Ina Garten, the queen of our kitchens, is (it turns out) also a goddess of gifts. That's right — People got the Barefoot Contessa herself to spill the beans on her favorite holiday gift choices for those of us whose lives center on cooking and hosting, and none of them cost more than $100. It's like Oprah's favorite things list for the cook!
With Hanukkah coming up next week and Christmas right behind it, the season of presents is upon us, and thankfully Ina has great ideas on what we should buy (or, better yet, what other people should get us).
Because Ina is always the most practical, she starts off with a classic, elegant cocktail shaker from Crate and Barrel — but an extra-large one that allows you to be a better hostess by making a few of her fresh whiskey sours all at once. Then she moves onto another hosting tool: a 12-inch wooden cheese board. "I love a round cheese board," she says, because she can put grapes in the middle, cheese around them, and then fill in spaces with figs, crackers, and dried apricots. Her third gift tells you what to put on that board: Cowgirl Creamery's classic cheese collection. Wait, you still need something to spread that cheese with? She's got you covered with a Laguiole cheese knife set.
Speaking of dairy products, her next gift idea is what Ina herself says she wants for Christmas: ice cream from Ample Hills (specifically their four-pint set). While she's slinging sweets, she also recommends Seattle-based Fran's Chocolates — especially their famous chocolate-covered salted caramels.
To keep you comfortable while you're running all over the place cooking holiday meals, she recommends the Allbirds wool runners. "These shoes changed my life!" she says — and they're machine washable, which means any kitchen drippings come right out. And finally, her last suggestion: Buy someone her new book, Cook Like a Pro. Why? "They might return the favor and cook for you!"