2016 Holiday Gift Guide

As lovers of all things cooking and baking, we each have a list of dream gifts we would love to receive for our kitchens! This week, our team tells you about their most coveted gift in the store, without budget limitations. (For our 2016 picks under $50, see last week’s blog post here.)

Finex 12” Covered Skilletbm2016
$269.99

This beautiful piece of artisan cookware is put together by hand in Portland, OR. The attention to quality detail makes this piece stand out from other cast iron cookware. The smoothly machined surface resists sticking and is easy to clean. The heaviness of the skillet allows for even heating, and its coil handle stays cool to the touch while cooking. A must have piece for the artisan foodie in your life!

Brian

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2016 Holiday Gift Guide – Under $50

We make it easy to find the perfect gift for the foodie in your life! Our team each chose a favorite item under $50 to gift or be gifted for the 2016 holiday season.

Oggi Copper Plated Cocktail Shaker50aw2016
$24.99

No home bar is complete without a good cocktail shaker. I love this shaker because it lets people know I’m serious about my cocktails, while throwing in just a little bit of style.

Antoine

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Torta Pasqualina – Easter Pizza

Chef Fritz BlankChef de Cuisine Frederick Carl (Fritz) Blank Jr
Easter, April 2010

For the first time in about almost 16 years, this spring I have not made “Easter Pitz” (as my Sicilian mentor “Old Man Tony Amato” back in the late-1950’s/early-1960’s called these wonderful seasonal Italian culinary hallmarks). The recipe I use today (when I do make them) is the same one that he taught me way back then. I have never forgotten his instructions and techniques, and it stands as one of the very best renditions I’ve ever sampled (of course I am prejudiced).

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How do I store fresh herbs

Ask Nina Rose:
How do I store fresh herbs so they keep as long as possible?

Fresh HerbsThere’s nothing like the flavor of fresh herbs to really make a dish special, and with the summer months ahead, fresh herbs are abundant and inexpensive. But how many times have you bought a bunch of cilantro, only to have it wilt and rot in two days?

By using these methods to help extend the life of your herbs, you can enjoy fresh flavors well into the winter months when these plants go out of season, without resorting to using dried herbs from the pantry.

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2013 Holiday Staff Picks – Part 2

Fante's Chef KidsLast week we asked our staff what is the perfect item they would give or want to receive this holiday season, no price limit. From beautiful ceramic tagines to jam preserving pans, these gifts are sure to make an impression. If you missed this article, you can still find it on our Toque Tips blog.

This week, for part 2 of our Holiday Gift Staff Picks, we asked what our staff would choose if they only had $50 to spend. Read what they said:
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2013 Holiday Staff Picks

We had so much fun choosing our most favorite gift items for last year’s Holiday Staff Picks, that we’ve broken up our picks for this year into two entries. Santa Joe with Gina and AnnieStay tuned next week for our Under $50 Favorites.

This week, we asked our staff members to choose from our wide selection what they would give (or want to receive) this holiday. Some went all out, and some focused on the smaller things in life; here is what they said:
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PiZZa Ball – The Round Rolling Pin

The PiZZa Ball is a strikingly beautiful stainless steel ball that works like a rolling pin.

PiZZa Ball - The Round Rolling Pin

PiZZa Ball Base Roller

You simply place it on your dough and roll it around in a circular motion with the palm of your hand, adjusting pressure accordingly. It will leave you with a perfect circular base, at the thickness you require.

Serafina using the PiZZa Ball

It’s so easy that even my 7½ year-old daughter could roll out the dough without any trouble at all

You can use the PiZZa Ball with the dough already on the pan or oven stone. And it’s also suitable for pastry and other doughs.

The PiZZa Ball dough roller was invented by Dan Bailey-Taylor, a young UK entrepreneur, and we are proud to introduce it you in the USA.

NadiaI found rolling the dough with the PiZZa Ball to be efficient and remarkably easy to use. It’s much lighter than a traditional rolling pin, and takes up so little storage space in my kitchen.

To go along with the PiZZa Ball experience, here is an easy way I like to make delicious pizza, using my Old Stone Oven baking stone.

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