2015 Holiday Staff Picks – Under $50

Gift BoxThe holidays are just around the corner, and we’re back with our fourth annual two-part Holiday Staff Picks!

This week, for part one, we asked our staff what tools under $50 they think would be the perfect gift to give or receive this holiday. Here’s what they told us:

Helen Chen's Tri-Blade Spiral Vegetable SlicerAlice: #615258 Helen’s Asian Kitchen Tri-Blade Spiral Vegetable Slicer ($34.99)

“Eating healthy at home is important to me, so I just love that this spiral slicer will let me recreate all my favorite dishes in a wholesome way. This countertop spiral slicer quickly turns almost any vegetable into everything from spiral-cut curls to spaghetti strands to flat noodles, and makes it easy for me to be creative in fun new ways, all while adding more vegetables to my diet.”

Mrs Anderson's Sweet and Savory Half-Size Set of 2 Silicone Baking MatsAntoine: #614277 Mrs Anderson’s Sweet and Savory Half-Size Set of 2 Silicone Baking Mats ($24.99)

“This two-pack silicone baking mat set is the unsung hero of my kitchen. It’s awesome because I can roast veggies on the green mat labelled ‘Roasting,’ and bake cookies on the orange mat labelled ‘Baking,’ and never worry about flavors transferring between sweet and savory applications.”

Brustolina - La Gratella Graticola Tostapane Stainless Steel Stovetop ToasterAshley: #612681 La Gratella Graticola Tostapane Stainless Steel Stovetop Toaster ($15.99)

“The brustolina is common in kitchens throughout Italy, but a unique find here in the states. I can use this amazingly simple grill (graticola) to toast slices of bread for bruschetta, to crisp slices of polenta, to roast peppers, and so much more. It’s a great gift, even for those with a well-stocked kitchen.”

JK Adams Artisan Bread Plank 20x6Barb: #615105 J.K. Adams Artisan Bread Plank 20×6″ ($44.99)

“I’d be thrilled to receive my very own personalized serving board this holiday! This artisan maple board is not only gorgeous, with its teak oil finish that brings out the wood grain for a rich, rustic finish, it can also be monogrammed or have up to two lines of text added, giving a personal touch to this heirloom gift. And best of all, it’s made in the USA!”

HIC Pour-Over Coffee Maker 4-CupBrian: #614533 HIC Pour-Over Coffee Maker 4-Cup ($39.99)

“Pour-over coffee is not a new concept; it’s been around virtually as long as coffee itself. What makes this system special (besides its attractiveness) is the unique reusable filter, which is made of stainless steel, and features laser etched micro-holes and a layer of mesh. It allows me to brew my coffee with a finer grind to get a stronger result without any grinds ending up in the bottom of my cup. Plus, it’s an easy clean up, and I don’t have to waste a paper filter.”

Sabatier Mexeur et Cie Slicing Knife 6 InchDennis: #613993 Sabatier Mexeur et Cie Slicing Knife, 6 Inch ($49.99 – regular price $66.04)

“This fully forged carbon steel knife is a great gift for the cook that has it all. It easily sharpens to a razor-like edge, and it’s the perfect size for that in-between knife; larger than a parer, but not quite a chef’s knife. Over time, the carbon steel develops a patina with use, to a warm and well-loved look.”

Zahav by Michael Solomonov and Steven CookKaren: #614192 Zahav by Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook ($27.99 – regular price $35.00)

“I’m so excited about this beautiful new cookbook from one of Philly’s best chefs. Written with the home cook in mind, these recipes are accessible, modern classics from a region that is under-represented on bookshelves. Going to Zahav for dinner is reserved for special occasions, but with this cookbook, I can make Solomonov’s recipes at home any night of the week.”

CI Butter MillLiana: #614187 CI Butter Mill ($14.99)

“I love spreadable butter on my toast in the morning, but hate the idea of softened butter living out on my counter. Never fear, the CI Butter Mill is here! Simply store it in the refrigerator, and when you’re ready, twist the mill and cold butter is grated through the bottom of the mill, resulting in perfectly soft, spreading butter. It’s a fun, unexpected gadget that solves the constant butter struggle for the bread lover in your life.”

Oggi Bartender Jumbo Party Cocktail Shaker 60-OzMandie: #614978 Oggi Bartender Jumbo Party Cocktail Shaker 60 oz ($29.99)

“My friends and I are cocktail drinkers, as in ‘shaken, not stirred.’ This jumbo cocktail shaker would make my dinner parties much more enjoyable since I’d be able to create one large batch of martinis, rather than finding myself stuck at the bar all night mixing multiple batches of our favorite drink.”

Italy Cutting BoardMariella: #614079 Italy Cutting Board ($23.99 – regular price $29.99)

“I like to celebrate my heritage in a practical way. This 14×11″ cutting and serving board is smooth on one side, and has an etching of Italy on the other side. When company comes, the cheese, soppressata, mortadella and crackers look great displayed around ‘the boot.’ When I’m not showing off this original piece, I use the other side to chop veggies. And when I’m done, it goes right in the dishwasher!”

Peugeot Altar Endless Corkscrew System-BasaltNadia: #615192 Peugeot Altar Endless Corkscrew System, Basalt ($39.99)

“I’d be absolutely proud to show off this wine opener when I host my next dinner party. The set combines an elegant design along with an easy-to-use function. The soft-touch finish and mechanics of the corkscrew makes opening wine bottles a breeze, and it comes with a matching foil cutter, as well as an attractive gift box to use for storage.”

Jonas Baker's Mate 4 Tier Cooling RackNeomie: #11511 Jonas Baker’s Mate 4 Tier Cooling Rack ($23.99)

“I absolutely love this space-saving cooling rack! It is so useful if you have a small kitchen like I do. When I’m baking a couple batches of macarons, it’s nice to be able to have space on my counter to work on the fillings while the trays of macarons are stacked up on this handy rack, drying or cooling after baking.”

Chef'n EcoCrock Compost BinNina Rose: #4204 Chef’n EcoCrock Compost Bin ($39.99)

“Instead of contributing to the landfill, why not turn your kitchen scraps into compost? This adorable compost bin would look great in my kitchen, and has a charcoal filter to keep funky smells at bay. And next spring, when I go to plant my vegetable and herb garden, I’ll be able to use the compost I made to improve my garden’s soil for maximum growing potential!”

Fante's Canvas Market Tote BagPaulino: #17209 Fante’s Canvas Market Tote Bag ($12.99 – regular price $19.99)

“I love this bag! It’s extremely strong, durable and large enough to hold all my groceries. It’s an eco-friendly way to ditch the plastic bags when I go shopping at the market, and it folds down to a small size when I’m not using it.”

Rosette Set Snowflake-Evergreen TreeVanessa: #7950 Rosette Set Snowflake-Evergreen Tree ($19.99)

“I made rosette cookies for the first time a year ago and fell in love with them. I love eating these deep fried cookies with hot apple cider or salted caramel hot chocolate! These winter-themed irons are dunked in batter, then hot oil, and fried into perfect little holiday shaped cookies that everyone will just love come Christmas day.”

Stay tuned for next week, when we reveal what we chose as our favorite any-price 2015 gift picks!

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