Manolo for the Big Girl Fashion, Lifestyle, and Humor for the Plus Sized Woman.

November 23, 2007

Christmas Goodies for the Maker of Christmas Goodies

Filed under: Uncategorized — Twistie @ 10:30 am

‘Tis the season once again to think of special gifts for those around us. Here at Big Girl, we think these gifts should be superfantastic as can be. Since I have a particular affinity for the kitchen and the wonders that can be produced there, I’m concentrating on special gifts for that venue. Whether it’s for Christmas, Hanukkah, a special birthday or anniversary, or simply a case of deciding Tuesday needs celebrating, the cook on your list will appreciate any of these:

Emile Henry pie plate1: This Emile Henry 9″ pie pan available at at $37.95. I happen to have this very pie pan in this lovely, cheerful citron color in my own kitchen, and it’s my go-to pie pan. It goes from oven to freezer to microwave to dishwasher, heats evenly, and looks terrific on a festive table. If you don’t like this color, it’s also available in: azur, blanc, cerise, figue, pink, and vert.

2: If you love the pie pan, but aren’t sure what to bake in it, go no further than Rose Levy Beranbaum’s amazing tome The Pie and Pastry Bible. As with Beranbaum’s Cake Bible, this is so much more than just a collection of delicious recipes – though it certainly includes that. This gives you the whys, wherefores, and what the hecks that most cookbooks don’t explain. If you know someone who loves making pies, head straight over to and grab this. At $29.70, with a free shipping offer available, it’s a steal.

3: LeCreuset’s 5.5 qt. Dutch oven is an excellent investment for any serious cook. $199.95 may sound like a lot, but it’s worth it in this case. My mother’s LeCreuset casserole outlived her and was the subject of a bitter custody battle which I, alas!, lost. This Dutch oven is perfect for soups, stews, risottos, and casseroles. Equally at home on the stovetop or in the oven, it also looks great on the tabletop.

4: Nigella Lawson’s pretty 9″ cake stand available in blue or cream is a great way for the baker in your life to show off those lovely and delicious goodies from the oven. At $24.95 it’s also budget-friendly.

5: QVC offers up a pretty Barcelona oven-to-table bakeware set in the Barcelona pattern by Temp-tations for a bargain price of $42.75. Included are a 2.5 quart covered oval dish, a 1 quart covered oval dish, with a wire holder and glass trivet for each dish. The dishes are microwave, dishwasher, freezer, and refrigerator safe; oven safe to 500F. Any table would look more festive with these dishes on it.

6: Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison is great for vegetarians and non-vegetarians who appreciate a good vegetable alike. The recipes are delicious and possible in any kitchen, and the book as a whole is full of excellent cooking information. If someone you know wants to know more about what to do with vegetables, this is a great gift.

7: Who says you can’t grill in the winter? With the George Foreman Jumbo Indoor Electric Grill, you can throw a bar-b-que in the middle of a snowstorm. It has a 124 square inch cooking surface and comes with a drip tray as well as a special spatula. This is a great gift for the recent grad or grilling enthusiast on your list.

Aebleskiver pan8: If there’s a cook on your list who has it all, consider this cast iron aebleskiver pan. At $9.50, it’s well worth the price. If you haven’t ever had aebleskivers, they’re delicious little pancake-like puffs filled with jam. Think breakfast profiteroles. Trust me, there’s nothing better for a lazy weekend breakfast than aebleskivers, and at this price, you can probably afford to get a second pan for yourself.

Table Runner9: Any cook will tell you a good meal is eaten first with the eyes. So it stands to reason a pretty table will help people enjoy that meal. To that end, it’s worth it to invest in a few pretty table linens like this elegant red and gold table runner. Not only is it pretty and inexpensive (just $14.99), it’s also machine washable.

10: If one is going to cook fine food for people, it’s important to get superfantastic advice on how to entertain guests. It’s a good thing, then, that the wildly funny Amy Sedaris has written I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence. Not only does she include recipes, but also excellent tips on holding parties, entertaining guests, and keeping snoops firmly out of your business in future: “A good trick is to fill your medicine cabinet with marbles. Nothing announces a nosey guest better than an avalanche of marbles hitting a porcelain sink” No potential hostess should be without this book.


