5 Splurge Worthy Kitchen Gifts (for yourself, of course)

gift guide

Today I’m sharing 5 of my most prized kitchen possessions, the tools that I use constantly. They’re what I call smart splurges…they make me happy and have paid for themselves so many times over. They make me a better cook, too, which makes them priceless 🙂

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I can’t be the only one who indulges in presents for myself, right? I work hard every holiday season to see that everyone gets what they want, has what they need, and enjoys an all around wonderful few weeks. I figure I deserve a perk or two after that, no guilt happening here.

Fyi, these are affiliate links, meaning I get a very small commission from any sales, but your price is the same. As always, I recommend products I know and love. Shoot me any questions you have in the comment section.



Breville Countertop Pizza Oven

It’s a definite spluuuuuurge, but we are having such fun with it, and the pizza is truly amazing. It’s giving us lots of excuses to get together (safely) with those in our limited ‘bubble’, and we’re having a blast coming up with themed pizza nights. The pizza is seriously incredible and cooks in 2 minutes flat. (I’ll be posting recipes soon.)

According to Breville “it’s the first domestic countertop oven to hit 750°F and cook an authentic wood fired style pizza in 2 minutes.” We can attest, it really does what they say, and if you love pizza, you might want to consider it.

PS it’s on sale right now!

Breville Pizza Oven


Vitamix Blender

The Vitamix is one of those kitchen tools that you don’t know you need until you get one. It does things no other appliance can do, and it does it all so fast. I’ve had a Vitamix for many years, but this year I’m upgrading to this Ascent Series machine. I love that it has a shorter profile so it fits under the cabinet. It also accommodates smaller jar attachments for smaller jobs like quick salad dressing or small batches of peanut butter or hummus.

Speaking of hummus, I was never able to achieve truly silky hummus until I made it in the Vitamix. It makes homemade oat flour and almond milk in seconds. It purees apple butter and cranberry butter like nobody’s business. It’s just a joy to use.



Vitamix Blender




Full Sized Cuisinart Food Processor

A Cuisinart food processor was probably the first real kitchen tool I ever owned, and it’s been with me my entire culinary life. (I’ve only ever had 2 of them ~ they really last.) It’s my desert island kitchen tool, for sure. I make sconespie crust, biscuits, and bread dough in it. I puree soups, and sauces, shred broccoli and Brussels sprouts for slaw, potatoes for latkes, and cheese for hot cheese dip. I whip up the silkiest sweet potatoes ~ and it’s my new favorite way to make buttercream frosting and cheesecake.

If you want to purchase one tool for a new cook, this would be the one.



Cuisinart food processor




Le Creuset Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Is Le Creuset worth the money? I definitely think so. I’ve used other, cheaper brands many times and they’re ok, but they don’t stand up to wear and tear like Le Creuset. You’ll use it to bake bread, and make soups, stews, and pot roast.

It’s kind of like serial dating versus marriage: when it comes to a heavy enameled cast iron Dutch oven, you really only need one in the kitchen, so pick a color you love, this one will be with you for life.

Le Creuset Dutch Oven




KitchenAid Stand Mixer

This is the real deal. A gleaming KitchenAid mixer on your counter is a sign that you’ve arrived as a cook. I find myself buffing mine like a sports car, lol.

Fyi it’s heavy duty ~ so if you’re on the petite side or haven’t been working those biceps, you might have trouble hefting it around your kitchen. I suggest choosing a spot for it to live permanently.

This is for the bakers out there. If you don’t bake you can do without it, but for the rest of you, this is the little red corvette of kitchen appliances. It does everything from whipped cream and marshmallows to perfect pound cake and cranberry buttercream.

And did I mention it’s gorgeous?

kitchenaid stand mixer





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    Leave a Reply

  • Reply
    December 2, 2020 at 9:35 am

    Have the Vitamix, food processor, and Kitchenaid. But what I am giving for Christmas this year is the Alligator chopper! Introduced to my daughters and they love it!

    • Reply
      December 2, 2020 at 9:58 am

      Haha, I wanted to put that on this list but didn’t think it fit the splurge category, but it goes without saying, that’s my top pick for a kitchen gift!!

  • Reply
    December 2, 2020 at 6:06 am

    I’ve been wanting a Vitamix for a long time. I have all the other’s when I got my Le Creuset 10 years ago (red) I made Julia Childs Beef Bourgeon and it turned out awesome!

