Mother’s Day Gift Guide: The Aspiring Chef

Congratulations! Melody (grand prize), The Rhea/Lane Families (giveaway #2), EssEppis (giveaway #3), Susan (giveaway #4), My McDonald Meal (giveaway #5), and Ashley (giveaway #6). I will be emailing you shortly. If you see this before then, go ahead and send me your US mailing address!

I told you I saved the best for last, right? In my opinion anyway. Is your mom an Aspiring Chef? Is she queen of the kitchen? Or maybe she wants to be, but she’s just not there yet. This is the perfect gift guide for her. I didn’t forget the GIVEAWAYS. Here is your chance to win big for mom! Six winners total on this one, and I promise that the products won’t disappoint! Unless you think over $600 worth of prizes is disappointing…

U.S. Wellness Meats is a Missouri-based collective of family farms who have broken with convention to raise animals the way people have for millennia—on lush, green pasture land free from pesticides, hormones and antibiotics. Handing Mom a package of frozen gourmet bacon, free-range chicken breast, ground bison or a filet may not scream “Mother’s Day!” but Mom will be grateful to know that healthier animals, means tastier, better-for-you meat. With E. coli outbreaks fresh in consumers’ minds, Mom will be thankful for meat that skips over the overworked slaughterhouses and is shipped directly to her doors.

Do you really want to spoil Mom this Mother’s Day? A laptop for her kitchen would be an amazing gift for someone who spends a lot of time cooking. Need to look up a recipe from your favorite blog? Or maybe find some information about an ingredient or a substitute? Or maybe your mom is a food blogger and would like to have the flexibility to work in the kitchen where she does the cooking. (hint, hint!) The internet is the ultimate source for information these days. Why not have it at your fingertips? Toshiba has several great models in a range of prices.

The cast-iron skillet is the original gourmet-cooking tool. In The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook, the authors show modern cooks how this inexpensive cast iron tool is the best pan in their kitchen. Fusing new and traditional recipes and gathering farm-fresh produce and ingredients, showing cooks how to make delicious food in this versatile skillet. Recipes include: Succulent Seared Pork Chops with Plum-Mustard-Cornichon Sauce; Dutch Baby (puffed pancake with lemon and powdered sugar); Grilled Prosciutto-Wrapped Radicchio; and Warm Pear Upside Down Cake.

Does your mom like listening to music while she’s in the zone? I know I do! Music also makes cleaning up the aftermath of my creativity a much easier pill to swallow. The iP39 Speaker System for iPhone/iPod is the perfect kitchen companion for iPhone and iPod users, combining sleek kitchen aesthetics and easy-to-clean surfaces with two independent timers and great iHome sound. It’s perfect for listening to cooking show podcasts and following recipe apps.

What mom wouldn’t be thrilled to have beautifully organized spices? For many cooks the spice cupboard is a frustrating mess making it difficult to find what you need when you need it. SpiceCare is a new approach to keeping spices organized and accessible with interlocking containers. The interlocking feature allows you to group spices for the way you cook, and connecting the containers vertically saves loads of space. Quick-flip tops, built-in spoon levelers, and wide openings make SpiceCare quick and easy to use. The stainless steel label clips and black lids give SpiceCare a sleek upscale design aesthetic perfect for modern kitchens.

Truffes.com sells high-end truffle products which make the perfect gift for aspiring chefs. The beginner would probably opt for truffle oils, while the more experienced home cook would be thrilled to use whole truffles or truffle pieces.

Between my wife/mom/home work and my blog/freelance work I am standing quite a bit of the day on hard, tiled floors. By the end of the day my feet and legs feel exhausted. Let Mom know you appreciate all her hard work with one of these Imprint Comfort Mats. They are perfect for reducing Mom’s fatigue, foot, or back pain associated with standing on hard surfaces for extended periods. Mats are made of non-toxic, environmentally-friendly plasticizer to reduce harmful chemicals associated with PVC and phthalates. I kind of wish my entire kitchen floor could feel this good!

Mom will enjoy learning how to incorporate this fragrant herb into fresh and eas
y-to-follow recipes such as Lavender Ginger Lemon Sugar, Strawberries with Lavender Yogurt Cream, Honey Ginger Lavender Lemonade and Roasted Halibut á la Provence . Beautiful photos capture the vivid colors and variety of flavors infused in every recipe, providing moms with a visually pleasing cooking experience. Discover Cooking with Lavender is an ideal gift for seasoned chefs, foodies, novice cooks and lavender and gardening enthusiasts alike. After flipping through this book, I promptly bought two lavender plants for my garden.

The EatSmart Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale is a versatile home appliance. Designed to be highly accurate and aesthetically pleasing, it weighs items up to 11 lbs quickly and accurately, with results displayed in four different units: grams/ounces/pounds/kilograms. For cooks – Weigh food items directly on the scale platform or utilize the scale’s tare (zero) function, which eliminates the weight of a plate or bowl and makes cleanup a snap. This has been such a great too the have in the kitchen. I love how small it is because I can slide it into a drawer right next to the area I use for prep work. It takes the guess work out of cooking and baking when a recipe calls for a certain weight of an item, but you don’t know how much you have.