  1. Oh man, do I ever want that pie pan. We could only make one very shallow pie last night because our good pie pan disappeared when we moved house.

    Comment by Never teh Bride — November 23, 2007 @ 12:09 pm

  2. Pie pans, I have – which is very interesting since I make the absolutely worst pie crust in creation. So, I will be making a bee-line for the pie and pastry cookbook. My family loves pie. The only think I can make that comes even within the geography of pie is apple crisp. I make a really good apple crisp…but my pies are uniformly disasters. That book goes on the “wish list”.

    Comment by Toby Wollin — November 23, 2007 @ 12:24 pm

  3. The Emile Henry pan in figue? It is enough to make me learn how to make pies, and maybe even eat a piece. I have a few of their pieces and they look so wonderful on the table and they last forever.

    Comment by Sniper — November 23, 2007 @ 2:20 pm

  4. I own two of those Emile Henry pie pans and love them.

    A note about the aebleskiver pan and aebleskiver as a food item. My husband’s family is Danish and it is actually a tradtitonal Danish dessert. They’re not filled with jam, just topped with it. I was thrilled last year when my brother-in-law bought me the pan. So I asked my mother-in-law for the recipe. She photocopied it out of the book and I didn’t think anything of it until I got home and realized it was written in Danish. I figured it out (with some help from my husband).

    If you go here: you can see a video of me cooking off a batch.

    Comment by dr nic — November 23, 2007 @ 7:44 pm

  5. I just got an Emile Henry baking dish (rectangular) in blue. I’m really looking forward to using it, but I’m not sure what to do with it. Perhaps a casserole involving leftover turkey.

    I am so excited that I got a cookie press as a wedding present. I used to use my mother’s cookie press when I was in high school, and it made lovely, interestingly-shaped things that impressed my friends.

    Comment by JaneC — November 24, 2007 @ 1:18 am

  6. The LeCrueset dutch ovens are awesome. I use mine all the time. They’re HEAVY, though, being enamel over cast iron. Also, they’re apparently warrantied for 100 years. Someone on a forum ( was saying she inherited her grandmother’s and it got a chip in it. LeCrueset replaced it, and who knows how old it was. They’re a lot easier to clean than you’d expect, too.

    Comment by Allura — November 26, 2007 @ 3:27 pm

  7. I have a smaller version of the Le Crueset oven. Another good enamel over cast iron brand is Staub. I found a 5 qt. pot for $70 on a sale table at Williams Sonoma.

    Comment by Andrea — November 26, 2007 @ 8:20 pm

  8. I love my Le Crueset dutch oven, but I’ve been reading excellent reviews of the Lodge version. It has a metal rather than a plastic lid handle so it can tolerate higher oven temperatures. The 7 quart Lodge enamelware dutch oven is on sale at for nearly 1/2 price at $99.99. I got one for my sister, sister-in-law, and mother-in-law (and their husbands who also like to cook – I love two birds with one stone presents) for Christmas. I’m going to tuck a recipe for no-knead bread and Belgian beef stew (Carbonnade à la flamande) in the packages.

    Comment by Carol — November 27, 2007 @ 12:28 pm

  9. Some of the Lodge dutch ovens have metal lid handles.

    Comment by Carol — November 27, 2007 @ 12:30 pm

  10. Help! I must have the table runner, but the link is broken. Can you please update, or at least provide the store name?

    Comment by ELS — November 29, 2007 @ 1:12 pm

  11. ELS, I just clicked the link on the table runner and got through with no trouble. But if you’re still unable to get there, it’s from

    If you have any further trouble getting to it, just give a yell and I’ll do what I can to help.

    Comment by Twistie — November 29, 2007 @ 1:23 pm

  12. Don’t buy Hospitality Under the Influence for the entertainer/chef/cheerful/funny person in your life without a gift receipt – last year, everybody I knew got me that book…love it, didn’t need more then one…

    Comment by the unfashionista — December 2, 2007 @ 1:19 pm

  13. So Cool!!

    Comment by Terry S — January 30, 2009 @ 10:34 am

  14. Very true. The home is the new going out.

    Comment by Gertude Blechinger — October 11, 2010 @ 5:13 am

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