The days are colder, the nights are longer, and we’ve fallen back, ending Daylight Saving Time. Time to start planning for the holidays! Do you know what gifts you’re going to get for your loved ones this year? We’re here to help.
Throughout November and December, we’ll be posting holiday gift guides for everyone on your list, with a wide range of gift ideas and price points on each. From showstopper items to smaller stocking stuffers, we’ve got you covered.
We’re starting our holiday gift guides with ideas for the home cook in your life. Whether you know an adventurous chef or a young person just learning the basics, you can’t go wrong with kitchen-y gifts. Everyone needs to cook!
Here’s our guide to buying the perfect kitchen goodie for the home cook on your list.
The Crock-Pot Express 8 in 1 Multicooker is an outstanding gift for the home chef. It’s a convenient way to make delicious, hearty fare that will nourish an entire household. The bonus? It does all the work while you’re out preparing for the holidays or relaxing with a good book.
This particular model is an 8 in 1 wonder appliance, with settings for rice cooking, yogurt making, and more. Include some recipes with your gift so the recipient can get started with it right away–we’ve got a list of 3 sensational crock-pot recipes right here.
Chances are your foodie friend loves coffee just as much as they do cooking. But do they have all the tools needed to make a truly great cup of coffee? A real chef will appreciate a grinder to grind their own beans to the perfect coarseness for their coffee maker of choice.
Do they need a new coffee maker? Why not a cold brew coffee maker to make delicious cold brew at home! If they love design as well as functionality, this beautiful Bodum pour over coffee maker with a classic cork band will look gorgeous on their shelves. And for those that would prefer to spend their time cooking rather than making coffee, a Keurig K-Cup machine to make the perfect cup every time with no effort on their part. Help them end their dinner parties with just the right amount of coffee, and without stress.
Chances are, the home cook in your life has a solid set of pots, pans, and knives, but those good reliable basics may need some upgrading. Non-stick coating wears off and pans get scratched–it happens to the best of us. This Gotham Steel 10 Piece set is made with stainless steel, and the cooking surface is scratch resistant and oven safe. If your friend is a little more traditional, you can’t go wrong with a good cast iron skillet.
Even if they have a good set of kitchen basics, no home cook worth their salt can resist a beautiful new tool that’s good for cooking and serving. Think colourful enameled cast iron dutch ovens, cookware classy enough to go from oven to table, and quintessential white CorningWare dishes.
The best part about being a cook is that there’s always a cool new tool to try. Specialized utensils, gadgets designed to make a job easier, or niche appliances would make great gifts for the kitchen connoisseur in your life. Add some tools to their toolbelt!
It can seem overwhelming trying to find something that they don’t already have, but if you pick something related to a recent food trend, you’re generally good to go. Think spiralizers, cupcake carriers, and milk frothers.
Or go the other way, and pick up tools that will always be useful: multi-blade herb scissors, a knife sharpener, or an egg poacher. This knife mat will corral their blades and keep them sharp, while this covered bowl with included serving set is perfect for bringing to parties. No matter who you’re buying for, there’s a gadget out there for them.
For more gift-giving advice for the home cook on your list, speak to an LD Expert today. To make a purchase, visit London Drugs in-store and online. We’ll be back next week with a gift guide for kids (and parents). See you then!
See all of our 2017 Holiday Gift Guides here:
Excess kitchen equipment can take up valuable cupboard or counter space, but there are a number of amazing kitchen tools that are worth the extra real estate. We’re highlighting five kitchen appliances here that will make family dinners easier, as well as fantastic recipes for you to use with them. Bon appetit!
The wok isn’t your typical frying pan. It’s a particular type of round-bottom cookware that can be used to stew, braise, poach, boil, steam, pan fry, deep fry, and stir fry. It’s almost a pot and a pan in one dish, but the distinct shape makes it easy to toss food around with a spatula and it heats better than a flat pan. It’s simply the best tool for stir-fries, which make super quick weekday meals.
Indoor grills bring the flavour of the summer inside, all year long. Instead of struggling with coals or barbecuing in the rain in the fall, turn on your indoor grill. It has a more even cooking temperature than an outdoor grill and is dead simple to use. Everything tastes better grilled.