    I made your chocolate cake with the cranberry buttercream for Thanksgiving it turned out great!

    • Reply
      Bernice Escobar
      December 2, 2020 at 6:07 am

      Oh don’t have the pizza oven, no room, LOL!

    • Reply
      December 2, 2020 at 6:08 am

      Yay Berni ~ so glad the cake was a hit.

  • Reply
    Shelley O
    November 30, 2020 at 9:28 pm

    I’ve been trying to decide between the KitchenAid pro and the Ankarsrum. I hadn’t heard of that latter one until a few days ago, doing research. I have a smaller KitchenAid which I love, but it looks like the Ank can do 20 cup flour bread doughs. I keep vascillating back and forth between the two.

  • Reply
    Susan R
    November 30, 2020 at 3:21 pm

    Loved reading about your 5 items. I have been following you for a few years and actually just made your Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream today. It really does taste like Pumpkin Pie.
    I have a couple of the Le Creuset Dutch Ovens in ranging sizes. They are workhorses that clean up so easily.
    Also, have the Kitchen Aid mixer. It is hefty! I use it as part of my weightlifting routine!

    • Reply
      November 30, 2020 at 6:28 pm

      Haha, you must be pretty buff Susan, I struggle!!

      • Reply
        Susan R
        December 1, 2020 at 11:06 am

        If I am going to bake and eat all of these sweet treats, then I am going to have to put in the time working out, right?!?

  • Reply
    November 30, 2020 at 3:13 pm

    Over the years I have acquired most of these and use them on a regular basis. I love my Cuisinart Food Processor but can’t figure out how to clean the top so I don’t have what I can only assume is black mold tucked into spot I can’t reach. I end up sending a bleach water solution through the slits on the top on a fairly regular basis which can’t be good for the seal but takes care of the black crud. How do you clean yours?

    • Reply
      November 30, 2020 at 6:29 pm

      Do you put yours in the dishwasher? I do and don’t have that problem.

      • Reply
        December 3, 2020 at 2:56 pm

        I don’t and have been concerned about how the plastic would do with the heated dry cycle. Sounds like I should give it a try and see how it does.

  • Reply
    November 30, 2020 at 12:43 pm

    Last week I was getting ads from WS for the Pizza oven, at that time it was 799,99 not it is up to 1,000.00. Wait until after Christmas and the price will go back down.

    • Reply
      November 30, 2020 at 3:04 pm

      I know, I saw that it went down that low and I was on the phone to my sister to recommend she grab it. I’m guessing it will come down again.

  • Reply
    November 30, 2020 at 11:05 am

    I have the alligator chopper on my list this year! Otherwise, I’ll just buy myself a gift.

  • Reply
    November 30, 2020 at 9:10 am

    Luckily (or wisely?) my husband and I have acquired all of these items over the years. They are workhorses indeed. This year for Christmas I’ve purchased an Aerogarden.com for my husband (and me, of course). We love to use fresh herbs in our daily cooking and he always wants some as a garnish to make our main meal photo-worthy. You might want to add this to your list?!
    p.s. we’ve also purchased the pasta and grinder attachments for our KitchenAid.

    • Reply
      November 30, 2020 at 10:47 am

      I’m so interested in the Aerogarden Shelley, that might go on next year’s list if I get one. I also want to get a pasta machine that does everything from mixing to extruding (have I mentioned I’m a lazy cook?)

  • Reply
    Mary Anna Van Gordon
    November 30, 2020 at 7:16 am

    The Kitchen Aid stand mixer I have dates to about 1976. It is a lovely heather avocado green and works like it is brand new! I have only had to replace the dough hook and the paddle attachments due to the chipping of the white coating–otherwise they were perfectly usable. I love this machine and use it regularly. Can’t beat quality!!

    • Reply
      November 30, 2020 at 7:18 am

      I love my stand mixer and to this day I get a little thrill out of watching it do all the work for me while I enjoy a cup of coffee!

  • Reply
    Joyce Wills
    November 30, 2020 at 7:10 am

    Hi Sue, I read you every day! Such good recipes and ideas. I live in Ontario Canada, not far from Ottawa…long snowy winters and indoor meals. Could you do a series on potatoes, kinds, what to cook for e special dish, keeping them. And can they be canned [preserved] like other veggies?
    thanks Sue… Joyce

    • Reply
      November 30, 2020 at 7:19 am

      Interesting suggestion, I’ll think about that Joyce, thanks!

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