Monday, December 4, 2017

Around the Kitchen + holiday book #giveaway


⛄⛄⛄⛄⛄  Happy Holidays!   ⛄⛄⛄⛄⛄

We have a terrific holiday 
book giveaway for you! 

But first...

What kitchen utensil can’t you live without?

From Daryl:

I use lots of pots and pans, and I love my mini sauté pan, and I adore my 9x9 square pans - I use them all the time - but the one tool I couldn't live without is my food processor. I have a basic Black & Decker (not the fancy Cuisinart kind). It has been with me for a good 20 years. I love how it chops zucchini and carrots for all my hearty gluten-free breads. I've used it to mince nuts and onions for stews and soups. I use it to whirr together flour and butter mixtures for my pastries. It made a huge difference regarding the consistency in some of my cookies and such. It's noisy as all get-out, but I would be lost without it.   😭😰💔


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From: Sheila: If you saw my kitchen area you'd know I have a serious addiction to kitchen gadgets, a lot of them vintage. I agree with Daryl--a food processor is essential, and I burned out the motor of my first one after twenty years and immediately replaced it. But if I were stuck on a desert island (with a food supply, of course), the most important thing I'd want is a really good knife. Too many people slog through life with dull knives that are too big or too small and simply can't be sharpened. Then they wonder why they hate cooking, because it's so hard to slice and dice all that stuff. A good knife needs to be long enough to slice meat or bread, but not so long that you can't peel and apple or a potato. It has to feel right to you, and you have to be able to sharpen it. I bought my first "real" knife in Paris during college (a carbon steel Sabatier with an eight-inch blade) and it served me well for years--with it I cooked that dorm Thanksgiving dinner I mentioned in an earlier post. (P.S. I have a lot more knives now!)



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LESLIE: I'm guessing we all share a love of kitchen gadgets, along with our fondness for food, cooking, and writing cozy mysteries. Mr. Right came to our marriage with a 2-cup Cuisinart chopper; it's no substitute for the big workhorse, but it's great for making pesto, chopping walnuts for muffins, and other quick kitchen tasks. And it's become our go-to wedding gift. A former boyfriend gave me a set of Henckel knives that have served me well for decades. But I am seriously addicted to spatulas and turners. My favorite was a simple Rubbermaid with a curved edge on both sides; it split, and tossing it was painful. I haven't found an exact copy, though I do love the several silicone replacements that have made their way to our kitchen drawers! (A few favorites are pictured, and yes, I do love red!)

Erin speaks for me in this exchange from Treble at the Jam Fest, when she drops in to the music shop in search of clues:
"“’Course, a music guy can never have too many guitars,” Rocco added. “Like Adam and his skis and kayaks.”
Every obsession has its equivalent. Woe to anyone who counted my spatulas."


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FROM PEG:  

Well, there's nothing unique about me, obviously!  I, too, cherish my Cuisinart and, like Sheila, burned out the motor on the first one (first wedding present) and got a new one as a second wedding present!  I also cherish my Sabatier knife with its carbon steel blade like Sheila.  And, like Leslie, I have a mini Cuisinart for chopping herbs and smaller amounts of ingredients.

One truly strange thing that I suppose I could live without but which I use virtually every day is meant for scraping pastry off the counter but I don't think I've ever used it for that.  I use it to scoop up chopped onions, garlic, carrots or whatever item I've chopped to transfer them from the cutting board to the pot on the stove.  It was a first wedding present which means it's now a whopping (hang on while I do the math...) 43 years old!! 


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LUCY: Count me in as a fan of the food processor too. Last year I had my blade recalled--they had discovered the possibility that shards of metal could fly off into the batter or onions or whatever. Quelle catastrophe! I knew it would be a while before I'd receive a replacement, but what to do in the meanwhile? Hand chop everything or risk a few shards? Not telling my answer...

Other than that, the utensil we use all the time is this little grater. It makes beautiful shreds of Parmesan, but also does zesting in an instant. Perfect stocking stuffer!


