It's holiday gift guide season! Last year, I listed a few things that I thought would be good gifts and I'm back again. Some of them are repeats from last year because they rock! I've bought everything mentioned on the list (unless noted) and thought you might want to get some of them for your friends and family...or for yourself (self-gifting is an important part of the holiday season!)
Cookbooks are always fun to give and get! Here are some favorites:
Flour, too - Boston's most delicious bakery came out with a second book, this one has more savories in it than the first Flour Bakery cookbook (this one has the best yellow cake recipe ever).
Lemonade - Filled with salads, braises, and desserts from this Southern California delicious restaurant. I made the Lemon Poppyseed Bundt and have cauliflower in the refrig to make their salad. (Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher - but I would have purchased it because I really like the restaurant)
Dahlia Bakery - When I ate at Tom Douglas' Dahlia Bakery and Dahlia Lounge in Seattle recently, I almost cried it was so delicious. This cookbook has a great Sour Cream Coffee Cake (post coming soon) and the rest of the book is mouthwatering with very clear instructions. It's a winner.
JustJenn's Mochi Cookbook - My friend JustJenn has compiled her best mochi recipes in this cute cookbook/comic. Mochi rice is gluten-free and oh so delicious!
Some other classics and ones I find myself turning to all the time are: Anything by Dorie Greenspan, The Art & Soul of Baking, The SoNo Baking Company Cookbook and The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion
A personalized gift is something very special. And what's more personalized than your name and adress?! I recently purchased a custom address stamp for my friend who recently moved into a new place. Linda of Bloom Calligraphy can make them more "traditional" with all calligraphy lettering, or do the block print with a mix of calligraphy and lettering. In an era of emails, facebook birthday greetings, there is a longing to go back to old fashioned cards and letters. What better way to bring it back than a custom rubber stamp? ($45 on etsy)
I'm going to purchase some cut paper from Paper Source and stamp cards and envelopes for the gift recipient. I hope s/he enjoy it (they read the blog and don't want to give anything away!)
Dude, of course I'm going to mention this. Actually, although there are a ton of bundt pans on the market, one or two are just find to have (really, you need to have space for all these). The Classic 12-cup Bundt pan is essential (Nordic Ware Bunds are the real thing - they invented it and have the best curves in town). I also like a 10-cup pan such as the new Jubilee Bundt pan and the wonderful Heritage Bundt pan. Or, you could always add some mini-bundts to the collection
Yeah, this is a huge one - about $500. But if you have the means or have been saving up for a self-gift, I highly recommend the new iPad Air. I was using the iPad 2 and the Air is sooo much lighter. It's just so much better. And the speakers are great. You won't be DJing a wedding with these speakers, but they are good enough to listen to music while reading a book (what I do 80% of the time) or watch some NetFlix movie in bed. Anyway, if you have some cash laying around and want to upgrade (or get on the iPad bandwagon), I'm really happy with the new iPad Air.
One Line a Day
This was a hit last year on the list (The Amazon report says that 10 people bought it from the link) and I think it is fun. This book has one page per year with lines for 5 years worth of a single date such as December 7th. You get enough space to write a sentence (or a tweet) about your day. I slacked off on mine for parts of 2013, but I'm getting back into it and it's nice to see what I was doing a few years ago. I saw one for a sketch a day for those who want to capture their memories in sketches. Again, many people capture life via twitter, facebook and instagram (I'm raising my hand), but there is something more interesting about seeing your own handwriting again and a daily slice of life that is personal and not "facebookie" - you know how everything is perfect on FB? You can cuss and rant in this book...such as: "Ate oatmeal for breakfast and I had PMS so bad I almost drop-kicked the vending machine at work to get more salty snacks." Um, not that I've ever written that (just don't look at September 8, 2012 please). About $14 on Amazon.
Last year's ideas... There are some emergency safety, luggage and more cookbooks on last year's list (still good): Part 1 and Part 2.
Donations in their name...
You know that friend who has everything? Well, do they have a heifer? Do they deliver meals to thousands of sick people? Do they provide shelter to homeless youth and keep them safe? Well...they may not have or do all that, but with a donation from YOU, they can.
It's the best gift.
Wishing you the best, Mary the Food Librarian
Full disclosure: I'm part of the Amazon affiliate program and get a few cents if you happen to purchase items from the Amazon links...and I end up buying more cookbooks, eBooks to read on the iPad Air and stuff from Amazon :) I never know what you buy, and it doesn't add to your bill.