Everyone wants to support local business as much as possible, and we all know how hard it is nowadays to find something actually made in our country, not just assembled here. A lot of brands will make a few items here and the rest in other countries, so it’s hard to keep track. While this list should be complete, please do let me know if you know any dirty little trickery that one of these brands might be trying to pull over on us consumers! Of course the best course of action is looking at the box, but even then it might not tell the whole story.
MADE IN THE USA!
All-Clad** – Canonsburg, PA – The majority of All-Clad pots and pans are made in the USA. However, the lids and accessory pieces are manufactured in China. Accessory pieces include utensils, certain specialty pieces, and any of the stockpots over 16 quarts in size (because you can’t clad anything larger than a 16 quart!!). Generally these pieces come in black boxes, but not always. (Normally the boxes are white.)
*Appliances from All-Clad are made in China!!
Anchor Hocking – Lancaster, OH – Very sturdy glassware, glass bakeware, candle holders, serveware, canisters, etc. Since 1905; second-largest glass supplier in the US.
*Prior to 2008 some of the plastic lids were not manufactured in the USA, but now they all are.
Calphalon** – Toledo, OH – The bulk of Calphalon’s products are still made in the USA, but it’s very hard to decipher on their website. A request sent in to Calphalon let me know that their aluminum products are still made in the USA. This includes their Williams Sonoma, Target & Walmart hard-anodized products; Unison, Elite, Simply Calphalon, Kitchen Essentials, and Cooking with Calphalon.
Enclume – Port Hadlock, WA – French metal-forming equipment yields beautiful metal pot racks, kitchen furniture/accessories, and fireplace/hearth accessories.
Epicurean – Duluth, MN – Eco-friendly compressed wood cutting boards eliminate the care associated with wood surfaces. Dishwasher-safe and no oil required!
Fat Daddio’s – Spokane, WA – “Safe-Seal” anodized aluminum bakeware, which also happens to be one of the most highly rated brands, particularly among professionals.
Fiesta Dinnerware – Newell, WV – High-fired, sturdy dinnerware and bakeware since 1936. Lead-free since 1986.
J.K. Adams – Dorset, VT – Quality wooden cutting boards, spice racks, wine racks, rolling pins and other entertaining products.
John Boos – Effingham, IL – Beautiful, thick wood cutting boards that are preferred by most professionals and found in many commercial kitchens, as well as wood and metal work carts, countertops/surfaces, shelves/racks and other kitchen furniture. High standards of sustainability in their foresting practices, as well.
Lodge – South Pittsburg, TN – Cast iron cookware since 1896.
*Enameled cast iron from Lodge uses enamel made in China. (Le Creuset & Staub, two French lines of enameled cast iron, use French-made enamel.)
Nordic Ware – Minneapolis, MN – Creator of the Bundt pan, and along with now offering many new Bundt shapes, they produce other bakeware, cookware, microwave cookware, and grill products. Highly sustainable; BPA-free, melamine-free, and nonstick coatings are water-based.
Pyrex – Charleroi, PA – The original strong glass bakeware and kitchen accessories.
Rogar – Petersburg, VA – Quality metal pot racks, wine racks, spice racks, and wine openers.
USA Pans – KS – High-quality metal bakeware and cookware. Cookware is 5-ply clad stainless (just like All-Clad), and the bakeware has AMERICOAT Plus silicone coating that is a clear nonstick free of PTFE’s and PFOA’s. Bakeware also has a corrugated/fluted design to prevent sticking and is used widely commercially.
Vitamix – Cleveland, OH – Uniquely patented blending products, considered to be the most powerful on the market and used commercially by many restaurants and professionals.
William Bounds – Torrance, CA – Pepper, salt and spice grinders/mills that have a special patented mechanism that actually crushes the pepper, which is the proper way to do it. Thus their slogan, “We’ve got a crush on pepper”!
NOT QUITE MADE IN THE USA…
I know I put a few exceptions in the top portion already, but I feel these are a little more obviously not made in the United States, yet worth mentioning.