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KRISTA: I'm so predictable. For me, it would be my handy dandy KitchenAid mixer. It's a bright red, which is fun. But the best part is the power for batters, doughs, and frostings. I use it to make mashed potatoes, too!

Next would be my Thermapen. I went through cooking thermometer after cooking thermometer. Seriously, some of them died after one use! I was wasting $20 to $30 a pop on them, and they never lived longer than a few months. The Thermapen isn't cheap at $99 (look for it on sale), but I use it constantly and it's still alive after five or six years. Plus, it has made a huge difference in the meat I cook. I can be spot on now. No more guessing whether it's cooked to the right temperature. I always use it for steaks. It's dead on. It's useful for candies and frostings, too. Love that thing!

And lastly, I use a cookie spatula a lot. It's softer than other spatulas, almost flexible. The end is super thin to get under delicate items without tearing them. Don't try it on a heavy casserole or you'll end up with a mess, but I love it for delicate eggs (no breaking soft yolks) and cookies.


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LINDA: I love, love, love my hand blender...sometimes called a stick blender, a wand blender or an immersion blender depending on who you're talking to. Whatever, it's my trusty kitchen aid for so many things. I love smoothies, especially for breakfast on the mornings when I'm going to a fitness
class. I just toss the fruit and almond milk into a container, and the blender does all the work. It's also great for my Christmas morning specialty, Norwegian pancakes, which may not be an accurate name but it's stuck after all these years. They're very crepe-like and the blender handles that with panache. I also like that it's red. Krista, I agree, splashes of color are so much fun in the kitchen.



CLEO: Given what we write, Marc and I are often asked what kind of coffee maker we use. Today we can tell you because it's also the gadget we couldn't live without (so to speak)!

We have three coffee makers in our kitchen. The first is our stovetop (Moka Express) espresso maker. The other two are drip coffee makers, which we chose for two reasons. Both are good value for money. And both have a cone-shaped filter (a better choice, for many reasons, than a flat-bottom filter). The larger of our two drip coffee makers is a Cuisinart with a fun retro design. The smaller is the budget-friendly Black & Decker Brew 'n Go, which brews just two cups directly into a thermal mug. We constantly use both of them, and they've held up well to our heavy use. We're not pod users because we're always sampling different beans and blends and prefer to grind the coffee fresh, right before brewing, which truly does give you the best-tasting cuppa Joe!
Cleo's Coffee-Marinated Steak 
For the recipe, click here.
So there you have it, our favorite gadgets, along with a recipe that makes great use of their byproduct: Coffee-Marinated Steak. May you...

Drink and eat with joy!

~ Cleo





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Giveaway

For this December "Around the Kitchen" fun we're giving away to one winner an MLK TOTE BAG plus a BOOK FROM EACH OF US.

Jingle, jingle, JOY! 

Leave a comment about what you're stuffing your stockings with this year, 
and remember to leave your email so we can contact you if you win.



104 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed reading about everyone's favorite gadgets! I could not function in the kitchen without my stirring spoons. A wooden spoon is a must for stovetop cooking, and I have a nylon spoon with a flat edge that is great for stirring roasted vegetables, but my very favorite spoon is called a "melamine oval blending spoon with hole". I use it to stir wet and dry baking ingredients, both separately and then when blending them together (it is an essential tool for my annual fruitcake baking). It is also ideal for stirring pasta while boiling and then when combining the pasta with a sauce. As the name implies, this spoon is meant for blending and it does the job perfectly! Stirring spoons would make great stocking stuffers.

    Also, like Linda, I am a fan of the immersion blender. This appliance is a game changer when it comes to making soups. Did anyone ever actually enjoy pureeing hot soup in batches in a blender before this gadget came on the market? I know I started making soup a lot more often after I got my immersion blender. It would fit nicely into a stocking and would be a great gift for any cook who does not yet own one.

