With food so central to the holidays, the festive period practically revolves around the kitchen. Read on if you're looking for a gift that's a little out of the ordinary and won't break the bank.
A lock for the cookie jar (starts at $49). Know someone trying to lose weight, but not totally ready to abandon cookies or chips. Time for a kSafe, a container that locks. You set the time for it to open and no one, not even you, can crack it. Lock those calories away!
Stick that phone or tablet on the cabinet door ($6). If you find recipes online, you either have to print them out or inconveniently prop up your tablet or phone so you can follow the instructions. Started a Kickstarter campaign, NanoHold adds a suction layer to the back of your device, allowing you to temporarily stick it to a cabinet, refrigerator door or other flat surface.
Perfect mixing ($50). Some people are naturals when it comes to tending bar. For the lesser skilled, consider Perfect Drink. You get a scale, cocktail shaker, and a cord that plugs into your smartphone or tablet (Google Android or Apple iOS) a wireless device is also available. Download the free app, pick one of the drinks, and put the shaker or a glass on the scale. Add ingredients as instructed. The app will check the weight and tell you when you're done with each. Shake, pour and imbibe.
Chilled drinks, no melting ($25/pair whiskey glasses, $35/pair beer glasses). People who like their beer and spirits (or non-alcoholic drinks) cold but undiluted might enjoy the Rabbit freezable glasses, in both tall and short sizes. Double-walled borosilicate glass, which is resistant to thermal shock, houses a liquid that freezes. A silicone base takes some of the chill off your hands and acts as a built-in coaster. Keep the glasses in the freezer and then take them out, add your beverage of choice and let it sit for a few minutes until your drink is at temperature.
French press coffee to go ($30). A French press will brew a better cup than what you'll find at most coffee chains. Add coarse-ground coffee, hot water and let it steep a few minutes; then simply depress the plunger. But if you're traveling, here's a better approach: the presse by bobble. It's a travel mug with an insert that serves as the press plunger. Add the coffee and water, wait three minutes, and then fit a micro-filter at the bottom of the press along with the the silicone travel top. Down it goes and up comes with water with no grounds at all. The mug, through triple insulated walls, remains cool to the touch and the coffee hot for hours.
Label those containers ($40). A labeler is one of the least appreciated -- but most useful -- gadgets you can have in a kitchen. Slap them on containers of staples or leftovers, on shelves to help organize, or anywhere else you need a prompt. Brother's PT-D210 creates water-resistant labels the company claims can go in the dishwasher. With 14 fonts, hundreds of symbols and many pre-designed templates, start marking up your world.
Bring on the music ($30 and up). Now that you have that smartphone or tablet stuck to a kitchen surface, you might want to play some music. Altec Lansing's Mini H20 speaker connect to your device via Bluetooth. Get up to six hours of play on a battery; plus, it's waterproof and floats, in case your kitchen karaoke sends the sound into the sink.