My 2021 Holiday Gift Guide for Beginner Gardeners and Cooks

When it comes to gardening and cooking having the right high quality tools can make the experience even more joyful. Here are a few of my top picks for gifts for the gardener or cook in your life.

Hori hori knife – One of my most used tools in the garden is my hori hori knife. I use it to dig small holes to make room for seedlings. I use it to separate soil blocks and pick them up out of the grow trays and I use them to cut and remove plants at the soil level between seasons or whenever a plant needs to be removed. They are an invaluable tool in my garden and I never go out to the garden without them. 

The brand I have: https://nisakujapan.com

Another great option: https://barebonesliving.com/products/hori-hori?variant=39416294506586

Pruner’s – Another must have for any gardener is a solid set of pruners. I use these for cutting squash, cucumbers, beans, etc. off their vine to make sure I am not damaging the plant. I have had mine for so long, I don’t remember where we purchased them, but their name is Felco 2. 

The brand I have: https://felco.com/en_us/produits/felco-2

Another great option: https://barebonesliving.com/collections/garden-foraging-tools/products/pruner-sheath?variant=39371247943770

Garden Gloves – I usually prefer to have my hands in the soil, but if needed my go to choice of garden gloves are from Digz. I have had multiple pairs from them over the years and have liked their quality and color options. I usually pick up a pair at our local home improvement store. I was unable to find a link to their own site, but here is a great review about them: https://gardeningproductsreview.com/digz-gardener-high-performance-womens-gardening-gloves-review/

Garden Books – My bookshelves are over flowing with great gardening books and it was really hard to narrow down the books I wanted to share with you. I ended up choosing 3 options for beginner gardeners who want to dive deeper into creating their own garden and learn more about the process of gardening.

Kitchen Garden Revival (written by my garden coach mentor and founder of Gardenary who I got my Garden Coach Society Certification, Nicole Johnsey Burke.) https://shop.gardenary.com/collections/books/products/kitchen-garden-revival

Grow What You Love by Emily Murphy: https://passthepistil.com/grow-what-you-love-book/

The First Time Gardener: Growing Vegetables by Jessica Sowards: https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/53915579-the-first-time-gardener

Chefs Knife – A good chefs knife essentially becomes an extension of your hand when you are in the kitchen cooking from scratch as much as I am. Having a quality sharp knife is imperative to having a nice time in the kitchen. It really makes kitchen tasks so much easier. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on a sharp knife, but the price ranges vary from low to extremely high. I hesitate to add this one to the list because chef lives are so personal and you want the user to really pick it out for themselves. They’ll want to get a feel for what it is like in their hand. A personalized gift card for a chef knife would make a great gift.

The knife I have: https://www.zwilling.com/us/miyabi-birchwood-sg2-8-inch-chefs-knife-34373-203/34373-203-0.html

Here is more information about chefs knives: https://www.foodandwine.com/lifestyle/kitchen/best-chefs-knife

Braiser – This is something I had my eye on for years. Do you absolutely need to have a braiser in your kitchen cookware lineup? No, but it is a fantastic addition to have. You can use your braiser for so many things beyond braising. It’s great for stir fry’s, roasting, stews (depending on size), pasta sauces, shakshukas, toasted sandwiches, chili, etc. 

The braiser I have: https://www.lecreuset.com/braiser/LS2532.html

Here is information about the difference between a braiser and a Dutch oven. (I also recommend Dutch ovens.): https://www.thekitchn.com/difference-between-braiser-dutch-oven-23105967?amp=1

Apron –  The one kitchen item that gets more use than my Vitamix or chefs knife is hands down my apron. I pretty much live in my apron. I am not usually a messy cook, but the protection it offers from splashes of juices or food has saved my clothes many times. I also feel like when I put my apron on I am stepping into a meditation zone and like an act of love is about to take place. It puts me in a certain mood. I absolutely love cooking and my apron sets the tone. 

The apron brand I have (I have a few of their aprons and love them.): https://www.hedleyandbennett.com

*If you are crafty and sew, there are many great patterns to make them. I did this one year for my mom, she still wears them while cooking.

Cookbooks – Just as with my overflow of gardening books my cookbook collection is huge. I love looking for inspiration in cookbooks for many new meal ideas. I had a hard time narrowing these down, but wanted to include those written by people who have inspired me in many ways.

UnDiet written by my culinary nutrition teacher and mentor, Meghan Telpner. (I earned the title of Culinary Nutrition Expert through her school the Academy of Culinary Nutrition.) https://www.meghantelpner.com/books/undiet-meghan-telpner/

The UnDiet Cookbook also written by Meghan Telpner. This cookbook is a fantastic addition to the first book: https://www.meghantelpner.com/books/the-undiet-cookbook/

Simply Good For You by Amelia Freer: https://ameliafreer.com/new-book-simply-good-for-you/

These are some of my favorite gardening and kitchen items that I personally use all the time. I am a big believer in buying quality that lasts instead of having to replace items frequently. These can be investment pieces, but they are worth it and can make time in the garden or kitchen that much more enjoyable. The braiser is considered and heirloom piece which will last for generations with proper care and maintenance. The books I have suggested are all books I have read numerous times or refer people to all the time. Each author has inspired me in the work that I do. You can also purchase a cooking class or garden coaching session with me! 

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