Still trying to take it easy, but with the holidays fast approaching, I needed to run a few quick errands and get some more gifts crossed off my list today. I have two more stops tomorrow, and then once I get our Christmas cards out, I am OFFICIALLY done with shopping … phew! And then, of course, the real fun begins … wrapping! At least the worst is over, but I, for one, am pooped. As soon as I get this post up, I’m getting in my pjs and vegging in front of the TV and calling it a night.
No dinner report, as it was designated a “clean out the fridge” kinda night. Lotsa of leftover Chinese food, and, of course, true to the myth, a few hours later, I’m hungry again, so I just might be sneaking down to the kitchen in a few minutes…
As promised, I have Rachael Ray’s Top 10 Gift Ideas for those last minute items you may need for people on your list.
As she says,
I was a gourmet food buyer for many years. That meant I could go to fancy-food shows and shop for delicious, beautiful things with lots of other people’s money – how cool was that? Well, I still give food gifts every year. Here are 10 favorites for this season. They are in no particular order, so number 10 is as good as number 1, really!
1. Nuns of New Skete Kahlua Cheesecake. Visit their site here. Kahlua is Rachael’s favorite flavor from here, with eggnog and amaretto cream following close behind. You can even order a mix and match selection; prices start at $33 for a whopping 4-1/2 pounds of cheesecake!
2. Fresh Lobsta’ from Maine. A gift after my sister’s heart, since she enjoyed her college career in Maine. A little pricey, this one might be reserved for your most favoritest friends, you can order four 5.2 ounce lobster potpies in ramekins for $85 from Stonewall Kitchen.
3. Rachael Ray’s aunt used to send her a giant cooler filled with Alaskan King Crab every year for the holidays, and they would eagerly await its arrival, with their melted drawn butter sitting tableside. Check out Fisherman Express to start your new holiday tradition.
4. Japanese Sorbets – delicate fruit jellies that you put in the freezer until they’re set, when they become wonderful sorbets. Seasonal flavors are available, including peach and muscat grape, Rachael’s favorites. Order from Kitchoan, 8 jellies are a reasonable thirty bucks, and definitely something very unique.
5. Salt and Spices – a gift after my own heart. I have an entire shelf filled with all sorts of different salts and peppers. Rachael suggests ordering from Nirmala’s Kitchen for a great assortment, everything from Moroccan tagine spice blend to their North African spices. Prices range from $7-18, and this is one of the fun types of gifts that you can build around. Pick out a few exotic spices and do some research to find recipes that require the use of those specific choices and put together a themed gift basket to please the foodie lover on your list – my idea! not Rachael’s. ;).
6. Rachael orders gift certificates, cheese club memberships and cheese gift baskets from Artisanal Cheese, with prices starting at $55. Enough with the Harry and David monthly fruit baskets … a monthly cheese assortment (and the education that follows it) would be great.
7. Next up … a stainless steel chocolate fountain from Widerview. Willy Wonka look out!
8. “Chocolate that Rocks!” — a very cool and affordable gift, “Elvis chocolate mounds filled with banana, marshmallow and peanut butter” — the King of Swivel Hips would certainly be content with these from sweet treats Chocolate Bar NYC.
9. Rachael loves the chocolate-covered dried cherries from Marich Confections. Prices for a 10-ounce box range from a very reasonable $5-10.
10. And lastly, something I think I will be unable to resist very long … Kitchen Kapers puts out a line of “quirky tools (Friends Forever) cut out of stainless steel and made in Germany” with unique facial expressions. They have a pizza cutter that looks like a man with a giant ear-to-ear grin, and also a cheese plane with a smiley face. You can check out their vegetable peeler here, their espresso spoons, their pie server and more. Guaranteed to put a chuckle on any recipients’ face every time they use it. Rachael gave one of the pizza cutters to everyone on her FoodTV Network crew.
And Paz, I didn’t forget you, here’s a picture of Rachael Ray, just for you!
That’s all for tonight, folks. If you’re participating in Weekend Dog Blogging #14, don’t forget to send in your photos, which MUST include food (and no, dog food doesn’t count!). I’ll do the round-up tomorrow night, and the winner of the best photo (as voted on by visitors on Monday), will receive a brand new cookbook. So shoot away. Until tomorrow…