Microplane – All Microplane blades are made in the USA, however the materials for the various handles are outsourced. Everything needing piecing together is assembled in Mexico. Therefore, if you were to buy the basic handle-less Classic Zester, you would be buying a product fully from the US.
Assembled in the USA: Kitchen Aid stand mixers. Parts come from various countries. The all-metal pasta attachments are still made in Italy, which is notable. They slap a flag sticker on the boxes that say “assembled in the USA” but people don’t read it and assume they are made here.
Glassware is pretty much a personal preference. I guess the first thing to consider is if you care whether or not it’s made in China. Obviously you’re going to be paying more if it’s not. The second thing to consider would then be the level of durability you’re seeking, particularly if you’re putting it in the dishwasher or it’s going to be utilized by children. Libbey, Anchor Hocking, and Duralex are very popular brands for folks looking for durability.
For barware, shape plays an important role in the type of liquors you’re consuming. A lot of liquor drinks are either served in a highball [tumbler] glass (taller and skinnier) or an Old-fashioned [rocks/double rocks, lowball] glass (shorter and wider). Then, of course, you’ve got specialty cocktail glasses like martini or zombie [Collins]. And let’s not even get started on all of the various types of beer glasses the connoisseur could find themselves looking for!
Stemware obviously puts us into another category because some people are very particular with what they are putting their wine into! What I have learned is that the shape of the wine glass matters because how the wine falls out of the glass and into your mouth – different wines need to hit different parts of your tongue. However, what the glass is made out of also plays a significant role, and personally, I was very skeptical of this fact until I did a special tasting with Riedel. If you’ve ever been to a winery, sometimes you can pay extra to use a fancier glass. Most people don’t care, but real wine affectionados will want the special glass because it’s made with lead crystal. It is also most likely a Riedel since there’s not a whole lot of widely distributed manufacturers that are still making glassware this way.
As for stemware durability, of course there is always Libbey, reliable and inexpensive. For something a little swankier and with more choices in shape and style, Schott Zweisel is a favorite. It’s reinforced with titanium so they are super strong – safe for dishwashers and boisterous toasting! These are actually one of my favorite wedding gift ideas because banging together wine glasses is sure to impress anyone, trust me. 😉
Glassware care: DON’T DROP IT! But seriously…
Most sturdy glassware will be dishwasher safe, but I’ve never seen a glass come out of a dishwasher without at least a little dot of a watermark on it, if not several. I’ve also opened dishwashers (albeit mostly in work environments) to see some of the sturdiest pieces of glass shattered to bits on top of the drain piece. My advice to you, as always, if you truly love it, do not put it in the dishwasher.
I try to make sure nothing fragile is going to shake around and knock into something else when I’m loading the dishwasher, so that should help. Something shaped like a martini glass is probably not going to hold up well in a dishwasher, and if your wine or champagne glasses actually fit in yours, I would definitely recommend cheap, thick stemware. Heat is brutal on glass and the temperature extremes your dishwasher can reach will slowly make your glassware more and more brittle. It’s the same reason why your glass coffee pot can one day shatter to bits on you if you barely tap it on the edge of your mug by accident.
I have seen fancier dishwashers that actually have a glassware setting, so perhaps those work a little better with them, but one of my favorite quotes again is, “It’s called a dishwasher for a reason. It’s not a pots and pans washer. It’s not a glassware washer.”
The problem with hand-washing glassware, particularly specialty stemware, can be getting inside and washing it properly. There are specialty cleaning brushes for stemware as well as glass decanters available.
Wine glasses should be rinsed immediately and left overnight with a little splash of warm water inside of them. A lot of wine glass representatives will tell you that you don’t really even need to wash your stemware with warm, soapy water every single time if you’re doing that.
As for towel-drying, most of us are familiar with the lovely little flecks of fuzz that most towels would leave behind. Air-drying is the best method, although this can still sometimes leave unsightly watermarks. A microfiber cleaning cloth is recommended for keeping your stemware sparkling clear!
