holiday gift guide for foodies I


Happy holidays? It’s a little early for my liking but I wanted to share some gift guides I put together for you guys before black Friday. Some people are already finished with their shopping and that blows my mind because I’ll probably start December 10th.


I have a massive gift guide coming at you every day this week (minus tomorrow to make way for Tuesday Things) along with the third grade quality visual above, including these foodie gifts, gifts for him & her, gifts for the practical person, perfect hostess gifts and a homemade gift guide. ALL THE GIFTS.

This is large and in charge but I really wanted to share a bunch of ideas that I think are great. PUHLEASE leave your gift suggestions below!

1. Some crazy vinegars and olive oils. One of my favorite pantry items ever – note only are there cool gift sets but also perfect flavors like pineapple, chocolate, cherry and so on. I use these vinegars alllllll the time. (Note: if you order through Christmas you can still use the code HOWSWEET10 and receive 10% off of your order. This is not an affiliate link or code, it’s simply a coupon code they provided me a few years ago because I love their products so much.)

2. Any fabulous gift from Delallo. You guys know this is one of my local specialty stores and I’ve been shopping there my entire life. Come Christmas time, that place is packed. They have the BEST stuff, including antipasta sets and Italian Christmas baskets.

3. Fun jams and jellies and other stuff. Another one of my Michigan loves, American Spoon makes some of the best flavors of jam. We have gone through three jars of the triple berry conserve since August. The maple cream is to die for. I mean, honeycrisp conserve?! People always ask me what I recommend and honestly? Everything. In 20 or so years we’ve never had anything we didn’t enjoy.

4. The Flavor Bible. I would suggest this book for someone who is a serious home cook that loves creating their own recipes. It lists hundreds of ingredients and their complementing flavors. It’s one of my keys to recipe development when my brain is overworked.

5. Um, how about some ice cream? You know my favorite Jeni’s Splendid ice creams? Well you can SEND people ice cream! Yes. Do it.

6. The Gourmet and Gourmet Today Cookbooks. These are for the practical cook and consist of more recipes than you can imagine. They are some of my favorite cookbooks and always 100% reliable.

7. In less-practical-but-insanely-gorgeous books, I’d go with the French Laundry Cookbook, Ad Hoc at Home or the Bouchon Bakery book. If you know someone who loves to look at cookbooks in their spare time, read them like novels and display them either in their kitchen or on a coffee table, these are the best. You can also find them in box sets.

8. Mini cutting boards. I have been using these little guys since I got married and they are one of my everyday items. We use them to mostly cut fruit or even chop herbs if we don’t want to pull out a bigger cutting board. These are also awesome if you’re low on counter space. And… fun colors!! I can often find some at Target.

9. Anything from Harry and David. It should go without saying that their pears are to.die.for, but I love their gift baskets and treats that you can choose from. Last week I also tried their truffles and um – love.

10. While we’re on the topic of traditional mailed presents, I have to add popcorn to the list. It’s something that I never think to send, but my aunt and some of my dad’s friends will send cans of popcorn to my parents and we take it down in NO time. It’s so good.

11. A grapefruit spoon! Do you think I’m crazy? If you know a grapefruit lover, these serrated spoons are a must. They make the whole eating experience much more enjoyable. On top of that, I used these spoons to clear away the seeds and strings in squash and pumpkins.  Very useful!

12. Cast iron skillet. This is the one that I have but any size will do ya. My blog probably speaks for itself with how much use it gets, but the real selling point is that my mom uses her 100-years old cast iron skillet weekly. These are an investment. For real.

13. The perfect cube ice cube tray. Eddie put these in my stocking a few years ago and we think they are so cool. Pun intended. They make a perfectly square ice cube which is great if you’re photographing food/drink, but I’ve also had people ask me just in my home while having a drink how I get my ice cubes so perfect. It’s a little treat.

14. Trader Joe’s gift sets! These vary by location and year so I don’t have anything exact to share, but I find that TJs has the absolute best holiday food gifts. They make for great wrappable gifts, stocking stuffers or hostess gifts. In the past, I’ve got a flavored sea salt grinder set, chocolate truffle filled figs, multiple sets of festive chocolate bars, popcorn, gingerbread houses and the like. I’m sure they also have great deals on wine but unfortunately I don’t live in a state where I can get my wine at TJs. Boohoo.

