This Tofu is to Die For!

This tofu is to die for!  Really?  I’ve never heard anyone say that before.  Has anyone ever heard that in all the history of tofu-dom?  I’ve heard of dishes with tofu in them that were to die for…. good pad thai comes to mind, but tofu in and of itself?  It certainly caught my attention when a new friend told me that her sister’s recipe for baked tofu was to die for.  When I told her I admired but was a bit dubious of this description of tofu, we decided that a great way to cement the friendship and get to know each other better was to have a cook-off to share and make some favorite recipes together.

Bearing the ingredients to make vegan parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese-y ball (also vegan), roasted (no stank) broccoli and some pre-made nut butter bliss balls, Mr. Bigg Sis, My favorite Son and I set off for our friend’s house where they would try to kill us with tofu.  What can I say, we like to live life on the edge…. (Don’t say you aren’t impressed ’cause I can feel it from here!)

Little did we know that our friends were not only treating us to baked tofu but oysters (clearly not vegan, but oh so fabulous).  Everyone rolled up their sleeves and got to work – with My Favorite Son making spiral potatoes, Mr. Bigg Sis shucking oysters with Mr. Host and me baking deadly tofu with Ms. Host.  Luckily for all of us the soy-based suspense was limited as Ms. Host already had a batch of baked tofu in the oven so we didn’t have to wait long to try the dangerous dish.  It was in fact delicious!  Everyone in my family agreed and we happily munched slabs of tofu while preparing all of the other delicacies I mentioned above.

What a lovely way to get to know people better.  We had a great meal, lots of laughs and learned some new favorites.  Ms. Host and I concluded that the generous amount of onion powder in the recipe is very important to the success of the baked tofu, or as she stated in her love for this tofu, “I think it’s the onion powder that makes this stuff like crack to me.”  Another tofu statement for the books…. or the blog!

I give you, straight from Ms. Host’s sister Nancy:

To Die For Baked Tofu!

3, 16 ounce packages of Firm or Extra Firm Tofu
1 cup flour (we used GF)
1 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 Tbsp Lawry’s seasoned salt
2 Tbsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1 Tbsp wheat bran (we left this out to be GF)
1 stick vegan margarine or butter (1/2 cup) melted (we used Earth’s Balance Vegan margarine)

Mix dry ingredients together with fork. Have melted margarine / butter in saucepan on stove over low heat.

Drain tofu on a cotton cloth, & slice each block into 1/4 inch thick slices. Dip each piece of tofu in melted margarine/butter and remove it from saucepan with spatula.

Place into breading mixture. Coat thoroughly in breading mixture.

You can use a fork to scoop breading over the tofu, and then place on cookie sheet that has been greased with olive oil. When cookie sheet is full, pour any leftover melted margarine/butter over tofu pieces. Bake at 375 on the lowest shelf of the oven for 1 hour, turning after 1/2 hour. (If breading has not quite adhered to tofu, after 1/2 hour, just cook about 10 minutes longer before turning.)

Watch it towards the end of the hour as it is much tastier when still just a little crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Don’t overcook! Baked tofu keeps well in fridge, can be frozen and makes great sandwiches.

Enjoy!  Preferably with new friends 🙂

Quick Quinoa, Beans and Salsa

Biggest Bro created a long running dinner favorite in my household which consisted of brown rice, black beans, salsa & cottage cheese.  (This is incredibly fast and easy if you use leftover rice and canned beans.)  Both my fellas always liked this but when that dang doctor told Mr. Bigg Sis not to eat dairy anymore, this one fell off the radar.  (Actually we are very grateful to that doc because Mr. Bigg Sis is much healthier since we ditched the dairy…, but it DID get in the way of some of our fast favorite dishes!)

Now the Sis Sisters usually just replace, substitute, re-vamp and redundify ;-), but none of the vegan cheeses we have tried with this concoction brought the same level of enthusiasm… until now that is.  So I’m going to share one of those annoying recipes that gives you ingredients, but no amounts.  I am usually not irritating…. Okay, Little Sis reads this and I could be very irritating when we were children…. Okay, maybe not just then…. can we just move on from the irritating thing now?

I am giving you only ingredients because this is a “put out the ingredients and let each family member put together their own perfect combo” recipe.  I know my 15 year old loves this concept, and only requires a reminder that there does need to be a reasonable amount of veggies in his bowl.  I love it because it is a little easier for both clean up and preparation.