I figure that it’s about time to admit my mistakes, and also what I’ve learned from the projects I’ve attempted this season. While they were small undertakings, I still didn’t do very well! But this is how we learn, right?
Fuchsias in Hanging Baskets
The Winston Churchill fuchsia variety is hanging in the back yard, and getting the perfect sunlight. The Dollar Princess variety I had put out front and just wouldn’t admit that it was getting too much sun. After a few scorching days where even the ones out back were injured, I finally admitted defeat and moved the Dollar Princesses to the back yard, and what’s left of them are doing much better than they ever did out front – the color is much deeper and prettier than I thought!
Fuchsias are very touchy. When it rains, it might not have rained enough, which is usually the case in the Pacific Northwest. When it’s hot, you might need to water an extra time or two. You definitely cannot leave them for a day without watering, particularly when it’s warm out. I feed them fairly regularly and I believe the spray mixture I’m using is correctly measured.
Mason Jar Indoor Herb Garden
This hanging herb garden project was a big whoopsie from the get-go, with the poor instructions I was following being the first part of the problem. The second issue was my placement. They weren’t getting proper sunlight where I mounted them.
Another issue was drainage. A good tip to add to the original plans might be to put rocks in the jars first, below the soil, to help with drainage, and also so you can see if you’ve overwatered!!! Whoops. I have since taken them off of their wood mounts and placed the jars straight in another window sill where they get full morning sunlight. 😉
Brussels Sprouts vs. Cabbage Moths
Oh, the Brussels sprouts…I have lost that war so badly it’s not even funny. I QUIT! And to make matters worse, the cabbage moths also got my dwarf kale and broccoli, too, and those were in cages to protect them from critters (obviously not tiny butterflies!). I am going to have to research and see if I can plant something that is a natural deterrent for cabbage moths if I want to grow any produce they enjoy next year. 🙁
Pink Dahlia Murder Recovery!
I’m still caring for my dahlias, which DID spring back from the slug massacre, I am happy to say! I had a black walnut tree trying to grow and drown out one of the dahlia bushes (thanks, squirrel!!) so I pulled that out the other day and am hoping that dahlia survives. I am not 100% on knowing my dahlia leaves yet, so I had let the tree grow far too large, unfortunately, before asking for help identifying the thing.
I also had one dahlia plant not grow at all this year. I discovered from a friend that the tubers actually need to be dug up yearly, so who knows how long it has been since these have been dug since I did not do it last year. I dug them up anyway, pulled out the icky looking tubers and am hoping that maybe next year the ones I replanted will spring back. *Fingers crossed!*
Another dahlia bush was being drowned out by my over abundance of crocosmias. I tied the crocosmias out of the way since they are blooming and the bees are loving them, and will dig them out completely post-bloom. It seems like the affected dahlias are starting to stand up straight again and I am hopeful for a few flowers before summer is over!
That is probably the end of my gardening “projects” for 2014. I will be armed with Sluggo and better produce planting information next year since we hope to have built at least one raised bed and do this gardening thing for real!! This year was just a test with the produce I did attempt to grow, and I’m glad it wasn’t full-fledged or I would have been sorely disappointed. It would have been my own fault for not researching more, however!
I will be digging up as many bulbs as I can as things die out at summer’s end (these crocosmias are never-ending, I tell ya!), and I definitely plan to get at ALL of the dahlia tubers to try and ensure their livelihood next year! I am smart enough to know that my yard will never be done, but am happy with the progress I have made this year. It’s fun to look back and see what it used to look like when we first moved in and how much I’ve already accomplished!
I am so glad that I waited to write this blog because Kitchen Aid just recently came out with their new model, so we can include that in the review. Huzzah!
Food processors can be pretty expensive, and a lot of the time you can do the same thing by hand or with a blender, so it’s a tough call deciding on whether or not you really need one. If you do a lot of food preparation, a food processor can save you sooooo much time in the kitchen, and it can do a lot of things a blender can’t do, so that’s a plus.
