Holiday Gift Ideas
It’s December, which means it’s officially holiday season! Okay, so SOME places have had the Christmas stuff out for a few months now, but whatever. I’m here to help you discover great gifts for the food lovers in your life… and since I’m just so nice, I’ll throw in some of my own personal wish list items that paint a more complete picture of who I am outside of being The Feisty Foodie.
- A full spa day at Bliss Spa. I’ve got some girly bits to me, and this has been on my wish list literally for at least 10 years. Bliss is one of the best spas in the world, has an amazing facility (though I’ve never been, sadface), and I adore their products (I’m an avid user and gifter of their skin care products; my personal fave is the fabulous foaming face wash- it’s the secret to why people constantly think I’m oh, 8 years younger than I actually am). Any woman in your life would love a gift certificate to their spa – which can be applied to spa services or their products.
- Mets tickets. I know, I just said I was girly, but you know my heart belongs to the New York Mets (and they keep breaking it). Astute observers will realize that this past season saw only that one update about the concessions to my Citi Field section; sadly, I was priced out of my Sunday plan for the 2012 season. I was so saddened and disheartened by this, I basically didn’t watch baseball for the entire season, catching only a few games here and there… but having my old Sunday plan back (all 13 Sunday home games, not a game more, please!) would really bring me back to my first sport love, baseball (I’m an all-football gal right now).
Okay, I’ll get into the food related items now.
- A new knife. What home cook wouldn’t love a new knife? Well, okay, personally, I have everything I need for right now, my everyday knives and my chef’s knife, slicer, bread knife, paring knife, and really, that’s all I need… but I have been drooling over Japanese knives lately. I’m a Wusthof girl, but… you know… would you say no to a Shun knife?
- Nespresso Pixie. I actually have one of these and it’s a great machine. Great coffee in under a minute… fantastic gift for the coffee lover in your life. Small footprint so it doesn’t take up much real estate in a small city apartment kitchen.
- SodaStream. For the sparkling water lover in your life… which is me. I have wanted one of these since the first time I used one at Beer Boor‘s apartment. I adore seltzer and generally have a few bottles in my fridge at any given time (my current preference is Trader Joe’s lime seltzer, 79c a bottle). I also really like Pellegrino, particularly the pompelmo (grapefruit) flavored one, though that’s closer to a soda. In any case, I mix my own cocktails at home frequently, and seltzer is just a great thing to have on hand to give any drink a bit of a lift – plus it cuts calories by diluting all the sugar and alcohol. They have a lot of different models now, to suit every need, lifestyle, and space.
- Stonehouse Olive Oil. I’m coming to the end of my Persian Lime bottle (which was a gift from another food blogger), and super sad about it… and not sure which bottle to get next! At their storefront in the Ferry Building in San Francisco, they have them out for you to try. I loved the Persian Lime one, but the Blood Orange is super delicious as well… that may be my next purchase. Excellent for zazzing up salad dressings, or even cooking with, drizzle over bruschetta for a little extra oomph… whatever, it’s awesome!
- Frog Hollow Farms. Some of the best fruit available anywhere, whenever I’m in the Bay Area, I make a point to stop by their stand at the Ferry Building and buy some fruit. No matter what I buy, it’s always amazing and excellent. They have tons of goodies to buy, but a fresh weekly or monthly shipment of their amazing fruit should put a smile on anyone’s face.
- Blue Apron. This is the perfect gift for those who like to cook but claim to be too busy. Blue Apron cuts out a lot of the grunt work; provides the ingredients for 3 separate recipes per week, with a lot of the smaller items pre-measured for you, reducing waste and speeding up the cooking process. I had the opportunity to try them out a few months ago, and loved the pretty recipe cards with step-by-step instructions (so it works even for those who aren’t that comfortable in the kitchen), and how they thought of everything so I didn’t have to worry about flour or a bit of red wine vinegar… it was all there.
