Whether you have a relative who loves to cook or a friend who likes exploring new restaurants, there’s something for every food lover in this gift guide.
Are you still nursing your Turkey hangover? We are headed to Thanksgiving number two today to celebrate the holiday with James’ side of the family. Our house smells amazing because I threw together some pumpkin bars last night and the scent is lingering. That’s a smell that never gets old! I’ll have a full recap of all the Thanksgiving festivities for you on Monday.
It’s hard to believe, but we are now less than one month away from Christmas! I love everything about this time of year — the traditions, food, sounds. And, I love hunting for unique gifts for family and friends. I think the best gifts are those that are most personal. It’s easy and appreciated when you get someone a Starbucks gift card, but there’s just something special about hand-selecting a present.
Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be sharing a few gift guides to make the hunt a little bit easier. Naturally, this first one is for the foodies in your life.
This is my favorite cookbook of 2016 because I use it at least once a week. I love that there are recipes I can easily throw together on weeknights, but also more elaborate meals I can cook up for a special occasion. The coconut rice, chili and Pad are among our favorite recipes. I can’t wait for her second cookbook!
I’ve been lusting after these dutch ovens ever since I used one while cooking at a friend’s house. She’d had her dutch oven for more than ten years and you’d wouldn’t ever know — there wasn’t a single chip or scratch. These pots are extremely versatile and perfect for making winter comfort foods. I’ve never cooked with a Lodge Dutch Oven, but my cast iron skillet is the same brand and my all-time favorite pan.
Local Cooking Classes
I’m a huge fan of gifting experiences and cooking classes are so much fun! Locally, Bloomington Cooking School and Muddy Fork Bakery offer some great workshops that give participants the chance to learn new techniques and cuisines. I’ve also seen some Groupons in larger cities for sushi making courses!
My family’s been buying spices from Penzey’s for years. Someone gave my parents one of their gift boxes years ago and it came along with a catalog that featured recipes and stories from home cooks, which made me fall in love with the company. You can also find the recipes online, and even nominate a cook you know to be featured! You can’t go wrong with any of Penzey’s gift sets, but I think the extract box and grill and broil pack look especially good.
Anyone who cooks often knows you can never have too many wooden spoons! These are tools used everyday in many kitchens and this set from Williams-Sonoma holds up especially well.
These small, classic dishes are an inexpensive but extremely useful gift. Some friends gave us a set of these for our wedding and I use them at almost every meal. They’re perfect for serving appetizers or condiments, but also a great size for making portion-controlled desserts.
Is there any gift that’s better than wine? I do get nervous when it comes to choosing wine for other people because tastes vary so much. A girlfriend of mine has a subscription to one of the Gold Medal Wine clubs and says she’s discovered dozens of new, amazing wines as a result. Local wineries in your area may also offer clubs, similar to Oliver Winery’s program.
This is the Cadillac of kitchen tools. KitchenAids are expensive, but worth every penny in my experience. I’ve had mine since graduating from college and my mother’s had hers much, much longer. The mixer itself makes doubling recipes, kneading bread and many other baking tasks so much easier. And, there are lots of attachments available to help with other cooking needs.
Unique Dining Experience
You’ll have to do some research if you’re outside of Indiana, but getting a gift card for a special dining experience is a great gift for any food lover. Many local breweries host dinners that feature a gourmet menu paired with different beers. I’ve always thought dining at Table One, the chef’s table at West Baden Spring’s Hotel would be a real treat.
An apron is one of those things I’d never buy for myself but use nonstop ever since receiving one as a gift. My mom had a blue apron embroidered with the name of this blog on the front and I get so many compliments from people when I take it along to cooking classes. I find aprons especially useful around the holidays, when you’re trying to balance hosting duties with looking nice for the celebrations.