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    1. Cee, I'm not sure how people made all sorts of things without our newfangled gadgets! LOL I love that spoon with the hole idea. Must find. ~ Daryl

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    2. Cee, we love our immersion blender, too -- we call it the whizzy-uppy thing! And yes to spoons as stocking stuffers -- great idea!

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  2. I am also a gadget junkie, have cupboards full. But the thing I use the most is my 10 quart crockpot. It big enough for a huge roast or lots of chili or just about anything. It hardly ever makes it back to the shelf in the garage with the other 6 smaller crockpots. It is in use at least twice a week.

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    1. Lunchlady, wow, you must have a lot of hungry stomachs to fill! And some good recipes. ~ Daryl

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  3. not all of us have stockings because not all of us celebrate Christmas or any other holiday that commemorates stockings. So I can easily say not stuffing stockings. annefitza at yahoo dot com

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  4. Another fun post! I'm stuffing stockings this year with everyone's favorite store gift card. Might seem impersonal, but I assure you it's not. EMS591@aol.com

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    1. Liz, I like gift cards because they can be just the right fit. In the past, I've often picked out the wrong thing, or wrong size, or wrong book. ~ Daryl

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  5. In Mike's stocking he gets an Amazon gift card and a free trip to the dentist..In Brad's he gets carrots, potato chips and new shoes for his big feet. Kathy gets two new tops, a pair of jeans and Chocolates.

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    1. Sue, how do you fit shoes in a stocking? I'm just trying to imagine. :) Love it. ~ Daryl

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    2. For humans I fix tins of homemade candies and cakes. For our three dogs abd cat I fill their stockings
      with their favorite treats and a new toy. It is all fun because I do not like to wrap presents (I use gift bags when needed).
      browninggloria(at) hotmail(dot) com

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  6. My e-mail is. seffichinchilla@outlook.com
    Sue williams

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  7. Books and games are stuffing my stockings. Donamae Kutska U@gmail.com

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  8. I stuffed my hubs's stocking with band aids that have Shakespearean insults on them. Best bandages ever! My address is booknerdcat @ gmail.com

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    1. Oh, that's hysterical! Where did you find them?

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  9. My daughter will have a manicure kit, some small nail polishes, small journal, a pen, a Brach's milk chocolate wedge ball, oranges and other small candy. Our cats will have stuffed stockings: catnip mice, crinkle balls, toys on sticks, cans of food and bags of treats. Thank you for this amazing contest. Happy Holidays!
    debprice60@gmail.com

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  10. The stockings are stuffed with a few personalized items, but all of them include some fancy chocolates and funny toothbrushes. Ours is a dentally aware Santa.
    little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

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  11. Our stockings will be stuffed with things we haven't bought yet. We always try to buy a few stocking suffers for fun.
    Ruthaw_1974@yahoo.com

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  12. with our kids being old enough to not get christmas stockings; we substitute gift cards. I splurged on myself this year with a new air fryer to play around and for healthy eating. gvcv_4paws@mediacombb.net

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  13. Hershey bars and cash. ckmbeg@gmail.com

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  14. We have stockings at work that the boss made for each of our personalities, mine being crazy cat lady! I will stuff them with notepads, lip balm, candy, and wax melts! Tiggerbemy1@gmail.com

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  15. Since we’ve been doing endless home repairs I don’t think the stockings will make it out of the box this year. I’m afraid they’ve been up only for show the past few years.
    patdupuy@yahoo.com

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  16. We give practical and unique items. For winter, lip balm, knit hats, and gloves, and treats. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  17. Loved the discussion as it made me think of all the kitchen gadgets I love, my thin flexible spatula, my ninja chopper, and my microwave steamer. That's probably my top three. Stocking for my grown daughter will have makeup brushes, and husband's I have a cute Michigan shaped wood composed of 3 color natural wood key chain he should appreciate as a carpenter and a family tradition of oranges! patruta.mcghan@gmail.com

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  18. Cute items such as teas, tea spoon rest and biscuits which are lemon flavored. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  19. Linda, we LOVE our immersion blender -- we call it the whizzy-uppy thing!

