HandPicked Holiday Gift Guide!

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The gift-giving season is upon us, and far be it from us to not throw in our two (or ten) cents on what makes a fantastic gift for the food lovers or kitchen dwellers in your life.

We’ve already shared some great advice from Andrea Fabry on making real food gifts, but not everyone has the time to make gifts from scratch. Andrea also recently shared a gift guide for the health-conscious cook in your life (things like a food dehydrator or a Vitamix). She suggests a lot of great kitchen items there, so be sure to check that out.

And here is our list of HandPicked gift suggestions. These are some of the best and tastiest items we’ve received over the years, as well as some of our favorite cooking tools and treats. We have tasted, read and used each of these items.

Staci’s Picks

Bourbon Barrel Foods Soy Sauce – Do you like fermented soy but worry about GMO’s? We do! That’s why we love bourbon Barrel Foods non-GMO soy sauce. It is delicious and beautifully made. (5 fl. oz., $6)

We also love their bourbon barrel-aged Vanilla, our cookies have never tasted better. (4 fl. oz., $10)

Dancing Ewe Farm Pecorino – This pecorino is truly gift-worthy. Jody Somers brings it to our farmer’s market in Rhinebeck, NY, and both the taste and texture are flawless. His time studying cheesemaking in Italy paid off! (pricing available at market)

Craig’s Picks

Emile Henry Pizza Stone – When it’s time for pizza we get out this stone. We love to make pizza at home with real ingredients. This pizza stone is made of all-natural material and heats up in about 15 minutes. The glaze on the stone makes ultra-crispy pizzas a breeze.  (14.5” stone, $50)

Mosefund Farms Mangalitsa Bacon – My middle name is certainly not ‘Bacon’, but I do know bacon and this is some of the best I’ve every even eaten. This is bacon from the wooly Mangalitsa pig and it doesn’t get any better than this. (12 oz., $15.99)

Noble Tonic Maple Syrup – A unique maple syrup with a subtle whiskey kiss. Tuthilltown Spirits is New York’s first whiskey distillery since prohibition and they produce handmade bourbons, made with locally sourced grain and fruit farmed less than ten miles away. Their barrels impart a hint of raw bourbon flavor to the syrup, thanks to 6-9 months spent in their barrels. (400 ml, $24.95)

Tomiko’s Picks

Olive & Sinclair Peppermint Bark – What better way to say “happy holidays” than with this delightfully kitschy and delicious chocolate bark from our buddy Scott Witherow at Olive & Sinclair Chocolate Co.? Chocolate and buttermilk white chocolate are topped with crushed peppermint candies that give just the right kick of holiday cheer. (8 oz., $15.99)

Nourishing Traditions – Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig has become one of the most important resources for people embarking on a real food lifestyle. Chock full of information and recipes, this is a terrific guidebook for anyone who wants to walk away from processed, packaged foods. A “must have” for rookies and seasoned real food eaters alike! (Paperback edition, $16.50)

Cuisinart Food Processor – My dad gave me my Cuisinart when I was 20 years old and finally had a proper kitchen. I was so excited when I realized what it was that I jumped up with my hands in the air (think Olympic dismount posturing) and cracked my knuckles against the glass light fixture. A couple of Band-Aids and 15 years later, this food processor is still the workhorse in my kitchen and shows no signs of slowing down. Yes, it’s a bigger ticket item, but Cuisinarts are built to last. (Classic 7-Cup Food Processor, $99.95)

If none of the above spark your imagination…

  • Seek out the local food producers by you and put together a little gift basket of food specialties from your area. It’s a great way to support your local economy.
  • Purchase gift certificates for your favorite restaurant. Introduce new friends to your favorite spot and help keep smaller restaurants in business at the same time!
  • Shop your winter farmers’ market (if you’re lucky enough to have one) for fun gifts! Contributor Cheryl Paff came up a with a great list of items she likes to buy at her Hudson Valley market, like candles, preserves and food wreaths.
  • Remember, gifts need not be unwrapped and taken home. Consider opening your home and hosting a dinner party or open house filled with delicious food and good cheer!

Please Note: All links to amazon are via our amazon affiliates account. We receive a small percentage of the sale if the item is purchased. Although we try to provide the most current information, pricing and sizing are subject to change by the vendors. Please double-check both while purchasing.

Image Credit: Craig McCord