The rice cooker sounds like it’s only good for one thing–cooking rice–but it’s far more versatile than it seems. You can also use it to make curry, oatmeal, soup, polenta, and tons more. Surprising, but delicious! We’ve listed recipes here that go beyond the classic use, although rice cookers do make cooking a side of grains pretty darn simple as well.
Slow cookers are for the perfect tool for someone who wants a meal ready to go by the time they get home. Prep in the morning, set it, and forget it. You’ll come home after a long day with your house smelling amazing and dinner waiting.
If your kitchen space is truly at a minimum, don’t fret. The Instant Pot is an amazing kitchen appliance that basically combines many features from the previous tools into one: it’s a slow cooker, pressure cooker, rice cooker, and more. It even makes yogurt! And it uses much less energy than many stoves. Easy, simple, and environmentally friendly.
Do you love your Instant Pot or your rice cooker? Find all of these kitchen appliances at your local London Drugs in-store or online.
We are well into #PSL season, as you’ve probably gathered from your Instagram feed. (That’s Pumpkin Spice Latte season, for you non-coffee drinkers.) Luckily for foodies, there is so much more to this versatile autumn gourd than just coffee shops and Thanksgiving pie, so we’ve put together some of our favourite pumpkin recipes to help you celebrate everyone’s favourite fall flavour.
This hearty, savoury dish has a surprising hint of sweetness from the pumpkin that will warm up any cool fall night. Double the recipe and save for a freezer full of leftovers to enjoy throughout the season—it’s no secret that chili is always better the next day (or week, or month). Don’t forget the chipotle sour cream!
Pumpkin for breakfast? Of course! Inspired by traditional Indian cooking, these healthy and simple pancakes are also known as besan ka puda. Ingredients can be substituted to make custom flavours, as well as vegan and gluten-free options. Perfect for getting you out of that breakfast rut.
Even the people who aren’t into the whole #PSL thing will find it hard to pass up a nice, hot bowl of velvety, spiced pumpkin soup. Top with pecans or goat cheese, throw on a pair of fuzzy socks and a cable knit sweater, and you’ll be a Pinterest board come to life. A fall classic.
Got a craving for a creamy pasta dish, but trying to cut down on the fat? We’ve got you covered. The richness of the pumpkin in this recipe takes the place of the loads of cheese traditionally found in a baked pasta dish. Comfort food level: EXPERT.
Pumpkin and curry go together like a pile of leaves and a jumping toddler. Skip the take-out and instead whip up this spicy crowd-pleaser, even if you’re short on time. You can pour this delicious concoction over your favourite rice, vegetables, or tofu, or whichever combination of the three satisfies your current craving.
We hope you hung on to the innards of your jack-o’-lantern, because these crunchy snacks are a fall must-have. Packed with iron, magnesium, fibre, zinc, potassium, healthy fats, protein, and tryptophan (which can boost your mood and help you sleep), vegans and vegetarians have been using pumpkin seeds for years as a natural source of nutrients. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different flavours: soy sauce, cayenne, cinnamon, nutmeg – time to get creative!
Yes, it sounds strange on paper, but we promise this will be on your top 10 list of best pizza EVER. Mild and creamy havarti cheese is the perfect flavour accompaniment with the veggies in this dish, and a fun change from mozzarella. Don’t skip the sweetened onions step—they’re the secret ingredient that will put this dish over the top into OMG territory. Meat eaters and vegetarians alike will be instantly addicted, and gluten-free foodies can use their favourite GF crust.
Looking for an alternative to your pre-packaged veggie burger option? Try these quick and healthy pumpkin patties. Spices can be dialed up or down to your preference, and toppings are open to creative interpretation. Don’t get boxed in by the bun—these baked, crunchy beauties can also be tucked into a super-healthy lettuce wrap or crumbled on salads. They also freeze nicely, so they can be made ahead of time. Future you will heartily thank present you.
Who doesn’t love a trip to the Cheesecake Factory during a visit south of the border? Well, someone did us all a favour and broke down their creamy, decadent pumpkin cheesecake recipe, and now we’re here to share it with you. (Yeah, you’re welcome.) Next to the prevalent pie, this modern classic is a fall dessert staple. Pro tip: replace white sugar with brown sugar for a deeper, richer taste.
Tuck into these perfectly pleasing pumpkin recipes and enjoy all that fall has to offer. Happy eating!
