1. At My Table: A Celebration of Home Cooking – I’ve always loved Nigella Lawson’s easy, casual cooking.
2. Bravetart – Stella Parks hit out of the park with this classic baking book. If your mom loves to bake, this is an amazing book all about American classics.
3. How to Eat a Peach – Menu planning and musings by Diana Henry.
4. The Year of Cozy – Give the gift of ME for Mother’s Day!
5. Magnolia Table – Joanna Gaines’s new cookbook. Everyone loves her, including my mama.
6. The First Mess – My mom eats mostly a plant-based diet and this cookbook has been an wonderful addition to her cookbook collection.
7. Love Real Food – If your mom loves vegetarian recipes then this cookbook would be a great gift. Check out the reviews–everyone loves it! Kate makes cookable, delicious recipes that everyone loves.
8. The Perfect Scoop – David Lebovitz re-released his classic ice cream book. Can’t wait!
9. Gather & Graze – I’ve never had the opportunity to visit Stephanie Izard’s restaurant so this is the next best thing!
1. Dr. Jart Water Replenishment Sheet Mask – Dr. Jart sheet masks are my absolute favorite. I love to pack them for long flights and put one on when I arrive at my hotel room.
2. Laura Mercier Fresh Fig Hand Cream – This hand cream smells so delicious. It’s everything you want in a hand cream, too: thick, rich and ultra-hydrating.
3. KitchenAid Architect Stand-Up Mixer – If your mama loves to bake and cook, this is a must. This color Pistachio will always be my favorite. Always.
4. Adidas Swift Run Sneakers – I swear by these shoes. I bought myself a pair for Christmas (I got the black and gold) and wear them nearly every single day. They’re so comfortable and look great with jeans or workout clothes.
5. Cuyana Zip-Around Wallet – I’ve been searching for a new wallet and this one fits the bill. It’s pretty and has the perfect amount of space. I feel like mom would love it, too.
6. Danse Lente Mini Johnny Leather Bucket Bag – If mom is hip to game, she’ll love this purse. I have this purse in black and it’s so beautiful in real life.
7. Cuyana Cross Body Bag – This bag is so simple and pretty. Every bag I buy for myself OR for someone else has to have a crossbody feature.
8. Chanel Nail Polish in Origandi – This color looks good on a wide range of complexions.
9. Summer Fridays – This is a night cream and mask in one. It’s multi-functional and it feels like butter on. I LOVE IT. I wear it every night and I wake up with super hydrated skin.
10. Shashi Necklace – A simple and pretty necklace.
11. Black Dodgers Hat – LA FOREVER! I love this black iteration.
12. White Matte Le Creuset – This white matte le creuset is my favorite. I love their matte collection. A plus (in case your mom is a food blogger lol), I photographs beautifully because ZERO shine. Continue Reading
1. KitchenAid Stand-Up Mixer – I feel like a broken record, but this really is the perfect thing to give someone. I love this pistachio color but if your favorite person loves another color, well, they have a ton to choose from!
2. Wilton Decorating 55 Piece Set – I own this and have put this on gift guides before and that’s because it’s amazing to have all of these tips in one place. Also Wilton shows what the tips do on their Youtube page in case you‘re not sure what kinda design will come out!
3. ChefSteps Joule Sous Vide – I’m going to be completely honest with you, I was not a fan of anything sous vide’d. I didn’t think it was that realistic for home cooks, but I bought this for Josh last year for Hannakah and he has used it so many times and I am now completely converted. I’m actually going to try and do caramelized white chocolate in it this week and am excited!
4. Vitamix – I love my Vitamix. I recently used a Ninja and I actually like it too. It’s much cheaper, works just as well. The only downside compared to the Vitamix is that it’s a bit louder than I’d like. But oh well! I do have my eye on upgrading my Vitamix to the one you see!
