Friday, November 28, 2014

Holiday Bites: Top 10 Gift Ideas for Your Fav Foodie 2014

It's that time of the year again - the season to show that your favorite food lovers are in your thoughts...

Here are a few ways to do that, even for hard-to-shop-for foodies, for budgets up to $300. Where deals or discounts are available, I have noted them below each product description.

Edibles version to come!

1. Cooking Tool for Gourmands Who Don't Have Time to Cook - Nomiku

Photo from Nomiku
Sous vide cooking is slow cooking by immersing food in a low temperature water bath to achieve even flavor and texture (for example, sous vide steak for even cooking, or poach eggs using this method to get them just to the edge of being cooked).  A few years ago, sous vide equipment was cost prohibitive for most home cooks, but Nomiku introduced its technology - an easy to use tool that you clip on to the side of any stock pot - and made it more affordable.

Buy from:
Original: $299
Wifi version (ships March 2015, so delayed gratification gift): $199

[Deal Alert: Black Friday - Cyber Monday only deal: $100 off original Nomiku with code: CYBERNOMDAY] 

2. For the Cocktail / DIY Enthusiast - Gin / Bitters Makers Kits
Photo from Williams Sonoma site
Take craft cocktails to the next level - let them make it uniquely their own with high-quality small-batch DIY kits (and if it works out well, you could reap the benefits of this gift too :)). Transform a bottle of vodka into a custom blend of gin (two 375ml bottles!) with the requisite juniper berries, and bright notes of citrus, botanicals, aromatics and spices in 36 hours with the included recipe and instructions.

(Alcohol not included: requires one bottle of vodka.)

Buy from:
Gin Making Kit $54.95
Bitters DIY Kit $24.95
Bitters Bottle  $44.95

3. Julie's Kitchen Food Collages

Photo by Julie's Kitchen
Of all the food enthusiasts I follow on Instagram, Julie Lee never fails to impress with her beautiful, delicate collages made with real produce discovered at local markets (and sometimes seafood / marine findings).  

Her fine art photo prints would elevate any kitchen or dining room, especially for fans of food as an art form.  Available in sizes: 8×8, 8×10, and 12×12,

Buy from:  Julie's Kitchen $38-$58 each (custom sizes also available to order)

4. For the Sweet-toothed Cook: La Mere de Famille Parisian Confections Cookbook

Ever wondered how to make a Berlingot? (Or, even what it is?)  For those obsessed with sweets, and the Parisian: À la Mère de Famille, after 250 years in business, had released a gorgeous cookbook that is as much a delight to the eyes as to the tastebuds. 

Photo from book listing on Amazon
Transport your favorite foodie back in time and place with a old-world-made-new #foodart piece for their kitchen or even just to sweeten their bookshelf or coffee table.

Buy from: Amazon $25.30 hardcover

5. Camp Style Cooking at Home: Jaffle Iron

Photo from Food52
Do they love the feeling of cooking over an open flame?  Give them one tool that lets them toast or bake many different comfort foods at home on the fireplace or gas range: waffles + s'mores + paninis + pies = jaffle iron.

The long handle makes it easier to cook from a safe distance, or just set and leave to cook, while the round top of the iron seals and crimps the edges of whatever is baking inside (fresh pies anyone?). Made of cast iron, chrome-plated steel and wood: measures 28" long with 4.25" wide cooking head.

Buy from: $25

6. Handcrafted Personalized Cutting Board

Photo from Uncommon Goods
Send your favorite cook something with a personal touch.

This lovely wood cutting board can be customized with name(s) of your selection hand cut into the top.
The unique and lovely design makes it great for both prepping a meal, and using it as a presentation piece (e.g. for hors d'oeuvres etc.)

Measures 16" L x 12.5" W x 1.125" H

Buy from: Uncommon Goods $155

7. For the Super Serious Wine Lover - Coravin 1000 Wine Access System

Know a wine collector who would scour the earth to find that rare bottle?  And who doesn't want to share it?  Now they can taste from pricey bottles, without removing the cork - and reseal it as if never opened to allow it to preserve...indefinitely.  

This expensive but brilliant piece of tech, invented by a medical device inventor, uses a patented non-coring, medical grade needle and precision pressure system to extract wine, allowing your favorite wine enthusiast to enjoy as much or as little as they like from the bottle, and leave the rest as if untouched, in its original bottle.  No danger of oxidation.

Buy from: Wine Enthusiast $299.95 + free shipping

[Deal Alert: with your purchase, get 4 free capsules from Wine Enthusiast until 12/20]

8. The Smarter Cereal Bowl

Everything seems to need to be 'smart' these days, even fashion.  But, this low-tech bowl still delivers a clever way to avoid soggy cereal: with a slotted divider, just the right angle of tilt that allows the milk to stay in its place, while cereal can be slow-spooned into it as needed to preserve that first bite crunch. 

Photo from Obol listing on Amazon
Plus, the bottom of the bowl is custom molded to be ergonomic and easy to hold while the snacker is in their usual comfy cereal feasting spot on the couch, over the computer desk or in bed.

Can also be used creatively for other food pairings like yogurt and granola (and for me I would say rice porridge and pork floss: Cantonese food lovers, you know what I'm talking about!)!

More product info: 

Buy from:  Amazon $12.95, various colors
Can also get special edition set (easy grip spoon included) for $12.99

9. Wear the Heart / Stomach On...Scented Christmas Cookie / Sweet Treats Necklaces
Photo from Tiny Hands

Love the smells of comfort and cheer emanating from the kitchen this time of year?  Let your fav baker / foodie carry that with them wherever they go with kitschy kitchen fun hand-sculpted scented food-icon necklaces including this Scented Christmas Cookie charm.

Comes with 18" sterling silver ball-chain necklace.  

Buy from: Tiny Hands $23

10. Culinary Tees - Flavour Gallery 

Photo from Flavour Gallery
Culinary expressions on everything from tees to totes to aprons and more, is what foodie fashion house Flavour Gallery is known for.

Fun / cheeky designs include "Mise en Place", "Touche Pas Mon Foie Gras", and "Surf all day, Shuck all night".

Buy from: Flavour Gallery $30


Stocking Stuffer for the Foodie Who Loves to Eat, Not So Much to Cook

For your favorite snarky foodie.

Buy from: Amazon $12.75

Look out for my edibles list soon! In the meantime, happy gift hunting and stay safe out there!

Hershey's 3D printer
Travelers: 10 foot power cord

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