The Food Librarian's Gift Ideas 2012

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Season's Greetings! Seriously can't believe it is December 1st already. Haven't started my holiday shopping yet...have you? Anyway, here are some things that I own and can't live without, or can't wait to explore that someone in your life may want. I can't guarantee that this will be the most awesome gift for your friends and family...but it may give you an idea for things to buy For Yourself. :) Remember to treat yourself this holiday season too!

It's a pretty random list... here goes (click on links for Amazon pages - full disclosure: I'm part of the Amazon affiliate program and get pennies if you happen to purchase items from this link...and I end up buying more cookbooks! Ah, the circle of life :)

Gift Guide 2011\
Cookbooks - For the Baker of all levels:
Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
If you've followed my blog, you know this book is a huge part! I was part of the Tuesdays with Dorie group and we baked our way through this book. I consider it a classic, and perfect for both the beginning baker and expert. Dorie Greenspan is amazing...she has very good instructions and wonderful flavor combos. This collage is just a few of the things I made from the book!

Tuesdays with Dorie Collage
Some of the recipes from Dorie's book: Baking: From My Home to Yours

For the more advanced baker: 
Bouchon Bakery - This new book by Bouchon Bakery is beautiful. I haven't baked anything from it, but can't wait. Fortunately, Bouchon had a pop-up bakery in Beverly Hills (now they have a permanent bakery) and I went on my 40th birthday for delicious cookies and signature bouchon "cork" brownies. Everything is in weights and they have a chapter about throwing out your measuring cups. Woo hoo...speaking my language.

A few more books that I use a lot:
The Art and Soul of Baking - This is a great book with lots of instruction and easy to make recipe. It's by Sur la Table and pastry chef Cindy Mushet. Some of the items I've made include Orange Chocolate Chip muffins, Nectarine Upside-Down muffins, and Chocolate Chip Toffee scones.

Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston's Flour Bakery + Cafe - Oh man, I love this bakery and this book. Joanne Chang has some detailed instructions and very delicious recipes. The yellow cake is worth buying this book alone. And the lemon ginger scones? Please. Just add it to your cart already.

Sarabeth's Bakery: From My Hands to Yours - This book came out in 2010 and I find myself reading it often. Sarabeth Levine has her bakery in New York...and until I get myself there, I'll just have to bake up a lot of yummy desserts from her book. 

Gift Guide 2011
Mochi: recipes from savory to sweet! by JustJenn Fujikawa ($12.50). My friend JustJenn has this great recipe book of all mochi related recipes! From Savory to Sweet! Get your mochi on this holiday season. JustJenn is so creative and makes awesome recipes - you'll really enjoy this book!

Gift Guide 2011
Salter 3003 Aquatronic Glass Electronic Kitchen Scale (about $40)
Speaking of scales, I've had this one for a few years and love it. It easily switches from grams to ounces, and  has large numbers. Weighing ingredients is much faster and saves washing dishes. Luckily, more cookbooks are published with weights, as well as food sections of newspapers like the Los Angeles Times.

Gift Guide 2011
Portable Speaker  ($15-20 Available in Blue, Black, Red and Silver)
When I bake, I love listening to audiobooks. However, I'd rather not have headphones in my ears (have you caught the cords on a drawer and have them yanked from your ears? Totally sucks). This cute little plug-in speaker does the trick. My colleague uses it with her iPad to watch movies in bed, and another friend uses it in her car. It charges via USB on your computer, and the charge lasts awhile.

Roku HD Streaming Player
Do you have Netflix streaming, Amazon Prime or watch Amazon videos or Hulu? This really small Roku box lets you stream videos via WiFi. It's way cool. Most of my friends have an XBox or Blueray player that will stream videos to their TV, but I don't have those fun things. This box works great, and takes very little space. Before I got it, I bought a DVD player with streaming from Costco. It wasn't set up for Amazon Video so I would have to open a browser, use a little remote without a keyboard and it didn't work great. The Roku has it set up to work with the major streaming players so you don't go crazy.

P.S. Thanks to my twitter buddy Erica @epeureka for helping me find the remote too! I tweeted, "If I were my Roku remote, where would I be?" and she said, "Couch cushion crack." Score! (And I found some lose change too).

They have a bunch of different types of Roku... but I really love it for streaming. It's amazing that something so small can deliver my favorite shows! :)

For the runner:
While I'm hardly a big time runner, here are a few things I wear while running so I'm not hit by a car. Because that would suck. Big time.


Road ID Engraved Emergency Contact Wristband ($20) - I run with my phone and dog. But if something happens, my phone has a pattern lock, and my dog doesn't talk. So I have a pink Road ID that can talk for me should that ever happen. This would make a very valuable gift to anyone who exercises or even just walks the dog.




Traveler stuff:
This is a great bag. It is called the Patagonia MLC or Maximum Legal Carry-On bag. It has a zillion zippered pouches and can be carried like a brief case or worn like a messenger bag or backpack. My friend Sumi has taken hers all over the world, and well, I've taken mine to San Francisco and the east coast. It's perfect for probably up to 4 days, if you don't have too many shoes. It's $160 but I think it's going to last many years and miles.

Donations:
Of course, the best gift is giving to others. Consider a donation to your friend's favorite charity - service organizations, libraries, museums, zoos, and so many worthy causes!

Updated: See part 2 of my gift list here
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2 comments:

Di said... [Reply to comment]

My first thought when I saw the top picture was, "Hey, I have all of those, too!" =) I'm still reading Bouchon Bakery, haven't tried anything yet. I also haven't baked anything from Sarabeth's; based on your recommendation I need to get it off the shelf & look at it again. I had a scale similar to yours but it finally died. I replaced it with an Oxo one, which is also great. Great recommendations!

Y said... [Reply to comment]

Would never have thought to wear an emergency contact wristband while running. Might be much more fun to teach the dog to talk :)

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