5. Instant Pot – Ok, so I’m gonna be honest: I don’t own an Instant Pot (yet). It’s on my holiday wish list. I’ve used my friend Billy’s and I think it’s amazing. Should I do a few Instant Pot recipes?
6. Le Creuset Dutch Oven – Dutch ovens are a staple in every kitchen. I love that Le Creusets are enamel coated, distribute heat evenly, are pretty and highly functional. I use my 3 1/2-quart every single day of my life. The 4 1/2 quart is the most functional—you can use it for stews, candy and even for baking bread. The possibilities are truly endless.
7. Food Coloring Set from AmeriColor – I think AmeriColor has some of the best colors in the food coloring game. They are very pigmented and I love how little you have to use in order to achieve your desired color.
8. NordicWare Cast Iron Bundt Pans – NordicWare did a whole exclusive line with Amazon and the results are pretty beautiful. I love intricate bundt pans and they make ones that are good quality with beautiful designs.
9. Pyrex Glass Container Set – I recently was gifted this set from a shoot I was on and man, was I excited. I love that it stacks perfectly. I love that it’s glass and totally reusable.
10. Stasher Reuseable Silicon Bags – One of my goals for 2018 is to cut down my waste. I have my eye on these reusable bags to use for everything from storing a leftover sandwich to using it to sous vide something or using it when I go to the bulk bin (instead of using a plastic bag). I plan to give these as stocking stuffers.
1. The Year of Cozy – Hello hi this is my book. And yes, technically this is self-promotion but I personally think that this would be a great gift.
2. Love Real Food – I love Kathryn Taylor’s blog, Cookie and Kate. This book crushed it this year (look at all those positive reviews!). If you know someone who loves making vegetarian meals, this is a winner for sure.
3. Salt Fat Acid Heat – I LOVED this book. I feel like everyone—no matter your cooking level—can benefit from reading this book. It’s very interesting, entertaining and the illustrations in the book are beautiful.
4. Cravings – Chrissy Tiegan is a fun follow on Twitter and The Insta. I haven’t made any of these recipes but a lot of people have and love them!
5. Sweet – Beautiful baking cookbook from Yotam Ottolenghi and Pastry Chef Helen Goh. It’s a gorgeous book and anyone who loves baking would definitely adore this book.
6. Bravetart – Another good baking book. Bravetart is written by Stella Parks from Serious Eats and I love that the recipes are based on American classics.
7. Mary Berry’s Baking Bible – I am a diehard fan of The Great British Baking Show. In a world of toxic news and politics, I like to watch this show and The Kardashians and I’m not ashamed of that! So, when I was watching a few months ago, I realized I had never baked a Mary Berry recipe—gotta change that!
8. Cook Beautiful – This book is all over the internets. And you know, for good reason. The photos are aspirational (her kitchen! her house!) but the food is approachable and doable and that’s wonderful.
9. The First Mess – For your favorite vegan! I love Laura Wright’s food—it’s delicious and simple and doable at home. I peruse this book all the time and sometimes I’ll add cheese or an egg and make her recipes non-vegan lol.
11. State Bird Provisions – When Josh and I had only been together for a few months, we took a trip to San Francisco and ate at State Bird. We loved our meal there. We sat at the bar and everyone was so nice and welcoming. I received this cookbook and the dessert section is my absolute favorite.
12. Zahav – This is not a new cookbook but it’s a staple. I’ve actually never been to the restaurant but I wanna go.
1. Very Cozy Madewell Sweater – It comes in a few colors and I tried all of them on. Obviously the mauve one was my favorite (pictured here). The fit is super flattering and so super soft. I want to sleep in it.
2. Bagatiba Hollow Hoops – I love these hoops. I actually like a lot of Bagatiba’s jewelry. I’ve purchased a few pieces from them over the last year and I can say that their jewelry is good quality and really beautiful in real life.
3. Fluffy Women’s Casual Socks – I recently bought these socks because they are right by The Year of Cozy at Target (hello sorry being annoying!) and they are SO soft and cozy. And very inexpensive.