15. Speaking of salts, I think any sort of gourmet salt is an awesome gift. I personally love this Falk Salt in the smoke, wild garlic and chipotle versions. It’s so pretty too.

16. Mini French press. I’m sure we can agree that this would come in handy for the coffee and tea lover, but um, hello? The colors! Such a win.

17. Cheese please! If you know someone who is a cheese freak like me, I would definitely suggest some Cypress Grove Humbolt Fog or Truffle Tremor cheese. You may need to keep it in the fridge before gifting, but you could pair it with a bottle of wine, a cheese board and a jar of jam.

18. Magazine subscriptions. This may seem too cliché and boring, but as a self-proclaimed magazine freak, you can’t go wrong. My favorite subscriptions are delicious, donna hay, the lucky peach and saveur. They are different than the regular old magazines you can find in every local grocery store.

19. Silicone spatulas. In my opinion, you can never have too many.

20. A pizza stone. This is something that I find a lot of people don’t want to spend the money on (I never needed to since my husband owned one before we got married) but once they use it, can’t believe they waited so long. It makes the perfect pizza crust.

21. Copper Moscow mule mugs. Even if you don’t love Moscow mules (which…how?!), these are super pretty and decorative. Definitely something that someone probably wouldn’t splurge on themselves.

22. Fancy ass towels and potholders. I know I sound like an old lady here but these are something I loathe spending cash on. My mom is the queen of this gift and every year gets me a set or two, usually from a local boutique or from a shop while on vacation. These tend to be more decorative towels instead of everyday use.

23. Fancy ass measuring cups and spoons. I think Anthropologie has nailed the game with these gifts, because who doesn’t want spoons like this? Eddie has also found me some really cute Martha Stewart ones in the past too.

24. Um, CHOCOLATE! More so, crazy chocolate. If you’re looking for crazy chocolate, I recommend Chuao. I can find the brand at Target and some specialty stores around me. My favorites are the popcorn pop, the maple bacon and the rocky road bar. For some classic but still foodie-esque chocolate, my favorite is Chocolove. I can find it at my local grocery stores and Whole Foods. Favorites are the almonds and sea salt and the peppermint dark chocolate.

25. A garlic press. Another kitchen tool that is used multiple times per day in our house. I don’t understand HOW people don’t have one of these. I can barely chop an onion to save my life, so attempting to mince garlic is a giant joke. I only and always use my press.

26. A food processor. That is the one I have and it is by far my most used *large* kitchen appliance, even over my toaster and stand mixer. I use it for nut butters, salad dressings, dips, doughs and everything in between.

27. This cordless 5-speed hand mixer/immersion blender. This thing is so cool and has taken the place of my handheld electric mixer. And that says a lot because I have never cared for immersion blenders. I especially love the whisk attachment! awesome possum.

28. Pretty plates and coasters. Again, Anthropologie wins this in my book because some of their pieces are quite unique.

29. Absolutely anything le creuset. Timeless pieces and gorgeous too. As a note, I can find pieces at a discount at Sur La Table, Homegoods and TJ Maxx. You don’t have to break the bank.

[I am not sponsored or affiliated with any of the companies or products mentioned above. There are a few amazon affiliate links included. Thank you so much for reading and supporting my site!]

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61 Responses to “Holiday Gift Guide: 29 Gifts For the Foodie Freak and Kitchen Lover.”

  1. #
    Shannon — November 18, 2013 @ 5:20 pm
  2. #
    Kristina — November 18, 2013 @ 5:23 pm

    we have several of those ice trays too, and everyone always loves the ice!

    totally a grapefruit spoon. great idea!


  3. #
    Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate — November 18, 2013 @ 5:28 pm

    I endorse all of Thomas Keller’s cookbooks! They are my absolute favourites and the photography is stunning!


  4. #
    Rachel — November 18, 2013 @ 5:32 pm

    I have a friend that is quite the foodie so buying a gift for her can be intimidating. Thank you for all the fabulous ideas!!



