Joy of Cooking Gift Ideas

The Joy of Cooking was and continues to be quite possibly one of the most important and influential books of the twentieth century. It is certainly that in the cookbook world.

It would be of no surprise then to discover that fans can celebrate the iconic cookbook, originally written by Irma Rombauer in 1936, by wearing an apron, carrying a tote bag and even by using a kitchen towel.

I think any of these items would be a great gift idea for someone who has long treasured their copy of the Joy of Cooking. A copy of the new version of the Joy of Cooking cookbook combined with any or all of these items would also make a fantastic gift idea for someone setting up home for the first time or maybe even for someone who is looking to update their original copy of the book.

What about you? Do you use the Joy of Cooking? Would you like to own this apron?

See you in the kitchen!


Quick Links:

Joy of Cooking merchandise on Amazon.
The New Joy of Cooking Cookbook.

The Harvest Eating Cookbook

Given perfect five-star reviews from the Amazon customers who have purchased it, The Harvest Eating Cookbook is a gathering of recipes that will help you put together meals that use the best of the harvest produce something many of us look forward to doing every summer and fall. The recipes included in this cookbook are simple recipes featuring the best, fresh ingredients.

Read more about The Harvest Eating Cookbook by clicking right here.

See you
in the kitchen!


Order The Harvest Eating Cookbook on Amazon.

Marinated Snow Pea and Cherry Tomato Salad Recipe

If you are looking for a very fresh, wonderfully nutritious, extremely delicious and boldly colorful salad, this marinated snow pea and cherry tomato salad is the one for you. It is a simple salad or side dish, consisting of just eight ingredients. Four are vegetables and four are in the marinade.

This salad is a salad that I always serve when we celebrate Christmas in July or June or August or whenever. However, it would be good whenever you need a fresh and crunchy addition to any meal. It also makes a great addition to a potluck dinner like your annual Christmas party though for that occasion you want to at least double the recipe.

Here's the recipe. Enjoy!

Marinated Snow Pea and Cherry Tomato Salad Recipe

From Culinary Favorites From A to Z


1/4 lb. snow or sugar snap peas (ends trimmed if required)
1 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half
1/2 cup water chestnuts sliced (we like ours cut in half)
1/4 cup green onions sliced
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar


So easy. Just prepare your vegetables first, slicing as indicated. Our water chestnuts come in a can, pre-sliced. Blanch the peas for about 2 minutes in boiling water. Drain, rinse immediately with cold water and drain again. Add the tomatoes, chestnuts and green onions.

For the marinade, mix the last four ingredients together and pour this mixture over your vegetables. Toss gently and chill until supper time at which time you simply drain the vegetables and serve.

See you
in the kitchen!

What Is A Moka Coffee Pot?

A Moka coffee pot is a small coffee pot used on top of the stove to make coffee. You may never have used one but I am sure it looks familiar to you. It works by passing hot water that has been pressurized by steam through ground coffee beans and produces a hot beverage similar to espresso.

The New York Times says, "The Moka Express is a beautifully designed example of the ingenuity that can arise from adversity." It was invented by Luigi De Ponti in 1933 for use at home. In the 1930s, Italy was in an economically difficult time, which made making coffee at home appealing. This simple little device crafted from aluminum was extremely popular and is still crafted by Bialetti, the same firm that produced it in the 1930s. The original model is called the Moka Express.

The Moka is more popular in Europe and Latin America than it is in North America and, according to the New York Times, 9 out of 10 Italian households own a Moka pot.

On this page, learn a bit more about the Moka coffee pot, watch a video that explains the simple method used to make Moka coffee and let us know what you think of Moka coffee. In the interest of full disclosure, please note that I am not a coffee drinker. I put tea in my coffee mug but I have a coffee-loving family!

The picture of a Moka pot in action shown here was shared kindly by Beat Rice on Flickr who says that the only thing missing from this page is, "a mention of the coffee smell spreading throughout the house in the morning, which is the only thing that can cheer up an Italian who gets up too early to face a working day..." I expect that the aroma of freshly brewed Moka coffee would work for you, too, even if you are not an Italian.

Why Is Moka Coffee Stronger Than Drip Coffee?