At any rate, Quinoa takes about 15 minutes to cook once the water boils, and in that time the rest of the ingredients were prepared and then – oh yum!


1) Cook quinoa according to package directions

2) Kale sauteed in olive oil, garlic and cumin seed
Get your clean kale greens ready (I used about 3 big handfulls)
Heat about 2 tsp of oil
Add a minced or pressed clove of garlic and 1/2 – 1 tsp cumin seed
Once garlic and cumin seeds are fragrant, add kale and stir
After kale looks darker green and shiny, add about 1/4 cup water and place cover on pan
to steam
Turn off heat


3) Offer vegan parmesan
1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 – 1 tsp salt
Blitz these ingredients in the blender – don’t go too long or you will create seed butter!

4) Drain and rinse can of black beans (or kidney beans – or whatever beans you have)
Heat the beans up a little so they don’t cool everything else down.

5) Open containers of salsa 😉



We will be having this again… So easy and perfect on a busy night when you don’t want to spend much time cooking.

Sugar Back on my Back and the easiest ‘Sweet’ Treat Ever!

It does seem to happen every year.  After the holiday season the bar has been reset and my sugar problem has started creeping back in on me.  It never gets back to the days of eating multiple fireballs each day and spending my entire allowance on candy, but it is a slippery slope my friends and I am thinking that like the Grinch, my little dog Maxx needs to grab the back of my shirt and pull hard.

Little Sis and I did a whole series called Sugar Busting chronicling and encouraging our journey (and perhaps yours) to reduce sugar, but it appears to be a life long battle with hills and valleys / highs and lows / fruit and pixie stix…. Gag, but I did love pixie stix back in the day.

I may be beyond the temptation of Pixie Stix but the amount of dark chocolate I eat has been creeping up, along with a penchant for bottled sweet salad dressing and the ‘need’ for something a little sweet after meals.  And it’s not just weight and cavities that are cause for concern.  A link has been found between sugar consumption and heart disease regardless of the quality of the rest of a person’s diet. And there are other health issues with

As we preach in Baby Steps to Better Health: A Guided Journey to Healthier Eating, I am trying to cut back and replace that chocolate (and okay some baked goods as well!!) with something healthier that fits the bill.  If I totally deny that sweet craving I’m likely to go back to the chocolate with a vengeance!

Enter my 15 year old son who although he is becoming a bit more rebellious lately where Mom’s food offerings are concerned, he is helping me out!  As part of our rule that one must have a piece of produce prior to eating a less healthy snack (P.E.P. – pre-emptive produce – also in the book), he often chops an apple, sprinkles on a bit of cinnamon, pops it in the microwave for a few minutes and presto – pie filling type dessert that is warm and wonderful and has no added sugar.  I added a few broken up walnuts so the snack would fill me up longer.  Fabulous.  I ate it.  I felt satisfied and able to pass up the chocolate…

As for cutting back, I have stopped taking dark chocolate in my lunch bag….. too easy to eat too much of it.  And who says I need a piece of chocolate to get through the afternoon, anyway?  I don’t.  After all, the best reward and motivator is to treat my body with respect and reward myself with health.  A little bit doesn’t hurt, but I know when I am slipping down the slope.  And when I notice or have trouble remembering the real rewards, I go back to sugar busting and baby stepping.  Eventually I am back on track.

Here’s a photo of the apple…. good luck to you if you have a sugar monkey on your back.  It is possible to let the monkey get back to the trees, so hang in there.



Teriyaki Roasted Broccoli

The search continues for broccoli that both My Boy (er… young man…. almost 15!) and I both like.  Mr. Bigg Sis is not at all picky, (one of his many fine qualities), but ever since I was pregnant with My Young Man broccoli has fallen to the bottom of my vegetable list.  But it is SO very good for you that I simply can’t forget about it.  I have roasted broccoli before to good effect, but My Young Man was not sold on plain roasted broccoli.  He does love Asian flavors however and perhaps the combo of flavor and roasting would please us both!

I decided to try a teriyaki sauce and a google of said delicacy led me quickly to an easy version from

2/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup cooking sherry
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 clove garlic, minced

I cut the sugar in half and used vermouth instead of sherry because I recently substituted vermouth for madeira and figured that would work here as well.  I also used granulated garlic because I was out of fresh, but normally would definitely opt for fresh whenever possible.

