While there are plenty of occasions to give and receive throughout the year, the holidays are my favorite time to spoil loved ones. There’s just something special about this time of year!
My family is BIG on tradition, and we typically get together several times throughout the month of December to bake holiday treats, view light displays, and watch Christmas movies.
The most important of our holiday rituals is spending Christmas Day together with our adult children.
I take a lot of time picking out gifts for my friends and family, so I thought I’d share some of those ideas with all of you! As this is a food blog, and I’m also obsessed with all things food, the gift ideas are for… wait for it… foodies!
This year, I’ve put together a list of gift ideas that each have their own theme. There are a total of 20 gift ideas; four themes, each with four thoughtful presents for the special foodie in your life.
Each of the themes is designed to treat a particular type of foodie. I’ve created lists for the Kitchen Newbie, the Entertainer, the Globe Trotter, and the Coffee Aficionado.
Now, without further adieu, here’s the gift guide!
For the Kitchen Newbie: Curate a Library of Cookbooks!
We all know someone who is just starting out in the kitchen, whether it be your college-aged niece, your newlywed son, or even your own spouse! Note to men: please don’t suggest to your wife that she’s not experienced in the kitchen. I don’t think she’ll like that.
This book is like the bible of cooking methods. It’s probably the single largest book I own, and likely the most useful, too. It’s filled with step-by-step instructions and pictures for everything from poaching an egg to perfecting filet mignon. It’s a great reference guide to have on hand, and in my experience it has been entirely trustworthy.
Saveur is known for their global recipes, but there are plenty of recipes in this cookbook that would satisfy even the most meat-and-potato-loving person you know. It’s a great book to pull out when you want to whip up something special, and the instructions are very descriptive and understandable. A subscription to the Saveur magazine would be a great idea, too!
This was one of the first cookbooks I ever owned, and I still leaf through its dog-eared pages on a regular basis. I haven’t found a dud recipe!
Similar to the ATK Cooking School book, this instructional book focuses more on technique than on specific recipes. The goal of the book is to teach you enough basics that you feel comfortable to cook meals without using recipes. I don’t own this cookbook, but it’s been on my Amazon list for at least three years.
For the Entertainer: Stock a Gourmet Pantry
I love having people over for dinner because it gives me an excuse to use some of my “special occasion” pantry items!
Here are a few of my favorite ideas and sources:
Honey Ridge Farms: Their coconut honey cream is to die for! I stir it into my coffee in the morning and drizzle it over Greek yogurt for a quick snack. The flavor is fresh and surprising… and a little bit addictive. You’ve been warned. Along with a little olive oil, their balsamic honey vinegar is the perfect instant salad dressing!
Wild Hibiscus: These hibiscus flowers in syrup are a total show stopper! I’m also totally obsessed with this b’Lure Flower Extract. It’s blue when it comes out of the bottle, but turns purple and pink if you mix it with lime or lemon juice! It’s such a fun addition to your bar, and makes for quite the conversation starter at a cocktail party.
Gourmet Spices: Fresh spices make all the difference in the world! When I buy by the bottle, I get mine from Simply Organic and Frontier Co-op, but I love RawSpiceBar as a fun subscription option to try new (and super fresh!) spices.
Olive Oils and Salts: I love, love, love this Koroneiki Olive Oil from Oregon Olive Mill at Red Ridge Farms. I’ve been obsessed with finding the perfect olive oil ever since I went to Greece, and this is definitely the best I’ve found. They also have a wide variety of vinegars and salts, my favorite of which are the Applewood Smoked Sea Salt, which makes everything taste like it just came out of the smoker, and the Black Truffle Sea Salt which is just plain amazing.
For the Globe Trotter: Gifts to Scratch that Wanderlust Itch
Gifts for the best kind of people:
Reserve a spot in a local cooking class that specializes in global cuisine. Thai, French, and Italian food are good options, or opt for a more adventurous choice like Dim Sum or Sushi. Bonus points if you sign up to go with them! Sur La Table has some good options.
You can never go wrong with cookbooks! Check out my list of international cookbooks right here.
Another great idea is a subscription to the new Try the World boxes, or get even more creative and put together a basket of imported goodies from World Market. Don’t forget the wine.
For the Coffee Aficionado: Morning Upgrades
Let’s be real. Coffee should be consumed in the afternoon and evening, too. Sleep is for the weak.
As a life-long French Press advocate, I surprised myself by recently making the switch to siphon-brewed coffee. This Siphon Brewer from KitchenAid is basically the love of my life.
It makes my mornings so much more bearable, and it’s fun to bring out for an after-dinner cup of coffee when you’re entertaining guests.
Another option for the coffee-drinker-who-has-everything is a Burr Grinder. I have this one from KitchenAid and I’m pretty sure it will outlive me.
The perfect cup of coffee starts with perfectly roasted coffee beans. Help your loved one find their favorite brew by gifting a Mistobox subscription. You get extra points if you place the order ahead of time so the recipient can enjoy a cup of coffee after presents are opened on Christmas morning.