  5. #
    Sara — November 18, 2013 @ 5:37 pm

    It’s like you live in my head. I put a bid in on a house today, therefore I literally need ALL OF THE THINGS!!!!


    • Jessica — November 18th, 2013 @ 8:06 pm

      ahhh congrats!


  6. #
    Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run — November 18, 2013 @ 5:43 pm

    that ice cream – OMG!


  7. #
    cindy — November 18, 2013 @ 6:14 pm

    I totally have those ice cube tray and LOVE em…we even have an extra large on for jumbo cubes. I also have some of those Anthro coaster in green and I gifted some last year as well. They are mesmerizing and so lovely.

    I love gifting cool cookie jars to newly-weds and young families…what house doesn’t need a cookie jar?! I love anthro and west elm for those. When it comes to parents/in-laws they seem to have it all, so last year I went with monogrammed anthro mugs, west elm throws, and homemade cocoa/marshmallows. My girlfriends always get make-up, last year they also got monogrammed make-up bags. This year everyone is having a baby, so they got Freshly Picked moccasins in metallics. The dudes in my life get booze and bar tools like rocks glasses, whiskey rocks, weird ice cube trays (like, star wars).


    • Jessica — November 18th, 2013 @ 8:05 pm

      k now i’m really convinced we’re twins. i also have the coasters in green and the large square ice cubes for whiskey. SISTAS!


  8. #
    Nora — November 18, 2013 @ 6:15 pm

    To go along with the cast iron skillet – a cast iron cookbook that is fantastic –

    I also love the gift of Olive Oil and you can adopt an olive oil tree and get shipments a couple of times a year from your adopted tree. :)


  9. #
    agnes — November 18, 2013 @ 6:18 pm

    flovour bible


  10. #
    Sarah — November 18, 2013 @ 6:58 pm

    I love every one of these suggestions except the garlic press. Maybe it’s because I’ve never quite figured out how to use them properly. But my husband bought this one day: and it changed our garlic loving lives. you just pop a clove into it and wheel it around the counter top and the blades inside mince the garlic, so easy, and it doesn’t seem to beat up the garlic quite the same way as the press does. Again, maybe I’ve just never figured out how to use the press properly. It wouldn’t be surprising, as it took me until this year to learn how to properly use a lemon/lime juice squeezer thingy.


  11. #
    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — November 18, 2013 @ 7:11 pm

    Oh no!!! I clicked on to those Anthropologie links and now I am obsessed with these plates…

    Also! I love getting Sur La Table’s annual food-related ornamnets every year. They always seem to have new ones and they make the BEST stocking stuffers. It’s become my thing–I’ve been doing that for each family member for the past three years.

    Oh yes! Another book! Harold McGee’s’s On Food & Cooking–best resource ever (if you’re really really into food).


  12. #
    Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs — November 18, 2013 @ 7:11 pm

    Great ideas! I know I’d be happy to receive anything from this list!


  13. #
    chelsy — November 18, 2013 @ 7:16 pm

    My cousin has those moscow mule mugs and he actually served me my first moscow mule in one of those mugs. Absolutely genius. Oh, and i am forever sold on the moscow mule he makes them soooooooo well!


  14. #
    Jackie H — November 18, 2013 @ 7:31 pm

    Grapefruit spoon = great way to seed a cucumber (if I’m making a grain salad and don’t want it to get mushy!)

    Also, iced tea spoons are really nice to have. They’re useful for ice cream floats and stirring iced coffee…oh. And iced tea!


  15. #
    Rosalie — November 18, 2013 @ 7:36 pm

    I just ordered a box of pears to arrive for Christmas as a gift :) Thanks so much for the suggestion! It’s getting impossible to find gifts for my father that he a) doesn’t own (if it’s a kitchen gadget or cookbook) or b) won’t simply save in a cupboard for use at some date in the future, i.e. never (in the case of all specialty food items)
    Now here’s to hoping they won’t arrive and be gone by the time I visit home haha.


  16. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — November 18, 2013 @ 7:59 pm


    First of all, just ordered the ice cube tray. Recently moved into a place without an ice cube maker in the fridge and buying ice and schlepping it is annoying so I am making ice for the first time in years and I need those.

