My Favorite Things: A Gift Guide

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 10.44.20 AMChristmas ain’t far off, and before you know it that ole jolly feller in the red suit will hitch up that and head down the trail to your neck of the woods. We all need a little help with our shopping from time to time and our wish list is sometimes bigger than our wallet.

Now don’t get too excited this isn’t like Oprah where at the end of this post everyone’s going away with a prize! But if Oprah can have her favorite things list then I guess I can too.I thought it might be helpful to highlight some of my favorite things that could be a good gift for someone you know. Many are listed through because I generally find they have better pricing and fast shipping, but there are some additional links and feel free to do your own bargain hunting.

So let’s hitch up the team a little early and help old Santa out. As my dad used to tell us when we were young, “Wish for what you already have and want for what your broke last year.”


Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 9.55.04 AMHeat Resistant Gloves

Through the years of cooking with that old Studebaker wagon I’ve found some things that I rely on. It took me years of letter writing to the North Pole to ever get them tiny folks in the funny hats to start making these: heat proof gloves. Shannon got me some of these for my birthday and they’ve saved me over $400 in burn cream! Available on Amazon $35 click HERE


flat spatulaFlat Spatula/Turner

My flat spatula has been with me for over 24 years and it is a gravy saver, bacon flopper, steak turner and wasp killer. Who hasn’t had lumps in their gravy?  Well this spatula is like an iron you can mash a lump of flour with this tool while stirring and that gravy will be as smooth as a frogs butt on an ice covered pond. I have even turned 12 slices of bacon with this thing at one time! Why you might even get good enough to turn burgers on the grill and swat them pesky wasps at the same time. Just be careful not to get the two out of order – grilled wasp ain’t too good. They don’t make the exact kind I have but this is the same style with a high heat handle. What I prefer is the rounded edges to get around a skillet or Dutch oven. Available at Amazon with free shipping $25 click HERE.


hash knifeHash Knife or Ulu

This is my go-to all purpose kitchen utensil. Some of y’all might have seen me with this on cooking competitions. Another name is also an Ulu. That old relic of mine has gotten me out of a lot of kitchen mishaps. It is the most versatile kitchen utensil I think I have ever seen, it’s a dicer, a chopper and scraper and if you’re in a bind – a spatula. They have been around forever and I think once you use one it will be a trusted tool in your kitchen. There are all sorts of styles out there and most come with their own stand. Click HERE or search on Amazon or Google for “ulu.” Around $12 -$25.


lid lifterlid lifterDutch Oven Lid Lifter

I’ve seen all types of lid lifters for Dutch ovens from homemade to store bought to even folks using a hammer, but this one is high on my list and especially Shannon’s. It gives you stability and peace of mind that you can open that oven full of cobbler without spilling ash in it. It’s got a good grip to let you not only lift the lid but shake the coals off when you’re done cooking. It also is long enough you won’t feel the heat from the coals. I found them at  Gander Mountain ($14.99) currently they’re offering free shipping click HERE or for a longer handle and slightly different grip click HERE


riggin bagduffle bagPersonalized Duffel Bag

I don’t know about y’all but when Shannon and I travel, we sure like to carry on if at all possible ‘cause they either charge you an arm and a leg or you get to your destination while your bag is vacationing in Hawaii. Shannon bought me this bag and it’s a perfect carry-on size with extra compartments and pockets with lots of room. Cowboys also call this a riggin’ or war bag to back their supplies during spring or fall works. Really great pricing for the quality and this specific bag is $31 with embroidery. There are all sorts of styles/colors but here’s the link to the specific one Shannon got me HERE


northstar lanternColeman Northstar Lantern

I’ve been in the dark a lot at the wagon and had so many different kinds of lanterns- I have a lantern graveyard in the barn, but to me this is by far this is the best one. This thing will put out some light! It also puts out a good amount of heat to warm the teepee up on a cold morning. $45 click HERE



Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 10.16.02 AMXL Cot

Speaking of night well let’s look at our sleeping accommodations. Shannon and I have been using these at Cooking school for years and if you’re looking for a cot that will give you room plus also let you even roll over well this is the one for you. No more hanging off the edges or your feet going to sleep from dangling off the end. This is a must for multiple nights of camping or for taller folks. I have the Cabela’s ($130) version HERE or Teton ($114) HERE


a taste of cowboyA Taste of Cowboy

Here’s a shameless plug for our new cookbook coming out! Through food, stories and pictures I want y’all to be transported to our camp and to smell the coffee. Hardbound with over 90 recipes and full color ranch pictures and food shots. Since the release date is April 7, 2015 Christmas can come twice! Get a special pre-order price on AMAZON or BARNES AND NOBLE. After you order, we’ve created free printable flyers to include as your gift until the order arrives at their door. Click HERE for the Merry Christmas version or HERE for the Happy Holidays version.



Croc loaferCroc Loafers

Looking for a good pair of shoes to wear after the chores are done? This is one of the most comfortable pairs I’ve had on my feet.  I’ve seen a lot of cowboys slip into these after work and before supper, as we call it putting on your “shut up dogs,” ‘cause when your feet are tired you need them to stop barking! A variety of colors on Amazon HERE  ($30-$70) or you can get them directly from Crocs ($60) currently with free shipping HERE.


barbed wire artbarbed wire artBarbed Wire Art 

We met Vicki and Roger at a festival we were cooking at and they sure turn out some unique creations. Check out their website HERE for a variety of standing and wall art, all made from barbed wire. Specialty and custom signs are also available and make a great personal gift. Vicki’s creations are amazing and the pictures just don’t do them enough justice!



Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 12.54.55 PM B & R Custom Cookers

This is one of those impressive gifts.  Luis Buentello of B&R Custom Cookers gets plumb creative and this is a unique gift idea for the outdoor cooking enthusiast or the person that has everything. He whips up woks, grills, BBQ sets, Propane or wood cookers, smokers… you name it he’s probably done it! Because these are custom made they can take 6 or weeks or more for delivery. It’s a little close for Christmas delivery, but I’ve been known to give a Christmas gift that shows up a little after the actual holiday. Or keep in mind this is a great Father’s Day gift too. Check out Luis’ Facebook page HERE.


Screen Shot 2014-11-22 at 9.14.22 AM

shaveshaveBarber Shop Shave

A few Father’s days ago Shannon bought me an old-fashioned shave at a barber shop in OKC. I’ve always wanted to have one and it was sure nice. To follow that up she also got me some at home shave gifts. The Taconic in Eucalyptus HERE ($11) is my favorite shaving soap. I’ve always been a cheap foam kind of guy, but now I prefer this method with a brush. It really does make a difference and makes your skin feel refreshed. For a starter set check out something like HERE ($40), from Colonel Conk. I’ve also tried and liked the Colonel Conk in Almond Shave ($5) HERE along with the almond aftershave ($24) HERE


I hope this helps or at least gets your brain to working on some of your own gift ideas.

3 thoughts on “My Favorite Things: A Gift Guide

  1. Kent;

    I started “wet” shaving a number of years ago. Actually, I never got used to an electric razor during my early years so I guess I’ve been wet shaving most of my life. Some years back though, I bought a brush, mug, and a puck of shaving soap. Since then I’ve bought a Double Edge Razor,
    and, I still use my Gillette Fusion when I’m in a hurry. In fact, I keep an assortment of different types, and scents of soaps, and creams on hand. I like to rotate them around.

    I’ve been buying the Col Conk Almond, and Glycerin pucks for quite some time. Another great cream type shaving soap is Proraso. It’s made with Eucalyptus Oil and Menthol in Florence Italy. I believe I paid something like $12.00 for a 5.2 oz tube. You can buy almost the same thing at Bath and Body Works for a couple of dollars cheaper though I forget what they call it.

    If your interested [FYI], there’s a Forum web site called Badger & Blade. Lots of great advice/tips on all methods of wet shaving.

    Thanks again for an excellent article.

    • I’ll have to look into the proraso I sure like Eucalyptus. I think I’ve used the bath a body product before too it’s either their brand or maybe the Bigelow brand. Very impressed with your shaving knowledge sir thanks for sharing. Hope y’all have a great Thanksgiving!

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