Wayne's Weekend

Wayne's Weekend

Kitchen Gadgets Can Make Great Holiday Gifts

Get gift giving ideas for people who love to cook.

By Wayne Johnson
|  Thursday, Dec 12, 2013  |  Updated 7:37 PM CDT
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Looking for a last-minute gift for the foodie in your life? Wayne Johnson has his top picks.

Looking for a last-minute gift for the foodie in your life? Wayne Johnson has his top picks.

Every year I like to pull together a collection of new or interesting gadgets and small appliances that might make a fun gift for the foodie who likes to cook.  This year’s items range from the very small, rather inexpensive items to relatively large and a bit more pricey.  But, each brings a little extra that makes the food preparation process either easier, faster, more convenient or more efficient.  Here’s a brief summary of each with links to purchasing information.

The Cabidor

The Cabidor is a creative, award-winning storage solution that transforms the space behind any door into a portable closet. Imagine being able to add more storage in an existing space that wasn’t being used. It is a multi-purpose storage and shelving system that cleverly and easily attaches to the hinges of any door to maximize living space and organize clutter. The Cabidor’s unique design features an adjustable shelving and retention rod system that allows homeowners to customize storage space to match their unique needs.

Available at: www.cabidor.com
Price: from $129-$199
Website: www.cabidor.com

Click & Grow Flower Pot

Want to easily grow fresh plants and herbs in your home? The Click & Grow is an electronic smartpot that grows herbs and flowers without watering and fertilizing. It’s a hassle-free gardening solution.  The smartpot measures all the necessary parameters and doses an exact amount of water, fertilizer and air, according to the plant’s needs.  Each Click & Grow includes plant cartridges, a processor, microchip, battery vault, pump, water reservoir and sensor that specifies if plant needs water or batteries.  The plant assortment includes mini tomato, cockscomb, basil, painted nettle, chili pepper, thyme, busy Lizzy, lemon balm, parsley, China pink, garden sage, lamb’s ear and sugar leaf.

Available at: www.clickandgrow.com
Price: $79.99 (starter kit) $19.99 (additional plant cartridge) Grow Light ($49.00)
Website: www.clickandgrow.com

Toddy Wedge

If you use your mobile device to check out recipes in the kitchen, then this little gadget is a great assistant.  The Toddy Wedge is a hand-crafted stylish and essential companion for the kitchen that allows you to conveniently prop your smartphone or tablet to easily display your recipes while cooking. Available in a plethora of different colors and designs to match your kitchen’s décor, the Toddy Wedge also doubles as a cleaning tool for any spills.  The bottom exterior is crafted with plush microfiber material to offer scratch-free cleaning without the need of harmful fluids.  

Available: toddygear.com, bestbuy, and Target
Price: $14.99
Website: www.toddygear.com

Crock-Pot Hook Up System

If you’re planning a buffet this holiday season, impress your holiday guests this year with an elegant spread featuring the Crock-Pot® Hook Up™ Connectable Entertaining System!  Brought to you by the original and leading slow cooker brand, this system allows consumers to Connect, Customize & Entertain their way.  Up to six individual Crock-Pot® Hook Up™ units can plug into each other to create the perfect slow-cooked spread for any size soiree, accommodating large parties, intimate gatherings and everything in between.  Connectable units are sold individually and can be used together or apart.  Each unit has individual low, high and warm settings for added convenience and all removable stoneware and lids are dishwasher safe. Units are also stackable for easy storage.

Available: various online and retail outlets
Price: $39.99-$49.99 each
Website: www.crock-pot.com

Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Espresso Maker

Bring the coffeehouse home this holiday season with the ultimate gift for gourmet espresso lovers!  The Mr. Coffee® Café Barista brews gourmet, specialty coffeehouse-style beverages in the comfort of home at a fraction of the cost using a 15-bar pump that delivers bold espresso and perfectly frothed milk to create cappuccinos, lattes and more at the touch of a button. Delicious espresso is automatically dispensed into the rich and creamy milk whipped up by the automatic frothing system. Pre-programmed settings measure just the right amount of ingredients and selectable brew sizes range from a 2-oz espresso shot to a full 8-oz cup.  A special cleaning cycle makes clean-up hassle-free. Included recipe booklet features best-of-the-season beverages!

Available: various online and retail outlets
Price: $199.99
Website: www.mrcoffee.com

Humron Premium Slow Juicer/Smoothie Make

The folks at Humron® just launched what’s billed as the only juicer on the market that can make smoothies, the Premium Slow Juicer/Smoothie Maker.  Featuring the "Juice Outlet" and "Pulp Outlet" that is on all of Hurom's® Slow Juicers, this latest product is unique in that it contains a "Juice Cap" and "Pulp Control Lever" which are integral components of the smoothie making process. Consumers may close the "Juice Cap" to flawlessly mix multiple fruit and/or vegetable ingredients, and the "Pulp Control Lever" allows consumers to manage the amount of pulp that remains in the smoothie after extraction.

Available: originalslowjuicer.com
Price: $399.00
Website: www.originalslowjuicer.com

Qwik Wisk

The Qwik Wisk is a simple hand-operated device that creates and mixes delicious salad dressings and mayonnaise, and whisks egg whites, foams milk and makes whipped cream with a simple up and down motion.

Available: www.shopmastrad.com
Price: $20.00
Website: www.shopmastrad.com

Soda Stream Source

The folks at SodaStream partnered with Yves Behar to re-examine every element of the SodaStream soda maker, including the user interface, the design and material selection, the bottle, and the overall consumer experience.  The result is the new “Source,” an elegantly-designed soda maker that combines beauty, functionality and efficiency.  The sleek carbonating bottle locks into place using the new, patent-pending “snap-n-lock” mechanism for easy bottle insertion and removal. The entire top surface of the soda maker is responsive to touch, and the strength of carbonation is visible through the LED display, providing instant visual feedback.

Available: various online and retail outlets
Price: $99.00 to $249.00
Website: www.sodastream.com

Drosselmeyer Nutcracker

Inspired by the character in Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet, the Drosselmeyer Nutcracker is the first hand-held nutcracker to have a patented double-lever mechanism and a container to collect broken shells. This award winning design is widely regarded as the best and most powerful nutcracker on the market, and it’s a clean and easy way to crack nuts, which are amongst the healthiest foods on the planet.

Available: www.drosselmeyerusa.com
Price: $39.99
Website: www.drosselmeyerusa.com

If you have any comments or questions, please send me an email at wayne@waynesweekend.com or follow me on Facebook or Twitter.

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