Here are a few of my favorite foodie/cook gifts that are perfect for the holiday season. Don’t be afraid to read on though, unlike most “gift list’s” this one is written by a kid for kid’s! I like to think of this as Jeremy’s favorite things except I can’t give 100’s of immersion blenders to each and everyone of you (as much as I would like too).
Green and Black Chocolates:
If you are or know a chocoholic, I highly recommend this sumptuous bar of rich chocolate ranging from 70% to 85% cocoa (the darker the better, I prefer). This cocoa is in fact organic and grown through sustainable, no pesticide farming practices. The cocoa pods are grown and harvested in Belize and the Domican Republic (talk about exotic). The beans are roasted, ground into a paste, stirred for eighteen hours, and then shaped into the delicate bar that tastes like a million bucks. Flavors include, white, milk, toffee, peanut, ginger, cherry, mint and so much more.
Sarabeth’s Orange-Apricot Marmalade
My mom originally introduced me to Sarabeth’s jam, Orange Apricot Marmalade to be more specific. This jam is “legendary”, as stated on the front label of the jar. Sarabeth is in fact a James Beard award winning pastry chef who has multiple restaurant’s (which are amongst my favorite’s) and bakeries. This jam was the first product that jump started her empire and I would recommend this sweet, tangy and chunky marmalade any day. This could be spread on your morning toast, stuffed into your cookies, and maybe even rubbed on your chicken…
La Tourangelle Oil:
This famous oil brand has made its way into nearly every specialty store and kitchen across the country. You might ask why its necessary to have various infused oils in your home and to be honest you don’t. However, as a cook I do tend to become tired of using olive oil (really good olive oil) all the time, so using something like Grapeseed oil (which is canola oil pressed through grape seeds) is a great alternative since it has a lighter flavor (doesn’t overwhelm other seasonings) and a high smoke point (485°F), which makes it safe and healthier to cook with. Other oils include walnut oil, avocado oil, roasted pecan, toasted pumpkin seed, and a lot more. These work great for vinaigrettes, dips, cakes, pasta, and ice cream.
For the Inner Book Junkie:
Two of my favorite food books from this past year are both informative and entertaining. If your looking for a good food author then pick up a copy of Anthony Bourdain’s “Medium Raw”: A bloody valentine to the world of food and the people that cook. Anthony Bourdain is a Chef, Author and has his own show on the Travel Channel called “ Anthony Bourdain’s No reservations”. I know Anthony Bourdain might come off as intimidating to some people but this book shows a whole other side to him. If you want to learn about the modern food world and where it’s going, this book is a perfect read. My favorite cookbook from this year was Harvest to Heat by Darryl Estrine and Kelly Kchendorfer. The book explores the farm to table movement and the farmers and chefs who contribute to the revolution. The recipes range from easy to intermediate but if you love a book full of big beautiful pictures and interesting ingredients then this is right up your alley. Other reads I recommend for book lovers are Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home, The Barefoot Contessa Collection (any and all of Ina Garten's books), and Larousse Gastronomique (the greatest food dictionary).
At the end of the day, if you’re lazy or maybe just looking to be surprised, let the specialty items come to you! With the aid of the Internet at your fingertips you can have a package of gourmet treats from epicureans all over the country at your doorstep each month. I can’t give you a complete list of everything they give because there’s so many things from chocolates to cheeses and salts to sauces, condiments, and snacks, galore! Foodzie.com has been featured on the TODAY show, in the New York Times and "O" Magazine. Subscribe to the tasting box and get a full case of handpicked samples from some of the best items Foodzie has to offer.
I hope you enjoy these affordable gift ideas. If you have any questions, feel free to email or Tweet me.
To learn more about these gifts click on the links below:
Green & Black Chocolates
La Tourangelle Oil
Anthony Bourdain’s “Medium Raw”
Harvest to Heat by Darryl Estrine and Kelly Kchendorfer
Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home
The Barefoot Contessa Collection
Keep on Cooking!!