Dolce Nonna uses only the finest all natural ingredients including the highest quality extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, Sicilian oregano, garlic, spices and produce. Authentic, old-world reproductions of gourmet marinated Agri-Dolce Red Peppers, String Beans, and Eggplant are versatile and flavorful. Surprise Mom a Dolce Nonna Gift Set that includes 3 products, one of each variety, a unique, reusable, three-compartment gourmet bag with window and compartment separator made from natural handmade paper, a dishtowel, wooden spoon and 3 corresponding recipe cards.

Secret Stash provides premium gourmet sea salts to accentuate Mom’s style of cooking. Salts are made of hand-harvested sea salt, rich with minerals and taste of the sea. Secret Stash Sea Salts do not contain artificial flavors, preservatives, or anti-caking agents. Secret Stash Sea Salts sources high-quality components that reflect sustainability and social awareness, using as many local and organic ingredients as possible from Seattle-area farmers markets.

Bring the cooking class to Mom with ChefzTable: a network of professionally trained chefs all across the U.S., who will come into your own home and teach you how to cook! If Mom is looking for a lesson in Italian cooking, she can do that. How about learning cake decorating techniques, she can do that too! The chefs will supply Mom with a shopping list so you are sure to have all the appropriate items when they arrive—and when they leave, you’ll have a fridge full of fabulous food!

In The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook generation-old recipes are woven together with the stories of the women who cook them. Patricia Tanumihardja, an Indonesian Chinese with her own memories of Asian cooking, has documented a number of family recipes, many of them in print for the first time ever, complete with insider tips from the grandmothers she cooked with. The book also features profiles of the women, highlighting the history behind each dish and revealing how cooking factors into the lives of Asian American families. An exhaustive Asian Pantry glossary explains the ingredients, from the many kinds of rice and curries to unfamiliar but flavorful vegetables. There couldn’t be a better cookbook to gift Mom or Grandma for Mother’s Day!

Whether preparing a healthy supper for family or a seven course Thanksgiving meal for close friends, the Chef’s Quad-Timer makes multi-tasking easy with features like an intuitive cook top metaphor to represent the four simultaneous timers. The four colored lamps on the face of the timer visually connect what’s being timed with what’s on the stove. Designed to compliment today’s upscale home kitchens, this unique product features eye-catching form and progressive functionality.

This 14 inch Open Stir Fry Pan from All-Clad is perfect for whipping up a fabulous and healthy stir fry meal for the whole family. The pan features a thick, triple layer disk of stainless steel and 5mm aluminum are permanently bonded to ensure fast and even heat distribution for preparing beef, chicken, pork and stir fry vegetables.
If your mom is an Aspiring Chef, then Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom is a perfect gift to add to her cookbook collection. This volume was inspired by Child’s notebook, compiled from her own “trials, remedies, and errors.” Organized by large category and technique, it’s a very handy reference guide for anyone reasonably comfortable in the kitchen. Largely focused on mastering a technique, each section contains a master recipe followed by variations.
The Dish’s Dish has just released a fun and stylish DVD series called “Culinista Kitchen,” a great fix for busy moms, working moms, or anyone looking for a new time management strategy or for ways to eat healthy on-the-go. In each episode, Mom will learn to simplify and streamline her life. Chefs or Culinistas demonstrate their once-a-week cooking technique, which is all about re-purposing ingredients to keep your grocery bills down! The Culinistas give instructions on how to cook fully customizable, modular, mix-and-match meals in one extended session for the week – ultimately freeing viewers of kitchen duty, allowing them to spend more quality time with their families. These videos would be great for moms who are novices in the kitchen or even for experienced home chefs that wants to learn time-saving tricks.
giveaway2010

Grand Prize (1 winner):

  • Chefz Table Cooking Class for 2 ($180 value)
  • EatSmart Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale
  • Discover Cooking with Lavender
  • Chef’s Quad Timer

Giveaway (1 winner):

  • All-Clad Stainless 14-inch Stir Fry Pan
  • The Asian Grandmother’s Cookbook

Giveaway (1 winner):

  • $75 Variety Pack from US Wellness Meats
  • Cherry Pistachio Salt from Secret Stash Sea Salts

Giveaway Package (1 winner):

  • Dolce Nonna Gift Pack
  • Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom

Giveaway (1 winner):

  • Discover Cooking with Lavender

Giveaway (1 winner):

  • The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook

The Rules:

  • Comment on THIS post by 11:59 pm PST April 27th
  • Anonymous comments: leave your email address and first name in the comments.
  • Random winners will be announced by April 28th. I will notify you via email and you will have 72 hours to respond before I choose a new winner.
  • Contest open to US Residents only.

Extra Entries: Additional entries can be earned by doing any of the following, giving you a total of 5 entries. Leave a separate comment for each of your entries.

  • Tweet about this giveaway. Include @goodLifeEats and a link to the giveaway in your tweet. Leave the link to your Twitter post in a comment.
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  • Vote for me (Katie Goodman) as one of Babble’s Favorite Mom Food Bloggers

Mother’s Day Gift Guide Index

The Baker (Winners posted here)

The Coffee Lover (Winner posted here)
The Health Conscious Mom (Winners posted here)
The Sweet Tooth Mom (Winners posted here)
The Eco Mom (ending 11:59 PST 4/25)
The Edible Gardener (ending 11:59 PST 4/25)
The Wine Enthusiast (ending 11:59 PST 4/26)
The Aspiring Chef