    And Lucy, a visiting friend helping me with dinner despaired of my box grater, and bought me a micro-plane that looks a lot like your little grater at the local kitchen shop. Love it! It's perfect for zesting, too!

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  20. I can’t do without my Keurig! I am filling my daughter’s stocking with Bath & Bodyworks stuff...candles, soaps, etc. for her house. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity. Kuzlin(at)aol(dot)com

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  21. I'm stuffing my stockings with Amazon Gift Cards, soft socks, and homemade fudge and cookies this year. Thank you for the chance to win this awesome giveaway!
    peggyhyndman(at)att(dot)net

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  22. I'm stuffing the stockings with various gift cards. They're a nice surprise and everyone seems to enjoy them. Thanks for the chance to win!
    mlduffer(at)att(dot)net

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  23. I can’t live without my wooden spoon my mama used and have to me when I got my own place.

    This year the hubby and I are stuffing our stockings with new kitchen gadgets such as measuring spoons and new knives. Plus a few or ten new books!

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    1. Angela, so wonderful that you have your mother's wooden spoon! I've got one my grandmother brought my mother when she came out to visit, by train, after I was born!

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  24. I am stuffing my stockings with some new ebooks. Your giveaway is great. Merry Christmas!��. My email is beturner0418@gmail.com

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  25. I really wish I had a Kitchen Aid mixer, but most of the time my Black & Decker hand mixer works all right -- except that it has 6 settings, but each one seems to be high! I have 2 favorite kitchen tools: my Pampered Chef spatula stirrer and the jar opener I got from Daryl Wood Gerber! Happy Holidays All! bobandcelia@sbcglobal.net

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    1. Instead of stockings, we use gift bags (long story). My daughter's will be filled with socks and lip balm and other little goodies, and my husband does not want one, but that doesn't mean he won't get one! bobandcelia@sbcglobal.net

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  26. We don’t celebrate Christmas so no stockings.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

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  27. Last year I packed up my kitchen because my living situation changed. I hope this next year to have my own kitchen again! These are the items I have missed the most~ good study hot pads. I love the ones my Grandma made. A good spatula & fake wooden spoon. Silpat. Oh Dear! I could go on & on! hgf0211@yahoo.com

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    1. Good sturdy hot pads are a must, Helena. I agree. Those new silicon ones, I'm not so sure about. LOL ~ Daryl

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  28. Hi, Marlene Ezell here. For some reason I can only post as anonymous. So I am just stating my name in the comment.
    I have stockings for my dogsas I have no children. I stuff their stockings with treats and squeaky toys. I also may add a special can of Merrick holiday canned dog food.
    ezellmarlene(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Marlene, how cute to have stockings for your furry friends. Sweet! ~ Daryl (Not sure why Blogger can be stubborn at times!)

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  29. My kiddos get filled with candy and little treats that I don't buy the rest of the year.
    clarksrfun at gmail dot com

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  30. My old fashioned potato masher. Comes in handy to get the kids attention😂

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  31. We have so much "stuff" that it's ridiculous - so we usually give gifts like event tickets, food, etc. that don't take up space! But there's usually a few kitchen gadgets (especially spatulas, which I'm kind of obsessed with) in there, too. :)

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  32. I loved reading the most important tool in each author's kitchen. I love my mixer and use it all the time.
    My kids are adults now so we stopped doing stockings. It was my kid's decision to stop. The holiday season is so expensive and they only get a gift or two now so that no one over spends.
    I use to give them gift cards, candy, and when older, scratch tickets and nip bottles of alcohol.
    scarletbegonia5858(at)gmail(dot)com

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  33. I stuff my daughter's stocking with a book, chapstick, candy, and some jewelry. For my husband, I look for the nerdiest, geekiest cube goodies I can find.

    bloghappy (at) gmail.com (dot) com

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  34. I stuff the stockings with homemade candy & goodies, caramels, caramel corn, cashew brittle & fudge. If they are really nice, they get a new book!! ljbonkoski@yahoo.com

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  35. Like Leslie, I cannot live without a spatula. And we don't do stockings here, but if we did cookies and candies would definitely be included. mbradeen@yahoo.com

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  36. I could not live without my Kitchen Aid mixer as I bake a lot all year long.
    As far as stuffing our stockings, I'm filling them with Hot Wheels and Leggos for my grandsons, warm, fuzzy socks and chapsticks for my daughters and socks for my husband and son-in-law.
    donnaing1@gmail.com

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  37. I have a small chopper and a slicer that I can't live without, but there are so many!

