Saturday, December 13, 2008


10 Holiday Gifts for Foodies, Chefs and Home Cooks

Happy Holidays everyone!

I have been saving up some holiday gift ideas for you all year, and am excited to share.

Now, my sweet peaches, I know, I know. The festive light of the holiday season isn't burning quite as brightly this year. We are all looking for cheap and cheerful versus flamboyant and over-the-top.

For all these years, we have been going big, but now, we choose intimate, small, lovely. But that can be a wonderful thing indeed.

Here are my suggestions for gifts that will be treasured by your loved ones now and for years to come. I hope you like them!

1. Viva Terra Enameled Cups and Pitcher Perfect picnic-ware.

Who can resist these beautiful things?

All last summer we drank from them (ideal for a sangria or mojito or for drinks for the kiddies.) and marvelled at not only their beauty but also at how incredibly durable they are. Equally perfect for outdoor entertaining and sitting by the fire. They bring a burst of happy color in to any occasion. And when you aren't using them for bevvies, they make terrific vases!

2. Stirling Silver Utensil Earrings from the Jewelry Kitchen

Giving kitchen-themed jewelry is always fun. And I just think these earrings are too, too sweet. They are so whimsical and fun.

"No cook should be without this delicate set of kitchen utensils dramatically set in a hook earring.

Very eclectic in design, this bevy of cooking tools will delight you in sterling silver. Wear them with pride."

They also have lots of other things too choose from, so make sure to check out their website.

3. Yummyfun Kooking DVD.

Yummy Clare makes all sorts of strange and wonderful edible creations for kids of all ages in this charming and off-beat video series. I admit I ordered the Spookyfun DVD for my niece and nephew and ended up keeping it for myself (they can watch when the visit!), it's that inspiring!

4. Tokyo Recycled Glass Wine Glasses from By Nature.

I love the modern shape of these chunky glasses and that they are made from recycled glass. Perfect for everyday and upscale nights.

All you need is some biodynamic wine to pour in to them.

The company, By Nature, is only able to ship these beauties within the U.K. So save this gift for your British friends. (And they seem to be on sale right now! Bonus!) Or if you really want them, send them to a friend and have them ship them along...

5. Shiitake Mushroom Kit. Grow your own organic mushrooms from

"Shiitake is a star when it comes to versatility. This dark brown mushroom, with caps ranging in size from 2 to 4 inches, is the most widely consumed mushroom in Asia. It has been cultivated there for centuries. Its earthy fragrance and meaty texture enhances a wide variety of dishes since the results are beautiful whether they are sautéed, broiled, baked, grilled, stir fried, or sliced thin and used in salads. Shiitake mushrooms have traditionally been used to add complexity to stews or soups, and the stems create deeply flavorful stocks. Shiitake may also be stuffed and broiled"

6. Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes by Jennifer McLagen.

This is the only cookbook I am asking for this year.

"Duck fat. Caul fat. Leaf lard. Bacon. Ghee. Suet. Schmaltz. Cracklings. Jennifer McLagan knows and loves cooking fat, and you'll remember that you do too once you get a taste of her lusty, food-positive writing and sophisticated comfort-food recipes. Dive into more than 100 sweet and savory recipes using butter, pork fat, poultry fat, beef fat, and lamb fat, including Slow Roasted Pork Belly with Fennel and Rosemary, Risotto Milanese, Duck Rillettes, Bone Marrow Crostini, and Choux Paste Beignets. Scores of sidebars on the cultural, historical, and scientific facets of culinary fats as well as sumptuous food photos throughout make for a plump, juicy, satisfying read for food lovers." - Jessica's Biscuit

7. 4Mular - Ingredients for Molecular Gastronomy from Le Sanctuaire.

Do you have someone in your life who has taken "play with your food" to a whole new level? Do gels and spheres of liquids turned solid turn them on?

If so, check out Le Sanctuaire and get their chemistry kit started with things like Glycerin Monostearic, Sodium Alginate and Calcium Chloride (to make those super-cool beads of liquids) and much, much more.

8. Biodynamic Wine from Sky Saddle Wines. Sure, sure, a lot of wine is "award winning," but this wine has won awards for being eco-friendly and wonderful to drink. That makes it better than award winning by me. It makes it wine I want to drink and give as a gift.

I recommend (and have been enjoying) the 2006 Sky Saddle Chardonnay but anything from this winery is worth seeking out. And, of course, if you are in Sonoma, CA make sure to pop in for a visit.

9. Divine Chocolate. A farmer-owned fair trade chocolate company.

Come on now kids. It's chocolate and it's fair trade. What else do you really need to know?

(Well...) "The success of Divine means that farmers have a secure source of Fair Trade income that continues to grow year on year. Kuapa Kokoo has invested its Fair Trade income in building schools, sinking wells for clean drinking water to villages, providing mobile medical clinics for farmers in remote growing regions, and fostering women’s income generation projects to help women earn additional income for their families when the cocoa season is over.
The farmers' ownership stake in Divine Chocolate means that Kuapa Kokoo has a meaningful input into decisions about how Divine is produced and sold."

Buy, share, enjoy, repeat.

10. Please (as always) consider purchasing a Menu For Hope Raffle Ticket.

Tickets go on sale this Monday and all money goes to support schools in Lesotho, Africa.

The prizes (yet to be announced) from food bloggers around the world are always simply amazing and worth far more than the $10 ticket price.

Please help support this worthy cause.

Well then, that is all I have. I hope you found something you like.

Happy Holidays!


© 2008 Fresh Approach Cooking

You can also always check GOLDSTAR.COM for tickets to all the hottest events! Kids, I love this site!

The Ombudsman and I use it all the time...we get seats at plays, baseball games, and lots more all for great prices. Cant beat that!

© 2008 Rachael at "Fresh Approach Cooking" If you are not reading this at the aforementioned URL or in your RSS feed, the site you are looking at are violating my copyright. And that's rude.

This is what I suggested in years past!
2007, 2006, 2004

All of the photos in this post come from their respective websites. Credit where credit is due.


This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Used some of your gift ideas and they were great! Hope you had a wonderful christmas and wishing you all the best for 2009!
This is how shall I say.... A product that I would most definitely love to have around the house, I mean it is beneficial.. Am I right or Am I Right?! Whether some may agree or not, it doesn't bug me to enjoy the company of one of these :)
If everybody has them, I think I should have the opportunity in luxuriating myself with the presence of making this my present! Gotta say, its mainly because how well you've explained everything
It's a great gift except for sometimes, but hey it surely does re-coupe and make up for boring and lost times..

Thanks for sharing 10 holiday gifts. They looks very pretty. In that i like Devine chocolate and Viva Terra Enameled Cups and Pitcher.
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