    Agreed on those exact cutting boards. Have them. Silicone spatulas, pretty Anthro stuff, nice measuring cups, yes. to all. Have my share and it’s so worth it.

    Interesting you use your immersion blender in place of your handheld mixer. There are times when I need to whip up like 1/2 c of frosting or just small amts that i would never use a stand mixer so i use my handheld KA mixer. I ALMOST bought that immersion blender of theirs but went w/ another band and not super in love.

    I could go on and on…love this post. thank you! I know all these links take forever!


    • Jessica — November 18th, 2013 @ 8:06 pm

      thank you so much! they do take a few hours so i really appreciate that. :)


  17. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — November 18, 2013 @ 8:12 pm

    Lol I have a gift guide post coming up (which is pretty much my Christmas wishlist, plus some stuff I already have and adore) and I will straight up admit to being an oil and vinegar snob! Dark maple balsamic is my fave, especially on roasted Brussels sprouts. You’ve just added about 10 more things to my Christmas list (which was actually quite short up until now!)


  18. #
    Untwisted — November 18, 2013 @ 9:07 pm

    Love it! I’d also add fancy cocktail napkins. There are so many pretty seasonal ones this time of year. My Mom loves the Caspari napkins. Cocktail forks, knives, etc. can make a fun hostess gift. I got my sis a fun blinged out set last year. I also love to buy food gifts or souvenirs for my husband that remind us of our travels. Beer coasters from Switzerland, biscuits from England, etc. I think I may need to add the Moscow Mule mugs to my own wish list!


  19. #
    Kristen @ notsodomesticated — November 18, 2013 @ 9:19 pm

    I need to send this list to my husband so he can get ideas for me haha! ;) Thanks, Jessica!


  20. #
    Becky @ A Calculated Whisk — November 18, 2013 @ 10:06 pm

    I am that person who reads cookbooks like novels!! NEED all of those books + all the things in this post. Love it!


  21. #
    Bonnie — November 18, 2013 @ 10:34 pm

    This is so helpful. Thanks so much for all the ideas– definitely getting that ice cube tray. Looking forward to your other gift guides!


  22. #
    Meg Jones | The Spatularette — November 18, 2013 @ 10:40 pm

    My dad is the greatest foodie gifter ever: the source of both my Kitchenaid Mixer and my Le Crueset Dutch Oven.

    For Le Crueset there are a few outlets around which have EVERYTHING for a fraction of the price (“seconds” they call them, but mine seems to be brand new) . In Western PA my folks have one at the Grove City Outlets. In Eastern PA I believe there is one at the Limerick outlets. The rest of the country… no clue!


  23. #
    Wendy @ All Kinds of Miles — November 18, 2013 @ 11:01 pm

    At the risk of sounding 85 years old, I want to say that I love the idea of giving gifts that no one likes to buy but everyone secretly wants. Like, nice Williams Sonoma dish towels? Who wants to buy that for themselves? But getting them as a gift is the best!


  24. #
    mountain girl heidi — November 18, 2013 @ 11:13 pm

    These are AWESOME ideas. I can’t wait to see the rest of your lists! Thanks for taking the time to do these.


  25. #
    erin @hooleywithaz — November 18, 2013 @ 11:20 pm

    i love those ice cube trays! i know that you’re a bourbon girl like me, and i seriously think you need to try these round ice cubes. we tried manhattans using these on our honeymoon, and our lives were changed.


    • Jessica — November 18th, 2013 @ 11:22 pm

      have ’em and love ’em!!


  26. #
    Tieghan — November 19, 2013 @ 12:48 am

    Such a KILLER guide!
    This must have taken so much time. I know links take forever! I still have no idea how you have time to do it all. It’s awesome and very inspiring!

    So, the Flavor Bible sounds awesome and I just bought it. My brain feels fried pretty much all the time right now, so I am pretty excited about it! Oh and the oils and vinegar! I so want those! And you can now send ice cream! What?! Pretty cool and freaking delicious!