To make teriyaki broccoli, preheat oven to 400.  Cut broccoli in bite sized chunks.  Mix teriyaki sauce and toss  with broccoli.  don’t over do the amount of sauce.  It should be a light coating on the broccoli.  Pour onto a baking sheet and roast for about 15 minutes – checking at 10 minutes for your preferred level of done-ness / tenderness.


The brown you see on the broccoli is teriyaki sauce sunk in – not burning.

And if you are chopping and roasting, might as well throw in a pan of red potatoes cut in fry-like shapes, and roasted with oil, salt and pepper.  For me, I then know that My Young Man will enjoy something on the plate!

I also had some chicken and doused that with teriyaki and baked at 400 for about 15 minutes.  One oven, 3 dishes, reduced stank, happy eaters.  My Young Man says this is the best way he has ever eaten broccoli (although he still wouldn’t choose it over potatoes).  Any positive comment about broccoli is a very welcome thing and noted as a success!


Other broccoli dishes?

Broccoli Meatballs
Vegan Broccoli Cheese Soup
Broccoli Burgers
Bok choy & Ginger & Broccoli

And just in case you are new to our blog…. We can help you meet your goals to eat healthier and feel better.   Follow our gentle, sensible “Baby Steps to Better health: A Guided Journey in Healthier Eating”  Great for you or someone you love 🙂



Flop to Fantastic in 1 Broccoli-Laden Burger Bite

We Sis Sisters can’t seem to leave well enough alone.  Little Sis is an inveterate messer-arounder of recipes and I frequently stray from the written path myself.  But I recently had a hankering for a straight from the recipe veggie burger and I couldn’t decide between Little Sis’ incredible Nutshroom Burgers and the Broccoli Meatballs that made the year end list…. which I have never tried.  Shame on me for never trying Broccoli Meatballs.  I thought I could burgify those balls, which hardly counts as recipe tampering, but couldn’t get the nutshroom burger taste out of my mind.  AND I had 2 heads of broccoli because Mr. Bigg Sis and I both acquired broccoli a day apart without revealing the haul…. (poor communication plagues modern hunter gatherers it would seem).

So of course you see where this is heading…. Recipe meddling and a ‘Get your chocolate out of my peanut butter’ moment had arrived…. The result I was hoping would be a new combination even be better than the originals.

Well at first I thought, no – what a flop!  Literally.  These burgers are too wet.  I couldn’t flip or flop them tidily after baking for 30 minutes.  But having poured some expensive ingredients and invested in actually eating dinner that night I decided patience was in order.  So I reached way down deep to find the little tiny pieces of patience that exist somewhere in the rather un-necessary organs like my appendix or gall bladder and managed to let these babies cook another 20 minutes or so.  The result?  A tougher outside that allowed for flipping (and another 10 minutes of baking) and a tender inside that remained tender for the leftover burger taken to work 2 days later on a whole grain bun.  Wow these things rock and pack a powerhouse of nutrition.  Truly tasty and packed with broccoli.  Nothing wrong with that.

One could probably speed up the cooking by adding some oats or something, but I don’t think I will mess with this concoction.  I will just make them on a weekend when there is lots of time for them to sit in the oven….. and eat them all week!

A name for this glorious combination?  Nutshroom Broccoli Bombs?  Brocshroom Burgers.  Beats me.  I just call them ‘Broccoli Mushroom Patties THAT ROCK’

1 cup chopped onion (I used sweet onion)
1 large clove garlic
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
salt to taste
1/2 tsp. rosemary
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
2 Tbsp Bragg’s liquid aminos (or soy sauce)4 cup broccoli cut into chunks and steamed or nuked still soft but not mushy (if you use bits of stem, cook that longer)
1/2 cup almond butter

Pre-heat oven to 350
Saute onions and garlic in a little oil until translucent.  Add mushrooms and any broccoli stem you might be using.
Cook until mushrooms are shriveling and even a little browned if you can be that patient
Add salt, rosemary and liquid aminos
Stir and saute another 5 minutes or so.
Pulse the cooked broccoli in a food processor to make small but not mush
Remove and place in mixing bowl with flaxseed and almond butter
Pulse the onion mixture in the food processor.  This should be pretty mushy.  Make sure you get all the scrapings from the pan.
Add to the mixing bowl and mix together
I used a big flat wooden spoon to shplunk patty type dollops on parchment paper on a baking sheet
Bake for 30 minutes or until firm enough to flip


Bake until firm on both sides but still soft in the middle.
Have people try it without telling them what it’s made of.  Or take the Calvin approach (from Calvin & Hobbes) and tell your children it is monkey brains.  Mine would be more interested in that than anything that contains broccoli.

