We’ve made our holiday lists and are checking them twice. And while we’re at it, we thought it might be nice to share some of the items that caught our fancy as we looked for the perfect gifts to match with the interests and passions of our friends and family. With price and practicality in mind, here are our picks:
Gifts for the chef
Legendary baker Rose Levy Beranbaum is back with her most extensive “bible” yet. With all-new fool-proof recipes for the best cakes, pies, tarts, cookies, candies, pastries, breads, and more, this magnum opus draws from Rose’s passion and expertise in baking. Every recipe proves that delicious perfection is within reach for any baker, whether you’re just dipping into dough or an accomplished pastry chef.
This marvelous blend of ground Italian black truffle from Abruzzo and Sicilian sea salt is irresistible sprinkled over scrambled eggs, buttered popcorn, delicate fish, and pasta dishes. The unmistakably earthy flavor of truffles combined with sea salt will transform an everyday meal into something special.
Don’t bother schlepping out your bulky food processor anymore! Just plunk your hand blender directly into the pot and with a simple touch of just one button you’ve got those sharp blades whirlin’, ready to attack your squash, salad dressing, crepe batter, baby food, or favorite drink and grind it down to a fine texture (or whatever consistency floats your boat).
If you’re looking for an affordable yet cool tool for a cook with limited space, the Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus Processor is the perfect gift. It handles a variety of food preparation tasks including chopping, grinding, puréeing, emulsifying, and blending. The auto-reversing blade provides a super-sharp edge for the delicate chopping of herbs and for blending and puréeing other soft foods. The blunt edge offers a powerful cutting surface to grind through spices and other hard foods.
As he has done with the French Laundry and his other establishments, culinary powerhouse Thomas Keller proves the cookbook can be so much more as he presents a collection of recipes from his famous chain of bakeries in a glossy, big format that lends itself well to kitchen or coffee table.
The 8-inch high Greek Atlas Athena Copper and Brass Pepper Mill makes a stylish gift and a chic addition to a dining table or kitchen island. Its smooth grinding mechanism allows for easy, consistent spice distribution.
Solid copper beating bowls have long been valued by professional cooks and bakers for their special properties. When you give these bowls, you know your chef is mixing, stirring, and whisking away with the very best.
Elegant yet utilitarian, this apron is hand-crafted from yarn-dyed European linen for a striking, multi-tone weave. Each apron features a practical front pocket and a crisscross back that lends a flattering shape.
Made from rugged, reclaimed teak, this round cutting or serving board makes a rustic addition to the table or countertop. Available in 15.5 and 18 inch sizes.
Gifts for the book lover
For a bibliophile, there’s no greater pleasure than sharing beloved books, but no crueler pain than losing them for good. Revive old-fashioned library circulation techniques for fun and book retention with this cool kit. The set includes 20 self-adhesive pockets and checkout cards, date stamp and inkpad, and a pencil.
Throw in some extra cards for those with larger libraries:
$6/15 pockets & cards
Stuff the stocking of your dearest bibliophile with this reader’s journal.
There are pages to record the basics, notes, ratings, and additional thoughts about each book along with author quotes and places to fill in fun info about the reader’s preferences, create “reading trees”, list books you’ve lent, and more.
Give books that will be cherished, collected, and passed on. With splendid packaging created by acclaimed designer Coralie Bickford-Smith, Penguin Classics’ beautiful hardcover editions of literature’s most beloved books feature gorgeous patterns stamped on linen cases, colored endpapers, and ribbon markers. These are rich and sumptuous volumes destined to become heirlooms.
Give the gift of dog-ear-free pages! The silicone Finger Print snaps right around a book and points to where reading stopped and it stretches to fit any size book from Dick and Jane to War and Peace. It’s elastic enough to be used as an awesome book strap as well.
For the reader who’s happiest in an old library, give her the ambiance with this candle fragrance inspired by the scent of a well-loved book room. The scent—paper, dust, newsprint, and a hint of vanilla—is a slightly sweet and earthy smell with a hint of must (that’s must, not mildew!).
The perfect accessory for someone who is constantly loaning out books, this embosser makes a crisp impression on precious books. Personalize it for your favorite bibliophile.
Gift a canvas book bag with your book lover’s favorite classic cover art. The bag is 100% cotton canvas with an inner pocket. Better yet, purchase of this bag sends one book to a community in need.
Give the gift of free two-day shipping, streaming music, TV shows, movies, and more with an Amazon Prime annual membership. And if your gift recipient owns a Kindle, there are even more benefits to enjoy.
If you’re looking for a gorgeous splurge gift for the reader who has everything, these bookends exude natural glamour. Comprised of natural outgrowths from inner ancient lava streams, the accents stun with hints of amethyst druze.
Post feature image is a public domain photo by Petr Kratochvil.
© Caruth Studio