4. Patagonia Teddy Bear Jacket – Listen, I dress for comfort a lot of the time and this jacket is just speaking to me right now. I love the beige color so I can just look like a teddy bear at all times.
5. Tilda Faux Fur Topshop Denim Jacket – Is the faux fur a little bit extra? Yes. Definitely. I do love the crop top tho and I love fur. Topshop ALWAYS fits me so small so be sure to size up a bit.
6. Mansur Gabriel Moon Leather Wallet – I’ve been using the same wallet for a few years now and while it’s great, I might need a new one. I do love that my present wallet has a lot of room so I can’t go down to a card-type wallet. I need a mom wallet. I feel like this one would be a good jump.
7. Swell Bottle – When I go workout I sometimes get a Smart Water BUT I’m trying to use less plastic so this is on my gift to myself. Less waste!
9. Dr. Jart Water Replenishment Cotton Sheet Mask – I love Dr. Jart everything. All of their products are nourishing and hydrating. Whenever I travel, I always buy a few of these for when I land so my skin can be all hydrated all over again.
10. Essie Gel Couture Nail Polish Kits – I hate getting gels because they hurt my nails but when I was at the salon recently, a nail technician recommended these Essie Gel Couture polishes and OMG you guys, the color I have on has lasted almost two weeks and I use my hands every single day. Very impressed. These kits are cute.
11. Vans Old Skool Suede Sneaker – I wear these nearly every day and I’ve been wearing them for years. I recently switched from the hightop to the low tops. And I’m undecided which ones I like better lol. They’re great for different reasons!
I’m the last person that is going to tell you that you HAVE to have anything. I baked for years without a stand-up mixer, I’ve used a colander as a sieve (I don’t recommend it) and for a long time, I literally scooped out cookies with tablespoons I ate soup with. BUT, now I have a very well stocked kitchen and you know what, it makes my life easier! I move faster and I’m less stressed so here are some of my go-tos for cooking Thanksgiving dinner.
1. OXO Potato Ricer – This is the only proper way to make mashed potatoes. My post on mashed potatoes depends on it.
2. Kitchen scissors – I use these for cutting out the backbone of a turkey, I use it for cutting twine and I use them for cutting pie dough. I love kitchen scissors. They’re super sharp and are dedicated to food only.
3. Deli Containers – If you’re one of those people who loves to make things ahead of time, store mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, and everything else, in these deli containers. They’re also great for leftovers.
4. Kitchen/Meat Thermometer – I use this thermometer for everything. I never use a candy thermometer. This is the only one I use for taking a turkey’s temperature or making candy.
6. French-Style Rolling Pin – I despise those heavy-handled rolling pins because they’re cumbersome and, um, heavy. I much prefer this style.
7. Baking dishes – I use these for making mac n’ cheese, cooking casseroles…I dunno, you name it and they’re pretty versatile.
8. Pyrex 9-inch Pie Plate – This is simple, glass pie plate. They’re super inexpensive and bake pies very evenly.
9. Spatulas – You need them, in all sizes. They make scraping out the rest of that pumpkin pie filling out of the bowl easier. I kinda like buying spatulas at TJ MAXX and Marshall’s–the best prices and varieties.
1. Fearless Baker – Erin Jeanne McDowell. If you follow Food52, then you might’ve fallen in love with Erin’s work already. She is a master baker and I love her bubbly personality and interesting yet classic recipes. I can’t wait to bake from this.
2. Guerilla Tacos – Wesley Avila. A true love letter to Los Angeles. No lie, their tacos are some of my favorites in LA. AND, their catering is incredible (we rented them for Josh’s dad’s birthday party last year). This book is beautifully shot (by Dylan + Jeni) and I can’t wait to try some of the taco and salsa recipes.
