Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Foodie Wish List

Meridith Ford creates Greek yogurt fruit pops at Cook's Warehouse. Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books

A few weeks ago, over breakfast of home-baked cinnamon rolls and bacon, I got a sneak preview of the hottest holiday foodie gadgets, thanks to the generous and enabling souls of The Cook’s Warehouse. The Cook’s Warehouse is Atlanta’s premier cookware retailer, and also home to the largest cooking school in the Southeast.
Over the course of 19 years, owner Mary Moore has cultivated a fan base of chefs, gourmands, food geeks and plain ol’ home cooks like myself, who like nothing better than to browse any of the four Atlanta locations, eying the LeCreuset and All-Clad, swooning over the Vitamix and Kenwood Cooking Chef mixer.

The Cook's Warehouse, Ansley Mall location. Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books

At the breakfast, Pastry chef and food writer Meridith Ford baked the world’s fastest homemade cinnamon rolls while were there, and turned out a stellar frittata, among other goodies. Here’s a rundown of Mary and Meridith’s Baker’s Dozen for December 2013, a smattering of gourmet gadgetry and hardware. Consider yourself enabled.

1.     Charles Viancin silicon storage lids. These colorful lids are popular for use in the microwave and to seal bowls before storing in the refrigerator. The designs are fun, floral and funky. Prices range from $2.99 to $20.99.
2.     Vitamix 750. Well, words hardly are necessary to describe this. On sale $648.95, regularly $750.
3.     All-Clad 3 quart Sauté Pan with Lid special. On sale $99.95, regularly $225. I’ve used All-Clad for nearly 20 years and I can’t say enough good things about the pans. This deal may be all the enabling you need.
4.     Jura Giga Coffeemaker. On sale $5,499, regularly $7,500. For serious coffee hounds only, but it makes a fantastic cuppa.
5.     Tovolo Sphere Ice Molds to use with the Moscow Mule mugs below. If your special someone is into cocktail culture, then by all means, pick it up for a mere $10.99.
6.     Moscow Mule Mugs.  It may have ginger beer, vodka and freshly squeezed lime juice, but if it’s not in a copper mug, then it’s not a Moscow mule. $24.95.
7.     Zoku Slow Pop Maker. After trying Meridith’s Greek yogurt breakfast pops, I just had to have the slow pop maker. $14.99 and a great gift for a culinarily-minded kid or kid at heart.
8.     Mason Cocktail Shaker and Book. This cocktail shaker will be the talk of your next cocktail party. Charming and quintessentially Southern. $25.
9.     Nambe Cookware and Server. Pieces range from $49.99 to $242.
10.  Oliver Farm Pecan Oil for your morning biscuits. $19.99.
11.  Woll Diamond Nonstick Cookware. $69.99 to $199.99.
12.  Lekue Citrus Sprayer. These adorable little guys absolutely had to come home with me. I’m not much into cocktails, although I guess I could be, but I took one look at them and said, my kids would love them! And they do ~ we’ve skewered several lemons and limes so far and squirted away. Very effective to get a mist of citrus on your freshly grilled fish, also a  light film of acid on guacamole, just enough to keep it from turning brown. $14.99
13.  Kenwood Cooking Chef Mixer. Well, this one’s going on the bucket list. It has an induction heating element in the base,  thus turning the conventional concept of a mixer on its ear/end. Hmm, risotto, anyone? This mixer was the key to super-fast cinnamon rolls – the dough proofed right in the mixer. No slightly warm oven, no drafty countertops to worry about. There is the little matter of the price tag, but if you’re into baking, I’m sure you can justify it somehow. On sale $1,999, regularly $2,800.
14.  Thrive Farmers Coffee. $11.99 to $12.99. Fantastic coffee, sold at the store. 

Thanks so much to Jim Brams for the invitation to the breakfast and to Mary and Meridith for the hospitality!

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