Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ten Gifts for Food Lovers

I hate the word foodie.  I always have.  I'm not good at articulating why I have such a strong negative reaction to the word - I just do.  There is just something about the word and all it connotes.  A foodie, to me, is someone who is snobby about food and takes it much more seriously than one has to.  A foodie is someone who takes all of the enjoyment out of food and makes everything to do with it a competition.  A foodie is that bore at the next table, loudly analyzing every last morsel that goes into his mouth.  A foodie takes ten minutes to order a salad.  A foodie has been everywhere, has eaten everything, and believes she always knows *just* a little more than you do about it all.

In essence - a foodie is a jerk.

Now a food lover - that's my kind of person.  A food lover is, well, someone who loves food.  A food lover can appreciate the beauty of an expertly prepared seven-course restaurant tasting dinner but has equal appreciation for a humble home-cooked meal where love is the main ingredient.  A food lover might know the recipe for every Mother Sauce by heart or he might just understand the gorgeous simplicity in a perfectly crispy French fry.  A food lover has fun when it comes to food.  A food lover doesn't make it a game.  A food lover shares her food.

In that spirit I have pulled together a short list of some fun and (mostly) budget-friendly gifts for the food lovers in your lives.   These are just some items that I either own and love or that I currently covet (hint, hint).

The holiday season can be full of stress so as it begins take time to enjoy a quiet moment every day.  I know it's what gets me through this time of year.  I do hope this list offers you some guidance for the food lovers on your lists.  And if you have any ideas to contribute please add them to the comments!

Cook This Now by Melissa Clark
I have a cook's crush on Melissa Clark.  Not only is she  an inspiring writer, brilliant cook and hugely (though humbly) successful; she is an all-around lovely person.  I have always enjoyed her NYT column but her books blow me away.  Her latest is a collection of perfect family-friendly meals that coordinate with the seasons so there's no hassle and no fuss when shopping.  Every recipe of hers that I have had the pleasure to cook has turned out delicious.  Buy this for friends.  Buy this for yourself.  Just buy it!

Denim Apron
I love this apron.  I have two of them: one going on eight years and one going on ten.  Both were gifts from people who clearly know me well.  This apron is indestructible.  I am a messy cook and no matter how I treat it and what I get on it, this apron always comes out of the wash looking like new.  I love the two front pockets, the extra long ties and the adjustable neck strap.  It comes in a variety of colors but I am partial to the denim version (it is thinner than denim for jeans).  You can personalize it too!

Fooducate App
This is a handy app for anyone with an iPhone, iPod Touch or Android phone.  You can look up the nutritional information of foods and compare them with other choices.  However the best feature is the scanner. When you're in the grocery store you can SCAN in the item you are considering and it will provide the nutritional data and allow you to compare it with other foods in the same category.  This allows you to be an educated consumer and make better choices or at least weigh your options more carefully.  Everything in moderation!

Milk Frother/Steamer
OK - so this one isn't so budget-friendly.  But that's why it makes such a great gift.  Plus the Fooducate App is free so you can average the cost of this plus that if you need help rationalizing...  It's the type of thing someone might not buy for him or herself but a coffee-lover will think of you every morning if this ends up under the tree or beside the menorah.  I can't say enough wonderful things about the Nespresso Aeroccino 3.  It steams.  It froths.  It can steam or froth HOT milk.  It can steam or froth COLD milk.  I bet if you asked it nicely it would empty your dishwasher, too. 


Mydrap Napkins
These are amazing!   Actual cotton napkins that come 100 to a roll.  You can wash and re-use them up to six times before recycling.  And they come in a variety of colors and patterns.  They are great for parties, picnics and even lunchboxes.

Recycled Coasters
Fun coasters made out of recycled newspapers and magazines.  A cute, quirky find that makes a nice host or hostess gift if you are attending any parties this holiday season.  They are food-safe, good for both hot and cold beverages and water repellent.  

Recycled Glass Pitcher
A sturdy glass pitcher is always a great investment and it makes a good gift.  You can never really have too many pitchers.  I find that water, juice or a cocktail always look more festive when in a pitcher.  And, in a pinch, a pitcher always makes for an extra vase.   This one is earth-friendly as it is made from recycled glass.  Always a bonus to think green when buying gifts.

Seltzer Machine
I know I have written about this before but I cannot say enough positive things about my SodaStream.  We drink a lot of seltzer here at Everyone Into the Kitchen and I really couldn't reconcile recycling upwards of 12 bottles a week.   Enter the SodaStream.  To be honest I don't like their soda syrups at all but we don't drink much flavored soda anyway.  The occasional root-beer is about it and when we do, this is the syrup we use.  The SodaStream is fun and simple to use and comes with reusable bottles that last for about two years before they need to be replaced.  Two bottles vs. 1,248?  SodaStream wins.

Soup and Sandwich Tray
I just love the idea of this serving piece.  Sold in sets of two these trays make lunch fun.  Who doesn't love soup and a sandwich (especially the seminal comfort food combo of grilled cheese and tomato soup) on a blustery winter's day?  I imagine that eating lunch (or dinner) off this piece would put a smile on anyone's face.

Whiskey Stones
The husband and I are known to drink scotch on occasion.  We may or may not have consumed a little too much of it on our first date.  As someone who prefers my scotch on the rocks I love the idea of these stones.  Instead of ice, these go in your drink (any drink - it doesn't have to be scotch).  Simply put them in the freezer to chill and add them to your drink of choice.  They cool the beverage without diluting it with any of that pesky water stuff.


Karen Green said...

Thanks for the great ideas! I just might ask Santa for the milk steamer/frother. I gave my hubby the sodastream last Christmas, and we love it. I'm not a big soda drinker, but I recently discovered their black currant and pear natural syrup. And of course, the kids love making root beer floats.

Melissa said...

I love the steamer/frother. A friend bought it for me as an early Chanukah gift and a day hasn't gone by without my using it!

Jeanne's Daughter said...

This is awesome! I especially love the soup and sandwich tray!!