Moka coffee is stronger than drip coffee because the temperature of the water and steam is higher, which causes a better removal of caffeine and flavours from the coffee grounds. Not only is it stronger but it also has a different flavour.

How Do You Brew Moka Coffee?

I am not going to try to answer that question myself. However, I am happy to recommend Brewing Italian Coffee With A Moka Pot, which does a fine job of summarizing what is involved in making moka coffee. I also found this short Youtube video by Parisi Artisan Coffee, which shows the simple steps to making your Moka coffee:

How Does Moka Compare to Espresso Coffee?

The coffee produced from a Moka pot is considered similar to the coffee from an espresso machine. A Moka pot can produce foam emulsion (crema) that is similar to but not exactly like espresso's. (And yes, espresso is spelled with an 's' and not an 'x' as in expresso, a common spelling error.)

You can learn more about the variety of sizes and colors of Moka pots available on Amazon by clicking right here.

Would you recommend Moka coffee? Would you like to try it?

See you
in the kitchen!

More Moka Resources

Who Made That Moka Express? -
"In 1933, when Alfonso Bialetti introduced the Moka Express, Italy's economy wasn't doing much better than it is today. The Great Depression was in full swing, major banks were failing, unemployment was rampant and Italians were forced to curtail the

More Coffee Reading

31 Days of Coffee Mugs
Love mugs? Check out 31 days worth of fabulous, fun coffee cups.

How To Make Coffee With A French Press
Using a French Press is an easy way to make your coffee. Find out how here.

The BEST Electric Kettle
On this page, we discuss five of the best electric kettles.

Should We Ban Paper Coffee Cups?
I might agree that sometimes there is a place for paper cups and plastic lids, I truly do believe that whenever possible coffee should be drank from a mug that can be washed and reused. But ban paper coffee cups?

© 2011 Treasures By Brenda (Previously published elsewhere.)

The Best Fondue Maker is By Cuisinart

Amazon's Best Fondue Maker

Amazon's best fondue maker is not an inexpensive one but it is a quality one and it is on sale today at more than 50 percent off, making the price pretty reasonable for the unit that ranks ahead of all others on Amazon. PLUS, of course, it qualifies for Amazon's FREE shipping.


"If you like fondue, but find Sterno fuel a pain to use, not to mentioned potentially dangerous... you will love this fondue pot... Just plug it in, turn the knob to the setting you desire and put in the make fondue! Couldn't be easier!" ~ Eric Pruss

Is there a fondue pot in your future?

See you
in the kitchen!

Quick Links:

Buy this Cuisinart fondue maker from Amazon.
The Best-Ever Fondue Recipe.

Author's Note: This originally appeared as part of a post on another site.

Martha Stewart, Ellen DeGeneres and Drew Barrymore Cook Up Some Fun In The Kitchen

As part of the promotion for her new book, Martha Stewart appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres show with Drew Barrymore.  Together they had a bit of fun creating recipes from Martha Stewart's Appetizers: More than 200 Recipes. The cookbook shares recipes for dips, spreads, snacks, small plates and other delicious hors d'oeuvres plus 30 cocktails.  Mostly, Martha led the way and Ellen and Drew had fun. I do wish I had been there to join in the fun.

Here's the video so that you can check out the fun for yourself. It is just over 7 minutes long and shares the ideas though not exactly the recipes that are included in the video.

If after watching you decide you'd like to try some of those recipes, you'll find the cookbook on Amazon by clicking right here. I don't normally prepare many appetizers but I would love to try these recipes. They all look tasty and I think it would be fun to put guests work in the kitchen creating them with a glass of Martha's apple cider sangria in hand. The recipe for which is in the book, of course.

See you
in the kitchen!

Quick Links:

Find Martha Stewart's Appetizers on Amazon.
Martha's Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe.

Clara's Kitchen Cookbook Review

Clara's Kitchen Wisdom, Memories, and Recipes from the Great Depression

Discover a lifetime of wisdom, memories and recipes from the Great Depression.

Clara Bonfanti Cannucciari was the 94 year-old host of the YouTube phenomenon web series Great Depression Cooking with Clara, which has had over a million visitors. She was also the co-author of the book Clara's Kitchen: Wisdom, Memories, and Recipes from the Great Depression.

