A Foodster's Gift Guide: When You're Just Starting Out

This week, we'll be serving up gift guides for the food-lovers in your life. Whether just starting out, a seasoned eater and cook, a dessert fiend, male, or female, we've got something for all of the foodsters on your holiday list. First up is my picks for those newbie foodsters who are trying to break into cooking at home. Though an at-home cooking collection is an ever-evolving organism, for my gift picks I've selected some fun basics that anyone can enjoy. Case in point: The Insanely Useful All-in-One Cook Prep Set. This complete set (for under $55 no less!) is screaming with fun, punchy color and is making me want to forget that I already have a beyond adorb Williams-Sonoma green mixing bowl and measuring set in my cupboard. And since I'm of the mind that gifts should be fun, useful, and something that one would not generally buy themselves, all of the items in this gift guide fit the bill. Take a look...

Kitchen Timer, Anthropologie ($12); Insanely Useful All-in-One Cook Prep Set, Delight.com ($54.50); The Joy of Cooking, Amazon.com ($20.47); Taste Test Recipe Book, Anthropologie ($28); Waffle Gift Set, Sur La Table ($49.96)

Kitchen Timer - I received this retro-looking magnetic timer as a bridal shower gift (in red of course) and use it every day (love ya Catherine!). It's the perfect stocking stuffer.

Insanely Useful All-in-One Cook Prep Set - I stumbled upon this and have since fell in love. It's the perfect set to punch up an eclectic kitchen or first apartment. The complete 8 piece set includes a large mixing bowl, colander, sieve, small mixing bowl w/ measurements, 4 measuring cups: 1 Cup, ½ Cup, 1/3 Cup, ¼ Cup. You can also snap up the 3-piece set which includes medium mixing bowl, small mixing bowl w/ measurements , juicer. What more could a girl want?

The Joy of Cooking - So fittingly, this was gift I received from my mom. Don't be discouraged by it's daunting size or lack of glossy photos. It's the ultimate, the original, and a great starting place for beginners.

Taste Test Recipe Book - Every new cook needs their own recipe book. Start your collection by gathering recipes you love from family and friends and add your own over time.

Waffle Gift Set - Does it get any more fun that this? This set includes all the trimmings and fixin's for a fabulous brunch at home. The complete set includes a non-stick waffle pan, a holiday-perfect gingerbread pancake and waffle mix, holiday syrup, and a gingerbread kitchen towel. Oh, and if that's not enough to get you going, the pan is dishwasher safe to boot. I know I'm excited...

So there you have it. A gift guide for the new cook. What do you think? Anything on this list strike your fancy? Any further giftable suggestions for the cook just beginning his or her love affair with the at-home culinary arts?