Sunday, December 6, 2015

Holiday Gift Guide

I've never written a gift guide before...but I have been asked many times for ideas and suggestions for the food lovers and cooks in my friends' lives. I thought I'd share a few items that I think are pretty neat this year. All are under the $75 range (only one is over $50), and have been tested and approved by San Diego Dining Dish as certified awesome!

1. Bread & Badger travel mugs - $25, or really, any of their glassware or ceramics. Durable, stylish, and well made. Check out that adorable hedgehog!

2. Oggi Cocktail shaker - $15. Again, very durable, well made, and looks nice. Also very affordable, and great for homemade cocktail shaking.

3. Silpat Baking Mats - $20. Can't say enough how much I love these. I bake cookies quite a bit, as thank yous, or just to alleviate stress. These baking sheets keep the cookies from sticking, and reduce the greasy flavor from cooking sprays. They really pay for themselves when you don't have to worry about spraying a pan anymore! 

4. A custom cutting board, or just a very nice one - $70. Wood is a natural antibacterial material, and these cutting boards are attractive and stable. A little expensive, but an investment. 

5. French Sea Salt - $12. Sounds like a lot for salt, but this is 2 lbs of the finest salt in the world. It is truly the best for baking, cooking, and every form of food preparation. This store has a lot of options, and they are very well priced, with free shipping. 

6. Cast Iron pan - $27. A basic cast iron pan is a miracle for cooking. They last a lifetime with proper care, and are brilliant for cooking eggs, sauteing vegetables, any stovetop skillet work. I've many pans in this brand, and they are all high quality and affordable. 

7. Tea from Adagio - $10. The variety of blends are wonderful, and I keep a stock of my favorites for a warming cup each morning. I love that you can blend your own tea! 

8. Vinegar, spirits, or olive oil from Vom Fass - variable, but reasonable. I've written before about how much I love this place, and a pop in for a special gift would surely please any gourmand! 

9. Homemade spice mix - less than $5. You know all of those spice blends, like Italian Seasoning, Pumpkin Pie Spice, and Garam Masala? Yeah, you can make them from spices that you probably have in your cupboard. It's a unique gift to blend up some spices, package them in cute jars purchased from Ikea or Target, and give them as small gifts for friends. Here are a few of my favorite recipes.

10. A Crockpot $30-60, depending on model. The linked model is a basic, that will cook pretty much any meal (recipes can be scaled down and an oven-safe dish inserted to create a smaller cooking vessel). This is a piece of kitchen equipment that has saved me time and again, and just makes life easier. 

Happy Holidays! 
December 06, 2015 / by / 0 Comments

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