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  38. I always add a care product, like hand lotion to the stockings. Or a little gadget, like a flash drive or phone accessory. This year it will be body lotion and a stand for your phone or tablet.
    Suzieqsb(at)aol(dot)com.

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  39. I have no idea what will go in the stockings this year. I haven’t started yet. suegoster109 at gmail dot com.

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  40. I'm hoping my stocking will have gift cards in it! legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

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  41. I always add Christmas wrapped candy like red and green Hersey Kisses. An orange in the toenid a family tradition too.

    acm05s at Juno.com

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  42. I love our wooden spoons but the dog has eaten half of them.
    For stockings at our house, it's usually gift cards.
    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

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  43. I don't think I could live without my crockpot. I like letting it cook all day for me. Our stockings will contain candy, gift cards, & small bath & body products.
    turtle6422(at)gmail(dot)com

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  44. I like the ricer for mashed potatos. Stockings an aplle an orange tradition from my folks when those were seldom seen fruit and favorite candies magazines books .Candykennedy45@gmail.com

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  45. I finally quit doing stockings - the items kept getting more and more expensive lol. As to gadgets, I have to say my coffee grinder. I make a fresh pot every day of strong, black coffee.

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  46. We've never done stockings---I can't even remember them when I was little. But if we did, I'd want books in mine.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

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  47. No stockings, but am working on personalized cross-stitch ornaments for family & friends. jan_healthandhealing@yahoo.com

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  48. I'm stuffing the stockings with Tervis cups this year, got a good deal on Black Friday and we just love those cups! barbie17(at)gmail(dot)com

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  49. No stockings. I see books in both ( my husband & Mine) of our futures. He like the midnight Texas series.
    kckendler at gmail dot com

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  50. I guess my main utensil is my fat-handled paring knife, although I don't attempt working with my knife before coffee. My children are past the stage of stuffing stockings but we do hang them out. robeader53(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Robin, by random selector, you have won this giveaway. I'll be in contact! Daryl

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  51. No stockings. Everyone will get a book or a bookstore gift card.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

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  52. Usually add some candy, little knickknacks or toys and sometimes a book.
    Capswingsfan @ yahoo dot com

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  53. I usually have found several fun things for stocking stuffers. Last year I found plastic gizmos that flash changing lights when you hit them! A great success.
    This year I am not finding things up to my usual style. Oh well. The kids are grown and the baby is little. Maybe next year.
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

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  54. We don't celebrate Christmas but if we did I'd stuff the stockings with lots of chocolate :-) ellenjbumblebee@gmail

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  55. I love all the gadgets - just the pictures make me want to go shopping - but I end up doing many things manually, maybe because that's how I learned to cook. A couple years ago my husband gave me a variety of colorful kitchen odds and ends that have been very useful and fun.
    Happy Holidays!
    sallycootie(at)gmail(dot)net

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  56. Not that much of a gadget junky, myself. Though I have a few. Okay. More than a few. Though they rarely get used. Prefer to do it the "hard" way. But for stuffing this year. My daughter is getting a yr of BigFishGames. That's one computer game of her choice a month. For everyone else, GC's to their favorite stores. Along with a homemade goodie of their favorite cookie or candy. So I am doing a lot of cooking. Della at deepotter (at) peoplepc (dot) com

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  57. My sister gifted me with my best knives ever from Rada Cutlery made locally here in Iowa. Books have always been the best stocking stuffers, along with oranges & apples. doward1952(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  58. I must say I couldn't live without a good knife, my husband was a butcher for almost 10 years and has all kinds of knife and knife sharpening accessories. And of course I can't live without my hand mixer! I'll be filling stalkings with chocolate, and white chocolate goodies and of course I always get a cozy mystery or two!

