Holiday shopping can be a bit tricky at times, especially if you’re at a loss for what to get for a certain someone. No more of that nonsense. This year, I’ve decided to take a different approach to gift giving. I’m only going to give the things that I love versus searching for things that they love. If I do it right, they will soon be one and the same.
Throughout the year, working at Eat Boutique and as a freelance recipe tester and writer, I encounter a great deal of food-related items, from kitchen tools to cookbooks (naturally) to small-batch goodies. I am constantly searching and trying new things to find the very best for my profession and lifestyle. With this in mind, I enlisted the help of Maggie, who is always on the lookout for the ultimate in everything food-related (she is the brains behind Eat Boutique and is opening a retail space soon, after all). Together, we created a list of our favorite items that we’ve loved in the last year.
We hope this quick guide will help make your holidays merry and bright (and stress-free).
Tilit Wrap Apron: We all have that one friend (me!) who is a little bit messy in the kitchen. Enter an apron that is not only necessary for keeping clothes clean, but is also made to fit any form beautifully.
Jacques Pépin New Complete Techniques: Though this book is a few years old, its wisdom is infinite. Jacques offers easy-to-follow techniques for anyone wanting to expand their skills in the kitchen.
Instant Pot 7-in-1 Multifunctional Pressure Cooker: Maggie and I both gave into the Instant Pot craze this year, and became believers after the very first stock. This is a slow cooker, pressure cooker, yogurt maker, saute pan, rice cooker, steamer, and warmer, and it delivers on all of them.
Signed Copy of Food Gift Love: Granted, we are a bit biased when it comes to this cookbook (Maggie did write it and I worked on it as the Head Recipe Tester), but it deserves a spot on a holiday gift guide because it has more than 100 recipes for that exact thing. Either give the book as the gift or use it to make homemade gifts for all of your loved ones.
Molly on the Range: Recipes and Stories from An Unlikely Life on a Farm: We can’t get enough of Molly Yeh’s new cookbook. She and I share an obsession for marzipan, so I was sold right from the start. Maggie loves Molly’s voice, unique take on recipes, and overall aesthetic. This is one book you will want to read and cook from start to finish.
A Cozy Coloring Cookbook: 40 Simple Recipes to Cook, Eat & Color: At first seeing Adrianna Adarme’s fantastic take on the adult coloring book trend, I thought, what a brilliant idea (and why didn’t I think of that?). This little book combines two of my favorite things: art and food, and is the perfect gift for the creative type in your life.
Preserving Italy: Canning, Curing, Infusing, and Bottling Italian Flavors and Traditions: Domenica Marchetti offers insight into a cuisine that we all can’t help but love. Maggie loves the Sweet-and-Sour Roasted Peppers, and I love to eat them.
Chickpea Flour Does It All: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegetarian Recipes for Every Taste and Season: This book has become a staple in both our kitchens this year. Lindsay S. Love gives us recipes that everyone can eat without sacrificing on flavor or texture. Maggie tops her Lettuce Wraps with the Caesar Dressing, and I highly suggest you do the same.
Lemon Ladies Meyer Lemon Gift Boxes: Maggie has been ordering from these ladies for years, and for good reason. Their meyer lemons are truly a cut above the rest, and are perfect for preserving or curding or simply admiring their beauty.
Cuppow 32-ounce Cold Brew Kit: This cold coffee became a staple, nay necessity, in my household over the summer. I loved having a batch of it in the fridge whenever I needed a little pick-me-up. This kit makes it super simple to always have caffeine on hand.
Dram Apothecary Lemon Ginger Hot Toddy Cocktail Kit: My secret to combatting the common cold: booze. Well, a hot toddy, to be exact. That is why I was so excited to see this easy-to-create your own cure kit. It’s the ideal gift for cold winter nights–ill or not.
Salt Traders World Salt Collection: Featuring six different hand-harvested salts from around the globe, this collection is the ideal gift for anyone who likes to cook and experiment with different flavors, spices, and textures. We’ve used Didi’s salts for years, and are only the better for it.
