Gifts for the home are often the best gifts of all because they’re the ones that are used over and over again, for years to come, making life easier and more pleasurable. The items we have selected for this gift guide will appeal to a variety of different interests and budgets, but some of them surely will find their way into your personal shopping list as well.
Housewares also make good “group gifts” meaning you buy them for a couple, or for a family — instead of spending money on individual gifts, pool the budget and get them one of those “bigger budget” gifts they will really appreciate!
FOR EVERYONE WHO COOKS:
Knives are one of those gifts you can treasure for a lifetime if you take care of them. They’re true “investments” that make life easier and more pleasurable every single day. This Anolon Cutlery 5-Piece Block Set Knife Set ($109.99) offers five basic must-have knives in an attractive genuine beechwood knife block for storage. It’s the perfect starter set for someone who wants quality at a reasonable price.
The set includes an 8-Inch Chef Knife, 8-Inch Bread Knife, 6-Inch Utility Knife, 3.5-Inch Paring Knife and a Wooden Knife Block with slots to fit each knife, perfectly. Each knife in the set features a fine-edged blade crafted from top-quality Japanese stainless steel . The handles have stainless steel rivets and bolsters that solidly connect them to the blades for strength. The knife is one solid piece and the 2 handle pieces are pinned on to the blade, one on each side. This is the strongest of the tang type. When you hold one of these knives, they feel heavy and secure in your hand. You really feel like you are in control, using them. That’s really important, because so many accidents at home are due to knives that slip. In case you’re wondering what the function is of each knife, here it is:
Use the versatile 8-inch chef knife to trim and slice meats, mince onions, and chop freshly picked carrots and celery. The 8-inch bread knife’s serrated edge easily cuts through loaves of crusty, fresh-baked sourdough. Slice cremini mushrooms with the 6-inch utility knife, and trim garden-fresh radishes and easily peel garlic cloves with the 3-1/2-inch paring knife.
You can spend a lot more, or less for knives, but this one is really a good buy, and with a lifetime warranty. The nicely boxed set is going to make someone really happy this holiday season. Maybe, that someone, is you!
Find this Anolon Cutlery 5-Piece Block Set Knife Set at a variety on online and in-store retailers including Bed Bath and Beyond, Bon Ton, and learn more on the Anolon Web Site
FOR WINE LOVERS:
Corkscrews are the unsung heros of wine lovers. Truth be known, most people who love wine collect various types, and while some find it impressive to use the traditional sommelier’s manual corkscrew, I personally know one man who ended up in the emergency room with a very long row of stitches and months of physical therapy, after improperly using one of these manual tools while tying to open a bottle of wine.
For him, and for all the men and women out there who simply prefer an easy and clean (no cork residue in their bottles) way to open a wine bottle, there is the perfect gift: the new Rabbit® Electra Wine Tool Kit with Automatic Electric Corkscrew by Metrokane (srp. $50.00) Corkscrew alone is $40.00. This set not only features the amazing Rabbit automatic corkscrew that removes a cork from a wine bottle upon contact and automatically ejects the cork from the device as well (a real plus, if you’ve ever struggled to get that cork out of the corkscrew after finally wrestling it out of the bottle), but it also has a handy foil cutter and wine-preserving bottle stopper.
The entire trio is displayed in a nice looking lucite case–and there’s even an AC charger included so the charger never fails you when you need it most. A single charge lets you open 30+ bottles of wine (good enough for your holiday party) and the set is available in festive red and silver, too.
Another great gift for wine lovers is the Rabbit Metrokane Rabbit Wine-Chilling Crystal Carafe (srp. $50.00). This glass carafe is attractive, but it has some very unique qualities. For starters, it will keep a pre-chilled wine cold for 90 minutes or more (I tried this and yes, it does keep a wine cold for more than an hour when kept in room temperature).
It also has a stainless steel ice chamber that you can pre-chill, and when you put this back into the bottle and pour your wine into the carafe, it will chill the wine (quickly) without diluting it. If you are a lover of wine, you literally squirm when you see someone putting ice cubes into their wine glass to chill a tepid wine, but there are few ways to really quickly and efficiently chill down a wine without ruining it. If, as you’re making dinner, you decide that a white wine is what you want, and it’s not already chilled, pop the pre-chilled core (keep it in your freezer so it’s handy) into the carafe, open your wine (if you are lucky you have the Rabbit wine opener we are suggesting, above), and finish dinner.
