Whether your family, friends and coworkers are into healthy eating, gastronomy, entertaining or fine wine, here are my top picks for presents that will have them impressed and awed by your thoughtfulness!
For Health-Conscious Foodies
1. Oodles of Zoodles
Do you have someone on your list who loves their vegetables or is on a low carb, paleo or other veggie-embracing/carb-cutting diet? Spiralizers are all the rage for these reasons and more, helping people make delicious zucchini noodles (aka zoodles) as well as pasta from carrots, beets and more.
2. Slice and Dice
Mandolines are one of my favourite kitchen tools for creating gorgeous slices of vegetables and fruit without needing any knife skills. This is my secret to getting my cucumbers, onions and more sliced super-thin. You can safely dismiss “julienne” from your vocabulary. Just call every cut “mandolined” from now on!
3. Vegan Delights
Don’t let the absence of animal products fool you… every recipe in this book is absolutely delicious! The author, Angela Lydon of the blog Oh She Glows , has done an amazing job making recipes that are easy, gorgeous, tasty and use super-healthy ingredients. I gave this book to my best friend and her husband who wanted books for their wedding. They tell me all the time everything they’ve made has been incredible!
Who doesn’t love ice cream? This machine helps you make delicious dairy-free, fat-free, gluten-free “nice cream” with no added sugars. It’s frozen fruit like you’ve never had it before! I had a co-worker buy this and now her young children poo-poo the local ice cream parlour and ask for banana ice cream at home. How amazing is that?
For The Wannabe Chef
1. How Food Works
Have you ever wondered why you should fold (versus stir) batter for chewy brownies, why you whip egg whites with sugar, and why the simple addition of salt can make meat juicy? Any aspiring chef needs this knowledge not only to follow a recipe, but to eventually create his or her own masterpieces in the kitchen. “The Science of Good Cooking” is a great “how to” that includes key culinary principles and over 400 recipes that apply the science of cooking into some very tasty experiments!
2. Look the Part
Imagine how much more fun we’d have cooking at home if we wore chef’s hats! Most people will have an apron already but give a chef’s hat to someone who enjoys cooking and they’ll take it as the ultimate compliment! Don’t be surprised if you’re invited over for a gourmet meal soon after the holidays.
3. Taste Sensation
Taste is the main driver for why we choose the foods we do. Every chef, from wannabe up to pro, wants to hear people enjoying their food and oohing and ahhing over how wonderful it tastes. This book can help chefs of any level to further refine their palates and develop a deeper understanding of the flavour profiles that tantalize our tongues.
4. The Gift That Keeps On Growing
Don’t you hate buying bundles of herbs for a recipe that only calls for a tablespoon’s worth? Everyone does. That’s why grow-your-own herbs aren’t just for the DIY (do it yourself) crowd. Nothing makes us prouder than cooking with herbs we’ve grown ourselves, and nothing is more convenient than quickly snipping the amount you need off the herb plant on your kitchen window sill. This is a great low-maintenance project even for the smallest spaces.
For the Wine and Cheese Enthusiast
1. Expand Their Wine Knowledge
Be careful in choosing a book for a oenophile as you never want to insult their intelligence – or more accurately, their knowledge base. But even the most well-studied wine lovers need a good reference to refer to every now and again. A book about wines of the world will help people discover wines from regions they may not have sampled before. Pair with a “mystery” bottle of wine for extra bonus points!
2. Let It Breathe
Aerators are popular for a reason: they work! By infusing the perfect amount of oxygen into your wine, they help “open up” the wonderful aromas and elevate a good wine to a great wine. Apparently whisking your wine with a mixer also works, but it’s not the most convenient or practical when entertaining! Good thing there’s a handy tool that not only helps improve your wine without needing to decant it, but it also helps prevent spills when pouring.
3. Dazzle with Icy Gems
White wine enthusiasts agree it’s wine that’s best served cold. But put ice in your wine and you get meltage, weakening the flavour. Anna Rabinowicz of ANNA new york by RabLabs have collaborated to create an unexpected new wine accessory – the Kim Crawford Wine Gems by ANNA new york. These limited-edition wine gems are designed to keep a glass of Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc chilled for up to an hour without diluting the wine’s vibrant flavours. The striking fluorite wine gems naturally range in colour from green to purple, and instantly transform into luminous stones when placed in a glass of white wine to elevate the sensorial experience of drinking your favourite varietal.
Shareable set of 6 for $76.00
4. Get Serious About Wine
Nothing says “welcome” like a sassy spin on the traditional welcome mat. Get this version for your friends who feel it’s never a gathering without wine… and you can’t get past the front door unless you bring a bottle for everyone to enjoy together. It’s also a nice hint if there’s someone in the friend group who tends to show up empty handed. No one will be able to tell if they’re joking or not!
Forgot Wine Coco Door Mat
5. Say Cheese!
Every host/hostess knows they need a beautiful cheese board to take their soirees to the next level. Slate is a beautiful way to incorporate a natural material for a down-to-earth yet beautiful look that will fit in with every decor. If you include some chalk, it’s also the perfect chalkboard to write names of the cheeses being served right next to them.
6. Spread The Love
Along with the cheese board, an interesting set of knives or spreaders make a thoughtful and useful gift. This set of knives also includes reusable signs so you can label the cheeses. You can go simple, like “stinky” and “creamy” or include the region and variety of the cheese for those of you who have a spreadsheet of cheese you’ve tried (yes, I have one).
This Holiday Gift Guide was lots of fun to put together. My picks include affiliate links and direct links for easy shopping. I hope you find something special for someone you love!