Before I had Ainsley, I never knew what to say when people asked what I wanted for Christmas or my birthday. I am not one of those people who enjoys collecting purses, jewelry, perfumes, shoes, DVDs, CDs, or anything like that (believe me, Dave is quite happy that he married a girl like me! I have saved him a lot of money over the years). So I have always had to think of random things for them to get me - but it was never anything that I really had to have.
Since we discovered Ainsley's allergies and I began (slowly) learning how to cook and bake from scratch, however, I have discovered the fun world of cookbooks, kitchen gadgets, and appliances, and all of a sudden I had things I really, really wanted - or even needed - that I could put on my Christmas and birthday list.
This Christmas I got a great haul of these items, including: the Food Allergy Mama's Baking Book, a new food processor (old one died), a new hand mixer (Leighton threw away one of the beaters to my old one, and a one-beater mixer is not very effective), an immersion blender (I saw this on someone else's blog and thought it looked really cool), and a Belgian waffle iron (I looooove Belgian waffles).
So far I've used all of them except the immersion blender, which I plan to break out next time I make soup. I've even combined gifts: I used the waffle recipe from the baking book to make waffles using my waffle iron and have also made her berry breakfast smoothie in my new food processor (I have resolved that our family will eat a healthier breakfast in 2010 so I've been feeding them bran muffins and smoothies every weekday morning; I break out the waffle maker on weekends).
The fact that Ainsley's entire family, including the grandmothers, is cooking more means that I also have more ideas for gifts for them than I did before. This year I got my mom a new cake pan and cookie sheet because the ones she uses now are really old, and she was really excited.
Any cool kitchen gadgets/appliances you love? I am always interested in hearing what gets used a lot in other kitchens.