It can be really hard to find gifts for home cooks. Chances are they already make pillowy piles of parmesan cheese over their pasta with that microplane grater you think they'll love. To surprise them you have to get creative—but I have an idea. We've all heard, "stop playing with your food!" We're told not to fuss with the food on our plates or pick at it with our fingers without eating it—but really, we should encourage playing with your food.
Let's encourage more joy in cooking and eating. You can start by gifting novelty kitchen utensils, gadgets and dinnerware to your favorite home cooks this holiday.
Here are six playful gift ideas. I tested the first three:
1. Shaped Egg Ring Molds From BargainRollBack, $7.97
Mouse-shaped pancakes aren't the only way to make breakfast clever. These shaped ring molds turn the incredible, edible egg into a rabbit, guy, skull or owl. They were tricky to use at first; my jumbo eggs had yolks that were too big for some of the molds so my guy looked like he lived a very hard life. Even though my eggs were far from perfect they were fun to eat. I laughed when I dipped my toast into the guy's eye. If you know someone who enjoys sunny side up eggs in the morning, this gift was made for them.
2.TriceraTACO Taco Holder From KidsFunwares, $11.86
Laughing Planet on Third Street has plastic dinosaurs in their dining room; simply toys on tables. The TriceraTACO goes further, being both a toy and a taco delivery device. Place two hard shell tacos on the back of the plastic, army green triceratops and serve. Grabbing a crispy, spicy taco from a dinosaur's back is awesome and I swear it made the tacos taste better. You can gift this to anyone. Unless they don't like tacos. Don't trust people who don't like tacos.
3.Bento Food Cutter with Rice Mold From Witkey, $8.99
The Japanese know how to play with their food. They created bento, a compartmentalized lunch box traditionally filled with rice, noodles, meat, fish and pickled vegetables. There is an entire style of whimsical bento called oekakiben, where items are decorated to look like people, animals, flowers and plants. This bento foodcutter set looks like something from the Sanrio store and includes a sushi mold and four transparent pink cutters that turn slices of cheese or meat into a bunny, bear, seal or chick.
I was once obsessed with the Sanrio store, though my dad called it the "hello rip-off store" because he saw it as overpriced, pink, plastic junk. My Hello Kitty -loving inner child was thrilled to make the cutest snack ever with these easy-to-use tools. For added inspiration, give this set with the book "Yum-Yum Bento Box: Fresh Recipes for Adorable Lunches" by Maki Ogawa and Crystal Watanabe.
4.Horn Shaped Coffee Mug From Goat Story, $30.24
This gift is for the coffee aficionado who already owns everything to make the perfect cup of coffee. What they don't own is a rustic, contemporary horn-shaped coffee mug they can carry hands-free around their neck. The leather sleeve slides off to hold the horn upright on a tabletop. It's playful in a GQ kind of way.
5. Grenade Ice Cube From Conveinient Gadgets & Gifts, $10.99
Perfect for the cocktail enthusiast whose been pissed since last November. The large ice cube melts slowly and causes less dilution. The grenade will help them say eff-it without doing anything irrational.
6.Cute Cat & Fish Infuser Tea Mug By Carlie, $20.89
Know a tea lover with a penchant for cats? This cat-shaped mug with curved tail handle and fish-shaped infuser was made for them. It's adorable, perfectly steeps a cup of tea and pays homage to their furry friend(s). It definitely says "check meow-t"or "I want my tea right meow."
You can find all of these unusual foodie gifts on Amazon.