Queen Majesty 2-ounce Hot Sauce Sampler: This sizzling set was our best seller at the Boston Design Center pop-up. With flavors like Jalapeno, Tequila, and Lime; Scotch Bonnet and Ginger; and Red Habanero and Black Coffee, this is not for the weak of spice tolerance. And the packaging is just so darn enticing, you can’t help but love the sauce.
SWEET & THOUGHTFUL
Apotheker’s Dark Chocolate-Topped Vanilla Marshmallows: These bee-sweetened fluffy clouds of heaven have been one of Maggie’s and my favorite treats since last year’s holiday market. Pair a bag with their hot cocoa (smoke and spice, anyone) for an ideal gift for a snowy day.
EHChocolatier Chef’s Choice Box: Nibbling on a little bit of chocolate each day is good for you, so we can only imagine if that chocolate was hand-selected by chefs. Each box features bonbons, truffles, pate de fruit, and other small bites from EHChocolatier.
Milk Bar Perfect 10 Tin: It’s a beautiful thing when baking and charity meet (as we discovered first-hand by making pumpkin pies for a good cause). Each tin, filled with six gluten-free and dairy-free oatmeal cookie/energy bars, purchased will provide 10 school lunches to hungry kids around the world.
Stewart and Claire Lip Balm Cocktail Trio: This wins for best stocking stuffer in my book. We’ve been long-time fans of Stewart and Claire and their all-natural lip balms. You are sure to make the cocktail enthusiast smile with this set of Negroni, Tiki, and Old Fashioned lip balms.
Moon Rivers Orange Blossom Solid Lotion: Simple. Pure. Organic. As all things in life should be, especially in relation to your body. This lotion is a must-have for those with dry skin/ They also make one of my husband’s favorite scrubs (Coffee Grapefruit), if you want a set.
BECAUSE THEY WOULD NEVER GET IT FOR THEMSELVES
Sarah Kersten Set of Nesting Covered Bowls: When I saw these in Maggie’s kitchen, my eyes immediately turned green. These beautiful bowls are not only stunning to look at, they are also incredibly functional. They keep dishes warm, allow for easy transport, and stack like a dream.
Facon Enamelware Bake Set: I love it when I can serve something straight from the oven, don’t you? This adorable baking set makes it easy to bake beautiful things in style. And I’m a big fan of how easy they are to store, because they all fit neatly together. It’s the little things.
Leaves and Flowers Peace Tea: We could all use a little more peace in our lives, and this tea–made with yarrow flower, tulsi, rose petal, lemon verbena–is a really nice way to give a friend a relaxing break from the constant chatter of the world. Pair it with a mug from Farmhouse Pottery, and you have a gorgeous gift for someone you care about.
Cuisinart Double Belgian Waffle Iron: Maggie has a newfound appreciation for this highly addictive breakfast food, and is on the search for the ideal iron. This nifty little machine is cool because it cooks two waffles at once, which means two people can eat warm waffles together. That is a gift in itself, my friends.
Farmhouse Pottery Window Berry Bowl: I hate to play favorites when it comes to anything, but this is definitely one of my all-time favorite gifts I’ve received. Handcrafted in Vermont, this sweet berry bowl elevates any countertop, and is an heirloom piece that I will cherish (and your loves ones will, too) for years to come.
One Year Subscription to OatBox: What could be better than giving the gift of a nutritious and flavorful breakfast for an entire year? Two bags of different types of granola, made from only the finest ingredients will arrive each month, giving your loved ones the ease of a smart way to start each day.
Eat Boutique is an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista. After hosting pop-up markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie is now focused on opening her first permanent Eat Boutique–a food-retail concept space with a new way to the very best food. Her second cookbook, A New Way to Food: Recipes That Revamped My Pantry & Made Me Love Me, At Last, will be published by Roost Books/Penguin Random House in 2019. Her first cookbook, Food Gift Love, features more than 100 food gift recipes to make, wrap, and share and is available wherever you find favorite cookbooks.