The big gift: Vitamix blender
OK, it's bulky and not much of a beauty, but this is the blender every chef covets. If you watch cooking shows, you will have noted that Rick Bayless and Jose Andres use their Vitamix blenders all the time.
Small wonder. It's a real workhorse, holding 64 ounces and boasting a powerful 1,380-watt motor. No balking. Nothing will phase this baby. Plus, the switches are very simple and effective, making it easy to control the texture.
Expensive, yes, but for someone who cooks a lot, a blender like this is invaluable --and a true luxury. (P.S. It comes with a seven-year warranty.)
Vitamix Blenders, from $450 to $600, depending on model. Available at Sur La Table, Williams-Sonoma, Macy’s and other retailers and online sites. Vitamix: (800) 848-2649; www.vitamix.com.
-- S. Irene Virbila
Photo: A Vitamix blender. Credit: Vitamix