I don’t really care what these contain….. okay that’s not true.  I’m thrilled they are full of wholesome ingredients because I will be eating a lot of them!  Have you eaten your broccoli today?  😉


The Pantry’s Year in Review

It’s been a big year for both of us. Moving, new jobs, new schooling, new music, new friends and finally, a new book in print. We are so very pleased and proud to have completed the print version of Baby Steps to Better Health: A Guided Journey in Healthier Eating. What a long and wild ride it has been and even though we now live 18 minutes apart (wahoo!) rather than 12 hours, we still really enjoy sharing with each other and with you. We hope your year has been satisfying, fulfilling, and challenging in all the right ways.

Here’s what you’ve told us, by the sheer virtue of repeated clickery, you just couldn’t get enough of in 2015.

The Top 10 of 2015

Well-Being#10. 2015: A Year of Well Being

A series of thoughts about self-care, at which I am still a sub par performer, but I am working at it. This piece lays out 3 goals, and I’ve actually made at least modest progress on 2. I feel pretty good about that. Need to give your own self-care some thought? Take a look.

#9. We Did It! Our Book is Finally Ready!

Here is the post introducing said book. We are so proud and relieved to have completed it and are so very honored that you are interested. Thank you.

#8. Weekly Meal Plan 2/16-2/22/2015

The real fun of looking back at old meal plans is remembering what was going on and seeing how clearly the food reflects that. This week is full of warming comfort food, so if you’re somewhere where it is NOT 70 degrees like it is here right now, this meal plan is a good one for you.

#7. Weekly Meal Plan 4/27-5/2

This meal plan is full of quick and easy dishes. This post also reveals the early days of my kitchen cabinet refinishing project. Guess what I just finished TODAY, eight months later. HOW, how, how, you may ask did I take that long? Folks in other areas may not be familiar with the armpit that is summer in the mid-Atlantic. Hot and humid do not good finish drying make. So I did the tops in Spring, took a break for summer, and did the bottoms this fall. If you’ve got a kitchen project going, this plan will help you get the food done quickly and easily even amongst disarray.

#6. Three Sisters Savory Cobbler

Just made this dish last week and loved it loved it loved it again. Apparently you all enjoyed it too. Warm and hearty, full of vegetable-y goodness and there’s breading on top. Really, what’s not to love? Mr. Little Sis and I have a long standing love affair with pot pies and this dish really scratches that itch in such a wonderful way. Give it a try. I bet you’ll love it too.


#5. (OMG) GF Fudgy Mocha Pudding Cake

Bigg Sis gives a really enticing review of the fabulous Angela Liddon’s Mocha Pudding Cake recipe. This one is a true winner, regardless of whether or not you eat gluten, milk, or any of the other things that are NOT in this cake. Bigg Sis and I really do like our sweets, and we like them best just about like this. Thank you Angela Liddon. Chocolate cake fans, look no further.

#4. Weekly Meal Plan 3/16-3/22

A meal plan from a glorious time when Bigg Sis was visiting, which she can do a WHOLE lot more now!! This is a standard meal plan in the sense that it mixes things that adults like with foods approved by Miss Picky Pants. A St. Patrick’s Day nod and moving on.

#3 Broccoli Meatballs. Really? Yes, Really.

I admit that it takes a special kind of person to be intrigued by the words “broccoli meatballs.” Can I just tell you that I am delighted that I am not the only person who is special in this particular way? I have always been a broccoli fan, which I suspect is indicative of everything that is strange about me. These particular brassicas are the under appreciated hero of the vegetable world. Give them a try, especially if you’re a broccoli fan.

