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Our 2016 Christmas Guide

Ready or not, Christmas is coming.

Are you the type of person who is already done with holiday shopping?

Presents are wrapped.

Christmas cards are mailed.

Cookies are made.

If this is you, then WOW.  Just WOW. I’m super impressed.  I’ve ordered my cards, and they sit in their box, not one has been addressed yet.  Baking is on the calendar for this weekend.  My Christmas list is ever changing, but I have a rough road map of what I plan on getting the people on my list.

 

With all the chaos this time of year can bring, we tend to forget someone very important.  Ourselves.

 

What’s on your Christmas list this year?

 

Here are some things that will be on Donna’s and my list this year.

 

Slow Cooker 

 

The slow cooker I have was wedding shower gift (complete with large flower motif!) and is over 20 years old.  It still works, but one thing it doesn’t do, that I wish it did, is allow me to brown the meat without having to use a separate pan.   Instead of browning meat in a separate pan on the stove, then transferring to my old, ancient crockpot, I would love to be able to brown and cook in the same pot.  Click HERE to see which model I'd love to see under the Christmas tree.

 

This Pulled Pork would top my list of what I would cook in my new slow cooker.

 

Pitchers

I have a small obsession with pitchers – big ones, little ones, glass ones and ceramic ones.  I love putting flower arrangements in them, and, when filled with water and placed on the dinner table, they eliminate the need to make repeat visits to the kitchen to refill glasses.  Small pitchers are great vessels to carry syrup for pancakes, gravy for steak, or cream for coffee.

 

Click HERE to see one pitcher I fell in love with and can already picture on my kitchen island filled with fresh greens and flowers.

 

I would also use it to serve coffee with these chocolate hazelnut truffle cups.

 

Mason Jars

 

Mason jars are a staple in both Donna’s and my kitchen.   We use them to store nuts, granola, cookies, rice, pasta and so much more.   These jars from Crate and Barrell (click HERE for link) are not only functional, but, with their copper lids, would be a beautiful addition to any kitchen.   These spiced nuts will be the perfect easy snack to store in them!

 

Mortar and Pestle

 

This is one of those items I’ve wanted for awhile.  Perfect for making true, authentic pesto, mashing up garlic for homemade guacamole, and smashing herbs to release their intense flavor.

 

This marble version (CLICK HERE) is simply gorgeous and the pesto in this  chicken with pesto is the first thing I would make.

Sous Vide Precision Cooker

What is Sous Vide, you ask?  It’s a method of cooking that, before these new gadgets, was previously only available to chefs in high-end restaurants.  Ingredients like meat, chicken or fish are placed in large ziplock bags.  Flavor enhancing ingredients are added; your favorite marinade, fresh herbs, etc.  The bag is sealed, then placed in a large pot of water that is kept at a precise temperature.

Cooking sous vide (which is French for “under vacuum”) provides exact, precise results EVERY TIME.  An added bonus: you now have restaurant quality food prepared in less time than your slow cooker.

There are several options out there, but the top two seem to be this one and also this one.  This steak au poivre (pepper steak) will be the perfect first recipe to test out my new sous vide.

What is on your Christmas list this year?  Let us know in the comment section below!

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram!  We always love seeing what’s cooking in your kitchen, so send us photos of what you cook from A Menu for You!  Email your photos to lisa@amenuforyou.com.

We’re compiling a list of favorite menus of 2016 for a future blog post, so let us know what your favorites are!

Happy Cooking!

Lisa and Donna

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