I want to start out by discussing mini choppers. A lot of people refer to these as food processors, but the distinction is that it only has a chopping blade, no discs for slicing or shredding. Most of these you’ll find are in a $20-50 price range and will usually just have two speeds. It might say “chop” or “grind” but in all honesty, they are just “fast” and “faster”. I mentioned these in my “Coffee Grinder” blog because a lot of people buy these to grind their coffee beans with.
Mini choppers are usually 2-3 cups in size, and like most larger food processors, can’t handle a ton of liquid. They are quite handy for small jobs, like chopping up veggies really quick or making a small batch of hummus or salsa. With the limited abilities of the mini chopper, I don’t think that brand really matters. Like with a big food processor, I don’t think any of these will work unless all the pieces are properly snapped into place, meaning you can’t accidentally chop your fingers or splash food everywhere. (If there’s too much liquid, that will probably escape and make a mess.) This is actually the one item Cuisinart does NOT put a 3-year warranty on because people so often misuse them. (Read: they should have purchased a blender or a real food processor and burned it out.)
Some immersion blenders come with a mini chopper attachment that the stick’s motor can power. These are usually one cup and not very useful, so I wouldn’t base your purchase of the immersion blender solely off of that optional feature.
I noticed a few of these while image shopping, so figured it was worth a mention. The term “salad shooter” is trademarked to the original product by Presto, so everyone else seems to call these “salad makers” or “mini food processors”. These machines contain rotating discs that “shoot” the end product out and you have to have a bowl or something to catch it. These only slice and shred, they cannot chop, but nonetheless, pretty handy.
Alright, so moving along to the big machines, the ones that do it all! Obviously there’s a larger motor, meaning a heavier base, so keep that in mind if you don’t have counter space! Having to get it in and out of a cupboard or pantry might be too much effort.
Any brand of food processor will come with a metal chopping blade, a stem piece to attach the discs, and a slicing and shredding disc. Sometimes these are combined in a reversible two-sided disc, meaning you’ll only have one disc; one side shreds, one side slices. You will have buttons that say “On”, “Off”, and “Pulse”. “Pulse” will spin once and you have to keep hitting it repeatedly to keep the blade going. There will also be a feed tube and some sort of pusher to help push your items into the machine as well as prevent splashing. Sometimes they also include a plastic dough blade, as well. Like I mentioned with the mini choppers, they make these super safe, as they won’t work unless all pieces are properly snapped into place.
As for brand, that truly does matter with the larger food processors. The only choice, in my opinion, is a Cuisinart, and you can’t go wrong with any model. The motors they put on these things just don’t die! The kitchen store I worked at does a trade-in event annually, where you can bring in your old chopper or food processor, working or not, and get money towards a new Cuisinart. People would bring in 20 year old Cuisinart food processors and tell us that they still worked, they were just finally ready to upgrade to a newer model with more features. Color me amazed!
Remember my mantra: Kitchen Aid for stand mixers, Cuisinart for food processors.
Cuisinart also puts astounding warranties on the motors of their food processors. The warranties vary by model, but none are less than 5 years, most are 10, and some are as much as 20! Nobody else in the industry puts more than a 1-year warranty on their motors, so to me, it’s worth the money!
I’m not going to say one model is better than any of the others, with the exception of their newer models in the Elite collection! Those are the best, just because of the amazing features they have, which we will discuss very shortly. If you don’t have a need for all the new features on the newest models, older models still have amazing motors that won’t disappoint. You’re basically comparing what size work bowl you need for your home since they all pretty much do the same thing. There’s a 14-cup model that is less expensive than some of the smaller bowl models because it has a very basic design and no “Pulse” button, just two paddle buttons for off and on.
Ok, ok, so these Elite food processors. They’ve been around for a few years at this point, and I really don’t see the need to make any improvements. The standard food processor hasn’t changed much other than aesthetics and feed tube sizes getting larger or being multiple pieces. But the largest complaint about all food processors has always been the liquid fill line always being about an inch from the bottom of the work bowl, making it really hard to make soups and other liquidy things. Kitchen Aid had come out with a multi-bowl food processor, but using the small bowl always made a big mess in the larger bowl anyway, so what’s the point?
