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.
Let’s talk turkey. Canadians are getting ready to gather with friends and family to give thanks, and also to eat a whole bunch of delicious food. It’s fantastic—but daunting, too, if you’re the one in charge of the bird. To help, we’ve gathered and outlined some of the best ways to prepare a turkey for the big day. Please enjoy these 6 Delicious Turkey Preparations for your Thanksgiving Feast.
Brining your turkey creates rich flavour, and also helps you get prep done the night before the big day. It’s a favourite around our houses, for sure. Here’s one recipe and method. We recommend adding a full clove of garlic and a ¼ cup of honey to add even more depth of flavour.
This turkey preparation was all the rage for a while there, and we can really see why. Deep frying the turkey gives it a delicious taste and texture, and the crispy skin is a heavenly treat. Deep frying a turkey is a potentially dangerous activity, so follow these safety precautions to the letter.
Did you know you can grill a turkey? Neither did we. Still, if you have the right kind of kettle grill, the deliciously deep smoky flavour might well be worth your effort. Check out the whole recipe and method here.
Hamptons-chic domestic guru Ina Garten has a classic recipe for roast turkey that uses thyme, lemon, onion, and garlic to add flavour. The recipe is linked here and is a great place to start for those who are new to Thanksgiving chef-ery.
3 minutes of prep and a day of slow cooking make this recipe an easy choice for busy people (or those who would rather spend their fall day outdoors instead of hovering around a hot stove). The low and slow preparation delivers fantastic flavour, and the gravy that comes out of the pot is also superb. This one is a brine must try, at Thanksgiving and beyond!
Recipes for turkey with out there ingredients can be found all over the internet. If you are feeling adventurous, give some of these a try! Jamie Oliver’s recipe for Caribbean Turkey with Spicy Cornbread and Chorizo Stuffing is sure to wow your dinner guests.
A Canadian winter rarely feels over until about mid-May. So for some, the first day of spring on March 20 provides mainly encouragement. But for school kids, as well as teachers and parents, it means so much more.
It’s time for spring break!
Depending on your school district, the break tends to fall between mid-March and very early April. No matter when it lands, however, the kids love it. Still, after some time spent relaxing, they’re usually eager to get out and do something fun.
Don’t worry, we can help.
March Break Family Fun options in Western Canada:
Location: BC Place Stadium – Vancouver, BC
Date(s): March 22 – 26
Description: Imagine a huge, full-scale carnival, including all your favourite rides and games, with tons of delicious food options. Now picture it all under one giant roof. That’s right, this carnival takes place indoors at field-level of the truly massive BC Place stadium. Even better, unlike most carnivals, endless rides are included with the price of admission.
Location: Pacific Rim National Park & Area – Ucuelet, BC
Date(s): March 11 – 26
Description: We may not get to see them as much as we’d like to, but wild animals are our neighbors on this earth. So why not come out and say hello to the annual migration of grey whales that pass by the BC coast each year near Ucuelet. There are also dozens of events planned during the festival for the whole family. Even better, Pacific Rim National Park admission is free this year!
Location: Gasoline Alley Museum @ Heritage Park – Calgary, AB
Date(s): March 24 – April 2
Description: Ever wanted to be a race car driver? How about a mechanic who builds, fixes, and races their own cars? Well, if you also happen to be a kid, this is your chance to dress and act just like a classic racing enthusiast. You can also play games and make crafts while you’re at it. With that much fun stuff to do, your time at Gasoline Alley Museum is sure to zoom past.
Location: Fort Edmonton Park – Edmonton, AB
Date(s): March 27 – 31
Description: This spring break in Edmonton, while you’re at work, your kids can have some old-fashioned fun with their friends (and we’re talking pioneer days-levels of old fashioned). That means outdoor adventures and games, cooking over open fires, building homemade toys, and more. These day camps run from 8:30 to 4:30 with separate groups for 6-to-8 and 9-to-12 year-olds.
Location: Various Venues – Brandon, MB
Date(s): March 27 – April 1
Description: Leave it to Manitoba to hold a winter festival entirely during the spring. But they obviously know what they’re doing, since this beloved annual festival has been running for over a century. It includes horse events, concerts, food, children’s play areas, an agricultural trade show, a hypnotist, and even a unicorn show. No wonder it attracted 110,000 visitors last year!
