The heart of a home is the kitchen

By Jean Sanders
Info Guru,

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By definition a kitchen is the food preparation area, but it's so much more
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Browse for the best kitchen gifts

From once being the hub of just cooking activity, the kitchen has morphed into being the heart of a home—not only for cooking, but also for eating and for gathering around the kitchen table for some good conversation (or perhaps a game of cards, or Monopoly, for that matter).. It is a place in one's home that exudes warmth and congeniality. The kitchen has become the focal point for so many families that those looking to purchase a new house look first at the kitchen to determine if it will fit in with their lifestyle. Home sales are often killed because the kitchen just doesn't "cut it."

The sales of kitchen items and appliances have skyrocketed and so have sales of kitchen gifts. Go online and you'll find numerous sites dedicated to this particular category. Gifts range from the practical to the whimsical—from the standard toaster (and, of course, the new electronic models) to the delightfully silly Kit-Cat clock. The trend seems to try to replicate all the best stuff from Mom's kitchen - like green glassware, chrome-finished toasters and those curvy small appliances—with the hope to reconnect with happy childhood memories. Retro is definitely in and just one of the ideal kitchen gifts available is the old favorite, the crock pot or slow cooker. Many food magazines are now featuring recipes specifically for these old favorites. Undoubtedly, today's fast paced, time consuming life has contributed to their resurgence in the kitchen. Retro housewares has always been a niche, but now it's a mainstay of design. One the better sites to browse when shopping for kitchen gifts is Ginny's Catalog, which has a broad range of products for almost every room in a home.

The range of gifts for the kitchen is seemingly endless and the range of prices is vast. So, whatever your gift giving budget is, you'll be able to find the perfect gift by going to the vast Internet shopping mall. From dish towels to oven mitts to the latest in coffee makers, there's an online cataloger and merchant that has just the right gift for you at just the right price. Save yourself the trouble of wandering in and out of retail shops until your eyes light upon that "perfect" item. Don't even bother to leave your house or your computer. Just point and click and you'll find exactly what you've been looking for.

A good cook always has a reliable set of kitchen canisters that will keep the flour, sugar, rice, etc fresh, that are easy to access and that look good on a kitchen counter or shelf. Of course, there are the old standbys in glass, but today there are so many others to choose from. Like sleek, oval-shaped mirror-finished stainless steel canisters that combine style with utility with a see-through window, a removable glass insert (that you fill with flour, sugar, etc.) and tight-fitting lids with neoprene gaskets to lock freshness in. And, of course, the glass inserts are dishwasher safe. This set of kitchen canisters would look great in any contemporary kitchen.

Other canisters include exquisite, new, glass canisters in sparkling, jewel tones of blue, red or green. They represent beauty for the countertop that also just happens to be functional. . Who would have thought flour, sugar and coffee could look so beautiful? These generously sized canister have gleaming, hand-polished, domed aluminum lids with rubber gaskets around the bottoms to help lock in freshness and are styled with ribbed sides and flared rims. A three-piece set includes 64-, 96- and 128-oz. square canisters (from 8" to 12" high). Truly an eye catcher and a wonderful gift—for yourself or someone else who is very special! There are also kitchen canisters that are hand-painted with lush apples, pears, plums and grapes. Truly bountiful beauty for the countertop! This trio of ironstone canisters turns everyday utility into an art form. There are also fun canisters in the shape of apples or even cats. Check out all the kitchen canisters that are available online and enliven your kitchen and lighten your mood.

Whether plain water glasses or multi colored wine goblets, glassware gifts seem appropriate for any occasion. And, we all know that our supply of everyday glasses has a way of decreasing over time. They crack, they break or they just get lost. That's why glassware gifts are always appreciated. There are so many from which to choose—glasses for water, for wine, for juice for highballs, and, there are shot glasses, too. So many—from the ordinary to the extraordinary. That's why shopping online for glassware gifts is so much fun. You'll find things you never thought of and, if you surprise yourself, just think how delighted the lucky recipient will be.

Glassware gifts need not be restricted to those from which you drink; there is also nonstick glass bakeware that can do everything metal, ceramic or ordinary glass pans can do only faster and better. Plus it cleans like a breeze and you can use it in the microwave — try doing that with aluminum! Glass bakeware is so versatile; you can cook, serve and store in the same pan and it's oven safe to 500° F; it's dishwasher safe, too. You can find glass bakeware sets at Ginny's Catalog. They're very reasonably priced and make a wonderful gift for anyone who takes pride in cooking and serving. For those who collect paperweights, check out the variety you can find at numerous online sites. From hand painted miniature teapot designs to hand-blown animal shapes, the array of glass paperweights is astounding. The colors and workmanship are exquisite. Paperweights make ideal gifts—even for someone who is not a collector. Once they receive just one, they are liable to develop an acute interest in paperweights because a paperweight is perfect for any room in a home or for the office. It's an unusual gift that will be appreciated by anyone lucky enough to receive it. Who knows? You might start a whole new trend.

A thoughtful reminder: When ordering online make certain the order site has the security symbol so you know you can order with confidence. Happy shopping!

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