Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hannukah Gifts aka Why My Cousin Caleb is Awesome

My family doesn't need to work too hard when it comes to me and the holidays - pretty much, anything for the kitchen is a sure way to go.  Whether it's a new piece of cookware, some fun kitchen gadget, or a cookbook, it's easy to go shopping for me, even though I'm not the biggest fan of getting gifts.  Needless to say, this year has been no exception.

First, a Le Creuset risotto pot from my awesome Aunt Tami.  Even though I christened it tonight to make potato latkes a la Nicholas (with quince puree and bacon) as opposed to risotto, I cannot get enough Le Creuset - their stuff is awesome.  Technically, this is a gift for both Steph and I, but I get to 'use' it more, while Steph reaps the rewards indirectly ;)

Next, a super-geeky gift from my Uncle David and Aunt Lisa - a Cylon toaster and a set of BSG mugs.  I don't know how they could have thought that this would be a hit-or-miss, but this was a WIN.  Check out the link for the toaster - how amazingly nerdy is it that I can now have toast that says "Frak Off"?!?  I can't wait to make enough toast to destroy all the human toast on the Battlestar Galactica.

Of course, some great gifts from my parents and in-laws.  Steph and I have been dying for new plates, and we've been fans of the square plates that we've had out at restaurants, so that's what we decided to go with.  We also needed some service pieces, so we picked up a few of those as well.  Finally, like some other people I know, I needed a new blender, so I picked out a doozy of one - probably one of the best you can buy before shelling out $400+ for a Vita-Mix.

However, despite all of these gifts, of which I am extremely grateful, my cousin Caleb gave me the best gift this year.  My Aunt Tami had told him about my blog and about my skills in the kitchen, so he decided to make me a handmade recipe box.  Check this awesomeness out.

Seriously, without a doubt, the best gift I got this year.  Plus, a ridiculous recipe for a panettone French toast that I am going to make for Stephanie on Christmas morning.  Major props to my cousin Caleb for this one - thank you so much!


Heather said...

That recipe box is awesome - Caleb is very talented! Make sure you tell him you posted a picture of the gift on your blog - he's famous.

word_on_the_street said...

Yeah..and to think he is 32.....lol

Stepha said...

Neither Alex nor Caleb is 32. To whom are you referring?

Ms. Meg said...

That is fabulous. Also, Le Creuset? Color me jealous!

Alex said...

Meg, one day we'll have to go to the Le Creuset outlet that is 20 minutes from my house and do a little damage. They have seconds there that have a slight blemish and are like 50% price. Wicked.

Rob Timko said...

You'll love the dutch oven! Wait until you braise something in there..

So jealous of the blender.

Didja follow the Nicholas recipe for the latkes?

Alex said...

Rob - my mother-in-law got a Le Creuset 2 years ago, and it's my go-to braiser, but I like this one because it's a bit shallower and more maneuverable.

I followed the Nicholas recipe for the latkes. I really liked the quince puree, and cooking them from frozen was convenient. It did take longer than I'd have liked to freeze, and some kind of crumbled. Absolutely delicious - Steph and I didn't even bother sitting down, we ate them after a few second's draining on towels and dressing them up.

What's next for you in the cookbook?

Rob Timko said...

I'm taking requests for the next recipe...do you have a vote? haha.

Started a new job this week (after being 6 years at the old one) so Laurie has been cooking (and doing awesome, she made a better steak than ME the other day! haha)

Alex said...

Well, it's getting around the time to be truffle season. Risotto with truffles? That or the pork belly - I know you can get giant ones at Hong Kong Supermarket.

My dad specifically requested the pork belly to be made by me - he said it was the best thing he had when we went on Friday.

Rob Timko said...

Truffle season is almost over I think...and unless Santa brings me a truffle, I'm not sure that will get done...unless I just use some truffle oil (which I picked up some good stuff while in Italy).

Pork belly it is! This weekend.

Alex said...

I thought truffle season is November to February. However, truffle oil is the cure for not being a billionaire, for sure. I may give the pork belly a whirl on Saturday (for dinner on Sunday) as well, or it may just have to wait until winter break.

David said...

You guys are his favorite married 1st cousins!