Cuisinart fixed that! They put a silicone ring in the lid so that the liquid fill line in both the large bowl and the mini-bowl (nonexistent for the mini-bowl in previous Kitchen Aid models) was almost to the very top of the bowl!! No mess in the bigger bowl if you wanted to use the small one for a little job. The Elite comes in a 12-cup model, which includes a 4-cup, as well as a 14-cup model, which includes both an 11- and a 4.5-cup bowl. The bowls all also contain a slight pouring lip to make it easier to pour the liquid out. Genius!
The next thing Cuisinart did was combine the slicing and shredding discs into multi-discs so customers didn’t have to a) purchase multiple extra discs and b) have extra clutter for all the different discs they owned. So the slicing disc has an adjustable knob that gives you 6 different thicknesses on the blade and the shredding disc is reversible with coarse on one side and fine on the other.
They also made the motors even stronger, so the largest size, the 14-cup, has a 20 year motor warranty. I should note that Cuisinart has always offered the largest feed tubes on their lids. Speaking of feed tubes, a lot of the brands now have multi-piece feed tubes, which confuses people. There’s multiple pieces so you can choose which piece is large enough for your food to fit through. That way if you have something small, you don’t have to potentially get splashed by using the largest opening to drop it into the processor. All two or three pieces have a flat base to act as a pusher for the food you’re dropping in, as well.
Kitchen Aid’s new model has copied all of these new ideas, which is great. I haven’t seen one in person yet, but have watched some demonstrations on TV and the silicone ring doesn’t look as thick as Cuisinart’s. Since they obviously couldn’t copy everything exactly, the way to adjust their slicing disc is a lever on the front of the base of the machine, not on the disc itself like Cuisinart (they’re calling it ExactSlice), so you can adjust the thickness mid-slice.
Looking at specs of the Kitchen Aid machine online, I’m also noticing that their liquid fill line is only a little over the halfway point of the work bowl, whereas Cuisinart’s is almost to the top. I can’t see it on the mini-bowl, but it does say the smaller one can handle liquids, too. I was so excited by the prospect of them copying Cuisinart I almost bought one. Who can resist those fun colors?! But, it’s still expensive. And so, looking back at the warranty issue, I was convinced, personally – you might not care – of the quality and paying a bit more to have the luxury of knowing I will never have to make this purchase again in my lifetime.
One thing to note is that the Kitchen Aid food processor is extremely new and a lot of stores aren’t selling it yet. The last model of Kitchen Aid food processors were performing so badly that the kitchen store I worked at stopped carrying them, and looking at all of the big kitchen stores now, it looks like nobody currently carries any Kitchen Aid food processors at all. I am wondering if with all the aesthetic changes that Kitchen Aid bothered to fix the technical issues with this new model and stores will renew their faith and start selling them again. Time will tell!!
The Cuisinart food processor/blender 2-in-1 was mentioned in my “Blenders” blog, but I will mention it again, almost verbatim. I am always leery of anything that is a 2-in-1 as it calls to mind those TVs that had the VHS player embedded in them, and the VHS player ALWAYS broke. I love Cuisinart, and I’m sure this is a solid machine, but I wouldn’t put my trust in the performance of either being as high caliber as a stand-alone. Personal opinion, only, of course!! 😛 The food processor is only 3 cups like a mini chopper, however, it can slice and shred, which a mini chopper cannot do, so that is definitely a plus. This does not come with the same motor warranty as the other Cuisinart food processors, so again, I don’t think it’s in the same realm when comparing.
There are accessories you can purchase extra with most of the brands, including specialty cutting discs (like french fry and julienne) and cases to store your discs in.