Location: The Forks – Winnipeg, MB
Date(s): March 25-31
Description: All of us like to clown around sometimes. But the performers at the Festival of Fools take clowning to the next level. These expert acrobats, jugglers, magicians, and yes, clowns, will amuse, amaze, inspire, and entertain your entire family, especially the little ones. There is also face painting, clowning classes, and even a “Boogie Woogie Hootchy Kootchy Dance Extravaganza.”
Enjoy the break!
Canadians love the outdoors. Winter through autumn (yes, that’s how we say it), we spend plenty of time among the woods, mountains and streams.
We love nature so much that to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary, each citizen can request a free National Parks Pass.
We Canadians know about outdoor winter safety, emergency preparedness, and first aid. Still, there have been times when we wish we’d brought something else outdoors with us. The perfect tool, treat, or technology to make the day better. Yup, we’ve learned some mighty hard lessons.
9. Hand Warmers: We happily put up with a lot in Canada to enjoy time outside, but cold fingertips are not high on that list. Sometimes, gloves and mittens alone don’t cut it. And they aren’t practical for certain activities. For those times, we’re glad to have hand warmers. The heat is created by rapidly oxidizing iron inside the packs. But we mainly care about how great it is to have access to literal pockets of warmth all day.
8. A Can Opener: Some resourceful Canadians are able to open a can using a pocket knife or even a rock. But nothing opens cans quite like a can opener, and few forgotten items are more of a pain to do without. You can also take eating outdoors to the next level with the Eat’N Tool, an all-in-one cutlery tool that doubles as both a screwdriver and a wrench!
7. Portable Phone Charger: Some might wonder why you’d need a phone in the woods. There are at least two good reasons. The first is to keep your social media game on point. But the other, of course, is to use the phone in case of emergency. So make sure to bring backup power. That way, you won’t have to worry about using up battery life getting the perfect waterfall shot.
6. A Watch: While it’s true a phone can be great outdoors, for the reasons listed above and others, one thing we hate to be without in the woods is a plain old-fashioned wristwatch. You shouldn’t have to pull your phone out just to check the time. Plus, outdoor and adventure watches often have other handy functions. One of the best features is that they’re generally much more waterproof than a phone!
5. This Survival Bracelet: You can file this under ‘stuff we didn’t know we always wanted until we found out it exists.’ This simple looking bracelet, designed by Gerber with help from Bear Grylls, is more than a fashion statement. It contains 12 feet of incredibly strong nylon paracord. You can use it to get out of any number of scrapes, unless you leave it at home.
4. Adhesive Tensor: It goes without saying you should bring a first aid kit wherever you go. But one thing you’ll be glad to have in it is this adhesive bandage that attaches right to the skin to provide extra joint stability. Since you never know when you’ll twist an ankle, it’s better to just keep this around.
3. Calorie-Dense Snacks: When you’re exerting significant energy outdoors, whether you’re hiking, snowshoeing, sledding, or biking, a hunger-killing snack is just what you need. We’re talking energy bars, dried fruit, granola, that sort of thing. If you don’t pack such a snack, you could easily become fatigued. Or worse, you might get hangry.
2. Duct Tape: Is there a problem duct tape can’t help to solve? Probably. But we haven’t found very many so far. From fixing equipment to patching a tent, and so much more, duct tape absolutely has you covered. We never like to be caught without it in the great outdoors. Actually, we prefer not to be without it anywhere.
1. Fresh Dry Socks: There are so many threats to foot comfort in the Canadian outdoors. Cold weather, combined with more rivers and lakes than any country in the world, means your toes are likely to get wet and/or cold. So you’ll be glad to have an extra pair of socks in your backpack any time of year.
Full disclosure: my kids, up until now, have rarely done chores. It always seems so much easier to pick everything up myself at the end of the day. Especially when making them put away their own toys requires so much argument, negotiation, cajoling and “helping” that bedtime gets pushed back.
But here’s what I’ve recently learned: Housework is as essential to your child’s well-being as a seatbelt or a toothbrush. Kids who do housework have higher self-esteem, more competent life-skills as adults and don’t look like dorks in front of their peers when they’re the only ones who don’t know how to button their own coats, make a sandwich or brew Mommy a coffee. By not forcing your children to do housework, you threaten your child’s future attractiveness as a roommate, romantic partner or colleague.
Here are 10 ways to train your child into being a confident, responsible, in-demand adult.