3. Erin Bakes Cake – Erin Gardner. This book is SOOOOO fun. If you want to have a fun life baking stuff, this cake is it. It’s amazingly well done with beautiful step-by-step photos showing you how to accomplish these ambitious cakes.
4. Sweet – Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh. A collaborative effort between Ottolenghi and and pastry chef and product developer, Goh. I’m SO pumped to bake through this book. It looks so ridiculously beautiful. I actually bought it and it arrived yesterday. I can’t wait to read and bake everything.
5. Holiday Cookies – Elisabet der Nederlanden. This book stopped me dead in my tracks at World Market. I was there picking out cookie cutters and got distracted by the cover—it’s that beautiful. I haven’t tried any of the recipes but the photography and holiday baking ideas alone are worth a purchase.
6. Brave Tart – Stella Parks. I love classic American recipes. They make my heart swoon and Stella’s recipes all look and read like gold. If you’re unfamiliar with her, she is the in-house baker and writer at Serious Eats and her work is LEGIT.
8. Smitten Kitchen Every Day – Deb Perelman. I don’t think Deb needs an intro, especially to us food blogging peeps. She is GOD. And truth: she is one of the reasons I started my blog. I wanted to be just like her. Her recipes are always clever, classic and delicious; I can’t wait to cook from it ALL fall long.
9. Baco – Josef Centeno and Betty Hallock. True story: Josh and I met at Baco Mercat downtown. And Bar Amá (Centeno’s other restaurant) is one of our favorite restaurants in Los Angeles. I can’t wait to recreate some of our favorites at home.
10. The Chef and the Slow Cooker – Hugh Acheson. Not gonna lie, I’m not really a slow cooker type. I own one but it’s in a box collecting dust. Hopefully this book will encourage me to break it out and make some slow-cooker easy dinner.
1. Pineapple Glasses – These pineapple glasses are so beautiful to me. They’re so tropical and fun. I don’t like to buy these that are too seasonal but I think these would look beautiful for fall, too. (Yes, fall is coming soon. I am not ready.)
2. 3-Piece Marbled Mixing Bowls – You’ll notice a lot of my favorite things come from CB2. That’s because they make SUCH pretty and affordable things. I love this set of mixing bowls. I’m pretty firm on having just simple glass ones but they’re not super photogenic. And sometimes it’s nice to go from mixing bowl in the kitchen to just straight to the table.
3. Pink Farren Tumblers – Sale alert! These are on sale right now and I just scooped up a few because I think they’re gorgeous and perfect for a big, tall glass of lemonade or iced tea.
4. Colorblocked Cotton Napkin – I love this color green. I’m going through a green phase right now where everything in my life either needs to be green or pink or mauve or brown.
5. Pink Powder Jug – Is there anything prettier to put cream in? I think not. I still swoon at all of these glaze colors. They’re just gorgeous.
6. Jupiter Pink Marble Board – I love this thing. I love pink marble—it’s so beautiful and kinda hard to find. I wanna put all the cheese and snacks on this.
7. Rose Leaf Nip Cup – Don’t ask me what a “nip cup” means. I dunno. But all I know is this glaze on this mug is gorgeous and I wanna hold that mug while I drink coffee every morning.
8. Waffle Weave Multi-Color Kitchen Towels – I have a lot of ugly kitchen towels. Mainly just plain white ones that have been stained into oblivion. I need a new set that’s photogenic and honestly just looks nice IRL, too. I have my eyes on this set.
9. Wood Handle Flatware Set – I love wood on flatware because it really warms up the space a bit. I’m drawn to a lot of modern plates and modern shapes so sometimes if my flatware is too modern, everything can feel cold. Obviously I’m the opposite of cold, I WANT IT TO FEEL COZY U KNO.
10. La Fourmi Steak Knives – Admittedly, I have a ton of dishes and stuff but one big thing I don’t have is a nice set of steak knives. These are just beautiful.
