’tis the season for giving!

19 Dec

chalkboardjarsThe holiday season is in full gear, with seasonal drink and food specialties, elaborate holiday window displays, and twinkling lights wrapped around trees, fences, and neighborhood lamp posts.

But trying to find the right gift for your friends and family can often lead to a hectic shopping experience. We are here to help! Here is a list of some thoughtful gifts to inspire and delight your gift recipients:


  • Canal House Cooks Every Day by Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton. The most recent publication from this quarterly cookbook series reflects the seasonality of ingredients. Their collection of recipes designed for the home chef is accompanied by richly colored photos and illustrations.
  • The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman. After gaining a huge following from her food blog of the same name, Deb set out to create a one-stop resource for her fellow urban foodies and cooking enthusiasts. With recipes ranging the gamut from grapefruit olive oil pound cake to pumpernickel grissini with horseradish creme fraiche dip, this collection will cover all your cravings.
  • The Sprouted Kitchen by Sara Forte. Another renowned food blogger, Sara focuses on nutritionally balanced meals, employing leafy greens with hardy whole grains. Often excluding meat, these recipes are the perfect gift for someone who is interested in Meatless Mondays.
  • The Family Dinner by Laurie David. Known for her work as the producer for An Inconvenient Truth, Laurie has written a great book about the importance of eating together as a family. She provides some wonderful recipes, tips to educate your children on green living, games and activities to get conversations going, and lots of wonderful advice from leading food experts.

DIY Kits

  • Goat Cheese Kit from Belle Chevre This DIY project makes it easy to become an artisanal cheesemaker. Included in the set are all the supplies needed to make your very own goat cheese, as well as simple step-by-step instructions.
  • Pale Ale Beer Brewing Recipe Kit Craft your very own microbrewed beer in the comfort of your own home. With this kit, you have the tools needed to create a gallon of your own of delicious beer, comparable to the likes of your favorite pale ale.
  • Back to the Root’s Grow Your Own Mushrooms Grow multiple crops of pearl oyster mushrooms in your own kitchen. This eco-friendly kit allows you to cultivate mushrooms that are often hard to find in the average grocery store.

Local Handmade Goods

  • Morris Kitchen’s Syrups This Brooklyn-based small-scale syrup factory delights the palate with flavors like ginger, preserved lemon, rhubarb, and spiced apple. Use these versatile and tasty syrups in cocktails, baked goods, or even salad dressings, and be sure to visit their website for more great recipes.
  • Grady’s Cold Brew Coffee Offering a New Orleans-style coffee concentrate that’s hand brewed and bottled in Kings County, this velvety-smooth concentrate is perfect poured over ice, mixed with water or milk, or even used in your favorite brisket recipe.
  • Empire Mayonnaise Co Any one of their uniquely flavored mayos will be a welcomed addition to your favorite sandwich. With varieties like black olive, seasonal clove orange, and white truffle, the local ingredients are easily detected by your tastebuds.
  • Liddabit Sweets’ The Snacker By purchasing this not-so-ordinary chocolate box, you receive the perfect amount of sweetness, saltiness, chewiness, and crunch all neatly compiled into the perfect individual chocolate bar.
  • Spoonable Check out their incredibly delicious caramel spreads, all made right here in good ole Brooklyn. Choose from salty caramel, Brooklyn butterscotch, spicy chili, flowery lavender, chewy sesame and peppered orange!

Other ideas

  •  Woodgrain Eco Notebook and Folder With the combination of clean lines and a nature-themed aesthetic, this notebook and folder are the perfect gift for a coworker. Made of recycled paper and printed with soy ink, these beautiful office essentials can easily liven up your workday routines.
  • Chalkboard Spice Jar Ideal for the kitchen enthusiast, these jars make it easy to find out exactly what’s in the spice cabinet. Because the chalkboard is erasable, they have an endless life span, and can switch from holding cinnamon to ground ginger to turmeric with the ease of an eraser.
  • Chemex Coffeemaker Perhaps one of the coolest looking coffeemakers around, this is not only a beautiful gift, but it is also super functional. Ranging in size from three cups to 10 cups, this coffeemaker takes brewing your ordinary cup of java and turns it into a sensory experience.
  • Make your own holiday cookies and pick up a fun vintage platter, or for more inspiration check out this fun list of homemade holiday gifts.

For more ideas, visit the Eat Boutique Shop and Food52’s online store for other food-related items. Also make sure to take a look at the Fab.com website for inspired gifts and seasonal knickknacks, and New York Magazine’s comprehensive Annual Holiday Gift Guide.

And what better way to wrap these gifts than with your own handmade holiday tags. Check out this list of creative DIY gift tags to make your gift even more special. Happy giving, and holidays to all!

Photo courtesy of Baking Bites

2 Responses to “’tis the season for giving!”

  1. Tammy January 2, 2013 at 4:38 am #

    I fell a bit behind in my blog reading but these ideas are terrific! I am book marking for birthdays and next year!

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