#2. Weekly Meal Plan 1/19-1/25

This post has a lot to say about why meal planning is a great idea – and the reasons are the ONLY reasons I, an extremely poor planner, continue to do it. Meal planning saves me 1) money (I am seriously cheap at times), 2) trips to the store (while cheap I am terrible at staying on list so any trip will be more expensive than it should be), and 3) concerns and effort during the part of the day when I am often needed for other tasks like nagging the crap out of my children. That’s good enough for me. Plan follows…

And our #1 post of last year… yet another meal plan. Seems you guys like that I’m compelled to continue doing this. 😉

#1. Weekly Meal Plan 1/5-1/11

Maybe it was the favorite because it was early in the year, New Year’s Resolutions and all. Don’t misunderstand me, it’s a nice plan. Truthfully, they’re all nice plans, especially when you get to 5 pm and you realize you already sorted all that crap out and now all you have to do is cook it. I am ever so grateful to your attention to these posts so that I can continue to have this moment.

So there it is, the big wrap up. It’s hard to believe yet another new year will soon be upon us. If you’re a resolutions person, here’s hoping at least one of those is to eat well and be well friends.


Weekly Meal Plan 12/14-12/20

Things sure are heating up around here… and not just the temperature which was a balmy 70 degrees in Mid-Maryland today. Yep, 70 degrees in December. While it freaks me out in the grand scheme of things, I have to confess to having enjoyed the opportunity to be outside without a big coat and tending to some yard/garden tasks I neglected at their proper time. Strawberries now covered for the winter with leaves from the front yard. Vine that was eating the locust tree is gone. Gardening detritus left on the patio put away. Nice to finish once in a while. Some day I’ll finish the tasks when I actually do them. Maybe. 😉

As for the rapidly approaching holidays, I don’t really want to talk about it because I am totally unprepared. That is all. I meant it; I don’t want to talk about it. I’m not hostile or grumpy (which is new for me at this time of year), but I refuse to dwell on what I haven’t done yet. I’ve penciled in some time tomorrow to do some of it. That’s the new approach. Don’t dwell; just do. While I’m doing, we will be eating, at least between gatherings. So, I guess I’d better get down to planning this thing.

Continue reading

Whole for the Holidays, Part I

WholeHolidaysI’ve been sniffing around and it seems that I’m not the only one who finds the holiday season to be a little more complex than carving a turkey. Facebook memes, jokes, comedy routines, meal planning, decor rearranging, gift buying, house guest preparing are all just the surface aren’t they? Well, maybe not for everybody, but I really do feel safe in saying that there’s a lot there.

Why? Why do the holidays present us with such a wide range of growth opportunities (I would have gladly inserted some profanity here) and how can we best really enjoy them? How do we stay whole for the holidays? There. Simple question. Simple answer coming in the next sentence, post, done. Right? Right…. I’m not going to pretend to have all the answers, but I have done some thinking about it. And in the interest of wellness and an enjoyable rest of the year, I thought I’d share those thoughts with you.

Continue reading

We Did It! Our Book Is Finally Ready!

You do it…..
No you do it…..

You may have heard our Mom jokes before, and of course now that we are ‘all grown up’ we try to leave our long suffering Carni-Mom out of such things, but our book, Baby Steps to Better Health: A Guided Journey in Healthier Eating and this blog, really started out just like that.

I, Bigg Sis, was living in TN, Little Sis was (is) living in MD, and thank goodness for digital communication and one fee phone systems because we talked almost every day on whatever medium was available.  We frequently discussed food and trying to get our kids to eat healthy foods, and our own journeys of slowly changing our diets to try to handle health, energy, weight and vitality issues.

One day, Little Sis said, “Somebody should write a book about this stuff.”
“You should write it,” I replied.
“No you should write it,” she countered…..

After discussing whether or not we were qualified to write such a book we realized that our own experience was valuable and as a nurse and a teacher, maybe we even had some other skills and knowledge to throw into the mix.  So the banter ended with, “We should write it.”

We started with the blog to flesh things out and get our writing joints limbered up, and now, almost 3 years later, some of what is in the blog, plus much more information, organization, coordination, and recipes, we have our book.  If you are a fan of the blog, don’t worry, this is not the end of My Sister’s Pantry.  (We are kind of hooked as well, and now that the book is done, we might even post more frequently.)

At any rate, the book is available on Amazon, complete with lovely art work by Little Sis’ wonderful daughter who is known as “Ms. Picky Pants” or MPP on the blog.  So, yes, we have actually lived the difficulties of getting children to eat more healthfully and have seen wonderful results from the endeavor that go far beyond physical health to include more knowledge, better choices when not monitored and lots of family time in and around the kitchen.  Our lives are forever changed.

