Monday, December 13, 2010

Holiday Gifts for Foodies

Whether you have a food geek niece, a chef brother, or a foodie aunt here are a few ideas to get you started. You might also like to check out my list from last year.

Under $25
Star Wars Heroes & Villains Pancake Molds (Photo at the top) This is so cute, what else can I say. I know plenty of geeky boys and girls here in New York who would want this. :) $19.99

Angled Measuring Cups
. I love these! Possibly life changing, especially when you need the liquid measurement in a recipe to be exact. Due to the angled surface you can look straight down at the cup to check the level. $19.99 for a set of three.

A popover pan
is a fun tool many cooks might never buy for themselves. Making it the perfect gift. I'll probably be using mine for my New Years Eve Party. The wow factor when guests see that tall cripsy exterior bursting up out of the cup and the moist eggy hollow interior ready for butter makes it well worth the $21.

Whiskey Stones are great for friends who like their tipple chilled, but not watered down. I've seen these in a local store and they are beautiful in a glass. Form and Function, FTW. You'll get 8 ice cube sized smooth soap stones for $20. (Edited to add: Thanks to a comment left here these don't hold the cold! Sorry about that.)

A Food Lover's Basket

I like the idea of introducing friends to cooking authentic recipes and THE source for whole spices and pastes and really anything you can imagine buying in Mumbai, London or Bangkok can probably be found at Kalustyan's. If you have a friend with an interest in Indian food create a gift package.
Start with Madhur Jaffrey's Quick & Easy Indian Cooking, a great novice cookbook. I learned to cook with whole spices from Jaffrey's books.
Although you can find many whole Indian spices at Whole Foods and even some supermarkets, the quality will probably be superior ordered from Kalustyan's thanks to the high product turnover. No old musty spices there.

Here are the staple Indian spices you might include in the gift package:
  • Black Mustard Seeds
  • Cardamom Pods
  • Coriander Seeds
  • Ground turmeric
Round out the gift with a bottle of mango chutney, ghee, which is simply clarified butter, and a package of crispy pappadums.
Price could be as low as $40 or as high as $60

It wouldn't be my Holiday gift list without something from D'artagnan , my favorite purveyor of natural and organic meats and other good things. The quality and care in their products is amazing.
I don't have a relationship with them other than that of slavish fangirl. :) Although I'd love a relationship. Don't they need a social media darling in the NY food world?

I did have a small fling with them after calling to let them know I found a bone in a sausage. They were sweet enough to send me a fois gras package as an apology. I hadn't blogged about the bone, and hadn't planned to. After all sausage is made from meat, right? I just wanted to give them a heads up about it because I eat their sausage and duck fairly often. There was strange timing with it since I had also included them in my Holiday Gift List just one week earlier! There was no quid pro quo. That's not how I roll as a food blogger.
Anyway, on to the good stuff.

Game Sausage Sampler for $26.99. I've had the duck and merguez and they are terrific.
You get one pack of EACH of the following:

• Duck & Armagnac Sausage
• Merguez Sausage
• Rabbit & Ginger Sausage
• Venison & Cherry Sausage
• Wild Boar Sausage

Duck Foie Gras with Black Truffles for $16 This would be a great gift on it's own, but even more so if you order the French Kisses 12 ounces for $10 to go with it.
Here is D'Artagnan's description of their kisses, "We start with plump, juicy prunes marinated in Armagnac (French Brandy) and then lovingly fill them with creamy, sweet mousse of Foie Gras." I haven't tried the Kisses yet, but I hear it from good authority they are mind blowing.

That's my list. Anything you'd like for the holidays?