1 – My Bread book by Jim Lahey & Cast Iron Dutch Oven
Jim Lahey is a bread genius. His “My Bread” book outlines, in great detail, his no-knead method of baking bread in a cast iron dutch oven. I made this last week and it literally took 5 minutes of hands on time to make it. Basically you mix the ingredients in a bowl, then let it ferment for 18 hours (I put mine in my oven because it was draft free), fold it over a couple times to make a circle, let it rise for another 2 hours, bake in the oven, let cool, and then dive in. The “My Bread” cookbook has so many amazing recipes, including an easy roast beef recipe that I can’t wait to make some delicious sandwiches with. The cast iron dutch oven has so many other great uses, and this one sold on Amazon has a lid that doubles as a skillet! After you bake the bread you, or the person you are giving this too, can take the skillet/lid and make this tasty Baked Fontina from Ina Garten to dip the fresh bread in. Heaven!
2 – 100 Foot Journey Movie
This movie has everything: decadent food, passion, beautiful scenery, and humor. If I had to use one word to describe it, it would be intoxicating. Best movie I’ve seen in years. Stuff someones stocking with this and they won’t be disappointed.
3 – Lucky Peach Subscription
Let’s just say what it is, it’s food porn. Lucky Peach isn’t a magazine, but it’s not quite a book either. Yes, there are recipes and articles that go in depth about certain foods or seasons, but it also talks about culture from a perspective like no other publication. The latest issue has beautiful pictures and an article about how Indonesians celebrate the holidays, a guest article from Anthony Bourdain about how to avert Thanksgiving disasters, a baking section with the incredible Dorie Greenspan, and so much more. Click here and enter code LUCK1, to get a 1 year subscription (4 issues) for only $25, nearly half off the cover price. I promise that whoever you give this to (perhaps yourself), will feel warm and fuzzy when they see this in their mailbox.
4 – Zingerman’s Food Gifts
Zingerman’s is a spectacular specialty food store based in Michigan that offers a variety of things to tantalize your tastebuds, at all different price points. You can give the gift of cheese, choose from one of their fabulous gift baskets, reuben kits, and more. They have a variety of different food “clubs”, like a Bacon Club and a Forbidden Foods Club – how cool! Check them out.
5 – Ice Cream Ball
If you’re looking for a whimsical, fun gift, this is the one. These ice cream balls are so fun to play with and make pretty good ice cream and sorbet. It’s fun to do with the kids, but also fun for the kid at heart.
I am a cookbook whore. I collect them, I love them, and there are piles of them all over my house because I like to read them everywhere. Here are 2 cookbooks that I recommend as gifts. Roy Choi’s L.A. Son contains so many of his Korean fusion recipes that range from simple to exotic (the baby octopus recipe is amazing!). This is more than a cookbook, it is also a mini biography of Choi. He has lived a thousand different lives that are all fascinating to read about. The Ratio cookbook by Michael Ruhlman is a fabulous book that talks about the science of ratios. The book covers many basics like doughs, batters, stocks and sauces, meat, and custards. I love this book because it isn’t overly wordy, but it is a great learning tool, and the recipes just work.
7 – Foodie T-shirts
Peace, love, and burritos – this is my mantra in life. You can get this shirt on the Freebird World Burrito website. I’m sorry for what I said when I was hungry – this is also a mantra in my life. You can get that t-shirt here, but you can also search for different styles of it on Etsy. You’ll make someone smile with a gift of these t-shirts.
8 – Wine and Cheese
You can cannot go wrong with a gift of champagne, cheese, and cheese markers. Personally, I love LaMarca Prosecco, which you can get at Costco for the amazing price of $10.99! My favorite cheese in the world is Brunet, an aged goat’s milk cheese, but I also hold Cambozola close to my heart. Throw in some cheese markers, and you have a gift most people would love.
9 – Kids’ Chef Knives
Looking for a gift for the wee foodies in your life? These kids’ chef knives are perfect. My 6 and 7 year olds can safely help me with some of the cutting now. I’m prepping them to be my sous chefs one day, and with these knives, you can prep your kids too.
10 – Yellow Curry Kit
Wrap up some yellow curry paste, Red Boat fish sauce (the best fish sauce in the world), basmati rice, and coconut milk, for a wonderful gift. I don’t use a recipe when I make this, but I always start with the ratio of 1 can of coconut milk and 1 Tablespoon of curry paste (I usually end up adding more), a few good splashes of fish sauce, about 1 tsp or so of brown sugar, and some lime juice – just heat and add proteins. Any proteins and veggies work with this, although the classic for yellow curry is chicken and potato. Yellow curry is like liquid gold and I’m sure whomever you gift this too will agree.