Have you all experienced what I have lately? Family members and friends who are asking for your “list”. Items that you would like to have as a holiday gift. If you are like me, and you love food, cooking and all things kitchen related, I may have just done your work for you. Following in the footsteps of PB&Julie, Pixie and Emiline, and I am sure others, I have put together a list of my favorite kitchen related items from this year, a la Oprah Winfrey. There is a variety of items and prices. These are things that I have and love, as well as a few things from my own wish list, that I may not have had the pleasure of using yet.

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Lisabeeen Coffee
I have spoken quite often about Lisa and her amazing beans. She hand-roasts them lovingly at home in a coffee roaster she made by converting an electric grill. To see how she does it, click here. She has a small cottage industry going on from her home in beautiful Bennington VT. Try some today!

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Kalamata Gold Greek Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 500 ml bottle
I love olive oil and for Mediterranean cooking (my favorite) you must have a good olive oil, no scratch that you must have an EXCELLENT Olive Oil, Extra Virgin, please. I know everyone has their favorites, but I favor Greek Olive Oil (I know, I am a bad bad Italian). It is like liquid gold – full of freshness, floral hints and a peppery afterbite.

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Mediterranean Diet Cookbook: A Delicious Alternative for Lifelong Health
Speaking of the Mediterranean Diet, this cookbook is a must have. It is a culinary tour through all the regions of the Mediterranean, from Italy to Greece to North Africa, Spain, The Middle East and Southern France. It is full of SUPER healthy AND delicious recipes that feed your spirit, tastebuds and stomach, in that order. I could not LIVE without it. Seriously. To read more about it, click here.

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Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen
Speaking of Italian things and cookbooks, this is one of my new favorites. I had the extreme pleasure of meeting Gina DePalma, the author and pastry chef for Mario Batali’s Restaurant, Babbo, through cyberspace. I was able to join a few other American Expats in Italy by trying several of Gina’s recipes and it was a wonderful experience. Through the experience I realized I had found another “can’t live without” cookbook! Thanks Gina! To read more about the event and contest click here and here

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Bialetti Moka Express, 6 Cup and Shin Bistro Milk Frother By Bodum
Continuing on the Italian theme (see I am redeeming myself after confessing to preferring Greek Olive Oil) here is a product I use EVERY DAY. I love it and when using Lisabeeen’s coffee, I now cannot go out to get good coffee without complaining, because this is just SO MUCH BETTER. To read more on this topic – my devotion to coffee, click here (Don’t worry Cris, I will be talking about Brazilian coffee very soon!)

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Sherry Vinegar 6.8 oz
I don’t know how I lived without this product for so long. I just didn’t get it. I thought with Balsamic, Red Wine, White Wine, Rice Wine and Apple Cider, you had all your bases covered. I wasn’t feeling all these extraneous vinegars. I mean how many vinegars did one person need. I already have an olive oil problem (too many!), I didn’t need to start on the vinegars. How wrong was I. Since I discovered this Sherry vinegar, I have been converted. We had it at the cooking school where I work, and I added it to a red pepper dip I was making, and it turned that dip to magic. It was amazingly better. So I knew this was something I needed to add to my repertoire!

So this begins my own wish list section!

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NEW! Short Hair Black Cat Cork Bottle Buddy Wine Stopper
Enough said. I love all things Black Kitty as they remind me of my own sweet kitty (even though this one looks lke a boy cat and she is a total GIRL).

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Solid Pewter Coffee Scoop with Matching Hook, Floral Design, Made in USA (Handcrafted)
Tin Woodsman is an Oregon company that makes handcrafted kitchen “jewelry”. It is so beautiful. Paula Deen uses the fish measuring cups and spoons on her show and they have more than just cups and spoons, they have things for tea and coffee, salad spoons, and even holiday things. Really cool stuff! Also made in the USA, by a true artisan. Love that.

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Vita-Mix 1321 Professional Series, Ruby
This is the ULTIMATE in kitchen appliances. We have one at the cooking school and I have so enjoyed using it. I always describe it as a manual vs. automatic (in car terminology). There is an on-off switch but there is also a speed dial that allows you to easily control the blending, grating and pulverizing this machine can do. Yes, it is expensive, but with it, you replace a blender, food processor and coffee grinder. It even comes with a HUGE cookbook that has many tasty recipes! It is very very cool and comes in a lot of wonderful colors like Ruby, Onyx and Platinum. I like the red.

Also guys, help a fellwo foodie!!! There is a wonderful new blog that Jennifer at ….and the eggs has started called: People + Food. It is all about people and their relationship with food through a food memory. I am being featured today so please go and check it out! She is looking for more participants so please send her your food memory TODAY!!!! For more info check out The Leftover Queen Forum

Coming up:
Holiday Cookies
A Gift From Brazil