Mrs. Cannucciari was born on August 16, 1915 in Chicago, Illinois and lived through the Great Depression in America. Her Sicilian American parents were hit hard by the tough economic times and her mother came up with some pretty great ways to save money on meals. These ways worked for them and their family was safe and healthy after the Depression.

Christopher Cannucciari (Mrs. Cannucciari's grandson) filmed Clara cooking her mother's meals in 2007 and posted them online on YouTube. The number of people searching for Depression and Depression food ideas helped the YouTube series become an online hit.

The Great Depression Cooking Show

In her Youtube Depression Era cooking videos she shares her recipes, her words of wisdom and her stories from the years in which she was a young member of a family without much money. She shares lots of advice on making meals for less money and includes recipes for dishes like pasta with peas and eggplant parmesan. It was definitely a simpler time and a more difficult time.

Clara says, "Welcome to my kitchen. I'm Clara. I'm 94. I've written a book to help you get through the hard times." Her videos include many recipes for a recession or for tough times. Visit with Clara in this short, two-minute video as she is interviewed by Katie Couric. 

Clara's Kitchen (The Book)

The success of the web series resulted in the cookbook, which is an interesting read for anyone interested in learning about what people went through during the Depression and for anyone looking for some simple, economical recipes and meal ideas. Watch this short advertisement for the cookbook here:

About the cookbook, Rosi Creen said, "Clara was the Grandmother everyone should have! I viewed her DVD, Youtube segments and her blog. Yes, Clara blogged! When I saw she had a book due out, I think I was the first to pre-order it. I stayed up all night just to read her book. What an awesome lady! Would have loved to meet her in person. I picked up a few copies for family and friends. God bless you Clara!"

Reviews include words like touching and well-written. Readers, whether aware of the video sensation or not, are charmed by Clara and delighted to find a book on the subject of depression era cooking. They celebrate the peek into the memories, photos, and recipes of this 1920s and 1930s Italian immigrant family. They celebrate the simple recipes like Dandelion Salad, Eggs and Potatoes, Pasta with Beans, Pasta with Broccoli, Pasta With Escarole. Meals with inexpensive ingredients like pasta, greens, eggplant, eggs, potatoes and tomato sauce. They celebrate the nutritional common sense that includes plenty of fresh vegetables and minimal meat, which was done in those years for economical reasons but is celebrated today as a good way to eat. They celebrate the fact that Clara remained cheerful and practical through out the book even though she shared the struggles and stresses of life in a family trying to make ends meet.

Writer P. Duncan said, "I ordered several copies of this book. I had watched her videos and of course was charmed. I started to read one of the copies I bought and got through 30 pages and knew I was going to give more for gifts before Christmas. Thank you Clara for sharing."

The Great Depression Cooking Show DVD

Yes, you can buy Clara's video on a DVD. On the Great Depression Cooking Show DVD you will find her recipes for Pasta with Peas, Egg Drop Soup, Poorman's Meal, Peppers and Eggs, Homemade Bread, Cooked Bread, Depression Breakfast, Poorman's Feast, Twice Baked Potato and the Holiday Episode plus six DVD exclusive recipes: Pasta with Garlic, Fried Fish, An Afternoon with Clara, Great Depression Survival Tips and Behind the Scenes.

Natalie Shadows said that "It is a wonderful DVD." She elaborated by saying that "Clara was a delightful, feisty and kind personality whose kitchen was a joy to visit. I loved the stories she told about life during the depression while adeptly cooking up her recipes. The meals were so basic that they will seem almost exotic to modern palates, but they exemplify making the most of what you have and appreciating it. Every episode left me with a smile and a desire to do a better job in all areas of my life."

In Closing

I, too, think that Clara Cannucciari would be a pretty interesting lady to meet but she passed away at the age of 98 in 2013. As was required in the Great Depression, Clara did a lot with a little and she appears to have approached it all with a positive attitude. You can buy Clara's cookbook on Amazon  by clicking right here and her video by clicking here.

See you
in the kitchen!

More Cookbooks:

Starbucks: Passion For Coffee Cookbook Review
The Family Dinner Book Review
American Country's Country Cooking

Author's Note: This page was originally written for another website in 2010.

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