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Posts Tagged ‘Holiday Gift Guide’

Stocking Stuffers for Food-Lovers

The old adage “good things come in small packages” is especially true when it comes to stocking stuffers. To maximize this year’s small pleasures, here are some stocking-sized gift ideas for the food lover in your family, perfect for the…

Baking Mother:
Sometimes a few secret ingredients can make a huge difference in baked goods. Black cocoa (King Arthur Flour; $9.95) is one ingredient that packs a wallop, for the most intensely chocolaty desserts. Vanilla bean paste (King Arthur Flour; $12.95) adds flecks of vanilla to baked goods without the hassle and expense of using a real vanilla bean.

Cocktail-Loving Father:
Ice size really does matter for cocktails — bigger cubes mean less watered-down drinks. This highball ice mold (Sur la Table; $12.95) makes a glacier of an ice cube that fits perfectly into a highball glass. Dad can use it to ice down cocktails, or just tea and soda.

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Rethink Traditional Hostess Gifts

Hostess GiftsTrade in bottles of wine for bottles of uniquely-flavored bitters as your go-to hostess gifts this year.

We’re barreling towards the end of the year now and are firmly in the midst of party season. From the awkward office mixer (are you the one that always brings the light-up reindeer ears?) to the elegant cocktail party your interior-designer friend always throws that you’re never quite sure how to dress for, your dance card is full.

I don’t know about you, but I’d never really considered the “hostess gift” until, frankly, I was asked to write a post about it. It’s not that I show up empty-handed, but that bottle of wine or grapefruit-flavoured Perrier (my drink of choice at the moment!) in my mitts is usually destined for both the hostess’ glass… and mine.

But, last week, I actually thought it out a bit and tried it. My friend Heide hosted Thanksgiving at her house – no small feat – and so I brought along a little present. Not only did it light her face up, it also made me feel good – a little something to say thank you for getting up extra early so that the table would look good, and a thank you in advance for the hours spent cleaning up after we’re gone.

Here’s the thing with hostess gifts, though; I need them to be practical. Space is at a premium in most houses, and the last thing I want to do is hand over another kitchen gadget that clogs up the catch-all drawer. So here are my suggestions for inexpensive-but-useful little presents that not only show your host or your hostess your appreciation, but make you look good, too!

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Cooking Channel’s Holiday Gift Guide for Food People


Black Friday — it’s the Olympics of shopping. The one day of the year all hell breaks loose and decorum goes out the window. Avoid disaster by starting your day with a game plan and, of course, gift ideas so you aren’t left in the dust. (We recommend starting your day with the proper fuel. These Lemon Blueberry Muffins are delish and will super charge you for the retail task at hand.)

We asked Cooking Channel stars and staffers what they wanted in their stockings this year — take some inspiration from their Holiday Wish Lists.

Shake things up with Kelsey Nixon’s pick: a Soda Stream. It’s perfect for making custom soda flavors from your own artisanal-flavored syrups.

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