Here's some great food & kitchen-related gift ideas to help you get your holiday shopping done early so you can kick back, relax & start knocking back those hot toddies in front of the fireplace....

1. Big Paw's Hot Tuscan Extra Virgin Olive Oil - My friend Mig, in SF, introduced me to this oil a few years back and I've been addicted ever since. My favorite way to use it is to halve some Brussels sprouts, throw them on a baking sheet, drizzle some oil along the top, toss, pop the whole lot in the oven, toss again halfway through -- and you're done. Over the years every time I've used this oil, my dinner guests have asked me what it is. It's a winner every time. (Makes a great stocking stuffer!)

2. Silpat Baking Liner - I can't tell you how many times my Silpat has probably saved my cookies and appetizers from burning on the bottom. They don't take up much room (I roll mine up), they're easy to clean and they'll get used often. Pair it up with your favorite baked goods' recipe or some cute cookie cutters and you have a nice gift ready to go.

3. What's better than a great cup of coffee? Not much. How about surprising the coffee connoisseur in your life with a Aerobie Aeropress and a bag of yummy Temple coffee? Their Brazilian Boa Sorte is one of my favs.

4. Have friends that are into cheese making or just want to learn how? Pick them up this book by Mary Karlin- "Artisan Cheese Making at Home: Techniques & Recipes for Mastering World-Class Cheeses." Think of all the fun times you could have in the new year making (and eating) all the recipes together.

5. Looking to buy a locally grown gift? How about some Chocolate Infused Olive Oil from Lucero Olive Oil, grown right here in Northern California (in Corning, 25 miles northwest of Chico). Delicious in chocolate chip cookies, over ice cream or as a dipping sauce for biscotti.

6. Looking to gift something beautiful yet functional? Try one of these unique cutting boards from Sol Boards in West Sacramento. They come in two sizes- 10″ x 12″ and 10″ x 16″.

7. Got a half-pint that likes to cook? Well, if you're going to get them a kitchen set then get them one that's retro-looking and super adorbs, like this one made by KidKraft. It even comes with an old-fashioned looking wall phone and red and white gingham cute is that?

8. The economy sucks and your wallet's a bit bare...need a present that's cool but not going to break the bank? Pick up some of these colorful French-inspired paring knives from Chefs Catalog. (A set of five 7" stainless steel knives- includes brown, red, yellow, blue and green handles.)

9. And don't forget homemade gifts are always awesome too! The holidays tend to get a bit harried but a jar of bourbon bacon jam or some fresh Meyer lemon curd is sure to be a big hit and will bring a smile to the lips of a loved one.

(print by Freshline, available on Etsy)

Happy Holidays!

(* Photos from product websites)
4 Responses
  1. CAMichelle Says:

    Awesome post Ally, thanks!

  2. Foodiewife Says:

    Chocolate infused olive oil? Hmmmm.... sounds intriguing. I love my Silpat's too. Nice list!

  3. Anonymous Says:

    I JUST ordered some bamboo cutting boards for myself, but am thinking those cutting boards are going to be mine too. I need to change out all five of my cutting boards, right? Right!


  4. Ally Says:

    I'm hoping Santa brings me one too :)

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