Garden State Grown
Community-focused brand First Field got its start making all-natural ketchup with local crops, but is rapidly expanding its product line to include much more. Unlike other major ketchup manufacturers—who shall remain nameless—First Field doesn’t take shortcuts by using tomato paste or concentrates. Named for the field where husband and wife team Patrick and Theresa planted the first tomatoes used in the original batches, First Field provides pantry essentials straight from the farms of New Jersey. Current products include the Original Tomato Ketchup, Roasted Tomato Ketchup and Pure Strained Tomatoes. During the holiday season, don’t forget to try First Field’s Cranberry Sauce made from New Jersey cranberries, orange and vanilla. Find retail locations at first-field.com, $7-$49.
The author of Comfort Me with Offal: Ruth Bourdain’s Guide to Gastronomy and mastermind behind the satirical Twitter account @ruthbourdain, Josh Friedland brings us Eatymology: The Dictionary of Modern Gastronomy. As a play on etymology, this handy food glossary will define terms like aporkalypse. Looking to find out whether or not you’re a foodiot? You’ll just have to pick up a copy of Eatymology. Buy the book now on amazon.com.
Custom Cooking Utensils
Anyone who knows Etsy, also knows it’s the go-to online shop for custom, personalized gifts. The coffee cup you use every day is embossed with your initials. Outside the entrance to your home, the doormat spells out the family’s last name. So, why shouldn’t your cooking utensils get the same special attention? American Laser Crafts offers three decorative designs for the chef’s most classic accessory. Buy now on Etsy or at americanlasercrafts.com, $12.99.
This cutting board is shaping up to be the prettiest of all—all the states, that is. At AHeirloom, proud New Jerseyans can customize their cutting boards to illustrate a special place in the state. Stamp out a star in the city where you were born, add a house to the place you call home or carve a heart in a spot significant to you and your s/o. If you can’t bring yourself to chop onions on anything that beautiful, hang it up as a decoration instead. Order it on aheirloom.com, $48.
Shake and Bake
Looking for a way to shake up the old supper routine? The Foodie Dice kit brings more than 186,000 possible combinations for your next meal. The five primary dice offer options for protein, cooking method, grain, herb and a bonus ingredient. Shake all five of these dice up with another dice, which suggests seasonal veggie options for your side dish. The set includes vegetarian and vegan options, too. Order on foodiedice.com, $38.
Cooking with Care
Never burn cookies again—or anything else for that matter. With Silpat’s trademarked technology, you won’t have to worry about Aunt Edna bringing burnt chocolate chip cookies to the holiday party ever again. The New Jersey-based company’s non-stick baking mats don’t judge—they come in all shapes and sizes. The specialized mats for pretzels, macarons (and yes, cookies) provide foolproof outlines for even the most novice chefs. Prices vary, visit silpat.com for locations.
Never let an onion make you cry again. With the Zyliss Easy Pull Manual Food Processor, all the chopping and slicing is done with the flip of switch—or the pull of a handle (but you get it). Holiday recipes and seasonal favorites will be easier and more enjoyable to whip up in the nick of time before guests arrive. Available at zyliss.com and other housewares retailers, $29.99.
With the cold weather right around the corner, it’s time to dig up those slow-cooker recipes. Le Creuset’s signature Dutch Oven locks tight to deliver tender, mouthwatering dishes. With options in neutral shades and bright colors, this instrumental kitchen device will match any chef’s quarters. Suggested retail price, $430-500; shop williams-sonoma.com now for an exclusive price of $300-$350.
Mix n’ Match Mixer
Okay, so the Stand Mixer isn’t the new kid on the block by any means, but it is a baking essential. It’s especially handy during the holidays when making cookies basically becomes a second job for some. KitchenAid’s options for stand mixers are endless. Shop them now and find out what’s right for you—or your special someone. Shop all the options at kitchenaid.com, prices start at $399.
At Valley Shepherd Creamery in Long Valley, cheese connoisseurs rejoice at monthly cheese-making classes. Each student makes an individual cheese wheel (weighing approximately two pounds), which will be ready for pickup after 90 days of aging. Classes also include breakfast, lunch, lectures and a private tour of the facility. For more info, visit valleyshepherd.com.
The Cooking Studio at Kings Food Market offers a plethora of workshops for every experience level. The December calendar is jam-packed with cookie-making classes. Special classes for kids and teens make it a gift the whole family can enjoy. For a full class schedule, visit kingsfoodmarkets.com.
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