A lot of blogs have been publishing posts on Holiday gift ideas. I’ve actually found them super useful for things to add to my Christmas list.

I know it’s pretty late, but hopefully not too late, especially with a lot of places offering expedited shipping. This weekend I perused through my kitchen to see which of my kitchen gadgets and cake pans I love and use the most and wanted to share them with you. Perhaps they will be ideas for a gift for someone, or for yourself. Hopefully next year I’ll get my act together sooner and publish a more extensive list, including cutesy gifts, etc.

My Favorite Kitchen Gadgets

Escali Promo Digital Scale

So many recipes I come across give ingredient measurements in weight. This scale has been a lifesaver and costs less than $20. It’s hard to find conversions sometimes for a recipe you want to check out and it’s much easier to just buy a scale. As an added bonus, this is great for weighing packages you need to ship out too.

Catskill Pastry Board

If you’re working with dough, this pastry board is so very helpful. Not only is it a sturdy block of wood, but it also has measurements on the board, so you know exactly how much to roll out your dough, etc. I love my board and use it all the time.

Please note: the giveaway is now closed. Foodbuzz will be choosing the winner in January. Good luck to those who entered!

This last week has been a lot of holiday eating. A lot of holiday eating. The other night, FH and I went with some friends to Kous Kous, a Moroccan restaurant we’ve always enjoyed.

Not only was this a good chance to enjoy a meal before the holidays with friends, but it also gave me a chance to check about American Express’ new Serve program, which I’ll detail more at the end of this post. In addition, one person commenting on this post will win $100 American Express’/Serve credit, find out more at the end of this post. You can do anything you want with the money: use it to pay for dinner, transfer it back into your bank account, etc.

Once we arrived, we noticed some different items on the menu and also the addition of a cocktail menu. You can view the full menu here.

The left is a Moroccan Kiss (champagne, pomegranate juice, orange blossom, St. Germain liquor).

The right is a Sit Sin (Citrus & Cinnamon ~ Mandarin Absolut, Citron Absolut, orange juice, cinnamon schnapps, cream)

For our starter we chose the vegetarian platter:

Zaalouk, My Ratatouille, Endive Pockets, Moroccan Potato Salad

It’s a week until Christmas. Can you believe it? It totally snuck up on me. I know I say that every year, but I feel like this year it really really did. I’ve had a crazy business month. And when I’ve had time off, I’ve been so tired, I don’t have the energy to do much of anything.

Normally, holiday cookie baking is one of my favorite things. I love trying out new recipes, improving on old ones. But so far I haven’t baked a single holiday cookie. Not one. I finally had some time this weekend to do a quick one.

I do plan on mustering the energy and time to bake my usual holiday goodies so I can pass them to friends and family. But I realize that I won’t be able to blog about them on the blog before Christmas for anyone looking for inspiration or ideas, like I have in year’s past. So at the end of this post, I’m sharing some of my holiday favorites from previous years.

Now onto these red velvet cookies. I like making these during the holidays because they are so festive.  For this version, I decided to make them extra big and with a nice Nutella center. Because my goal is to stuff Nutella into everything. (I’m half kidding.)