. So if there's someone in your life that's always ready to offer you a homemade meal that tops any restaurant, the holidays are the perfect time to show your gratitude. This year, get them a gift that will make their time in the kitchen even more enjoyable.

1. Instant Pot Duo Mini; $60

Instant Pot.
Instant Pot/Amazon

Home chefs don’t need a lot of mouths to feed or counter space to justify owning an Instant Pot. This version of the electric pressure cooker has all the capabilities of the original—including quick settings for rice, soups, yogurts, and stew—with a smaller, apartment-friendly footprint. With the colder weather approaching, an Instant Pot should be a staple in any kitchen.

Buy It: Amazon

2. Le Creuset Heart-Shaped Casserole Dish; $199

Heart-shaped casserole dish.
LE Creust/Amazon

Le Creuset is known for making enameled cast-iron cookware that’s durable and functional. It’s also really nice to look at, and this heart-shaped casserole dish is no exception. Even if the home chef in your life already has a collection of cookware, this two-quart dish makes a great item to have for special occasions.

Buy It: Amazon

3. Veggie Spices; $30

Veggie spice packets.
Uncommon Goods

When it comes to special seasoning blends, meat usually gets all the love, but veggies can also benefit from the right mixture of herbs and spices. This veggie lover’s cooking kit can help anyone looking to upgrade their produce from simple side dish to memorable main course. The kit comes with six flavor packets, such as coconut curry, maple brown sugar, and Mexican street corn. And for even more culinary inspiration, a booklet of plant-based recipes is included.

Buy It: Uncommon Goods

4. Cast-Iron Garlic Roaster; $25

Best Kitchen Gadgets to Buy
Charcoal Companion/Amazon

Roasted garlic is great mixed into condiments, mashed into potatoes, or simply smeared onto a slice of bread. The only drawback is that transforming a raw garlic clove into a soft, caramelized flavor bomb requires some time and patience. With this cast-iron garlic roaster from Amazon, the process becomes as simple as possible. Ventilation holes allow the aroma of garlic to fill your home as it cooks, and a silicone accessory lets you squeeze the garlic from its husk when it’s fresh out of the oven, without burning your fingers.

Buy It: Amazon

5. Thai Chef Knives; $70-$80

Thai chef's knives.
Uncommon Goods

A good chef’s knife is one of the most important tools a home cook should have in their kitchen. This gift includes two: an all-purpose cleaver and a sleek, lighter-weight blade for more precise cuts. Both knives are forged from stainless steel and hand crafted by artisans in Thailand.

Buy It: Uncommon Goods

6. JAWZ Blender; $299

JAWZ blender.

Whether the foodie in your life prefers to make smoothies or cocktails at home, they’ll benefit from having a high-powered blender in the kitchen. The JAWZ blender boasts 10 speed settings, making it perfect for pulverizing everything from berries and leafy greens to ice cubes and nuts.

Buy It: Amazon

7. Star Wars Death Star Cutting Board; $13

Star Wars Death Star cutting board.
Underground Toys/Amazon

Add some geeky charm to anyone's kitchen with this cutting board shaped like the Death Star from the original Star Wars. With a strong, heat resistant glass surface, this cutting board is a great way to indulge anyone who splits their passions equally between cooking and menacing Imperial super weapons.

Buy It: Amazon

8. Altifarm; $359

Vertical indoor garden.

Anyone who loves to cook at home knows the importance of using fresh herbs and produce in their food, and it’s hard to get any fresher than the bounty offered by Altifarm. The system's built-in LED lights promote plant growth without the need for direct sunlight, and its modular design makes it easy to place your garden just steps away from the stovetop. It works with a variety of plant seeds, including basil, tomatoes, and microgreens. Plus, it’s self-watering, so you only have to fill it once a week and let the garden do the rest. There's no green thumb necessary to reap these rewards.

Buy It: Amazon

9. Spoon rest; $7

Spoon rest.

