GourmetGrrl’s Holiday Gift Guide

Yes, that is “Jingle Bells” you hear while walking through the grocery store in November. The holidaze have arrived and while turkey may be on your brain today, gifts will be on your brain soon after. But don’t worry; we’ve got some ideas to keep you in the good graces of your loved ones, your boss, your friends—anyone who expects a little somethin’.

Our holiday gift picks for all budgets:

For the foodie:

  • We all have foodie friends who are whipping up artisan pizzas in their backyards. This year send them something they can really use: the Blackberry Farm Farmstead Pizza Collection ($95). (Blackberry Farm is a family-owned farm, restaurant, and hotel in Tennessee. More on them later.) This collection, complete with farmstead cheese, salumi, candied pecans, olive oil, house-baked flatbread, and basil seeds, will leave them shouting, “Mamma Mia!”
  • Or skip the accoutrement and get that pizza-lover the Emile Henry Flame Pizza Stone ($49.95) instead. Slap this clay stone on the grill or slip it in the oven and they’ll get a crust that rivals the best pizza place in town.
  • Pasta machines are so ten years ago. If you want to give a gadget, go for this Italian Tomato Press ($59) instead. This gorgeous metal press peels, seeds, and strains tomatoes in minutes. Just attach it to a table or countertop and start cranking…old-school and fabulous.
  • Making your own cheese may not sound like your idea of a good time, but to that foodie in your life it’s like a day at the spa. Send them a Home Cheesemaking Kit ($35) and then show up that day to enjoy some.
  • If they’d rather receive some cheese than make it themselves, sign them up for a 4, 6 or 12 month membership to Murray’s Cheese of the Month Club. Murray’s, the famed New York City cheese shop, packs three different cheese (1.5 pounds total) into each shipment. The cheeses are from around the world and many are picked just for club members. Tasting notes and beverage pairing ideas are included; what’s not to love? (from $275)
  • Get that chocolate-lover something interesting this year. The Taza Chocolate Gift Box ($28) will have them talking all year long. Taza is an American chocolate company that sources beans in Mexico, and the chocolate has much more texture than the standard chocolate bar. The box includes one “regular” chocolate disk, one flavored with vanilla, and one with cinnamon. Not for the purist–for the adventurous.
  • Homemade biscuits are tricky; they usually turn out like little hockey pucks. But this Buttermilk Biscuit Mix ($9.75) from Blackberry Farm will turn anyone into a baker—a Southern baker, at that—and really, there’s no better compliment.

For the in-laws (or anyone who appreciates food but doesn’t necessarily cook):

  • Perfect for your mother-in-law or a fancy friend, the silver-topped Butter Dome from Blackberry Farm looks perfect on any table. ($65; if you really want to gild the lily add a copy of their fabulous cookbook, The Blackberry Farm Cookbook.)
  • Good jam is one of the true pleasures in life, and there’s nothing like a spoonful of perfectly fruity, not-too-sweet jam. Blackberry Farm’s Reserve Black Raspberry Jam ($16.50) might just be the perfect jam: full of deep black raspberry fruit, it’s the kind you wish your Grandma had made.
  • Even the non-cooks in your life pull out the cheese when guests stop by, so why not get them an Italian Monogrammed Olive Wood Cheese Board? You’re guaranteed to score points with this one. ($69; with five matching cheese knives, $99)

For the imbiber:

  • Waiting for white wine to chill on a sunny afternoon is a buzzkill. So we love this Recycled Windshield White Wine Decanter ($50) for its breezy style and practicality. And the backstory (a windshield? really?) is a good conversation starter.
  • True cocktail lovers don’t want their drinks watered down with ice cubes. So ditch the ice and get them On the Rocks Drink Chiller ($30). This set of six granite stones (carved from stones collected from New England beaches) will chill down a glass of Scotch in just five minutes.
  • For the cocktail lover who has everything, snap up a set of these metal Twig Bar Tools from West Elm ($39 for four).
  • We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: we’re mad about these Venetian-Style Champagne Flutes from NapaStyle. They’re gorgeous yet practical and you’ll look like a star if you give them to someone special. ($69 for six glasses) They also carry similarly styled Dotted Goblet & Champagne Flutes if you’re so inclined. ($89 for four)
  • The days of bottled sparkling water are numbered (for environmental and fiscal reasons), so why not just make your own? The iSi Twist n’ Sparkle is a direct carbonation system that will let you spritz up any old drink you like. ($49.95 for 1 bottle and 3 single-use capsules)
  • Whether wine needs to be aerated is up for debate, but a true wine geek will love playing around with the Vinturi Wine Aerator ($40). Pouring wine through the funnel adds the “right” amount of air to each glass and promises more flavor and a smoother finish. Worth a try.

For the design-minded cook:

  • Tip your cap to that cheese lover in your life with this Bamboo Cheese Board and Dome ($24; on sale now for $19). They can leave those stinky cheeses out all day with this glass-topped dome to keep them fresh. And it looks fancy without breaking the bank.
  • Who cares what they’ll use them for? Your stylish friends will love these colorful Italian Glass Bottles ($14 each) for water, olive oil, lemonade…let them figure it out. You’ll just look thoughtful.
  • The entertainer in the crowd will love this hammered metal Rectangular Tray ($59). It’s perfect for canapes or cocktails, or for holding the mail once the party season is over.

  • A bowl of fancy olives is a must-have for any occasion, and this handmade Spanish Olive Dish ($34) is a stylish way to serve them. (And we love the little attached bowl for the pits; clever and practical.)

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