By the time it’s ready, your wine will be drink-able, as well. Of course, you can use it for un-chilled wine as well, just because it looks nice on your table (it will hold a full 750 ml bottle of wine or other beverage). The carafe is safe for the dishwasher and it’s BPA-free. it also has a 5-year warranty on the ice chamber. It is available in Black, Teal and Turquoise.
The carafe has so many uses besides just chilling wine, as it keeps any beverage, including wine, chilled for a long time, so you can enjoy whatever you want to drink without diluting it and keep it on your table inside or out, for an hour or more )up to 90 minutes depending upon the temperature around you). It is the perfect gift for a bridal shower, or a couple as well as for wine lovers. It’s also a great addition to your holiday table if you want to buy it for yourself.
You can purchase Rabbit accessories at department stores and online stores all over the place, but the Advice Sisters prefer for more information you visit the Rabbit Metrokane Web Site
FOR THE HOSTESS:
This may be ANOTHER gift you buy for yourself because these plates are just the perfect accompaniment to your “cocktail hour” all year long. the Rachael Ray Dinnerware Cocktails 4-Piece Stoneware Party Plate Set ($20.00) features four nicely boxed, 8-1/4-inch plates each displaying a colorful artistic watercolor of a different cocktail: Blood Orange Kiss, Bronx with Bittermens, Grapefruit Margarita, and Cherry Ginger Sling. The backs of these cocktail/salad plates are printed with the drink’s recipe, too.
These can be popped into the microwave or freezer, and cleaned in a dishwasher. At just $5.00 a plate they’re just a little bit of a splurge, a a lovely gift for a hostess, a new bride or someone setting up a home, or anyone who loves “Cocktail Hour. I thought of using these as “behavior modification plates” — eat dinner on them instead of your larger, dinner plate, and watch your portion size, shrink. ” *you can find these on the Food Network Store site, Wayfair.com, HomeDepot.com and other stores and online retailers.
FOR THE FRUGAL:
Flip-It! is so different, It might change the way you look at “leftovers” entirely! It’s a simple idea – exchange the grotty bottle cap on your nearly used-up bottle of whatever liquid, and replace it with a Flip-it cap. Invert the bottle on the two little sturdy legs of the Flip-it, and let mother gravity take hold and bring the rest of the nearly impossible to access product in the bottle up to the nozzle in the top of the Flip-it, where you can finally squish it out via the secure, push/pull valve. Once the “stuff” in that bottle is finally finished, you can re-wash the cap and re-use it. For the eco-conscious, and the parsimonious, this is the gift of a lifetime!
The Flip-It!™ cap system allows you to easily manage common threaded bottles in a variety of sizes.. On its own, it will screw onto any standard 38mm bottle thread and support the bottle upside-down. Examples include most Honey (even those cute Bears), most Mustards and condiment sauces, Creamy Salad Dressings, Squeeze Jelly, Car Wash Soap, Construction Adhesive, and other large bottles. For those who are, the little “units” are made of food grade parts-inert plastic, no BPA. The caps are dishwasher safe but hand washing is recommended.
That’s the good part, but I have to say that I did test this and alas, a lot of my bottles are not standard sizes nor were they round at the top, so Flip-it wouldn’t work on them. Also, I found the adapter (which screws into the base caps to reduce the size to either 33, 28, or 24mm –you have to match the Adapter to the bottle, screw it into the base cap, and then onto the bottle) awkward to use. But honestly, for those who just can’t stand to waste, this is going to be the gift-able of the year and it will save you money throughout 2015 if you use these caps, too. IT DOES WORK.
A nicely boxed Cap Kit with 6 Complete Systems )”Everything You Need To Get Started”) is just $19.95 ( extra adapters are $6.00/4). For More Information Visit the Flip-It cap Web Site
Share this post. (social media icons are on the top of this page). Here are some other things I’m doing online: