This time of the year can be a real pain. The stress of buying gifts for your loved ones is exacerbated by crowded stores and other grouchy, stressed-out holiday shoppers. I've put together a list of holiday goodies that I absolutely love and I'm pretty sure others would be psyched to receive. The list has a little something for everyone and everything is available online (I know you'll miss those fun parking lots). If there's a really cool item that you think would be a great addition to the list, feel free to add your suggestion. Happy Shopping!
1. Sur La Table's Mixed Herb Wreath
This beautiful wreath is made of fresh bay, sage, purple oregano, Santa Cruz oregano, lavender and chile de arbol. All the herbs are grown in California and are naturally air dried and pesticide-free so can be used for cooking with just a thorough cleaning. Decorative and practical!
2. Whiskey rocks
Ahhh, the holidays. A time for lots o' food and lots o' booze. I've been really loving whiskeys lately (more so than wine– *gasp*), so these Teroforma Whisky Stones are the perfect accessory to a great bottle of Scotch. They cool the liquor without watering it down like ice cubes do. Great for any whiskey lover!
3. Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That?
I totally and completely love Ina Garten. First, her food and recipes RAWK. Second, she is just so sweet and I just want to be invited over to one of her fabulous dinner parties! Okay, so that may never happen, but owning her cookbooks may be the next best thing. Her latest, Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That?: Fabulous Recipes & Easy Tips just debuted and her recipes are always fool-proof so this is perfect for even a novice cook.
4. Bobble Water Bottle
This innovative Bobble water bottle filters tap water through its spout, making it very convenient to carry around with you all day. All you have to do is fill up the bottle with water, screw the top on and you've got instant filtered water. This is a perfect environmentally-friendly stocking stuffer– and it comes in all kinds of fun colors.
5. Dude, Sweet Chocolate
Tobacco, Thai basil, mushroom, raz al hanout… I bet you never thought these ingredients would find their way into chocolates. But Dude, Sweet is pushing the envelope with their inventive and beautiful chocolates. People are just as sick of the same ol' box of See's as you are, so spice it up and give this box of chocolates to an adventuresome foodie!
This single-cup espresso maker is not just a sleek and beautifully designed piece of kitchen equipment, it also produces amazing espresso. Just insert a small pod of espresso (comes in a wide array of blends) and in seconds you have a great espresso, latte or cappuccino. The best part is that you simply toss the cartridge making clean up easy. It is a pretty pricey gift so if you want to taste the results for yourself before committing to a purchase, you can try a cup out at your local Williams-Sonoma. But trust me, the results are practically identical to what a traditional espresso maker would produce.
7. Williams-Sonoma Croissants
Croissants are a bitch to make. Rolling dough, folding dough, rolling dough, folding dough… But there's really nothing like croissants made from scratch. So Williams-Sonoma came up with the next best thing. These frozen croissants just need to thaw and proof and they're ready for the oven! They make a delicious gift and plus it was one of Oprah's Favorite Things this year. So when god suggests you buy it, you just do.
8. The Heifer Hope Basket
Instead of giving a gift to your loved ones this year, consider giving a donation on their behalf. There are plenty of non-profit organizations that are running holiday giving campaigns. One great organization is Heifer International, which works to eradicate hunger and poverty by giving families a hand-up, not just a hand-out. By providing livestock and training, families can utilize these assets and skills to continually generate income in a sustainable manner. The Heifer Hope Basket contains rabbits and chickens for $50. Rabbits multiply quickly allowing more income for recipients and chicken eggs can feed as well as provide manure for gardens. Heifer International also has other gifts baskets with different animals and resources, which are available on their website. I can't think of a better gift than giving other people hope and opportunity, can you?
9. Zwilling J.A. Henckels Cheese Knife Set
Cheese knives are one of those things you really never think to buy for yourself, but they are handy for cutting cheese with ease (the 10-year old inside me is dying to crack a joke right now. But I'll show some maturity and refrain). I saw this Zwilling J.A. Henckels Stainless-Steel 3-Piece Cheese Set and loved them instantly! The knives are gorgeous and kind of funky. They would be a beautiful addition to an artisan cheese spread at any holiday party.
10. Tea Stick
This cool and modern Blomus Teastick allows you to enjoy loose leaf tea leaves in style. Built with a retractable scoop it makes loading leaves and dispensing leaves a breeze. Perfect stocking stuffer!
Be sure to check out Valerie's List of Foodie Gifts Part 2!