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  59. I am getting flashlights, candy, and money. centraleast2 at gmail dot com

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  60. I loved reading about everyone's gadgets. I am putting books, bookmarks and gift cards along with some chocolate in our stockings this year. Lisamil46@gmail.com

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  61. I couldn't live without my Keurig coffee maker. For stocking stuffers I'm giving books, Chapstick, jewelry and Amazon gift cards.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

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  62. For my nephew and sister, I usually put a gift card in their stocking, sometimes some fun Christmas socks or hand sanitizer. One of the gifts my mother always put in our stockings was a new toothbrush, so I am carrying on that tradition. cking78503(at)aol(dot)com

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  63. We couldn't live without our old apple peeler it just makes life so easy and gets to the core in no time that way we can get the skins in the pressure cooker for the cats then the apples for the pie and the cores go to compost. Just love it. ptclayton2@aol.com

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  64. I have to say there is one kitchen tool I love. It is my mother's old metal grater. I just love it. I will be stuffing a stocking for my sweet dog Tyler with toys and treats. Thanks for the chance to win. kayt18 (at) comcast (dot) net

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  65. Since we are downsizing I have given away items I should have hung on to, but I have found a way to get around the things I miss. The one that I miss the most is my big Kitchen Aid Mixer. My small kitchen now I would not have room for it. But I still find a way to bake to give as gifts. I love to bake. Love reading all your books. bobbiejv@comcast.net

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  66. Well, I'm hoping for a gift card from my bookstore, some scratch off lotto games and a card deck.

    ingakaye(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  67. My favorite kitchen gadget is my hand held immersion blender. Wanted one for years and them my sister n law's mom was selling hers. LOVE LOVE LOVE it! :) Thanks Cleo Coyle I too love your books and am looking forward to the new one. Hugs & Happy Holidays

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  68. I’m putting LESS in my stocking this year. The big item is less of me. Through lots of education on low carb cooking, I’m losing weight.
    I have less kitchen stress when mindful cooking puts me in a place of gratitude for each moment.
    Less judgement toward myself with cooking mistakes, allows me more cooking creativity.
    Less mind chatter allows me to see out the kitchen window-the beauty of trees, sky , gardens, and the busy birds.
    Lastly, with less, I have more to experience the exquisite joy of life.
    sue@irandpcorp.com

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  69. These days I’m cooking in a shared kitchen with other family members. My favorite kitchen helper? My daughter’s large mixer. Great for mixing up cookies or brownies or whipping cream. All gluten-free of course! Stockings for grandkids? Gift cards for the older kids. Younger kiddos still like play dough, bubbles. Always a tangerine in the stocking ‘s toe! Lldawnjm (at)gmail (dot) com. Happy Holidays

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  70. I love this post! As for stocking stuffers this year, my daughter is in a diy slime and bath bomb phase so I'm doing bathroom fun things mostly with those blind bag mysteries that are so popular. My husband is getting silly games and some snacks. Oh and everyone gets socks in their stocking every year at our house! Merry Christmas! Awilcox1182@gmail.com

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  71. I don't have any kids to fill stocking for.But I did just bought a new red can opener,red toaster and a new indoor grill so I can cook steaks and not have to do it in the freezing cold on the outside grill.. mekachew@keromail.com

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  72. For the adults lottery scratch tickets and candy. For the kids little toys from the Dollar store and candy. Deenserdee@gmail.com Deena Resnickoff Merry Christmas to all you wonderful ladies. Your writing fills my days with such joy. I'm trying to recover from some awful things that happened to me and reading makes me so happy.

