Guys! The holiday season is upon us! Are you just as excited as I am? I can’t wait to start decorating my Christmas tree (which I am probably doing as you read this) and start shopping for gifts. I love trying to find fun, useful, and unique gifts for my friends and family. But I know, from experience, that it’s not always easy.
One thing I know pretty well is food. So if you have anyone in your life that likes to eat, cook, or bake food, or drink coffee or wine, this holiday gift guide is for you! I have an exhaustive list of gift ideas that I can almost guarantee will satisfy at least one person on your list.
FOR THE HOME COOK
1| Cookbooks. Pick out one of your favorite, most used, or interesting looking cookbooks that you think your friend or loved one would appreciate. Go one step further by bookmarking your favorite recipe (or the one that looks most delicious). If there are any unusual ingredients, spices, or cookware, add those to the gift along with the cookbook so that they have everything they need to make the recipe you picked out.
Here are some of my favorite cookbooks:
- Cookbook Beyond Curry Indian Cookbook. Tag recipe for Hyderabadi Lamb Biryani. Pair with a mortar and pestle, spices (like Garam Masala, saffron, cardamom pods), and a nice heavy pot.
- Cookbook Eat Mexico. Tag recipe for Tacos al Pastor. Pair with a tortilla press, achiote paste, and any spices you think they may not have in their collection.
- Cookbook The Food Lab. Tag recipe for Pasta with Olive Oil and Three Flavors of Garlic. Pair with a pasta roller and cutter set (either as an attachment for their Kitchen Aid mixer or a manual set), and a nice quality olive oil.
2| Kitchen Gear. Any home cook knows the importance of having the right gear. For instance, having the right knife, pot, or even tongs can make a huge difference. If you have a friend or loved one who would like to get more into cooking or you know needs a little upgrade in the kitchen, I highly recommend the following items:
- A quality chef’s knife is a must-have in any kitchen
- A cast iron skillet that can be used from grilled cheese to steaks
- A meat thermometer, which is the only reason I no longer overcook chicken
- A large chopping block to go along with that new chef’s knife
- Countertop garden for anyone who likes to grow their own herbs
- A pizza stone and peel for those who love to make pizza at home
3| Cooking Classes. There are so many places to take cooking classes these days. Your local Sur la Table and Williams-Sonoma probably offer classes regularly. Often local colleges will offer some cooking classes open to the public. Just do a quick Google search and I am sure you can find several options to suit your loved one’s cooking or dietary preferences. Buy them a gift card or pick out a class you know they will like that you can take together!
FOR THE HOME BAKER
4| Cookbooks. The gift idea above doesn’t just have to be for home cooks, it could also be for home bakers! If you know someone, like me, who loves to bake all sorts of goodies, is addicted to the Great British Baking Show, or is constantly watching cake decorating videos on Youtube, well I have some great gift ideas for you!
- Cookbook How to Cake It. Pair it with a squeeze bottle (Sir Squeeze A lot), cake pans, a cake turntable, and an offset spatula.
- Cookbook Laduree Macarons. Pair it with a silicone baking mat with circles already drawn on.
- Cookbook Bouchon Bakery. Pair it with Valrhona 70% chocolate (needed for the chocolate chunk cookies) and black cocoa powder (needed for the Knockout Cookies).
5| Baking Accessories. As someone who bakes A LOT, I am all too familiar with just how many baking accessories there are. Nowadays, there you can find anything from basic cookie cutters to intricate piping tips that any baker would love to have in their collection. Here are some of my favorites:
- Russian Piping Tip set to make awesome cakes and cupcakes like this
- Large baking sheets (they fit so many cookies)
- A beautiful pie dish set
- 101 cookie cutter set because you can never have enough cookie cutters
- Adorable measuring spoons
- A kitchen scale, because a true baker knows the value of a kitchen scale
FOR THE COFFEE LOVER
6| Craft coffee bar. Craft coffee is pretty much the new craft beer. Here in Charlotte, there are craft coffee places popping up everywhere. There is everything from coffee on tap, pour over coffee, and signature espresso cocktails. All for the low low price of $5-10 (yikes!). If you have a coffee lover in your life who may be spending a bit too much on coffee at these fancy coffee shops, why not give them everything they need to make their own craft coffee at home?
Start by picking out how they like to make their coffee. Do they like iced coffee? Pour over coffee? Maybe they just need a shot of espresso first thing in the morning. Don’t worry, you don’t have to buy an expensive coffee maker (unless you really love them) if you don’t want to.
- French press (my favorite way to make my morning coffee)
- Pour-over coffee dripper, an easy (and cheap) way to make delicious coffee
- Cold brew coffee maker for those who like a cold cup of coffee year round
- Single-serve coffee system for those that like their coffee ready the minute their get up in the morning
- Espresso maker which will make the recipient feel like they are living in their favorite coffee shop
- Single-serve espresso maker for the latte lovers
- The coffee maker that does everything except grind coffee beans
Okay, next pick out the coffee to go with the coffee maker. I love picking out local coffee for friends and family who live across the country. If this is a gift for someone who lives in another city or state, find your favorite local coffee roaster (your local grocery store probably has some in stock) and pick up a bag of BEANS. I stress beans because they stay fresher longer. If your friend is a coffee snob, they will appreciate the coffee beans and will likely have their own coffee grinder (if not, toss one in!). If you can’t decide which coffee to get them, consider a subscription so they can try new coffee every month!
Last, add any coffee accessories.
- Coffee tumblers to keep the coffee hot (or cold)
- Flavored syrups, either store-bought or homemade
- A milk frother in case you don’t get them the fancy latte maker
- A cute seasonal coffee mug
FOR THE WINE LOVER
7| A wine subscription. We have one family member who always gets a wine related gift. Every year. Without fail. It’s not because we don’t know what else to get them. It’s because we know it will be greatly appreciated! This year, I think a wine subscription is in order. I think it’s great because it lets them try things they may otherwise overlook. There are some great wine subscriptions options from single-serving subscriptions to let you try before you buy, to subscriptions that send you the whole dang bottle so you can share with your friends (or not).
8| Wine accessories. These make great stocking stuffers for any wine lover. From wine charms to modern wine bottle openers, your wine lover will be happy with any of these gadgets.
- Cork Pop wine bottle opener so that they can feel like every bottle of wine is a bottle of champagne
- Insulated Wine Cups for those that want to take their wine on the go
- Wine novelty socks just because
- Cute wine charms or glass markers
- Corvain wine system that allows you to pour a glass of wine without opening the whole bottle
- Wine decanter or aerator (or both!)
- A wine bucket for the host or hostess with the most or mostest
- A wine carrier so they can take their wine with them wherever they go
I hope this has helped you with any of your holiday shopping dilemmas! I know that there is often that one person that whose gift just alludes you. Well, if they love food, coffee, or wine, I am sure they will like anything on this list. If not, give me a shout and I am happy to help!