HOLIDAY GIFT IDEAS FOR THE COOK, FOOD-LOVER (OR YOURSELF!)
It is certainly the most wonderful time of the year, and I wanted to share with you all some gorgeous and fun gift ideas. Some of these I have and others are fantasy gifts (hint, hint hubby), but I think any cook or food-lover would be thrilled to receive these. Enjoy!
I came across Connected Goods some time ago and have been addicted ever since. The website carries unique and beautiful items that range from handmade quilts and baskets to jewelry and kitchen accessories like these. But the best part is that everything on the site is artisan-made, either locally in the States or internationally, where they employ strict, Fair Trade practices. Each item can be sourced back to the maker, which makes this type of shopping all the more sweet. I personally use this spice server every day!
HAND PAINTED ENAMEL TIFFIN | Connected Goods
It was hard enough to only choose three items from this site! But I do think this Kashmiri tiffin is a lovely addition to anyone's kitchen. Throughout South Asia, tiffins are used as lunch boxes for working individuals or children at school - the beauty is in the fact that it has a number of compartments to keep your food separate AND hot. These are fun to take for a picnic or even to use as serving bowls at dinner. I'm also a fan of stainless steel over plastic any day...
MEXICAN HOT CHOCOLATE GIFT SET | Food52
Food52 has outdone itself in its Provisions section - I literally can't visit it without finding 10 things I MUST have for my kitchen. This is a great gift for the chocolate lover and comes with a little woven basket full of cinnamon-y Mexican chocolate, a traditional frother, and clay pot. I personally always have tablets of Mexican chocolate lying around to make thick and luscious Mexican hot chocolate (spiked around the holidays...)
AMBATALIA UTENSIL WRAP | QUITOKEETO
This is another site that acts as a dream kitchen wishlist....This linen case is perfect for those of us that don't want to use (and waste) disposable flatware. Carrying around your own silverware just became stylish and chic (and environmentally-friendly!).
TORTUGA RUM CAKES | TORTUGA
Not too long ago, I took a truly amazing vacation in Barbados with great friends. All of the low-carbing to fit into my suit went out the window, and in the airport on the way back, I ate 2 of these out of the box. Truthfully, I just placed an order for a silly number of cakes to give away to friends and family (the chocolate and coffee ones) for the holidays and picked up some chocolate rum balls too. You won't regret these - they are everything you want in a good, boozy rum cake.
AGED TIN CAKE STAND | CANVAS INTERIORS
And while on the subject of cakes, here is the perfect stand to display your rum cake. Tiers and cake stands are great for holiday parties and summer entertaining alike, and I'm always looking for ones with a bit of edge - not too perfect, a bit antique. This one is a standout, and hopefully my friends are reading this because I don't have it yet!! :)
MASANOBU KNIVES | Korin
Great knives are second to none for someone who likes to cook, and these are the ones I use day in and day out. Love these because they are forged from Japanese steel, keep their edges, have great balance and weight, but are also Western-style. As a gift a few years back, my husband got me three of them - a Santoku, a slicer, and a pairing knife - and that's pretty much all I need. Needless to say, that made Christmas for me!
MOROCCAN TAGINE | LE CREUSET
When I was in Morocco a few months back, I learned the art of the tagine. Sure, I had been cooking them for years, but this was the real deal. The traditional tagine is made out of clay which retains heat amazingly well and lends itself to long slow cooking. Usually, it's all done on the stove top. What I love about this modern version is that it's cast iron, which means it too has great heat retention and is excellent for braises, but you can also sear right on the stove top and then transfer to the oven - braised short ribs, lamb shanks, stewed chicken all would be incredible in here.
CHOCOLATE-DIPPED FIGS | ZINGERMAN'S
Zingerman's is THE go-to for mail-order foodstuffs - from Italian wild cherries to global breads to truly gorgeous gift baskets. I can always get hard-to-find ingredients and spices here, and they also offer delicious monthly clubs (including a bacon club). I don't think chocolate-dipped figs really need any more explaining...enough said!
HAND-BLOWN DECANTER | ahalife
Simple and elegant, this decanter crosses design boundaries and easily fits on anyone's dinner table. Quite frankly, I'd serve water in it too if I had non-drinkers at the table.
GLENNA SERVEWARE | ANTHROPOLOGIE
When I was cooking and photographing my cookbook, any time I needed a little culinary accessory, a plate, a Moroccan tea glass, whatever, I would run into Anthro. They just have beautiful stuff, plain and simple. I'm loving the bowls and platters here.
DAYNA DECKER CANDLES | DAYNA DECKER
When the holiday cooking is done and you want to clear the scents out of the kitchen, these candles do the job. All of the scents are transporting, and they burn forever. Plus, the wick makes a little sounds like a small fire burning, a crackling. Love.