Archive for the ‘Food’ Category
Smoothies are becoming more and more popular as a healthy on the go meal option. Those who drink them on a regular basis know that the ideal container is one made of glass. Unlike plastic, glass never transfers a strange taste into a smoothie, even when it’s stored in the container for a day or two. This means the produce used to create the smoothie will not be overshadowed by a plastic taste. HSN is now offering a set of two glass smoothie containers with airtight lids. The glasses are even marked with measurements so you can mix drinks right in them if you need to, or keep track of just how many ounces you’re consuming each day. At $25 for the set of two, this gift idea is perfect for health-conscious people who are always on the go!
I’ve always tried to come up with unique and interesting gifts for this blog. One of my best friends is a coffee lover, and I’ve given her many coffee-themed gifts throughout the years. From a beautiful travel mug to an eco-friendly hand protector (like the cardboard ones at Starbucks, but reusable) I have searched high and low for unique ideas. This Christmas, I know exactly what I’ll give her. A bag of fair trade organic coffee from Peru, called Tunki Coffee. Click the link to find out more about it, or to order a bag. This coffee is grown on a cooperative in Southeastern Peru that unites hundreds of farmers and their families. It’s called Cecovasa, and the farmers there have received a lot of attention since one of them entered Tunki Coffee in the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s Coffee of the Year Awards. Not only was Tunki named Coffee of the Year among 130 samples from 22 countries, but it also received the People’s Choice Award. Now everyone is wondering where they can buy Tunki Coffee from Cecovasa. One company, Rojas International, is distributing Tunki from Cecovasa in the US. They sell Peruvian Food products under the brand Mama Tina’s, and if you’re a fan of Peruvian cooking, you know they are all natural, high quality foods. Of course, not all of the coffee they sell is from the farmer who won the prize – there would never be enough to go around! But the coffee is grown within the cooperative that he is a member of. The brand Tunki has existed for several years within this cooperative, and is receiving recognition within Peru and abroad. What an interesting story to tell my friend when I give her the bag I just ordered! I always feel good when I buy fair trade products.
Everyone has a friend or family member with a talent for cooking up delicious meals. Those are fun people to buy for whether your budget is Williams Sonoma or Target! One of my favorite gifts to give is a well reviewed cookbook, especially if I’ve made a few of the recipes and can speak personally to their quality. Two of my favorites this year are Park Avenue Potluck Celebrations by Florence Fabricant, the second in a series produced by the volunteers at Sloan Memorial Kettering Cancer Center; and Peace Meals, A Book of Recipes for Cooking and Connecting by The Junior League of Houston. What’s great about them? Each is a compilation of recipes from a group of women so you can imagine that each one brought her absolute best recipe to the table! You can buy these and countless other cookbooks from Amazon.
Do you have a friend who only eats Smart Carb bread and substitutes pasta with Shirataki noodles? It can be hard to think of a food gift for friends on diets, without sabotaging their way of eating. However, if you keep their preferences in mind, you can actually find a present they are sure to appreciate. Check out the Low Carb Gift baskets at Carbsmart. They have all types of baskets including Low Carb Kosher and dinner for two. Finally, indulgence without the excess of carbs! Your friend will be amazed at how thoughtful you are, and you’ll know you helped him or her stick to a healthy diet.
If you are looking for a gift to bring for a housewarming or wedding and are sick of bringing the typical flower arrangements and money, a Belgian chocolate fondue maker for two is perfect. Chances are, every household is already complete with glasses and dishes and weddings will result in a surplus of this. A fondue set is the perfect gift for after a wedding, as it will make for the ultimate romantic night at home. It is also a great present to bring to a housewarming party and perfect to set up for everyone as dessert. A fondue set is easy to use and is a unique dessert to enjoy with your friends, family and significant other. You could even include fresh strawberries and other fruits or chocolates to use with the fondue set. If you are getting the present for people who do not have such a sweet tooth, the fondue maker is versatile and can be used for cheese or to cook meat as well. The set can be used over and over again and will be perfect for future parties, holidays or nights in.
