The Beth Cato Kitchen Gift Guide

Posted by on Nov 20, 2017 in Blog, Bready or Not | 2 comments

‘Tis the season to buy stuff. Permit me to help. Since you’re here, you probably know I have a lot of books out, including my brand new collection Red Dust and Dancing Horses and the 2nd book in my Blood of Earth trilogy, Call of Fire.

I also have a new cookbook, an Amazon exclusive for just $1.99: Sweet Maple!

I mention a lot of cooking ingredients and implements on Bready or Not. Today, I’m recommending my favorite stuff. Note that all of the links in the photographs are Amazon-affiliated, but this is all stuff I’ve bought with my own money. No corporate freebies involved (but if any corporation wants to reach out *coughs and points to Contact Me link above*).

My food blog is called Bready or Not, so let’s start with a necessary accessory for bready things: a breadbox. I bake my own loaf bread every week, and it doesn’t fit in standard gallon Ziploc bags. No, I rely on this expandable breadbox. It stretches out to accommodate a full loaf, and as the bread is cut down, you slide the box inward. It’s easy to clean with soap and water. It even has built-in vents to open if you have a still-warm loaf. (As an aside to certain friends: yes, this is a firm breadbox.)

I’ve been using Coombs Maple Sugar for a few years now. I LOVE this stuff. The sugar is a range of sizes, from fine to coarse, which adds wonderful texture to recipes; sprinkle this on top of a milk-brushed pie crust about to go in the oven! The container is large, but it’s narrow and stores easily. Which is good, because even if you bake a lot of maple goodies, this thing will probably last awhile.

On the subject of maple, I buy my maple flavor from Amazon as well. (I live in Arizona, people. I can’t find this on the shelf here.) I like this Frontier Co-op brand. The flavor is strong and the liquid provides a nice brown tint to baked goods.

Cookie scoops are important. I advise having at least teaspoon and tablespoon size around, and an even larger one is great to use if you’re doling our muffin batter. I’ve been using a tablespoon-sized Oxo scoop for over five years now, and it puts up with a lot of use and abuse.

I used to buy bulk quinoa and rice and try to drain it using cheese cloth. It was horrible, especially with the quinoa. I have no issues washing rice and grains now that I have this nifty rice washer. The holes are really tiny; quinoa can’t even escape through the bottom. Plus, it ends up being a handy extra colander for washing things like vegetables.

The $200+ price tag on this bread machine might make you blanch, but this is THE bread machine. I use this to make most of my bread dough in exactly 1 hour 50 minutes. I’ve now had this machine over 10 years, use it several times a week, and it continues to work like a champ. You can bake full loaves in it, too–and the shape is a nice horizontal loaf, unlike other bread machines–but I much prefer to use this for making dough and then bake the bread in my oven.

I loved my bread machine so much, I bought the Zojirushi rice cooker as well. Again, it’s pricey, but it is reliable and wow, the quality of rice it makes will spoil you quite quickly. Plus, the rice cooker SINGS. It does little songs when it begins and ends. When it’s done, the machine will keep the rice piping hot for a long time, too.  You can also make quinoa in this in 30 minutes.



  1. Zojirushi also makes the best coffee mugs! We used to use the Contigo ones from Costco and they did a good job keeping stuff warm, but the lids are impossible to clean and quickly got disgusting. The Zojirushi ones are superior in every way!

    • I did not know about their coffee mugs! I must investigate. This could be a good gift for my husband.