This can sometimes be tricky nowadays, since a lot of couples are already living together for quite some time before tying the knot. A lot of people are fearful of straying from the bridal registry wish lists because of that. If that is the case, I recommend not waiting until the last minute because items in your price range might all get grabbed by other people by the time you get around to shopping!
If you pay attention to their wish list, you can generally get an idea of any color schemes they are going for. Ask a sales clerk to show you some of the linens that another person already purchased so you can find them something unique that still matches their theme. Believe me, couples LOVE when their family and friends think outside of the box and put extra thought into their gifts.
The items I am listing here are classic gifts that no sane couple would say no to, and will often impress them compared to what they have put on their bridal registry. Avoid gadgets or appliances that seem like a fad and/or something they might use once and shove in a cupboard and sell in a yard sale years later. You want to get them something they will treasure and want to keep for a lifetime, and they will always think of you when they use it, of course!
I am also listing higher quality items that they probably already registered for, but since you are an avid reader of this blog, you might notice that what they’re asking for won’t last them as long as some of my recommendations, or if they aren’t sure what brand is best for them.
Riedel Wine Glasses – These glasses are for serious wine drinkers who aren’t clumsy! Riedel glasses are tasting glasses, made from real lead crystal (yes, you can make music on the rims!). They are definitely not dishwasher safe and are very fragile. It’s also good to know what style of wine your newlyweds prefer so you can get a glass that fits what they drink most, since these are tasting glasses and are very specific to the wine. Their stemless “O” series wine glasses are stronger and dishwasher safe, so that might be a fun, but still fancy, alternative.
Schott Zweisel Wine Glasses – The majority of Schott Zweisel wine glasses being sold in retail stores now are all titanium enforced, but it never hurts to double-check the label. These bad boys are strong! You can bang them together pretty forcibly and they will not break, so these are great for boisterous toasting! Also dishwasher safe and made in Germany. These are a little more expensive than regular wine glasses, but less expensive than Riedel; and the ‘bang’ test really impresses EVERYONE! (*Bonus tip for Oregonians – they make a special Oregon Pinot glass, the only time they’ve ever made a glass specific to a region!!*)
Wine Accoutrements – While we’re talking about wine, let’s look at some wine tools!
Decanter – A glass decanter has different shapes for wine or liquor . A wine decanter will have no lid, as its not used for storage like a liquor one would be. It will have a skinny neck that opens into a wider base, normally.
Aerator – This is a device you can pour your wine through into a decanter to help speed up the aeration process after opening a bottle of wine, versus having to swirl it around in individual glasses to increase the oxygen exposure.
Vinturi – A revolutionary little tool, this is a newer form of a wine aerator that allows you to pour directly through the gadget and into your glass. No downtime! Normally you don’t have to decant white wines, but the Vinturi works so well that they recommend using it on whites, too. If your newlyweds are big into white wine, consider getting the one they created specifically for whites – it’s ever so slightly different!
Lever Wine Opener – A lever-style wine opener is a more expensive, but easier way to get your cork out. The devices are pretty large, but make the task practically effortless. The most well-known brand name for a lever-style wine opener is the Rabbit; the highest quality (with the best warranty and easier-to-find replacement parts) brand name is Screwpull. Screwpull is actually under the Le Creuset umbrella. Most people usually don’t have issues, but some of the less expensive brands (and by that I mean in the $40-50 price range; a lot of these can be over $100) specifically state on the packaging that they are not intended for use on synthetic corks and can break.
Foil Cutter – If the wine opener you are purchasing doesn’t already come with one, this can be a handy little gadget to get past that layer and on to the cork!
Wine Charms – Cute little markers for wine glasses so guests can keep track of whose glass is whose.
Wine Stoppers – Decorative stoppers are always a nice touch, but in my personal experience, nothing works to actually stop the wine so you can lay the bottle on its side in a rack. The Vacuvin vacuum sealer pump is very inexpensive and a highly rated ‘must-have’ gadget. You can buy replacement corks (the pump comes with one) for about $5 for a set of two.
