The gifts are wrapped, the family is here. Will you get that special something you’ve been craving? If they somehow missed that hint you were dropping all year, pick up something for yourself, or that special someone…just because.
From the girly girl to the wine lover, the gourmet kitchen cook, to the beauty and health nut-there’s something for everyone in this goodie gift guide!
FOR THE GOURMET KITCHEN COOK
Drawing inspiration from Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean flavors, Savour This Kitchen’s spice line features four signature blends: Merchant, Gypsy, Seafarer, and Nomad. Completely vegan, gluten free, sugar free, and salt free, they use ingredients like dried orange peel, garlic, turmeric, and mint to help home cooks quickly enhance everything from veggies to chicken, beef to lamb. Just add a bit of salt to your liking, and you’re good to go.
Henry’s Humdingers raw honeys with spices were created by a young bee-keeper/eco-entrepreneur to save the bees! Choose from unique blends (with rather silly names) to spice up any dish: the Grumpy Grandpa: a flavor explosion of honey, red pepper & garlic. Naughty Nana: a spicy ginger mixture with a slow burn that breaks all the laws of taste & is making new ones. Phoebe’s Fireball: an unforgettable combination of chipotle & cinnamon so spicy and sweet it will blow you away. Diabolical Dad: an amazing habanero & lime!
Part of the proceeds go back to The Foundation For the Preservation of Honey Bees. Available at: www.henryshumdingers.com, $5.99-$8.99.
Tissage Moutet Luxury Tea Towels: Kitchen towels, dish towels, tea towels-to some people, they’re all the same. In France, however, the French have taken kitchen towels to a;n art form. Quelobjet.com’s Tissage Moutet cotton jacquard tea towels are large, beautiful examples, and totally deserve to be framed. Each group celebrates an aspect of French life, geography, or history, with themes from French artists, Shakespeare, and whimsy. Whether you’re simply drying dishes, wrapping a bottle of wine or a loaf of bread, or creating a fun piece of art for a kitchen wall—they make wonderful gifts.
Each tea towel measures 21″x 29″, is made of 100% French cotton, and is completely washable. $22/ea, or $84 for a box of 4 at Quelobjet.com.
Bonavita SCAA Certified Coffee Brewer System: Nothing’s better in the morning than a good cup of coffee. Brew the best with the new Bonavita BV1900TS Brewer system. Their patented rain shower water dispersion soaking coffee grounds, allowing flavor to steep (like a French Press) before slowly dripping into the carafe. Always used freshly ground beans, and you’re sure to brew a delicious cup, each and every time.
SRP is $179.99, available at fine home goods retailers near you.
THE SWEET TOOTH
Desserts are the finishing touch to a great meal. If you’re rather over the baking, cooking, and clean up that comes after the party is over, pick up some of these indulgent treats.
Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries: These extra-large, dark chocolate-covered strawberries from Harry & David are perfect for those who love the rich, complex flavor of dark chocolate paired with the natural sweetness of ripe sweet-tart fruit. Their strawberries are hand-picked and shipped while still fresh, and then sent to artisan chocolatiers, who individually hand-dip each berry in Belgian dark chocolate, decorating them with a chocolate drizzle. $39.95 for one dozen on HarryandDavid.com.
AG Signature Panettone Glassato: This best-selling classic panettone is studded with raisins, candied fruit and whole almonds and has a crunchy hazelnut “glassato” or icing. Serve it slightly warmed with a dallop of coconut milk whipped cream, or mascarpone cheese for a decadent dessert. Made by historic baker Bonifanti in northern Italy just outside Torino, who is fastidious about the quality of their ingredients and their traditional baking methods. $19.99 at A.G. Ferrari.
Pistachio PanBacco: Bacco’s PanBacco is a panettone is like you’ve never had before. A plain sweet cake, filled with Bronte pistachio cream, and then topped with chopped Bronte pistachios, it’s a true delicacy. Bronte pistachios are unique, with a vibrant green color and intense, sweet pistachio flavor. Over the years, the artisans at Bacco (DOP since 2011) have become masters at manipulating these pieces of green gold into the most delectable of culinary experiences. $45.99 at A.G. Ferrari, with limited holiday season quantities.
Fieschi Torrone – An Italian Holiday Favorite: A traditional holiday dessert in Italy, torrone (also known as nougat) is a confection made of chopped nuts, honey, sugar and egg whites. The name torrone is derived from the latin word torrere, “to toast,” which is fitting for this artisan, celebratory candy. Torrone can take on many appearances; however, they typically contain hazelnuts, pistachios or almonds, and the ingredients listed above. It may be crunchy or chewy and some are finished dipped in melted chocolate.
Augusto Fieschi began producing torrone in the historic city of Cremona in 1867. In the 130 years since, his family’s objectives have remained unchanged: to research, rediscover and preserve the flavors and tastes at the core of Lombardia’s traditional cuisine. Today, Fieschi’s award-winning collection of sweet specialtites have become recognized for “Lo Stile Fieschi” – the Fieschi Style – marked by quality and authenticity, as well as – the family is quick to point out – production free of genetically modified organisms. Also available at A.G. Ferrari.
THE WINE AND SPIRITS LOVER
Once thought of as being a piney, juniper heavy spirit, gin has shifted over the years into a fragrant, aromatic spirit. Although the London Dry style is still an industry standard, others are emerging with more fruits, herbs, and floral notes. From California, Azzurre Spirits Gin ($33) softly blends juniper berries, grapefruit peel, and herbs like basil and lavender to make a soft, elegant spirit that’s perfect in a martini, a Negroni, or a Lavender Collins.
Molinari Caffè Coffee Liqueur: Molinari Caffè combines Molinari Sambuca Extra with a unique spirit that is sure to elevate your after dinner drink. With a slightly licorice like taste, and the richness of espresso, the product gets its flavor and color from a blend of 100% Italian-roasted Arabica beans from Guatemala and the Dominican Republic, as well as Robusta coffee beans from Java, Togo and Congo. The liqueur is blended with a secret mixture of herbs and spices giving the brand is bold personality and flavor of anise. Molinari Caffè is proudly produced without any artificial colors or flavors and as with all products in the Molinari portfolio, all ingredients are all-natural and never GMO (Genetically Modified Organism). Molinari Caffè may be enjoyed straight, on the rocks, or in a cup of coffee, with just a touch of cream.
SRP is $25.99, available at fine spirits retailers nationwide.
Sojourn Cellars 2012 Wohler Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir: If we’d have to pick a wine to take with us on a desert island, it would probably be a Pinot Noir. Those tiny, finicky grapes can create incredible flavors and complexity, and elevate the simplest of dishes from good to grand. Sojurn’s Russian River Valley pinot noir has aromas of red cherries, cola, light oak, as well as vanilla and lots of cinnamon spice. Pick up a bottle for yourself, and that someone special. $48 online, and at select retailers.
Lasseter Family Winery’s 2012 Enjoué Rosé: The name, Enjoué is a French word, meaning “joyful or playful,” which captures the essence of what this wine is truly about. It’s delightfully cheery, salmon-pink color is the result of red wine grapes made in a white wine style; the definition of classic rosé. The aroma shows notes of wild strawberries, pink grapefruit and tropical fruits. Food friendly acidity, with a supple texture and a long, lingering finish, it’s a taste of summer and sun, even on a grey, winter day. $24 at Lasseter Family Winery.
THE HEALTH AND BEAUTY QUEEN
After all those sweets, it’s time to ensure the dentist doesn’t come knocking. Besides, who doesn’t want whiter teeth? Removing 7x more plaque than traditional brushing, the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean gets your pearly whites whiter and brighter in just a week. In black, white, and pink (for that girly girl!), it’s a sleek addition to your morning beauty routine that will pay off with benefits like healthier gums and better cavity prevention. We got to test the black version, and within a week, our teeth were definitely whiter and better looking. Find the Sonicare DiamondClean Pink, Black, or White on Amazon for under $200.
If natural skin care is at the top of your list, you can have brighter skin with plant-based Moringa oil. Like Argan oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, and Marula oil, Moringa absorbs deep into the skin, leaving it noticeably brighter and healthier fast. This multi-purpose treasure trove of nutrients and vitamins can treat cold-sores, rashes, sunburns, bug bites and even minor skin infections. The fact that it has a five-year shelf life is a substantial economic advantage, and is often an ingredient in many high-priced anti-aging and moisturizing formulas currently on the market. $26.95 on GreenVirginProducts.com