- PopBar hot chocolate on a stick. I actually was the happy recipient of this last year, and enjoyed it quite a lot. For all my quirks, one thing I really enjoy is a good mug of hot chocolate while watching TV at home on a cold night. I highly recommend this for the chocoholic in your life – though if they’re a true chocoholic, I suggest skipping the white chocolate one.
- Robicelli’s. For my outside-the-NY-metro-area readers, I’m sorry, they do NOT ship the cupcakes I rave about constantly to you due to outrageous shipping costs/needs for such delicate goodies. However, they do ship other stuff they make, which I’m sure is just as fab (I can only attest personally to the brownies being uh-may-zing). I’m extra proud to put them on this list because well, I’ve talked about them since May 2009 (wow). I have been a huge fan from the start, and have watched them shrink, then grow and start to expand and… Allison and Matt are amazing. They deserve all their success and much more; in the wake of the recent superstorm, Allison jumped into the fray. Without a thought for her own problems – having sustained a decent amount of damage to her own business, she just went for it to help other people, and began organizing volunteer efforts, collecting supplies for donation, and just became a one-woman show for helping others. That’s just a small example of the kind of selflessness she possesses, and just one reason why I love her the way I do.
And if she reads this, you know what she’d say? She’d tell me to turn the spotlight off her, and to tell people to do their holiday shopping at Made in NYC, to help rebuild the local businesses that were hit hard by Superstorm Sandy. She’s right. Allison is amazing.
- Chambre de Sucre. Anyone who loves coffee & tea, or sparkling wine, or adorable things, or sugar… really needs this in their pantry. The cutest sugars make any tea time special, and sometimes a girl just wants an afternoon retreat. I have some on hand and they never fail to bring a smile to my face!
- La Maison du Chocolat. Some of the most amazing chocolates … for the serious chocoholic in your life, any assortment would put them over the top. Seriously.
- If you want to take someone out for a meal, I cannot stress enough how incredible my entire meal, from start to finish, at Cafe Boulud was. I did not and will unlikely ever blog it, but it is hands down the most enjoyable restaurant meal I’ve had in the past 3 months. Each dish was a revelation and just absolutely delicious (pictures are on my Instagram). I also greatly enjoyed my meals at LIC Market and Alobar… both very good, down to earth and delicious places in Long Island City.
- Now if you really want to go all out and take someone out for an epic meal, based on reputation alone, try to get a reservation to Per Se or Masa. I haven’t been to either and cannot attest to the deliciousness… but they are both on my wish list, for sure!
- Cooking classes are always a hit – ICE, Brooklyn Kitchen/The Meat Hook all have a good variety from which to choose!
- For the food lover in your life who also loves games, Scrabble: Cooking Edition, Foodie Fight, Foodie Fight Rematch, Gourmet Smarts, and Wine Wars. (I have Foodie Fight and prior editions of Gourmet Smarts and Wine Wars… all gifts won in Yankee Swaps over the years!) And for the word nerd in your life – I think this is totally cool, but then again, I write award-winning haiku… Haikubes.
- A really good cookbook or five… always a great gift. Gorgeous photography and of course, drool-worthy recipes, Bouchon Bakery (which just came out a month ago). The Meatball Shop. Or a magazine sub to say… Food & Wine.
- Finally… because I love to travel… how about some vouchers for flights on Virgin? Or a trip to Aruba (I just went to a press event a few days ago and learned all about the fabulous cuisine and how close it is by plane to NYC)? Sounds like a great gift…
I think my list pretty much runs the gamut and covers just about everyone on your list… except the cinephiles. In any case, do you have any items to add? What’s on your wish list?
Please note – the Amazon links are affiliate links. I was not paid to write this article nor approached by anyone, though I have had dealings with some of the PR for the products/restaurants I’ve mentioned or otherwise included here… but I only included stuff I actually want or have had in the past and enjoyed (or both as the case may be)…
Enjoy! Happy shopping! And if you online shop, try to avoid using UPS as your courier of choice, as I recently had one of the most horrible experiences with them and am still angry about it.