If your couple is truly into wine, there are so many more accouterments you can consider, like wine racks, refrigerators, or journals. The possibility of gadgets is really quite extensive! I’m not going to list them all here, what’s listed above are the basic ‘essentials’.
Bar Accouterments – I suppose I should also mention bar accouterments, too!
Classic Bar Tool Set – You can find a plethora of different sets that will include some combination of a cocktail strainer, a double jigger, bottle opener, stirrer, ice tongs, and a citrus slicing knife… You can also consider buying these pieces individually based on what types of beverages your newlyweds like to concoct! Of course there’s this cool Bar10der all-in-one tool to consider, too.
Cocktail Shaker – Sometimes you can find these with a built-in measuring jigger as part of the lid. Oggi also makes this cool one that comes with a glass (with recipes printed on it!) that has a silicone seal to make drink mixing even easier!
Riedel Single-Malt Whisky/Whiskey Glass – For the serious whiskey drinker in your life, grab a set of these beautiful glasses, which bring out the full flavor of that expensive bottle of liquor he enjoys. Approved by a panel of Scotch whisky experts and master distillers in Scotland!
Whiskey Stones – Milled from a particular type of soapstone found in Vermont, this is a centuries-old Scandinavian way of keeping your liquor cool while avoiding watering down your beverage as normal ice would.
Alright, moving out of the bar area…
Epicurean Cutting Board – I cannot say enough good things about these cutting boards. They are wood, but compressed wood, which means they can go in the dishwasher and get washed with soap; and you don’t have to oil it!! They are thin, so very easy to store, too. And made in Seattle, Washington!
Electric Espresso Machine – If you get them the best one (assuming they are connoisseurs), yours will be the one they don’t return. Otherwise, I would file this in the “Don’t Buy” category down below. And by best one, I mean Nespresso. If they aren’t that into coffee, don’t buy them a little espresso machine because they will never use it. And it’s a sure bet that they will be gifted a a couple of Keurig machines, so don’t even bother!
Quality Chef Knife – Okay, maybe it’s time to grow up and get a really nice everyday knife or two. Read my “Buying Knives” blog to learn what might work best for your friends. Stray from their wish list if it looks like they don’t know what they are asking for – they will be thankful that you did!
Quality Cookware – If your newlyweds are in search of a nice new set of cookware but aren’t sure what to get, read my “Buying Cookware” blog to get some ideas based off of what type of cooks they are or aim to be! A Le Creuset enameled cast iron oval or round oven will be a treasure they keep and cherish for a lifetime, of course.
Flatware – Flatware can be a touchy subject, so if they’ve chosen something already, stick with it. If they don’t have a preference, the world is your oyster! 18/10 steel is usually standard but not always, so make sure it is!!
Ceramic Dinnerware – Read my “Ceramic Dinnerware” blog for ideas on what brands to consider!
Tea Kettle – A really nice, classic-looking teakettle will last them a lifetime and probably live on their stovetop, so it will always remind them of you! I’m partial to a few by Chantal since they are made from the same material as their cookware, which means they also have a lifetime warranty like the cookware does. The Classic model has a timeless look but more importantly, a Hohner harmonica whistle, which just sounds beautiful when the water’s ready! I also like the Loop kettle because the trigger to lift the lid is in the handle.
Soda Stream – This is a fun gift that they probably wouldn’t think to ask for, and it’s not quite made it to the “Don’t Buy” list just yet. I’m sure in another decade that will change, but for now, get them something that’s a fun treat! Make sure to get a sample pack of flavors if you can!
Ice Cream Maker – most couples get 3-6 of these per wedding. I’m not kidding! Whenever I did bridal registry returns there was always at least one, or else they’d mention they had to return one to a competitor store, haha!
Waffle Maker – see “Ice Cream Maker”
…and like I mentioned above, pretty much any single-use “fad” appliance is probably just going to sit in a cupboard unused. Unless you know they want it!!
Keurig – I already explained this above, if they are a coffee connoisseur, impress them with a Nespresso machine. Otherwise, forget about coffee and look for something else!