    The mini cutting boards are kind of genius and the Anthropologie plates are all gorgeous. I already have two different plates, but I want like 4 more now! And I could not agree more with a cast iron skillet. I practically use mine every single day. I love Le Creuset anything if I was not crazy cheap and had endless money all of my pots/skillets would be Le Creuset.

    My mixer just broke today and it is my only mixer that I have, so I freak a little and got a new one on Amazon. I wish I had something like the one you mentioned. It sounds pretty awesome!

    Thanks for such a fun post. I am so excited for the Christmas!


  27. #
    meg — November 19, 2013 @ 1:58 am

    I really love all of these suggestions. Le Creuset is the shit…and I !love the Moscow Mule Mug idea!! That is something I never would have thought of, but it is perfect for one of my friends. Thanks!


  28. #
    Isabelle — November 19, 2013 @ 5:57 am

    Love this list! i want a pizza stone BAD now!


  29. #
    Kim — November 19, 2013 @ 7:34 am

    Terrific list! You gave me great ideas to put on my wish list.

    I have a lot of cocktail lovers in my life, so I just did some shopping online at The Boston Shaker ( That place is a great source for all things drink related. I got some great gift ideas.

    Anywho, happy holidays!!!


  30. #
    RavieNomNoms — November 19, 2013 @ 10:30 am

    Awesome list! I added a few onto mine for Santa!


  31. #
    Rachel — November 19, 2013 @ 11:26 am

    THANK YOU. Seriously. I love gift giving, but loathe shopping. The last few months have been the busiest of my life and I was overwhelmed with the thought of coming up with creative gifts this year. Now you’ve done it for me. Best blogger ever.


  32. #
    Colleen — November 19, 2013 @ 11:27 am

    This list helped me so much! Thanks! I already ordered the magazine subscriptions for my mother. Another good idea for cooks are mixed spices. Penzys Spices has some unique blends that are great for mini gifts–Dirty Santa, etc.


  33. #
    BrendafromCA — November 19, 2013 @ 11:39 am

    Usually I can handle looking at your food porn while I’m on a strict low-carb diet… But today, I am DYING! OMG! I want it all! #sojealousrightnow


  34. #
    Jenni — November 19, 2013 @ 11:57 am

    Wow, so many great ideas! I actually got a cocktail served in a french press at the Hard Rock Cafe last week – they put a bunch of berries in it and pressed them down under the plunger to get all the goodness out and into the cocktail. SO good – and the mini press would be perfect for it!


  35. #
    Laura Dembowski — November 19, 2013 @ 12:48 pm

    I love American Spoon and Jeni’s Ice Cream! Someone sent us a Harry and David fruit of the month club last year. It was a huge surprise! And so amazing. I’ll be reordering for sure.


  36. #
    Annie @ Annie's City Kitchen — November 19, 2013 @ 1:21 pm

    What I wouldn’t give for a Le Creuset. That would be the ultimate gift. Anyone who doesn’t want one is clearly a monster.


  37. #
    Laura — November 19, 2013 @ 1:32 pm

    THANK YOU!!!
    Literally just purchased 3 things, within minutes of reading this list.


  38. #
    Erin Leigh — November 19, 2013 @ 2:14 pm

    Seriously. I don’t know of you posted as I emailed you that request or what but BEST LIST EVER! I can’t wait to see what comes up on Wed.


  39. #
    Michelle — November 19, 2013 @ 3:07 pm

    I just got the French Laundry cookbook and it is INCREDIBLE. I love it. Thomas Keller is a freaking genius and the stories in the book are so enchanting.

    TJ’s: they have this new truffle salt in an adorable little jar for like $5. I bought it for myself, but it would make an amazing stocking stuffer.


  40. #
    Amber — November 19, 2013 @ 4:31 pm

    It’s the time of year that I get to make one of my semi-annual trips near a Trader joes. (Why not in Canada. WHY????) Who knew they did gift sets!?! Any new favourite products I should look into? Your raves about the honey slivered almonds was life altering-i think I brought home 6 bags last time I went!. i’ve got a week to make my list and check it twice…


    • Rachel — November 19th, 2013 @ 5:23 pm

      Cookie butter. Get the cookie butter.


