For the aspiring chef
Kitchen Window is a great place to find a gift for the chef of your family, but the Calhoun Square store is also stocked with great gifts for the rest of your loved ones. I found three nice packages that work for a mix of recipients.
For the wine enthusiast in the family, check out a Vinturi wine aerator. What’s a wine aerator, you ask? It looks like a little shot glass that you hold above your wine glass. When you pour in, for instance, a bottle of Cabernet, the aerator allows the wine to breath, releasing the wine’s aroma and flavors. It also enhances the color of the wine and gives it a smoother finish. Nicole, the very helpful Kitchen Window employee, said she’s used the device and compared it to non-aerated wine. No contest, she said. The aerator does wonders to your vino.
The aerator is $44.99. You could package it with a set of wine glasses by Riedel. The store has a 20 percent sale on the Riedel line. Sets range from $29.99–$98.50.
Here’s a great idea for a family that likes soda. Owner Doug Huemoeller said Soda Stream’s home beverage maker has been the hot gift item this season. The Soda Stream allows families to carbonate their own water and then add the flavoring of their choice. Kitchen Window sells imitation flavors that match popular soda brands, but also sells more exotic flavors like kiwi, mango and lemon grass. And for the energy drink lovers who don’t like to pay $2 for a small can, there is even an energy drink mixture. Nicole points out that the Soda Stream not only cuts costs for a soda-loving family, but also reduces waste because you don’t have to use plastic bottles or aluminum cans. Soda Stream models range from $99.99–$199.99.
OK, you can’t go into a kitchen store and not think of the foodie in your life. Here’s an idea. Sign your loved one up for a “Secrets of the Sushi Roll” cooking class in the store’s new kitchen classroom. Pair the lesson ($75) with a Miya sushi set ($36.99), which includes two plates for sushi rolls, two small bowls for wasabi and chopsticks.
3001 Hennepin Ave.
A few books to get cozy with this winter
When you’re done at Kitchen Window, walk across Hennepin and find a great book at Magers & Quinn.
An even better idea is to visit the bookstore on a Saturday in December, when local authors will be on hand to sign copies of their books. Why not give your mom a book with a personal touch? Signings begin at
1 p.m. on Dec. 4, 11 and 18.
Dec. 4 is food book day. Stewart Woodman, the chef at Heidi’s Minneapolis, 2903 Lyndale Ave., will be on hand to sign copies of his new cookbook, “Shefzilla” ($20.96). When Heidi’s old location burned down last winter, Woodman spent the next several months writing a book about how people can prepare restaurant quality food in their own homes. Also on hand will be Dara Moskowitz-Grumdahl, food critic and author of “Drink This: Wine Made Simple.”
The author series continues Dec. 11 with children’s authors Alison McGhee and Chris Monroe. On Dec. 18 the store will host Kevin Kling, Pam Meier and the authors of “Minnesota 101: Everything You Wanted to Know About Minnesota and Were Going to Ask Anyway.”
Signings aside, there are some great new books available at Magers & Quinn. “Wicked River” by Lee Sandlin ($23.99) tells the story of the Mississippi River before the Civil War, its characters, communities and the boats that navigated its waters. “Little Bee” by Chris Cleave ($12.55) is a book club favorite but its storyline should not be told as it spoils the read.
While you’re in the store, check out some of Magers & Quinn’s collectible books and heavy bound classics. They make great gifts and maybe even a nice present for the shopper.
Magers & Quinn
3038 Hennepin Ave.