Thursday, July 30, 2009

DM's Gift Guide: Wedding

A note on wedding gifts: I'm a bit out of practice - most of my friends are married and we don't go to 100 weddings each summer like we used to. But a few things I do know and remember - stay away from home decor items unless they're on the registry - don't go choosing the happy couple's towels, sheets, clocks, art or anything colorful for them. TRUST ME, it's annoying. Sticking to the registry is always a safe and much-appreciated way to go.

But if you feel like branching out, these ought to be winners:

1. Penzey's Spice Gift Box, any budget - Penzeys is just the best, and anyone would, and should, love to get a gift box. You can spend from $14.49 to $219.99, and if you live near a store you can go in and make your own gift box. Seriously, when you have no idea what to get someone - for any occasion - you cannot go wrong with spices.

2. Pampered Chef Classic Batter Bowl, $15 + Small Batter Bowl, $11.50 - These are in the tippy-top of my "use-the-most" kitchen items, and they are a STEAL at these prices. Easily worth twice that. The small bowl is good for beating eggs, measuring cream, etc. The classic bowl gets used for everything I need to pour, from leftover homemade stock and soup to pancake and waffle batter. And you can even use it to cook a cake in for the skirt of a doll cake, or half-ball (like baseball or soccer cake), though I haven't tried it myself yet.

3. Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Guide: The Essential Guide to Caring for Everything in Your Home, $30 - This could double as a great housewarming gift as well. It's the ultimate reference for all homekeeping, a room-by-room exhaustive guide to caring for everything and keeping it clean and comfortable. I've given it as a gift twice but still don't own it myself. And frankly, I could use it. I don't know if my entry floor is granite, marble or something else, and I certainly don't know how to care for it. And that's just the tip of the pathetic iceburg of my new home-ownership status. Wait, is this post about me?

4. Slow Cooker, prices vary - Speaking of me, I LOVE the slow cooker. Mine broke the week before we moved so I'm working with a loaner and dreaming of a new one, but I can definitely attest to every household needing one. A bunch of set-and-forget meals is a great way to start your new life together.

5. Collection of kitchen gadgets (metal measuring spoons/cups, rubber spatula, egg timer, brown sugar bear, garlic press, vegetable peeler, ice cream scoop, juicer, etc.), any budget

6. Dutch Oven, $80+ - There is actually a long list of kitchen staples a new family needs, but a good dutch oven stands out. It goes from stove to oven and you can cook almost anything in it. I know this particular one goes against my don't-pick-their-colors-for-them rule, but you can get a plain dark one or figure out what goes with their kitchen stuff. A smart couple would never balk at a good Dutch oven.

7. Cookbooks - Like with the spices, you can't go wrong with a cookbook, and they are all so much fun! OK so I am biased and maybe not everyone loves to cook as much as I do, but it's fun to do together - a practical, cheap shared activity. Throw in a couple of matching aprons, tasting spoons or Santoku knives and it's even cuter! A few suggestions:

Disco Mom Takes on Christmas Cookies (shameless self-promotion), $26-39
Rachael Ray's 365: No Repeats, $13
The New Best Recipe, $23
Better Homes and Gardens New Plaid Cookbook, $20
Vegetarian Planet, $16
Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery that Revolutionizes Home Baking, $18
Intercourses: An Aphrodisiac Cookbook, $20


Kelly said...

the slow cooker is my best friend! It's nice in the summer so you're not melting while cooking over the stove. And perfect in the winter for soups, stews, and what not.

I've been looking for a new cookbook, I'll be picking up a few of those!

Jenny said...

The Martha Stewart Guide is a winner! Thanks again for that gift, Kari! It is a fabulous reference. -Cousin Jenny

Lindsay said...

Blake's brother got married this summer and were pretty pleased with the gift we got them. (And, apparently, so were they.) They both like to cook, so we found this awesome apron/oven mitt set at Century 21 and we got them a set of wooden spoons to wrap with it.

I love the cookbooks we got for our wedding. Of the common ones, my favorite was the Bridal Edition of the basic Betty Crocker cookbook. After that one, all the great ones were actually ward/stake cookbooks from people we knew (but who weren't necessarily in our current ward/stake). Because they're a collection of favorite recipes -- often suitable for families -- you really can't go wrong with those.

GR82BAMOM said...

I wish I was as good a gift giver! For my baby shower I got the Dr. Sears Baby Book which to this day has been an invaluable resource. Many thanks again. The "tax deduction" onesie was super-cute, too.

As far as wedding gifts go, I agree. You can't go wrong with picking something out from the bridal registry. Also, breakfast trays, gift certificate from Netflix, or a museum membership could be cool gifts.

Shells said...

One of my favorite wedding gifts is a really nice pasta pot. You can fill it with a pasta cookbook, pasta, pasta sauce, etc. But a nice pasta pot is essential in the kitchen and may last them forever.

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