      • Amber — November 20th, 2013 @ 1:27 pm

        Yes! And the small chocolate bar with the cookie butter inside! Genius!

  41. #
    Simone — November 19, 2013 @ 5:21 pm

    On the topic of Trader Joes, have you tried their white bean hummus? I think if I stuffed my husband’s stocking with that this year, his heart would be content. It is so amazing with veggies, triscuits and Trader Joes Sweet Potato Chips.


  42. #
    Jessie — November 19, 2013 @ 6:19 pm

    I didn’t know it was possible to love your blog even more – but this is an awesome guide!

    My mom has cut down on her cooking since she and my dad have been empty nesters, so i think a crockpot will be perfect for her. My dad is impossible to shop for, but I’m hoping to get some new bourbons in Kentucky next time we’re visiting the in laws – so maybe some fun boozey gadgets and ice cube trays will round it out.

    I love getting yearly subscriptions to things – I’ve asked my husband to get us a membership at an art museum so we can attend their monthly jazz nights. I may also ask for some pears, yum!

    I also love tying a cute holiday-themed dish towel around bottles of wine for hostess gifts. I usually stock up the year before with after-Christmas clearance sales. I’m going to stock up on cute decorative dishes for me to put cookies on for friends this year. They’ll be stuck with tins for now ;-)


  43. #
    Cecilia — November 20, 2013 @ 9:23 am

    I don’t have one of these yet, but swoon!

    Great list! Thanks for sharing. I’m getting antsy waiting for the rest!


  44. #
    Christina — November 20, 2013 @ 12:06 pm

    LOVE THIS! All of these things are great and so many are on my list! On a side note, Is it bad that the thing I now recall you saying the most is that you can’t get your wine at TJs????? That makes me sad for you :(


  45. #
    Melinda — November 21, 2013 @ 10:01 am

    This list is AWESOME. Is it selfish that I just added a bunch of things to my Amazon WishList? All the stuff from Anthropologie makes me swoooooon. So pretty. And those Moscow Mule (or in our house- a Dark n Stormy with Barrett’s ginger beer ONLY) mugs? My boyfriend swears they make drinks taste better. Thanks for this!


  46. #
    Kelly M. — November 21, 2013 @ 12:10 pm

    28. My sister got me those exact Anthropologie coasters and I love them! They’re really nice and heavy, too, so they don’t stick to the bottom of your glass when you pick it up.

    25. I always got so frustrated trying to clean the @#$% garlic press after I used it that I finally just went back to mincing my garlic by hand. Do you have a cleaning trick for garlic presses?

    11. I love grapefruit and every time I see a grapefruit spoon I think of buying one… so do the serrated edges not bother you as you eat the grapefruit? This has been my only reason for holding off (I have a couple of wonky spoons that have fluted or crimped edges and I can’t stand to eat with them, even though they’re pretty, because they hurt my lips – but I’m guessing since the grapefruit spoon is smaller it wouldn’t be an issue?)

    Thanks for the great ideas – updating my Christmas list RIGHT NOW.


  47. #
    Donna — November 21, 2013 @ 7:01 pm

    Emile Henri ceramic ANYTHING….Le Creuset…d’accord…but STAUB would be the ultimate Santa-derived dream-fare in cast-iron form….

    Another GREAT gift appreciated by foodies?…REPLACEMENT cookbooks…as in for your most spattered, tattered ancient ones…like “Joy of Cooking” basic bibles held together with rubber bands…

    Nodding head in agreement over truffled olive oils…salts…even vinegar….or truffle “bits” in tiny jars. Champagne glasses….Nordic Ware’s amazing-shaped and sturdy bundt pans….those “cappuccino-froth” milk mousse-maker gizmos…a SPIRALIZER…the list could go on and on!!!!


  48. #
    Katie — November 24, 2013 @ 2:55 pm

    Love some of these ideas. I’ve never really looked at Anthropologie before, they’ve got some really lovely kitchen stuff haven;t they. I love the polar bear measuring cups.


  49. #
    Calgary Catering — November 30, 2013 @ 1:04 am

    What an excellent compilation. I will be sure to send the URL to all my friends and family… hint, hint



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