'Tis the season to make yourself crazy trying to figure out hostess gifts, stocking stuffers, inexpensive Secret Santa options, and little treats for yourself to take the edge off the stress. Here are some ideas to help you out with those things. They also make great housewarming gifts and are, for the most part, much healthier than a giant tub of popcorn coated in various flavors or a tin of butter cookies...not that there's anything wrong with those!
Note: these are Amazon Affiliate links. Click on the image to buy the items and support my efforts here!
1. Smoked Maldon Sea Salt
Fancy yet surprisingly inexpensive. Print out this article or one of the accompanying recipes on pretty paper to go with it.
2. Sherry Vinegar
A great ingredient and a nice change from the now ubiquitous balsamic. Print this recipe to accompany it or give it with pumpkin seeds and persimmons, which go great with it in a salad.
3. Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream Book
Humphry Slocombe has taken San Francisco by storm with its Secret Breakfast flavor (vanilla with cornflakes and bourbon) among other fantastic options. Let someone enjoy reading or trying things out.
4. Bariani Olive Oil
There's been a lot of concern lately about "fake" olive oils. This stuff is the real deal, sold at farmers' markets and high end stores. It's also delicious and healthy.
5. Zyliss Paring Knife
The perfect addition to a kitchen set for when friends come to help and for taking along for picnics. I grabbed one at my local market when I was in a hurry one day and it has become my go-to knife. Pair with a super good salami chub if you want to add something to the gift.
6. Madeleine Tins
Need a little gift for someone whose kitchen seems to have it all? Try choosing a Madeleine tin or two. You might even get to reap the rewards in the future when the baker uses them. Print this recipe for them to give them a little extra incentive.
7. Microplane Grater
Chances are that your foodie friend already has one, but a second one in a holiday color will likely also be put to good use. Pair with some whole nutmeg or nice grating cheese.
8. Beeswax Food Wraps
Environmentally friendly food wraps for your friend who is tired of putting plastic wrap in the trash. Pair with a lovely local cheese or two.
9. Piment d'Espelette
Seems like every day there's a new trendy red pepper on the market...this one has been on fancy menus for long enough to have some staying power.
10. Heirloom Beans
Compared to supermarket beans these are pricey, but they're still affordable and a much healthier option than all the sweets in the supermarkets.