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Is a friend or relative setting up their first kitchen? How do you welcome them into the new space? Here’s what to put in a cooking gift basket.

Watching what we eat

Cooking shows have long been a favorite on television. I remember my mom watching The Galloping Gourmet in the 1960s. While my focus wasn’t on what the host, Graham Kerr, was making, I do remember his expression at the tasting table.

A camera zoomed in on his face so you virtually participated in the experience. The fork entered his mouth, and as his eyes danced with delight and corners of his mouth turned upward, the audience moaned in tasty agreement.

Never did we think back then that similar shows would be so prolific today,. However, here we are, watching chefs doing everything from selecting ingredients in exotic locations to competing with colleagues on stage.

Starting slow and steady

Goods and products seen in professional kitchens look interesting, but before buying it to create cooking gift baskets, ask yourself if receivers of those gifts really need the fancy stuff. Most people appreciate the basics, the items that they need daily or weekly according to their eating habits and lifestyle.

I set up my first kitchen when in my 20s after moving from my mom’s home into my first apartment. Such an event calls for a new home gift basket. Utensils, pots and pans, and a toaster were necessary for me. My husband was more of a foodie than I was, so he introduced me to accessories that, after 35+ years, I still don’t use.

Consider buying basic items, and highlight what you make with a few gourmet touches the first-time cook will enjoy and be happy to have at a moment’s notice.

Cooking gift basket containers

  • Wok
  • Frying pan
  • Colander
  • Cookie sheet
  • Cake pan
  • Mixing bowl
  • Lazy Susan
  • Pizza tray

What to put in a cooking gift basket

  • Recipe book
  • Recipe book holder
  • Egg cup
  • Egg timer
  • Kitchen utensils
  • Spice set
  • Apron
  • Coupon holder
  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Whisk
  • Cutting board
  • Assorted spices
  • Sauce brush
  • Garlic press
  • Grill basket
  • Grater
  • Cheese slicer
  • Gourmet salts
  • Salt/pepper grinders
  • Dish cloth
  • Dish towel
  • Organic dish liquid
  • Paper towel holder

You’ll find more great design ideas in The Gift Basket Design Book, by Shirley George Frazier.

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