Creating a little bit of a mess while cooking is unavoidable, but there are small things cooks can do to keep that mess under control. One of them is to use a spoon rest: Instead of resting a dirty spoon on a clean countertop, or leaning it precariously against a pot, cooks can set it aside in its designated spot. Kitchen surfaces stay clean, and when it comes time to stir or taste something, the tool is within arm's reach. This Acacia wood rest from Kamenstein isn’t just useful—it also looks nice next to the stove.

Buy It: Amazon

10. Air Fryer; $57

Air fryer.

Deep-fried food is messy and high in fat. Unfortunately for anyone concerned about those two points, it also tastes really good. With an air fryer, you can achieve the delectable texture of frying without the downsides. This model from Dash uses air instead of oil to get food hot and crisp. Plus, it’s compact, making it the perfect addition to a kitchen of any size.

Buy It: Amazon

11. Cooking Temperature Magnet; $7

Temperature chart fridge magnet.
RSVP International/Amazon

When handling raw meat, looking up the correct cooking temperature for a specific product is best done hands-free. A magnetic temperature chart keeps this information in one convenient spot. It sticks to the fridge, so whether a home cook wants to know the best internal temperature for lamb chops or a whole chicken, all they have to do is glance at it.

Buy It: Amazon

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Jabba the Hutt Leaves Tatooine for Your Front Lawn


From life-sized Yoda LEGO sets to a pair of comfy Chewbacca slippers, Star Wars fans are always showing their love of the blockbuster franchise in unique ways. But now, you can outdo them all by decorating your lawn with a giant inflatable Jabba the Hutt, which you can find on Amazon for $110.

Measuring 6 feet in height by 8 feet in length, this plasticized Jabba isn’t nearly as intimidating without Bib Fortuna by his side—nor as disgusting without a bowl full of Klatooine paddy frogs to snack on—but he lights up! He’s also got a built-in fan for easy inflation and comes with a set of stakes so that, just like in Return of the Jedi, he stays firmly planted. Unfortunately, digging your own Rancor pit for Jabba to lord over probably goes against most municipal building codes, but this intergalactic gangster works great as a solo act.

Think you know everything about Star Wars? Check out this list of 50 facts you might be surprised to learn.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

You Can Now Buy a Scarf Inspired by Those Preposterously Long CVS Receipts

Kathryn Hughes/Etsy
Kathryn Hughes/Etsy

CVS is known for being a one-stop shop for medications, grocery items, toiletries, and, of course, comically long receipts. Naturally, people have taken advantage of these absurdly long pieces of paper in a number of ways: in 2018, one Twitter user went viral because he used his CVS receipt as a replacement window blind, while another customer blew his receipt up and turned it into a Halloween costume.

Now, one industrious artist named Kathryn Hughes is using those never-ending paper receipts as inspiration for a line of handmade scarves, which you can find on Etsy for $20. These scarves measure at 58 inches long by 10 inches wide and look just like the real thing; however, because they are handmade, their sizes can vary slightly—much like real CVS receipts.

CVS receipt scarves
Kathryn Hughes/Etsy

The length of a real CVS receipt comes down to whether or not you're a CVS ExtraCare member. These members get added coupons and sales announcements tacked onto every receipt, resulting in lengths that can stretch to more than 4 feet. And Hughes's scarves are true to form: ExtraCare members will recognize coupons like “15 percent off with $50 purchase,” “30 percent off deodorant,” and “$1 ExtraBucks Rewards" printed right onto the scarf.

If you’re not a CVS shopper, Hughes also makes a scarf inspired by those long (but not quite CVS-long) Rite Aid receipts for $20. Hughes stresses that these scarves are novelty items and "won't save your life if you are stranded in Antarctica." But for anyone who has ever bought a pack of gum only to leave CVS with a receipt longer than a second grader, you can now turn your struggle into style.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!