With the holidays coming up, everyone’s sweet tooth seems to be in full gear. After all, who can really resist all of the tempting Halloween goodies or Thanksgiving and Christmas desserts? Keeping this in mind, great presents to give, or receive for that matter, are decorated chocolate and caramel apples. These apples are easy to make or buy; depending on how creative you want to be or how much time you have. You can either stick with the traditional caramel coated apples or dip them in chocolate, or even do both. To be in with the Halloween spirit you can also easily find orange colored chocolate to dip the apples into and then decorate them with dark chocolate drizzles or even with a pumpkin face. Coating them in sprinkles or nuts are also sure to make them mouth watering. Them simply wrap them up using ribbon or sheer bags and they are great to bring as a thank you present or just to show you are thinking about someone.
For those who truly do have everything and more it is important to remember that there is never such a thing as too much food. Today there is an ever growing market for businesses that provide monthly food packages. These monthly groups now offer far more than simple fruit baskets. An easy way to personalize this gift is to find out what the persons favorite dish is. I have always had a sweet tooth with ice cream as my favorite addiction. Given this I could not contain my excitement when I discovered the ice cream of the month club. With this package, gourmet ice cream is delivered to you each month and I know from experience that you will not be disappointed. Just the thought of it is making my taste buds water! Twelve moths of ice cream however does come at a price so if this is a little out of your budget, a gift card to your local favorite ice cream shop is the next best thing. Even if you are not such an ice cream fan there are plenty of different packages that offer other baked goods that are sure to satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth. For those who love to bake but just lack the time, it is easy to take a jar and fill it with all of the ingredients and directions to make some of your infamous cookies that they have been begging you for the recipes for for years.
It’s true what they say; the fastest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. When you have exhausted all sports presents, you can never go wrong with grilling accessories. After all what guy doesn’t love grilling? It is easy to find a basic grill and barbeque tool set at any local store and will work perfectly when placed in a basket with various seasonings and a cookbook or even an apron. Another way to personalize the gift even more and combine the things guys love the most is to add a sports team grill cover. My favorite ones have got to be the NFL teams where the cover resembles an actual jersey. For the master grillers who already have everything personalized branding irons are perfect. The irons can be ordered in the guys favorite sports team or even their initials that can add a little extra flair to the meat. Even for the grillers who truly do have everything there is never such a thing as too much food. Right before the party or you give the gift just stop by and pick up some of his favorite meat and make sure to save up room for dinner- yum!
Dan: Are you running low of a good gift idea that would be good for a whole family? Every holiday season, my grandmother and aunt in Texas send us a giant package of goods that she made from scratch. Everything from fudge, taffy, cookies, brownies, and the list goes on. If you are going away on a winter vacation or study abroad like me, maybe not the best idea to eat the whole thing by yourself, but it is a really great gift anyway.
This is a good gift because it immediately shows that you had to put a lot of your time and effort into making it. It instantly becomes less about the money spent on the gift and more about the thought and effort put into making your holiday great! Also, it does not have to be baked goods like this, you can plan a dinner where you make everything or bring them out to a nice restaurant!
Grace: If you’re looking for a great gift that won’t fail, this definitely is it. Food will never disappoint, especially if it’s home-made, so if you love to cook and don’t know what to get people, I would highly recommend taking Dan’s advice. This is also a great gift idea if you’re college student. I love giving my friends gifts, but I since I’m in school, I can’t really afford much, so instead I bake them something. Since everyone is sick and tired of campus food, this gift idea always works!
Grace: Like most people, I am SOOOO excited for the holiday season! Unfortunately, this year I won’t be able to celebrate the new year with my family since I’ll be studying abroad. Every year, my mom makes a huge Japanese feast that includes home-made sushi and other Japanese goods.
Although sushi looks like it’s really easy to make, it’s actually really difficult and ordering sushi is quite expensive. However, if you know someone who loves sushi and either wants to experiment in making their own or is willing to order some, a great gift for sushi lovers is this simple, sushi platter for two. This platter has a very contemporary feel to it and has indents for soy sauce and 2 sets of chopsticks. A large part of Japanese cooking is presentation, and this platter is definitely and elegant way to display your food!
Dan: Wow what a really beautiful Japanese sushi platter! I love Japanese food so I am always spending too much taking out when I am too lazy to cook. Sometimes, I know for big parties people spend around $30 or more for one of the sushi platters. However, they come on distasteful paper platters. If you had this official platter you can just transfer the items! It is truly great.