Carmel Valley Kitchen Christmas List

Carmel Valley San Diego Community | Carmel Valley Kitchen Christmas List | Dave Clegg

Photo by Layla Mazdyasni

December 1, 2011

Dear Santa,

It’s almost Christmas again and we can’t believe it.  But you know how time flies when you’re preparing and eating terrific food right here in the heart of Carmel Valley.  It’s the universal common denominator that makes all people happy.

We had a great year at CVK.  We created many new recipes, we checked out the latest in equipment and appliances, we found some new places for exotic ingredients and we donated lessons to several fund raisers.

We even won third place at the San Diego County Fair with our basic cheese cake…and on the first try too!!!!!!!!

Soooooooo Mr. Claus, and you knew this was coming, we’ve attached our Christmas list for this year.  Everything on it is absolutely guaranteed to make any cook happier and better equipped to create tasty culinary delights that will surely please everyone around him.

And just to make it easier for you Mr. C, everything is available in the Carmel Valley area or on the web at the appropriate website.

Thanks for thinking of CVK and we can’t wait for Christmas morning!


CVK Staff



Anything by Ina Garten, especially Barefoot Contessa, Back To Basics”, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook”,Barefoot Contessa Family Style”,Barefoot Contessa ‘How Easy Is That’?” and “The Barefoot Contessa At Home”.  Lots of easy to follow recipes that can be classified as “comfort food” at its best.  Barnes and Noble or

Alton Brown, “I’m Just Here For The Food” ,this is a fantastic book that explores the physics and chemistry involved in cooking and is presented in a way that’s easy to understand.  Everybody should have an idea of what’s actually going on in the pan or bowl when the ingredients come together and the heat is turned on.  Barnes and Noble or

James Peterson, “Kitchen Simple: Essential Recipes For Every Day Cooking”, current and easy to follow with great ideas. Barnes and Noble or

Williams Sonoma Collection, “Sauce” by Brigit Bins, easy and unusual sauces for meat, fish and poultry…a must have book.  Any book in this series is wonderful.  Ralphs, Vons,

“The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook 2001-2012: Every Recipe From The Hit TV Show With Product Ratings And A Look Behind The Scenes”,  this is great reference with new takes on old recipe favorites, equipment and product reviews.  COSTCO

“The New Basics Cook Book” by Julee Rosso and Shelia Lukins, another great reference book as well as a recipe catalogue that you’ll use it on a regular basis.  COSTCO,

“Pacifica Blue Plates” by Neil Stuart, original chef at Pacifica Del Mar, one of north county’s oldest and best loved restaurants.



All-Clad 6 ½ Quart Clear Lid Slow Cooker: get on the slow cooker band wagon, best value out there according to America’s Test Kitchen. BBB.

Chicago Metallic One Half Sheet Pan set with one wire rack:  two 13”X18” half sheet pans plus one wire rack…a terrific multitasker. Great News.

Lodge 12” Cast Iron Frying Pan:  just like the one your mom and grandma use.  It’s indestructible and indispensible in the kitchen and can be used to fry, sear, sauté, bake or roast and is VERY INEXPENSIVE. Walmart.

ACCUSHARP Knife and Tool Sharpener:  easy to use, quick to establish a sharp edge. Griffin Ace Hardware.

Rosle Digital Roasting Thermometer:  if you want to cook meat the right way this tool is a must. BBB

Kuhn Rikon Ratchet Mill:  grinder for salt, pepper and any spice; easy to use and very durable.  Sur La Table.

Whiskey Stones:  keep your $100 per bottle scotch or bourbon cool without diluting the drink with ice.  Sur La Table.

Emile Henry Bakeware:  everything they make is an asset to any kitchen.  Great News, BBB.



SEASIDE MARKET CARDIFF:  this is one of our favorite purveyors.  The best quality meat and seafood with a professional, knowledgeable and friendly staff.  Terrific take out deli.

BLUE WATER SEAFOOD MARKET AND GRILL:  most reasonably priced, best menu selection and most generous portions…our favorite.

America’s Test Kitchen, annual membership to their website:  you will be amazed at the volume of information on everything “cooking” that you will have at your fingertips.  Plus, you receive an annual subscription to “Cooks Illustrated Magazine” and weekly emails and videos on recipes and equipment.

Demetria Winery, Demetria Estate 2007 Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills:  brimming with aromas of cherries, strawberries and blue berries, ethereal in the mouth etc etc.  Bottom line… it’s spectacular.

TONY’S JACAL: fantastic Mexican food in Solana Beach since 1946…very reasonable, uncomplicated, mouth watering fare from an extensive menu.  The ‘Carnitas Burrito plain’ might be the best thing you’ll ever eat.


Dave Clegg | Carmel Valley Community Contributor

Dave Clegg


Dave Clegg is a self-taught amateur chef and recipe author who has always been inspired by his Mom’s great cooking. He decided to create “Carmel Valley Kitchen” as a way to share his passion. Our name says everything about our philosophy of cooking great food. We use only fresh, basic, and readily available ingredients and we use only simple recipes where we stress versatility. As Emeril says “we ain’t builden no rocket ship here”. At CVK you’re introduced to cooking for the beginner/intermediate chef that includes a variety of lesson choices including two options for one-on-one learning and two options for creative cooking.


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