Foodista's Holiday Gift Guide: Great Gifts for the Gourmand

November 29, 2013

We've selected a few of our very own favorite products in hopes that you find the right gift for the food lover in your life. We own each one of these items and stand by them as essentials. Check out these must-have kitchen gadgets, tools, spices, seasonings and cookbooks.

Kitchen Tools and Gadgets

KitchenAid Standing Mixer

We couldn't do without our beautiful KitchenAid mixer! We have it in red but there are 40 beautiful colors from which to choose! A good standing mixer is a must-have for any kitchen.

KitchenAid Food Grinder Attachment

We love the Food Grinder attachment for the KitchenAid Mixer as you can make your own freshly ground meat, which is much safer and often cheaper than buying already ground meat (tip: buy inexpensive lamb stew meat and grind it up for your own tender lamb burgers. You'll save big $$). You can also make the most perfect mashed potatoes by putting the cooked taters through the grinder.

Julienne Peeler

Why waste time (and your fingertips!) trying to cut those beautiful little julienne slices. This peeler easily does the job for you!

Green Star Elite Juice Extractor

This is simply the BEST juicer in the world. Hands down. It's the closest thing to the masticating abilities of a human mouth!

Anova Culinary Bluetooth Sous Vide Immersion Circulator

Cook food like some of the world's best restaurants with this easy to use sous vide device. You'll need a vacuum sealer, too. We like this one.

Anova sous vide device

FoodSaver Advanced Design Vacuum Sealer

A good food saver help you save more than just food, it will help you save money! We've all but eliminated unnecessary food waste by properly sealing our food with our FoodSaver. No more freezer burn and it's great for sous vide!

Scanpan Professional Fry Pan

We love all of Scanpan's professional pans. They are simply the best non-stick pans we've found on the market. We use our 8-inch omelette pan almost daily.


Protect your wine and other fragile items while traveling with this handy inflatable travel wine bag. This handy bags goes on all our wine country trips with us. You can use it as a lumbar support, too!

Perfect Stocking Stuffers

These are some of our must-have pantry spices and seasonings. No pantry should be without!

Smoked Olive Oil

Smoked oil adds a wonderful dimension to foods. Use as a finishing oil and drizzle over grilled meats, fresh and grilled vegetables, on top of soups and lentils and more.

Fennel Pollen

Fennel pollen is one of our favorite spices. Just a pinch of it transforms any dish! It's an amazing flavor booster for soups and stews and is great on grilled meats, veggies and more. It's one of our best secret weapons.

Murray River Australian Pink Flake Salt

This is by far our favorite salt! It's light and flaky and has an amazing flavor. Don't cook with this delicate salt, instead use it as a finishing salt on everything, especially salads.

Truffle Salt

Another one of our favorite finishing salts. We will never tire of truffles!

Smoked Paprika

Add rich and complex smoky tones to your foods with this must-have spice. Great on grilled potatoes, and seafood and meat dishes.

Korean Hot Pepper Powder

This pepper powder is traditionally used for kimchi making, but we also use it as a flavorful condiment. Just mix a little with olive oil or white vinegar. It's great on rice, grilled meats, just about anything!

Books We Absolutely Love!

We have shelves and shelves of books of all kinds, but these are some that top our current list of faves.

Eat Your Vegetables: Bold Recipes For the Single Cook

Author Joe Yonan, the Food & Travel Editor for the Washington Post, just came out with this delicious vegetarian cookbook for the single cook. Each recipe is so good you'll forget they're vegetarian!

Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese

This book is simply melt-alicious! One of my favorite recipes is a gruyere and Italian sausage mac and cheese served in a roasted sugar pumpkin. You scoop bits of the pumpkin out as your serve. Heaven.

Fermentation for Dummies

We are HUGE fermentation fans and seem to have batches of something - kimchee, sauerkraut, beer - going at all times. We love this highly informative book on the art of fermentation. Discover more about bread starters, making tempeh and miso, a whole section on meats, fish and egg (mmm, venison sausage!), cheese making, healthy beverages and beer and wine brewing. It's got it all.


The Kitchen Pantry Cookbook

This great cookbook show how to make homemade -and healthier - versions of our favorite condiments. There are more than 90 delicious recipes to personalize your pantry.

Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking

Our copy of Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking never has the chance to gather dust on our shelf. Hazan, the grand dame of Italian cooking, showed America how to cook authentic Italian dishes in an approachable way. Our favorite dish, and a frequent Sunday dinner, is her classic Roast Chicken with Lemons. Just chicken, salt, pepper and lemons. The best chicken you'll ever roast.

Canal House Pronto! 77 Simple Recipes

You simply cannot go wrong with any of the Canal House Cooking books, but we're loving this latest in their series. It's devoted to quick and easy Italian home cooking that anyone can make and everyone will love.

Apothecary Cocktails: Restorative Drinks from Yesterday and Today

This new cocktail book from Warren Bobrow, The Cocktail Whisperer, is, in a word, awesome. The handy spiral-bound book features 75 classic and newly created recipes for medicinally-themed cocktails. Also, learn about the history of the top apothecary liqueurs, how healing herbs, spices and flowers are being resurrected in cocktails, and get recipes for restoratives, sedatives and toddys, digestifs and much more!

Jerusalem: A Cookbook

I love this cookbook so much that it sits on my coffee table. But it's more than a coffee table book, it's a highly "cookable" cookbook, meaning each and every recipe are quite doable in any kitchen. It will inspire you to get in the kitchen. One of my favorite recipes is Shakshuka, a breakfast (or lunch) dish of eggs poached in a spicy harissa-based tomato sauce (get the recipe here).

The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America's Most Imaginative Chefs

This is a must-have for anyone who loves to cook! I reach for this book any time I'm looking for inspiration or need creative tips on what pairs with what.