While I was not paid for this post, some links are affiliate links and I received an initial shipment of Home Chef meals to facilitate my review and this Gifts for Home Cooks guide.
Means of survival or favorite past time? Regardless of your motivation, here is the Forks & Folly Guide to Best Holiday Gifts for Home Cooks in 2020.
Regardless of the year, I spend a good amount of my days in the kitchen. In 2020, I know I’m not alone. Staying home for nine months in a row and providing meals around the clock for our families has all of us hanging out over the stove for hours on end. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like that’s going to change over the course of the next few months – which is why I’m compiling this list of gifts. A guide to 2020’s Best Holiday Gifts for Home Cooks – which is pretty much everyone.
Like it or not, in 2020 most of us have turned to home-cooking as either a means of survival or a way to kill time! Regardless of your motivation, every cook needs a few good tricks and tools up his/her sleeves. Here are some of mine – and I bet you’ll find a few items on this list to add to yours or gift to a loved one this holiday season.
A Few of My Favorite Cookbooks
I have purchased more cookbooks this year than the last five years combined. These cookbooks are my resource for planning my weekly menus, but also serve to bring new flavors to my kitchen. Not being able to go to restaurants, means I’m looking for new ingredients and methods of cooking to enjoy in my home. These cookbooks BRING IT! I love each and every one of these cookbooks on our Gifts for Home Cooks guide, and I hope you’ll find something inspirational in them, too.
Milk Street, Tuesday Nights – I’ve had this one the longest, so have definitely used it more than the others. While the cookbook emphasizes that these are all quick-cook meals, that’s not necessarily the case for the entire book. But, there are some great under 30 minute meals, and several that take a little longer (but are totally worth it). What I love especially about this book – the wide range of global cuisines!
Half Baked Harvest, Super Simple – From blogger Tieghan Gerard, this book is a great resource for family cooking. My kids have adored several of these recipes (hello Adult SpaghettiO’s) and her desserts are stunning. I might even attempt a few of them.
Eating Out Loud, Eden Grinshpan – This cookbook makes me excited to cook. Bold Middle Eastern flavors have me rethinking sauces and spice blends in my kitchen. I’ve adored everything I’ve cooked from this book, and find myself buying parsley, dill, mint, Greek yogurt and lemons in bulk. Favorite dishes include her recipe for Lamb Flatbread with Pomegranate and Mint and the Garlicky Nigella Green Beans. So YUM!
Canal House, Cook Something: Recipes to Rely On – This cookbook is where I look first for a classic recipe (with modern updates) for anything. Need a great omelette recipe? Chicken soup? Braised chuck roast? Many recipes have variations with flavor twists, and every recipe is delicious.
Home Cooked Meals without the Hassle
What do I love about Home Chef Meal Delivery Kits? It means that two or three nights a week, someone else is curating menu ideas for me, and I can skip the shopping and a lot of the prep work. Each week, I select recipes that I like and the ingredients are shipped to my home. Each recipe’s ingredients are in their own bundle, so each night I can just pull it out of my fridge and cook. Recipes range from super simple (pour ingredients into a pan and cook), to expert (meaning you’ll need to thinly slice potatoes and stuff – so not that hard).
My children loved the recipes we made so much that I’m now ordering these weekly. Seriously… my oldest son declared the Crispy Pesto Chicken made him “happy in his heart.” Nothing I’ve made from my own blog has ever received such rave reviews. Gift a subscription to yourself or to anyone that could use a little help in the kitchen!
Forks & Folly Gifts for Home Cooks Bonus: Use this link to save $35 off your subscription!
Make Your Food Last Longer
Remember the days when the shelves were fully stocked and you didn’t have to wear PPE to enter a grocery store? Yeah, me neither. Which is why I adore my Foodsaver Vacuum Sealer machine. I’ve had mine for several years, and didn’t use it that often. In 2020 it’s gotten its own space on the counter.
Using the Foodsaver allows me to buy meat in bulk, then portion it out and seal it. The meat stays fresher longer in the freezer, and is so much easier to thaw when I’m ready to cook. Just drop one of the bags into a big bowl o’ water and the meat is ready to use in an hour or two. No more getting out of bed in the middle of the night when I realize the chicken I need for the next night’s dinner is in the bottom of the freezer!
And here’s a second reason it’s in our Gifts for Home Cooks guide. If you want to try sous vide cooking, then this tool is also critical. You’ll use the Foodsaver to vacuum seal your ingredients prior to cooking.
New Ways to Cook
If oven roasts and grilled chicken breasts are getting old, these small appliances might help spruce up the routine. I own each of these and have found myself using them way more often in 2020 than in years past.
Air Fryer – we use this for leftover pizza (it’s awesome), french fries and tater tots (so much better than baking in the oven), chicken wings, and generally anything you want to get crispy without getting dried out (which can happen after long spells in a traditional oven).
Rice Cooker – so many times when I cook rice on the stove top, it comes out mushy or burned on the bottom. In this rice cooker, it always comes out just right.
Air Popper – is Popcorn the official snack of 2020? It is for me! This air popper means I can enjoy my favorite popcorn snack within five minutes. Hello, movie night!
Holiday Gifts for Home Cooks – Stocking Stuffers
Need a few stocking stuffer ideas? I compiled a list of 20 cooking gadgets that I love, all under $20 back in 2018, and I’m still using all of them!