Published on November 18th, 2013 | by Becky Striepe5
Our Official 2013 Gift Guide
It’s here! We all put our heads together to create the ultimate holiday gift guide for every food-obsessed person on your list.
Thanksgiving is just a couple of weeks away, and that means so is Black Friday. We hope that our holiday gift guide will help you check off those foodies on your list and maybe alleviate a little bit of holiday stress for you.
Honestly, I’m not super into Black Friday shopping. I feel like these events really take away from celebrating gratitude at Thanksgiving by making us focus on what we want instead of enjoying time with our friends and families. We’ve compiled a gift guide of foodie goodness that you can find online at your leisure instead.
From cookbooks and cooking tools to experience gifts, our gift guide has something for everyone!
Eat Drink Better’s 2013 Holiday Gift Guide
Do you remember being a kid and going to the video store with your parents? I always loved checking out the endcaps with movie recommendations from the store employees, didn’t you? I wanted to make this gift guide a little bit more personal, so I asked the Eat Drink Better team to each contribute their own picks, video store-style. This gift guide is broken down by each writer’s and editor’s recommendations.
Becky Striepe, co-editor
- Soyajoy Premium Total Tofu Kit – This is the kit that my friends and I used to make tofu from scratch earlier this year. If you have an adventurous chef on your list, I can’t recommend this enough!
- Kombucha Home Brew Kit – Can you tell that I like kits? You don’t actually need a kit to brew your own kombucha tea, but sometimes a kit is the kick in the pants you need to get started. This would be perfect for health-conscious friends!
- Vegan Cuts Subscription – Do you have a vegan friend on your list? Treat her to a monthly box from Vegan Cuts! Every month a box of vegan snacks will arrive on her doorstep.
- Pyrex Containers with Lids – This might seem like a weird recommendation, but my husband got this for me a few years ago, and I LOVE them! If someone on your list cooks a lot and is trying to move away from plastic food storage, she will squee when she opens this up. Seriously.
Tanya Sitton, co-editor
- Cookbooks – For a veg-curious or newly-vegan cook, Vegan on the Cheap or Artisan Vegan Cheese make great additions to your favorite plant-based cook’s book shelf. They both offer creatively versatile cooking ideas, one emphasizing staples and tasty efficiency and the other featuring consistently delicious gourmet flair.
- Vegucated on DVD - If you have a friend or family member who’s shown genuine curiosity about why your food choices depart from the ‘traditional‘ holiday menu, perhaps they’d enjoy the documentary Vegucated. It’s engaging and instructive and easy to watch — there are only a couple of moments that I’d fast forward for very sensitive viewers, but overall the film does a great job of showing exactly why some people choose veganism… without presenting all the graphic awfulness that makes folks turn away (even as they support exactly that horrible stuff).
- The Excalibur dehydrator makes an excellent gift for anyone who enjoys camp cooking, raw food, or ‘putting by’ abundant seasonal produce for later use. It makes raw crackers, trail-and-travel food, and sweet-potato-chip dog treats a snap – AND O MY GOODNESS, THE KALE CHIPS!!
- Thermos Stainless Steel Travel Tumbler – And OK, yes, I’m a total sucker for good travel mugs — and I realize not everyone finds this exciting! — but this insulated tea/ coffee mug keeps your drink hot or cold FOREVER. Yes: forever!!! I can no longer live without it, especially on road trips… I pack an assortment of tea bags, and some coffee bags, and never ever need to buy any drink from anywhere while I’m traveling – I just obtain various forms of water from convenience stores or whatever, and always always always have a fresh delicious hot-or-cold beverage in my mug when I want one. It’s official: I can no longer live without it!
- Vegan Unplugged – If you’re shopping for someone who enjoys camping or traveling, I also recommend Vegan Unplugged; pair it with this little camp stove, which I love for it’s portability and ease of use. With these items in the toolbox, your giftee will eat better on the road or in the woods than most folks do in their dining rooms.
