The first time I used my Susi garlic press, I was nearly in tears of joy, seeing the entire clove of garlic nicely and finely minced on the counter. I love using garlic, so this was a revelation. I use it nearly every day, and it is as easy to clean as it is to use, never even needing the little red cleaning tool shown. The style these days has changed from my press (in photo), bought in 1989.
This is an amazingly fast instant read thermometer. There are many instant read thermometers on the market. Most are a lot less than instant. While you may be able to use one that takes a whole minute to display properly, sometimes the oven door should not be open so long when something is baking. From reading the internal temperature of a baking loaf of bread to the most expensive prime rib roast, the Thermapen gives a reading in about than 5 seconds flat.
This wonderful technology comes at a price, of course. At approximately $95, this is the high end of the scale, but once you have seen it in action, it is really hard to go back to those others. Anyone who is looking for a great gift for the chef of the household, think of the Thermapen.
Though I am not a trained chef, I cook and prepare gourmet meals, spending many hours with a knife in hand. The use of a good knife is highly important in the kitchen. The comfort in hand, sharpness of blade, how long the blade stays sharp, and balance in the hand are my criteria. These are my opinions only, and may not apply to how they are used by another. If possible, go to a store that sells high quality knives and try them out first. Decide what kind of knife you will use most and invest in at least one good knife.
Wusthof Classic 8 inch chef knife
I have had the Wusthof chef knife for 14 years. The first important thing about Wusthof Classic is that the handles are resin, and not wood. I am constantly cutting and chopping and washing the knives, though never in the dishwasher. Wood handles get dry and need oil, just a fact of life. I look for ease. This was a point in favor of Wusthof. Wusthof uses high carbon steel, which holds a sharp edge far longer than blades with a lower carbon content. With little work, the knife keeps a good sharp edge and cuts easily. The Wusthof chef knife has better weight than any knife I had held before, also a solid point in favor. It is relatively well balanced and has a full tang, meaning the steel extends the entire length of the knife, into the handle, where it is riveted in place.
Top photo: against my hand for size reference
Below: full sized photo
The "bigger model", 600 Professional Series