One of our favourite things of all time, this Joseph Joseph nested bowl set is so joyful to use and kid's just love baking with it. With a large bowl for mixing, a smaller bowl for weighing and sifting ingredients, and 4 cups for measuring it will fit into a child's hand easily. The cup method is particularly easy for small children who may not know their numbers yet. Use a recipe that measures in cups and all they have to do is add one cup of one ingredient, half of another, a quarter of another, mix it up and before you know it, a cake they have made from pops out of the oven. Easy to wash, no sharp edges, these bowls are a blessing for adults too.
Available at Meadows and Byrne and homeware shops around the country and Amazon.co.uk at £16.19 plus delivery.
Meet Lazy Linda, the vamped-up Lazy Susan - by UK Designer Simon Wilkinson for Royal VKB, the designer responsible for affordable, well-designed household items. Instead of storing cooking utensils in a stuffed drawer, condiments at the back of the cupboard and whisks and spatulas on a bar above the cooker where they attract grease, pop them into your Lazy Linda, give it a whirl and choose the item you need. Royalvkb products are available at Avoca Rathcoole and Kilmacanogue, 68 South Great Georges Street, Dublin 2 (buy online at http://www.designist.ie/). Call first to make sure they have one in stock.
Molecular Gastronomy Kit If you want to follow in the footsteps of Heston Blumenthal or Harold McGee then you just have to buy this Molecular gastronomy kit. It includes a tool kit of measuring spoons, pipettes, plastic tubing, a syringe and sachets of four of the key ingredients used in this style of cooking – soy lecithin, agar-agar, Calcium Lactate, and Xanthan Gum – plus 50 videos of recipes you can make with the kit. Watch how top chefs create beet, chive or strawberry foams; make your very own molecular egg; whizz up mint caviar that pops in your mouth or my favourite, cook frozen chocolate wind that looks like an Aero bar but is made with just chocolate, water and a sachet of soy lecithin. The ultimate boy’s toy for the gourmet who is glued to Masterchef.
The Ginger Pig Cookbook and a present of your very own pig When Alice Waters in Chez Panisse talked about the concept of 'from farm to fork', she started a global food lovers' movement to question the provenance of food. Where has your food been - and how has it been treated - before it reaches your table? Now is your chance to live the dream. Hellfire Pigs will sell you a rare breed pig, reared by hand on a farm in the Dublin mountains for €9 a kilo. Brefni, the pig farmer, feeds them hay and apples to sweeten the flesh and chooses old-fashioned breeds that deliver a wonderfully textured meat with fat that melts in your mouth. You can buy a gift voucher for a quarter, half or a whole pig (Dublin only). If you want to know more about rare breeds meats and to understand the cuts, you can't do better than buy a copy of Mitchell Beazley's The Ginger Pig, a bible of recipes and information on meat cuts, breeds and why it's so deliciously important to know where your meat comes from.