Mary Gerush, writer
- Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless – One of the best cookbooks I’ve bought. Rick cooks real Mexican food (not Tex-Mex), provides clear instructions and beautiful pics plus “riffs” on each recipe. An awesome addition to your cookbook library.
- BAR10DER All-in-One Home Bartending Tool - A great gift for the drinker in your life. Includes a Muddler, Knife, Reamer, Stirrer, Channel Knife, Strainer, Jigger, Corkscrew, Zester, and Bottle Opener in a Swiss army-style utensil. Eye-poppin’ colors don’t hurt either!
- Weber Rapidfire Chimney Starter and Firestarter Lighter Cubes – Help your grilling friends ditch the lighter fluid for this chimney starter and environmentally-friendly lighter cubes. Starts a great barbecue every time without polluting your food or the planet.
- The Spice Lab’s Gourmet Sea Salt Sampler Collection No. 1 – I love salt. Thank goodness we have so many choices these days. This set of finishing salts includes a great variety, including a smoked salt. Highly recommend for your favorite foodie!
- The Coolest Bottle Opener Ever – Gift this bottle opener and your friends will be in awe. Inexpensive but classy, highly functional, and magnetic, it proves that simple is the new complex. P.S. Buy one for yourself while you’re at it.
Jennifer Kaplan, writer
- The New California Wine: A Guide to the Producers and Wines Behind a Revolution – The New California Wine is a terrific new book by Jon Bonné, the wine editor of the San Francisco Chronicle. It tells the story of the new California wine industry populated by young, innovative producers who are rewriting the rules of contemporary wine-making. Featuring information on more than 600 wines and detailed maps of growing regions and vineyards, The New California Wine is a necessary addition to any wine enthusiast’s bookshelf.
- Hello, Wine: The Most Essential Things You Need to Know About Wine – Hello, Wine by Melanie Wagner is a fun, super-informative guidebook that helps you discover how to choose the best wine for any occasion. Tagged “a stylish primer for any newcomer to the endlessly fascinating world of wine” it is the perfect book for someone who wants to know more about wine but doesn’t want a stuffy take. It is filled with short bits of information, easy to understand recommendations and tasting party menus. The book explores every aspect of wine – from how it is made to how to drink it – and provides helpful descriptions of grape varietals and recommendations that can be taken to a wine store or restaurant.
- Cowgirl Creamery Cooks is a sumptuous collection of cheesy recipes, with 75 appetizers, soups, salads, snacks, entrees and desserts . The photography is incredible and advice indispensable, but the recipes are what make this a truly essential cookbook. From classics like a simple mac and cheese recipe to a delicious vegetable lasagna recipe with three-cheeses mushrooms and spinach, to a new take on the Thanksgiving classic potato gratin, this cookbook delivers everything you need to know to get the best from your fromage. As an added, and somewhat unintended bonus, many of the most delicious dishes are vegetarian recipes.
- I’m also giving some experiences as gifts this year. One of my favorite things to do is go to the Hess Collection in Napa, California. Hess houses both a winery and a world-class contemporary art museum. Hess is open daily for public visits, tours and tastings starting at $15 per person. (The Hess Collection Contemporary Art Museum is open daily without charge.) But, I had the good fortune to do the wine a Tour, Wine & Cheese Pairing, an vineyard tour with a private host followed by a current release wine presentation paired with Artisan cheeses served with seasonal fruits and nuts underneath vines of wisteria, surrounded by contemporary sculptures and beautifully landscaped gardens. The cost is $65 per person and advanced reservations required.
- The other special wine country experience I will be gifting this holiday season, especially to my friends with kids, is a visit to Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Geyersville, California. The state of the art facility is far more than a winery. The 24-acre property features two restaurants, a full bar, a wine tasting room, two swimming pools, a movie gallery, a performing arts Pavilion and a park area with game tables and bocce courts. If you want to treat a family of four to a special day, then splurge for a Customary Cabine Package. For $125 your guests will be treated to four pool passes, use of a cabine equipped with a private shower, use of four lounge chairs and towels, four wine tasting flights and a couple of souvenir water bottles. Or better yet, make it a party and save two spots for yourself!