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Holiday Gift Guide: For Foodies

Everyone’s got that one friend who’s obsessed with eating locally, watching Top Chef, cooking Mark Bittman’s Minimalist, and obsessing about Anthony Bourdain.  What should you get for the foodie in your life? Oh, we’ve got the total gift guide for foodies right here:
You know who you are.  You temper your own chocolate. You grow your own produce. Why not make your own yogurt with this electric yogurt maker?
If you want to make a fun drink (cocktail or mocktail), a cocktail shaker, like this one from World Market, is the way to go.  I used to think it was just for show, but you really can’t get the drink liquids mixed well enough or cold enough over ice if you only stir in a glass.  Summon your inner hipster and Shake It.
You can’t go wrong with a selection of colorful cupcake liners. I always keep a bunch on hand for emergency cupcake needs (yes, that’s a thing.)
A thoughtful gift for the dedicated foodie chef are fresh and hard to find spices from World Spice in Seattle. I recommend the Madras curry blend: a yellow curry with the perfect amount of heat and great flavor that pairs nicely with sweeter curries. Even cooler than their fantastic, made to order blends, are their whole, hard to find spices like allspice berries, whole nutmeg, and all kinds of exotic salts.
Vanilla Sugar, Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee, Vanilla Cream Eclairs, Homemade Vanilla, you can never have too many vanilla beans on hand. Resolve to never be beanless again:
If your foodie doesn’t have a microplane, it’s time.  Easy zesting, spice grinding, and grating of all aromatics and hard cheeses.
Every cook is looking for new inspiration. The Bon Appetit Cookbook: Fast Easy Fresh is the sweet spot in making it gourmet AND practical for every day.
Erica says, “The Best Recipe is the best cookbook I have, and this is the new edition.  The editors of Cook’s Illustrated Magazine test hundreds of versions for each recipe, and then give you the best one.  They explain the “why” behind each choice and offer variations so you can fine-tune dishes to fit the palette of your entire meal.  Excellent for everything from basic vegetable steaming to complicated baking.”
Everyone has bowls, but a set of nesting bowls is a must-have for any kitchen.  We literally use ours every night.  Great for combining sets of chopped ingredients and herbs so you’re not rushing around to gather something while your meal is burning on the stove.  And it’s kind of fun to have everything prepped in these clear bowls and pretend you’re a Food Network chef.  Oh, you know you do that, too.
And don’t forget about the food! If you haven’t tried Creminelli’s artisan meats, they’re fantastic. Order a salami and get it shipped to your foodie’s fridge before Christmas.
Fun ingredients to experiment with in the kitchen are like the best toys ever to a foodie. Try hazelnut praline paste to make incredible desserts or fancy breads.
Happy Eating!
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Comments (5)

  1. Pingback: Countdown to Christmas With Books Bay Area Mama

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  4. sarah k. 12/09/2011 at 2:53 pm

    I had the Cook’s Illustrated book, and I thought it was a dud. I tried several recipes, and they ranged from bland and boring, to downright unappetizing. And then I remembered that their “editors” are just general schmos who get the mass email, try the recipes with all the variations, and send feedback. In one of the recipes, they wax poetic on vanilla. They (editors) can’t tell the difference between real vanilla and fake. I think that book is more suited to a college freshman with no cooking skills than a foodie. Instead, get your foodie a subscription to Fine Cooking for the same price. Or for something with awesome everything, including what to do with sweetbreads, The Forgotten Skills of Cooking, by Darina Allen.

  5. Kalli 12/09/2011 at 12:24 pm

    Paul would revolt if I made him eat homemade yogurt.

    I’ll take one of everything else.