My Tasty 2011 Holiday Gift Guide
Is it THAT time of year again, already?
Well, here are some of the goodies on my shopping list this year. Given the sad state of the economy, all of my selections this year are super affordable–mostly in the $15- $30 range. Looking for more inspiration? Check out last year’s Tasty Holiday Gift Guide as well!
Best Gift for the Intestinally Challenged Foodie: A Fabulous, ‘Free-from’ Cookbook
If my blog and others of its ilk haven’t proven to you yet that gluten-free cooking can be every bit as delicious (and indulgent, at times) as its wheaty counterpart, then its time to bring in the heavy artillery: Barbara Kafka’s new tome, The Intolerant Gourmet: Glorious Food Without Gluten and Lactose . Like a modern ‘Joy of Cooking’ for those of us who have gluten or lactose intolerance– and those of you who host us at your homes for Thanksgiving and other holidays–this book is an essential reference of fantastic recipes that can be enjoyed by everyone around the table. While I’m not buying this for anyone else, I’m hoping my Secret Snowflake reads my blog with some regularity and picks up a copy of this for me for our family Hannukah gift exchange this year!
Best Gift for your Long-Distance, Sweet-Toothed Sweetie: Mail-order Macarons
Macarons from Mad Mac are created by Chef Florian Bellanger, a veteran of Paris’ best patrisseries, including Pierre Herme (swoon) and Fauchon. The company will ship trays of their divine, freshly-baked, gluten-free macarons anywhere in the country via UPS. These are the real deal, people. And you don’t even have to wait on line for an hour at Ladurée for a taste of the best version of Paris’ signature pastry available on this side of the Atlantic. Choose from collections of the classic flavors, or treat your sweetie to the limited edition Winter collection, which includes pumpkin, cinnamon, earl grey, chocolate/orange, white chocolate and chestnut/whiskey. Pardon me while I wipe the drool off my keyboard now.
Best Gift for your Favorite DIY’er: Mozzarella Cheesemaking Kit
I’ve been DYING to make my own Mozzarella Cheese, which is reportedly super easy to do. Alas, it cannot be done using UHT (ultra-high temperature) pasteurized milk, which applies to all of the Lactose-free milk I come across (Lactaid and Organic Valley brands). *Sigh*. This Mozzarella Cheesemaking Kit, therefore, should be reserved for the lactose tolerant person in your life who loves to play around in the kitchen and make pizza or other mozz-centric Italian dishes. If they have access to awesome local milk from nearby dairy farms or farmer’s markets, whis would make an even cooler gift (and more delicious cheese).
Best Gift for the Kids in your Life: The Gift of Fun Mealtimes
The Mr. Food Face plate reminds me of those toys as a kid where you’d use a magnetic stylus to move around magnetic “hair” on a variety of cartoon heads. What better way to acquaint a highly neophobic young eater with the friendly side of their fruits and veggies as they delight the unique colors, shapes and textures these foods add to a meal? (Of course, it comes in a Ms. Food Face version as well.)
Along similar lines, school-aged kids have fun with their food using Constructive Eating’s Construction Plate and Utensils. With all the fun of using the pusher to guide food onto the spoon… and ultimately into the mouths… kids may be tempted to finish everything on their plates. Including their peas, brussels sprouts, lima beans and all the other delicious foods that children stereotypically won’t eat.
Best Secret Santa/Stocking Stuffer Gift for Your Single Friend/Brother/Sister: Perfectly Brewed Coffee for One
Why should the live-alone crowd have to choose between instant coffee (yuk), brewing a full pot of coffee when they only want one cup (wasteful) or investing in an expensive pod-based system ($$)? Single people have rights, you know! The Clever, sold by Gimme! Coffee, is an elegant, $15 solution: a countertop-to-mug contraption that produces perfect cups of filtered coffee from their favorite grinds. While you’re browsing the site, check out some of Gimme’s! unique, sustainable coffee varieties, many of which are Limited Edition.
Best Gift for Your Green, Brown-Bagging Work friend: Reusable BPA-free Stacking Lunch Box
I don’t know about you, but I like to bring soups and chilis to work with me when I’m brown-bagging it. And that tends not to work so well in the standard insulated lunchbox/lunchbag scenario. This stacking version is reminiscent of the Indian “Tiffin,” allowing you to pack meal components in two different compartments (Soup and salad? Leftover rice and stir fried veggies? Chili and toppings?) and heat up one or both directly in the carrying case. Clever!
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