Autumn is in full swing, and with it comes the changing colours, crisper air, and a desire for comfort food. There’s nothing better than having your crock pot simmering away on your kitchen counter with a delicious soup just waiting for you to enjoy.
October is the month where we pull out our crock pots and those old favourite recipes we love. Maybe some are passed down through the family, or others you’ve only tried recently. But why keep those recipes to yourself?
We’d love to hear what your favourite crock pot meal is and put some of those great recipes into action. Plus, share the love with others!
Also, here are some of our favourite recipes to make for an easy Crock Pot dinner!
Who can go wrong with a delicious cheesy baked spaghetti in the Crock Pot? Try this fool-proof recipe from The Magical Slow Cooker or share your very own recipe with us in the comments below!
Sometimes all you need is chicken soup and a good book on a crisp fall day. This classic Crock Pot recipe from The Black Peppercorn will soothe your soul – but we also want to know what else you would add to it!
Meatballs are a crowd favourite and oh-so-easy to whip up in the slow cooker. Try this tasty recipe from Well Plated and tell us in the comments below what you would pair your meatballs with!
Fall is here! But don’t worry, it’s not all rain and cold weather. Fall is a beautiful season of bounty, and you can make the most of that bounty by taking up your new favourite hobby: canning. That beautiful jam you like? You can make it. Dill pickles? You can make those too. Those cans of tomatoes you buy every other week? Yep, you got it! All you need is a bit of equipment and a bit of know-how. London Drugs has got you covered on both counts.
Canning is really just a way of preserving food. Water bath canning is the easiest way to start: you fill glass jars with the stuff you want to preserve (jams, jellies, pickles, etc.) and boil them in hot water. This kills any bacteria present, removes air from the jar, and seals it to prevent any more bacteria from getting in. Water bath canning only works for high-acid foods like fruit, tomatoes, and pickled things.
If you want to get really fancy and preserve your perfect pumpkin pie filling, you’ll need to upgrade to a pressure canner. But the basic process is to sterilize your jars in boiling water, make your preserves, put those preserves in the jars, put on the lids, and throw them back in boiling water. Easy peasy, right?
We’ve got a complete canning kit that includes the jar lifter, lid lifter, and funnel, as well as 250ml jars, 500ml jars, and even 1L jars for things like pickles and whole tomatoes. If you’re making jam or jelly, you’ll also need pectin.
Once you’ve acquired the equipment, you need to decide what you want to can! In early fall we still have stone fruit like peaches and plums, and lots of tomatoes. Later in the season, root vegetables like carrots and beets can make some excellent pickles. And apples, of course!
If you’ve got a well stocked grocery store that brings in produce from further afield, you can can small batches with basically any type of fruit. We’ve got recipes for strawberry balsamic jam and sour cherry jelly on the blog from earlier this summer. (What’s the difference between jam and jelly, you ask? Jam is made from crushed fruit while jelly is made from fruit juice! The more you know.)
Canning isn’t difficult, but when mistakes are made they can range from something minor like a jam that doesn’t set to something dangerous like food that is unsafe to eat. You may balk at the amount of sugar in some of these recipes, but it’s integral to getting the jelly or jam to set properly, and it helps prevent spoilage.
Boiling time will vary depending on what altitude you’re at. You also can’t reuse the flat part of the two part lid for canning jars; you can reuse the ring, but you need a new lid each time you can. And don’t forget to sterilize your jars before filling them with your preserves!
There are a ton of great websites you can go to for more information and recipes, including the National Center for Home Food Preservation, Food in Jars, and Punk Domestics. Companies that make canning supplies like Bernardin and Ball are also fantastic resources.
Here are a few of our favourite fall recipes. Go ahead and get canning! You can can!
For some food lovers, the end of summer means saying goodbye to backyard cookouts and delicious BBQ meals. For others, the cooler fall weather is a welcome excuse to warm up in front of the oven and enjoy a piping hot mug of cocoa after dinner.
Whatever you may prefer, there’s no doubt that the following dessert recipes are bound to inspire you this fall season (and satiate your sweet tooth)! Besides – who can say no to chocolate?
The chocolate chip cookie is beloved for a reason! And because fall is the season where you can finally dust off your cast iron skillet, this cozy take on a household classic provides the perfect dessert option on a chilly evening.
