Monday, December 20, 2010

Last Minute Holiday Gift Guide

It's officially the last minute. Fortunately for you, dear procrastinator, gifting for your food loving friends and family is not too hard. Here's some ideas:

Locally appropriate cookbooks
: Two of my favorite gifts ever have been getting The Fiddlehead Cookbook (Juneau, AK) and the Alice Bay Cookbook (Skagit Valley, WA). Cookbooks are pretty obvious, but finding something that will be significant and meaningful is always appreciated. The Fiddlehead Cookbook features a recipe by someone I used to babysit for and another by my brother's kindergarten teacher. Plus, the recipes will be based around locally available ingredients. If you live in the Pacific Northwest, I'd recommend picking up The Grand Central Baking Book, The Paley's Place Cookbook, Wildwood: Cooking from the Source in the Pacific Northwest, or Pike Place Public Market Seafood Cookbook. A note on the inside about why you got it is a very nice touch.

Le Creuset: Like everyone else on the planet into cooking and baking, I am obsessed with Le Creuset. Though I don't own any yet (hint hint), it's a collection I'd love to build. Though it is not in my best interest to share this, David Lebovitz is having an AMAZING Le Creuset giveaway on his blog right now. I know this stuff is very, very expensive, so it's worth a shot to try to win it (I already entered). I promise you, every budding chef on your list will love this.

Baked Goodies: Who doesn't love yummy homemade pastries and cookies? I'll be posting soon about the Corey and Becca bake day results (very tasty), so consider making a plate of stuff for your friends and family. Does some cupcake lover live far from you? Check out the Cupcake Project's guide to shipping cupcakes (the end results are adorably delicious). Looking for ideas? Check out what we did last year.
Charity Donations: Giving to charity in someone's name is always a good gift idea, not just for food lovers, but you can make it food based just for them. Heifer International is an amazing organization that allows you to gift different kinds of animals to people in need all over the world. It's a gift that keeps on giving and truly helps. Consider donating to your local food bank or homeless shelter that provides holiday meals. Other organizations to check out are Global Crop Diversity Trust and Adopt a School Garden.

Specialty Items: Do you have a spice lover on your list? How about a coffee obsessed individual? Get them that high end something that they might never buy for themselves, like some awesome finishing salts or ridiculous olive oil. Most places will wrap things nicely for you and nothing says you rock my plate like Hungarian smoked paprika.

A Meal Out: Has your friend been talking about the same restaurant they want to try for forever? Take them out! On you!

I hope you all have fantastic holidays and don't stress too much. If it comes from the heart (and is aimed at the stomach), you'll do well.

What's been your favorite food based gift that you've given or received?

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