Kitchen tools I wouldn’t mind getting (or giving) for Mother’s Day

Kitchen tools I wouldn’t mind getting (or giving) for Mother’s Day

When it comes to Mother’s Day gifts, I’ve never been in the please-give-me-an-appliance camp. Handwritten cards, pots of flowers, whole bean coffee? Yes, please. But a new blender? No, thank you. (Am I in the minority here?)

But good tools make everything more fun, and I have a few tools in my arsenal that I adore so much I’d be delighted to get them as gifts for Mother’s Day, or any other time of year.

Here are my favorites:

Cuisinart immersion blender. I use mine all the time because it’s easy to get out, easy to clean, and easy to put away. They come in stainless and all kinds of pretty colors (I have the red one). I use mine to purée soups and sauces, make homemade mayo, whip cream, blend hummus, mix pancake batter, and—in a pinch—make smoothies.

Chemex coffee maker. Up your coffee game by switching from an automatic coffee maker to this beautiful pourover device. We use ours on the weekends when we’re brewing for two, but if she’s the only coffee drinker in the house, get her a cute little V60 brewer instead for $6.50. Both gadgets reliably make excellent coffee, cup after cup.

Aeropress espresso maker. I bought my husband one of these for Christmas a few years ago after reading a rave review in Cooks Illustrated, thinking that it was worth taking a chance on a $25 contraption that could make espresso. We’ve lovingly referred to it as The Kitchen Gadget That Changed Our Lives ever since. Latté fans: buy one of these beauties to go with it. (This is how we use our AeroPress to make lattés at home.)

Le Creuset dutch oven. These heirloom-quality pots are gorgeous, versatile, and really freaking expensive. I resisted getting this—even on someone else’s dime—because it’s so darn expensive, but I use mine 5 days a week in the winter.

A really great chef’s knife. Another Cooks Illustrated recommendation, and (bonus!) it’s half the cost of other top-rated brands. A good knife will transform your relationship with cooking.

Other tools I wouldn’t mind getting for Mother’s Day (if I didn’t already own and love them): a Kindle (on sale now), a beautiful cookbook (my favorite), a change-your-life design book (heads-up: the hardback is on sale for $12 right now).

And of course, I will always love getting handwritten cards and hand-picked flowers.

What are your favorite kitchen tools?

My 5 favorite kitchen tools that I wouldn't mind getting for Mother's Day

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37 comments

  1. Jennifer says:

    I have an immersion blender, but I use my food processor more than the blender. I’m actually thinking of getting another processor in a different size! I also have a mandoline that was a gift and I love it, but hardly ever use it because it is stored in an out of the way place.

    I’m dying for a Kindle Paperwhite to replace my older e-reader, but even on sale, it’s more than we spend for presents in my household, so I’ll just have to keep saving my money.

  2. Kristen says:

    I just bought an immersion blender after wanting one for years, so I’m glad to see that on your list. This wouldn’t fall under essentials, but I love my Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker paired with Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home cookbook.

    Do you have a preference between the Chemex or Aeropress?

    I ordered a copy of The Nesting Place for my mom for Mother’s Day, and a copy for myself, too! Thanks for the recommendation.

    • Anne says:

      I need to check out the Jeni’s cookbook!

      As to Chemex vs. Aeropress: I think it just depends on what kind of coffee drinks you like best. For amazing basic brewed coffee, go with the Chemex. For any kind of fancy coffee drinks, go with the Aeropress. (The Aeropress is also great for making iced coffee, because its strong brew can stand up to being diluted by the ice.) I used to use the Aeropress way more than the Chemex; these days it’s the other way around–but that may change as the weather warms up and iced coffee weather arrives.

      • Kristen says:

        Thanks, Anne! I actually have an Aeropress and used it a lot…until I accidentally threw the filter cap away with the grounds. (This post reminded me to hunt down a replacement online.) I like both brewed coffee and espresso, so I may end up buying a Chemex — or the V60.

        Jeni’s technique is somewhat tedious, but she explains the chemistry behind her it, which I found fascinating. Plus, the results have been amazing. Some of her recipes are online if you want to try them before buying the cookbook.