[Find the recipe at Dinner with Julie]
Just because camping season is coming to a close doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to s’mores just yet! These pudding cups call for the basics – marshmallows, chocolate, graham crackers and some pantry items, and allow you to enjoy a campfire treat in the comfort of your own home.
[Find the recipe at Seasons and Suppers]
Dipped in a luxurious dark chocolate sauce, the crispy cinnamon coating and sweet, soft dough make these churros to die for. A fair favourite that can easily be made at home, there’s no need for a clunky deep fryer if you have a wok on hand!
[Find the recipe at Recipe Tin Eats]
If you haven’t already heard, the pumpkin spice latte (or PSL) has made yet another comeback this fall. And whether you’re on board with the trend or not – we guarantee you’ll love this pumpkin spice hot chocolate recipe!
[Find the recipe at Lemons for Lulu]
Donuts are not only delicious, but they can be a great baking activity that the kids will love. These double chocolate donuts are a quirky (and easy to transport) alternative to birthday cake. If you don’t have a donut pan on hand, simply use a muffin tin!
[Find the recipe at i am a food blog]
Although some may argue that the fall season is too cold for ice cream, we beg to differ. Complete with an Oreo crumb crust and filled with your favourite brand of coffee ice cream, this mud pie is a perfect dish to bring to your next fall potluck!
[Find the recipe at Coco Cake Land]
When you think of a fruit crumble, chocolate doesn’t usually come to mind. This crumble, however, brings the classic flavours of black forest cake into a rich cherry crumble – loaded with fresh Bing cherries and rounded off with a coconut and cocoa topping.
[Find the recipe at Kitchen Heals Soul]
Nothing quite says “fall” like a warm pecan tart fresh out of the oven. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we’ve found a recipe that will excite any chocolate lover! A maple pecan filling sits atop dark chocolate for a unique – and tasty – dessert.
[Find the recipe at Salted Plains]
Pain au chocolate – or chocolate croissants – are usually a coffee shop treat. Thankfully, we’ve found a recipe that’s as simple as it is delicious! With only three ingredients: egg, puff pastry and your favourite dark chocolate bar, you can have your *croissant* and eat it too.
[Find the recipe at Simply Beautiful Eating]
Believe it or not – not everyone is a huge fan of dark or milk chocolate. For anyone who can’t eat chocolate, or prefers the taste of white chocolate, we’ve got you covered! This delectable brownie recipe is the perfect balance between rich and fluffy, and can be tweaked to whatever sweetness level you prefer.
[Find the recipe at Simple as That]
For those who don’t know, the Instant Pot is a multi-purpose kitchen tool that combines the functions of a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, sauté pan, steamer, warmer, and yogurt maker.
With all that in one space-saving appliance, it’s no wonder the product is a huge success. Still, some might feel challenged to ensure they make the most of each Instant Pot feature.
Don’t worry, here are some sensational recipe ideas to get you started…
For the Pressure Cooker: The best part about pressure cookers is preparing dishes that would normally take hours in mere minutes. Meaning, whole new categories of dishes, like roasts and stews, can be added to your night-of cooking rotation.
Full instructions at SeriousEats.com
Cook Time: 45mins.
Full instructions at PressureCookerRecipes.com
Full instructions at DETOXinista.com
For the Slow Cooker: Sure, nearly everything you can make in a slow cooker is faster in a pressure cooker. But certain recipes may benefit from a slow approach. Plus, you can leave a slow cooker on during the day and simply sit down to dinner at night!
Full instructions at 365DaysofCrockpot.com
For the Rice Cooker: A rice cooker is great for so much more than just making rice. Even if you do make rice in it, there’s no reason it needs to be plain. With just a little added technique, you can make entire satisfying meals like this paella.
Full instructions at MyVega.ca
For the Yogurt Maker: This is one Instant Pot function many of us are probably still unfamiliar with. But the rising popularity of protein-rich yogurt breakfast parfaits mean it’s likely to become a more popular option soon. Ready to give it a shot? Read on.
Full instructions at KitchenJoyBlog.com
You can purchase one of two different sizes of Instant Pot at London Drugs in-store or online. Have a question about the Instant Pot? Feel free to ask an LD Expert in person, or you can reach us in the comments section below and wherever you find London Drugs on social media.