Gift ideas for foodies

Last year I posted about gift ideas for the foodie in your life and with the number of shopping days dwindling, I thought I would offer my helpful (hopefully) advice.  If you know someone who lives to eat and takes pleasure in cooking, here are a few ideas.

Stocking stuffers

  • small specialty gadgets – this year due to my new interest in making ravioli I asked for the little wheel that cuts the edges.  I already have the Microplane zesters in 3 different sizes – they are one of my favorite items.
  • wooden spoons and spatulas – you can’t have too many.
  • dishtowels – the good ones from Williams Sonoma are my favorite.  Again, doesn’t sound romantic but I can throw away a few that have seen better days.  My husband knows that these are on my list.
  • magazine subscriptions – my in-laws have given me my subscription to Eating Well magazine as a gift for  years and I really enjoy it.   I also get Food and Wine and am thinking about Cook’s Illustrated.   Put a card announcing the subscription in the stocking.
  • specialty foods – check out your favorite gourmet shop for vinegar, olive oil, jam, honey, condiments, etc.

Specialty food items without leaving home

If you are getting pressed for time, here are some websites that might help Santa out.

  • spices – check out the gift box sets at Penzeys Spices.  They truly have something for everyone and in a wide variety of price ranges.  My sister gave me a set of the Indian curry years ago and they were wonderful.
  • chocolate – we are lucky here in Baltimore to have Kirchmayr chocolate.  If you aren’t lucky enough to live here, check out their web site.  My favorite are the chocolate covered hazelnuts.
  • steaks – a package of filet mignons will be appreciated by your carnivore friends.
  • baking items – if you have someone who is into baking you might want to look at King Arthur flour.
  • ways to channel the Barefoot Contessa – if you are like me and a big fan of Ina’s, check out CassandrasKitchen for some of her favorite things.

Cookbooks

I already have the new Barefoot Contessa cookbook, Foolproof.  Any book of hers is always a hit.  I put tabs on recipes that I use a lot and her cookbooks are filled with them.  Here are a few other favorites:

  • Hors d’Oeuvres by Victoria Blashford-Snell and Eric Treuille – I saw this book in the kitchen at a friend’s home and had to get it.  Great ideas and accessible recipes.  I just made the lobster tarragon bouche filling and the mushroom bouche filling and used them in purchased pastry cups.  Delicious!
  • Mustards Grill Napa Valley Cookbook by Cindy Pawlcyn – I love restaurant cookbooks.  Some of them are better for reading than for using because they have hard to find ingredients or impractical equipment.  The Mustards Grill cookbook is filled with recipes that are delicious and attainable.  I love the salad with warm goat cheese, the seared tuna and the Chilean sea bass with Shiitake mushrooms.
  • Alfred Portale Simple Pleasures: Home Cooking from the Gotham Bar and Grill by Alfred Portale – Portale’s Gotham Grill cookbook is my other favorite restaurant cookbook.  The rack of lamb with merlot sauce, the salmon with artichokes and the tuna have all been standouts.  This cookbook is advertised as being more oriented to home cooking.  Not on my shelf yet but definitely on my wish list!
  • Sunday Soup by Betty Rosbottom – I got this book from the library and it is on my Christmas list this year.  Betty Rosbottom’s column used to be carried by our local paper and I have so many of her recipes saved in my recipe binders.  My chicken chipotle chili is adapted from her recipe.

If you are still stumped, head to your nearest Williams-Sonoma, Sur la Table, or gourmet market and wander around until inspiration strikes.  The foodies in your life will thank you!

Merry Christmas!

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About emenuplan
I love to cook and love to eat. I work full time and have a family so managing good meals during the week requires organization. I'm hoping to share my weekly menu plans and recipes to make things a little easier for those who want to follow along.

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