  3. I would love to get a Chemex but I have a terrible track record with glass coffee pots.

    I use my food processor almost daily, along with the Vitamix. Also a big fan of the Breville juicer, even if it is a bear to keep clean. 🙂

  4. Anne says:

    My husband uses the immersion blender to grind his coffee beans. He rigged something to keep the ground coffee from flying out of the container. Hmmm…my favorite kitchen tool is the dishwasher. I religiously run it every night. Nester’s book would be a great gift! Finished it this weekend….it gave me a nice mental pep talk to enjoy working on the house again.

    • Anne says:

      It NEVER occurred to me to use it to grind coffee beans. Now I’m really wondering how that works and how loud the racket is. 🙂

      • Anne says:

        Just a little loud, ha! I want to say the immersion blender came with a taller plastic measuring cup with a thick lid. (??) I think my husband cut a line to the center of the lid, made a small hole in the center for the stick’s body, and that allows the beans to stay covered while he grinds them up. His sister got him a grinder not long ago; so, he hasn’t used this method in a while, but he did for a long time. It made a nice noise that I can’t find a way to replicate in print! 🙂

        • Anne says:

          We have that same measuring cup/lid combo that came with it. I can’t imagine it being any louder than our low-end burr grinder, which is really, really loud (and probably works basically the same as the immersion blender does!)

  5. Kim says:

    Oooh, favorites? There are so many deserving nominees I discovered in my innkeeper days! I have an All-Clad dutch oven that I adore, and like yours, it sees heavy use in the winter. Love my Cuisipro non-stick tongs, Accusharp Knife Sharpener, and my Oxo Food Scale, too. I have found many wonderful things through Cook’s Illustrated recommendations as well. They rock!

  6. Karlynes says:

    I just added the chef’s knife to my Amazon wish list, completely because of your recommendation (well, and I do love Cooks Ill., too).

  7. rachel says:

    The link to the “Say Goodbye to Survival Mode” book is actually a link to the Parenting book. Just wanted to let you know since I want to buy the first book and wanted you to get affiliate credit!

  8. Tim says:

    Yes to the immersion blender, and for coffee I get tons of use from my Keurig one-cup maker. I’d also say that our crock pot is a go-to device in our kitchen; just made some delicious (DELICIOUS!) pulled pork that had been in the crock pot for 10 hours or so.

    Cheers,
    Tim

    P.S. I once wrote a guest post on kitchen gadgets for Keri Wyatt Kent, which included this astute observation of the relationships among our handy culinary tools:

    Ah yes, the age old rivalry between the simple potato peeler and the elegant kitchen mandoline. But even though theirs is a relationship fraught with turmoil, woe betide the food processor who tries to show off in their kitchen. Mandoline and peeler are a terrible force when united against a common enemy.

    • Karlynes says:

      Oh, dear, oh, dear. My inherited-from-my-mother-in-law-harvest-gold food processor, albeit a veritable antique, is still at the top of my friends list. As a child I suffered a terrible potato peeler accident wherein a large piece of thumb disappeared into the nether reaches of the kitchen. It has created a monster of fear in me that includes mandolins. Oh, dear, oh, dear. I’m wringing my hands as we speak.

      • Tim says:

        I think we modified a recipe from epicurious or all recipes or someplace like that. The way we do it is a trimmed pork butt, half an onion sliced large, a can of root beer and your favorite barbecue sauce.

        Put half of the onions in the bottom, then the pork, then the rest of the onions on top. Pour in a can of root beer (or ginger ale or beer or whatever flavor you think will go well); we used diet soda and it works great. Cook for hours, then shred pork, add in a cup or two of BBQ sauce and cook another couple hours.

        We serve it with Hawaiian sweet bread. They make sandwich size rolls and the taste combination with the pork is excellent.

        Let me know how you like it if you make it.

  9. Cathy Armour says:

    I’d have to say my Cutco knives (three of them), my cheap popcorn popper, and my 26 year old Saladmaster pots and pans.

  10. Breanne says:

    A stand alone blender would be a welcome gift for me, I have one but it’s an attachment on my Bosch and that’s a beast to haul in and out of the cupboard.

    Yes to the Chemex!! And I’m with you on standard Mother’s Day gifts- this year I bought several books and a Kindle is on its way to me so I’m calling that for gifts this year. I actually just love a quality picnic with my little family and maybe some quiet coffee shop time for gifts. =)

  11. Sandy T says:

    The Smitten Kitchen cookbook is my favorite. It’s the first cookbook I even sat down and read(?) cover to cover. I love her recipes!

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