We thank you for helping mold this journey and hope that you will consider taking a deeper journey with us through our book (also available as an e-book), or that you will consider sharing the book with someone you love who is seeking change in how they fuel their life.

January 1 is right around the corner and although many heartfelt efforts to engage a healthier lifestyle are born and die every January, perhaps a guide built on experience that encourages and introduces change a baby step at a time will be the tool causing this January’s efforts to endure!

Be well.  Eat well.
The Sis Sisters / Bigg Sis & Little Sis
Lisa & Julia






Top 10 Gifts for an Aspiring Home Cook

Top10CookGiftsEven though I have done very little about my own holiday preparations, I have been fielding questions from people who are actually tending their holiday business. What they want to know from me is what they should get as a useful but satisfying gift for someone who is really getting interested in cooking at home, or maybe even for that person who’s not so interested, but who is really going to be doing some home cooking. I have nieces and nephews who are in that early adult bit of their lives and I often gift them with kitchen bits that I wish I’d had earlier and that will make their lives and caring for themselves (for less money) easier. So with all that said… My favorite recommendations for aspiring home cooks.

#1 Cast Iron Skillet

When I was younger I did not have or use cast iron. I had some inherited teflon nonstick skillets that I used until they were peeling. This, incidentally, did not take very long. While nonstick technology has come a long way since I was in that phase, I can, with years of experience, comfortably suggest that cast iron is both more durable and more healthful. It is also really quite affordable. I have a couple of different sizes of this pre-Seasoned cast-iron skillet from Lodge and have been very happy with them over the years.

#2 Stainless Steel Cooking Utensils

Can I count the number of plastic and/or silicone cooking utensils that have been used/abused and completely demolished through the years? No, and I don’t want to think about it. This is an area where that old sentence “penny wise pound foolish” really holds true. The plastic jobs really are fine for cooking, don’t get me wrong, but you will need to buy another, and another, and another, that is unless you take much better care than I ever have. One set of stainless will go a lot longer and will work great in that cast iron skillet. Why not give a whole set like this one?

#3 Stainless Steel Sauce Pot

We have this stainless steel pot. We got it years ago and we use it for EVERYTHING. It’s a medium size and will handle most jobs that aren’t REALLY big or REALLY small. It’s been in the washer; it’s been dropped. It’s had stuff burned in it. It’s been used for science experiments and I suspect has even had a dog drink from it a time or two. Incredibly useful, incredibly durable. This one is a nice size.

#4 Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls

Having a non-reactive mixing bowl is really critical. Non-reactive just means that the material that the bowl is made of will not react with the food that you put in it, potentially changing the flavor of the food or just leaching stuff into it… yuck. Yeah. yuck. We use both stainless and glass. I prefer the metal ones simply because the glass are SO heavy. This super cool set also comes with lids, so if you need to let something sit, you can slap that lid on it.

#5 Stainless Steel Measuring Cups and Spoons

Again, nice to have non-reactive and these last forever. No more limping along because one part of the set got chewed up in the dishwasher. This set is intriguing because it has a narrower opening, so may be easier to use in containers and such. These spoons have the same advantage.

#6 Nesting Glass Liquid Measures

Yep, those Pyrex babies. We use ours ALL the time. Durable, useful, and if you nest them reasonably easy to store.

#7 Instant Read Thermometer

These are really useful for safe cooking. Temperature is a really great way to tell if things are done. We use ours for bread, baked goods, and when we have big holiday dos. This one seems to fit the bill.

#8 Solid Chef Knife

I absolutely love my Mac santoku chef knife. It’s a little smaller than most, therefore a little lighter, and more manageable. I’ve had it for years and it is absolutely my go to knife for most every knife job.

#9 Durable Paring Knife

We have this Victorinox set. I am shameless and put them in the dishwasher with no apparent ill effects. Takes care of all the little jobs my chef knife won’t handle.

#10 A Great Cookbook

While they include many ingredients I now tend to limit or avoid, I have nothing but great things to say about America’s Test Kitchen cookbooks. I still use mine all the time, making ingredient swaps as I need to in order to suit my own preferences. If you want to help someone learn about ingredients and how to make them work together, The America’s Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook is a great place to start.


Well, there it is. some piece of your holiday shopping all sorted out. Hope you are taking it all in stride. Be well, friends.