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  73. Stocking stuffers at my house will be candy and gift cards. Thanks for the chance.
    im2early4u(at)gmail(dot)com

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  74. I love that your can't live without is a coffee maker too...I even keep a backup just in case. Stockings this year are candy and a few small items I have found throughout the year... dianetelford(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  75. My favorite kitchen item at the moment is my electric water bath canner. What a wonderful thing! It sits on the counter, you fill it with your faucet sprayer and, when you are finished, drain it directly into the sink. Wondrous! Stocking stuffers are always books, good chocolate and funny gadgets of all sorts, the weirder the better. Thanks for the opportunity! bebesean12@msn.com

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  76. My husband only wants two small things for the holidays and both will fit in his stocking. The really important one to him is a travel alarm clock so he knows what time it is when we're on our cruise. cheers at MarjimManor dot com

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  77. Honey gets a coal themed candy and twizzlers. The youngest who will be here for the holiday will get chocolate and makeup. dtaeadkins@gmail.com

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  78. nani_geplcs@yahoo.com....I love my coffee pot the most, then cast iron skillet, everything else falls in their respective order..Stocking stuffers? For my 13 grandkids, a roll of quarters each..my hubby, socks, my mother 4 bags of her favorite cat litter :) Merry Christmas to all

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  79. I lovery my stovetop "grill pan" a decent substitute for outdoor grilling! Love all info shared. I'm the #TeaLover that dipped her toe into #Coffee via @Wawa #PumpkinSpice drink! Debating acquiring a coffee maker but maybe I really need a Frother. Stockinga with sweets is perfect! patdkfl@comcast.net. Much thanks!

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  80. So fun reading about everyone's favorite kitchen gadgets! Seems like the most popular is the food processor. Mine is probably my slow cooker. Chili, pulled pork, and applesauce (though not together!) are my favorites to make. I'll be filling my girls' stockings this year with Slim Jims, chocolates, fruit leather, peanut butter pouches, and maybe some bubble bath and hand sanitizers. Thanks for the amazing giveaway! picard1900 (at) gmail(.)com

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  81. This was a fun post! I love red kitchen appliances too! My Christmas stocking will be stuffed with chocolate, because, well, why not?

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  82. Currently my favorite kitchen gadget is my crock pot because I found a recipe for "baked" chicken in the crock pot. My grandson's stocking will include Hot Wheels while my granddaughter's stocking will be stuffed with those Tsum Tsum Disney characters and both will receive candy and an orange (cause, you know, oranges are supposed to be in Christmas stockings). tammystathelson@aol.com

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  83. My grandsons are too old for toys, so this year their stockings are getting filled with some of their favorite candy and fruit.
    I used to put Hot Wheels cars and trucks and small toys in the stockings, but alas those days are gone.
    My favorite kitchen gadget is my hand held mixer. I have a big red Kitchen Aid like Krista; but it is quite heavy when I have to move it, so I use my hand mixer a lot. If I am baking cookies for Christmas or a wedding reception, I haul out the big one which I love; but for every day use I like my handheld.
    nlfatwindstreamdotnet

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  84. Our stockings will be stuffed with magazines for each person's interest, flashlights, cute post-it notes, and biscotti. The pups will receive homemade treats and a chew toy. Thank you for this giveaway. What could be better than a new stash of books for the cold nights ahead. Merry Christmas! FabriCatz@aol.com

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  85. Thank you all for commenting and sharing your lovely stories. This giveaway, by random selector, goes to Robin C. I'll be in contact. We'll have more giveaways soon. In the meantime, happy holidays to all. ~ Daryl

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  86. I am stuffing my stockings with an Apple and an orange, a few chocolate truffles, some M&Ms, some travel size toiletries, and other assorted items like jewelry. I loved reading about your favorite kitchen items. My email is: ReadingMama922 at gmail dot com

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  87. This year is the first year my daughter is in her own house. I've loved stocking her kitchen with all of my favourite gadgets. In her stocking she'll be getting some silpat mats for cooking. A rasp to grate that lovely lemon and lime and orange or ginger zest, as well as a small food processor even though she covets my vitamix. Merry Christmas and happy reading and baking.

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