Stuck for holiday gift ideas for the number one cook in your life? Here are two of my absolute favorite cooking tools. The first is an immersion blender or stick blender. Instead of having to transfer hot ingredients to a blender to puree, you simply stick the end of this device into the pot and away you go! Look for one with good power like my Braun to whirl through thick ingredients. It's also great when you have a large volume to puree - you can work in one single pot and don't have to repeat small portions in the blender.
A silicone baking sheet liner is not only a great tool to have, it's great for the environment - instead of using rolls of parchment paper or foil over the years, these innovative liners are safe up to 500 degrees and can be simply washed and reused. NOTHING sticks to them, and they make for foolproof cookies, among a host of other things. Don't cut costs on this one - look for a high quality French one like Silpat for best results.
For other ideas, click on tools on the left to learn about mandolines, rice cookers, and grill pans.