11. Pitch Dinnerware – These are Japanese-inspired plates that are simple and modern and minimalistic in the best way. I love the dark color and while I normally don’t shoot on black plates, I want to start injecting a bit darker colors into my work. I think these are an affordable way to start.
12. Vivienne Side Plate Set – I think this set of side plates is so beautiful. I dream of having colorful foods on them like melon wrapped with prosciutto, a variety of fruits and sautéed veggies. I think the neutral color is perfect for summer and fall.
13. Petrified Wood Serving Board – The edges of this serving board are SO beautiful. I love the rustic look of this board and I think everything from cupcakes to your favorite cheese would look gorgeous on it.
14. Floral napkin – I feel like the old me never would’ve liked something this classic but the new 2017 me is VERY into these rose napkins. They’re romantic and dark. I love ‘em.
6. Ice Cream & Friends – Fun ice cream recipes from Food52 and friends aka some of my blogger friends!
7. The Book of Greens – I cannot wait to cook/bake from this book. The recipes look doable, delicious and incorporate greens of all kinds. By Chef Jenn Louis.
8. On Vegetables: Modern Recipes for the Home Kitchen – Rustic Canyon is one of my favorite restaurants in LA so it’s no surprise that this book looks so delicious. I haven’t had a chance to cook from it yet but I have my eye on the carrot cavatelli.
10. Cluse Watch – I’ve been seeing these watches everywhere and this grey color looks so beautiful. And it doesn’t break the bank. A+.
11. Slip Silk Pillowcase – I’ve been meaning to buy a silk pillowcase (for wrinkles!) so I figured my mom would like it. Plus, it feels nice and cool.
12. Google Home – True story: my mom has a tough time “cutting and pasting” but she can use Snapchat like a 14 year-old. I have no idea how. I feel like my sort-of-technologically-advanced mom would love a Google Home.
Ever since I cleaned up this blog and brought it from 2012 to 2017 (!!), I’ve also been on the lookout for new surfaces and props. I am that weirdo that has one plate of something I like vs. a set. I have lots of one-offs and usually I buy glasses in sets of two. Having a food blog can be weird, I admit, but also SO COOL.
Here are some things that have been catching my eye around the internets! I’ve purchased some, others are on my “make dat money to splurge” list.
Also, if you’ve been eye-ing something and want to share it, I think we’re all interested!
I purchased two of the smaller bowls and one small bowl from Herriott Grace and they are BEAUTIFUL in person. Like, the most perfect matte, delicious velvet colors. Love them. I really wish they came in plates because I’d spend all my rent money on them.
Farmhouse Pottery is so simple and elegant. Their work really has the ability to bend with all sorts of styles: minimalist cozy (hi that’s me, I think), country-chic, farmer, etc. (you get the idea!).
Anthropologie Simea Mugs. I was watching Big Little Lies and I loved that they were drinking wine out of mugs. This is kinda something I could see myself serving in place of glass wine glasses.
Matte Black Flatware. One thing I’m in constant search for are things that compliment mauve. That color is my blog 100% but using it over and over and over gets redundant and bores me so I like to edge it up a bit and I love how black looks with it. These are super awesome and relatively affordable (if you buy one to two sets).
Two-Tone Pink Glasses. These are so pretty and so spring! I thing these would be great water or rosé/white wine glasses.
Anthropologie Mineral Mug. I don’t need anymore mugs in my life but I want this one because it’s so simple and looks like something I’d actually want to drink out of in the morning (not just a pretty prop).
I’m really in love with these small porcelain gourds. I feel like they’d be perfect for soup or a scoop of ice cream.
These bowls are a bit of a splurge but I feel like I’d use them in every.single.blog post ever so I’m thinking about it. They look sturdy enough to be useful and function but pretty enough for photos.
I bought this pie/cake server and it is so beautiful in real life. I was super timid to use it because I thought frosting or fat would stain the wood but it hasn’t so far–it looks amazing and I’ve actually used it for cake!