At a loss as to what to give for the holidays? Never fear, it’s the annual Eat the Love 2015 Holiday Gift Guide!
The holidays are here and as always, I’m still trying to figure out what to get folks for Christmas. And if you’re anything like me, you’re still trying to figure out what to get your loved ones as well! So if you still haven’t had a chance to go shopping yet, here’s a few ideas! I present to you, the annual Eat the Love 2015 Holiday Gift Guide!
Stick around to the end because I’m also doing an awesome giveaway for some of these items too! [SORRY folks, the giveaway is done!]
I’m a big fan olive oil as a great host present when you get invited over for dinner. The Mezzetta California Extra Virgin Olive Oil comes in both an “intense” and “delicate” flavor, making them perfect as finishing oil for dishes. I’m partial to the intense version, with it’s green grassy peppery flavor but the delicate version is a nice buttery finish, perfect for drizzling over delicate fish or other dishes where you want a more subtle flavor that won’t overwhelm the other ingredients.
A bottle of vodka is always a welcome gift for most folks. ABSOLUT has a couple of cool infused flavors like Vanilia and Äpple, both which are versatile enough to be used in cocktails without being too oddball flavored, but fun enough to not be boring. A simple vodka and soda becomes an adult dry vanilla cream soda with the ABSOLUT Vanilia. And using ABSOLUT Äpple is a great twist on the traditional Moscow Mule, giving it a Fall wintery feel.
For those folks who don’t drink, the mixer Owl’s Brew is a pretty nifty gift. Designed for cocktails, this tea mixer is also perfect for those who want to make mocktails or non-alcoholic beverages for company. Or for yourself! After all, why should people who don’t drink alcohol always be stuck with drinking seltzer or soda? Owl’s Brew is versatile pre-made tea mixer that is equally comfortable mixed with vodka, rum, beer, wine, seltzer or juice. Plus it comes in a gorgeous matte black bottle.
You’ve probably know about sous vide cooking, the method of slowly cooking ingredients in a warm water bath. Fine dining restaurants use it a lot for steaks, eggs, vegetables and grains and there a cookbooks and websites dedicated to the technique of sous vide cooking. With the advent of new (and more reasonably priced) technology suddenly sous vide is something home cooks can do at home. Nomiku, a local San Francisco company, has a really reasonably priced immersion circulator that is insanely easy to use. They’re also offering a discount to all Eat the Love readers who want to try out sous vide with their Nomiku product. $50 off their classic Nomiku (use the check out code EATTHENOM) and $20 off their new WiFi version, which is on pre-order (use the check out code EATTHENOM20)!
My partner, A.J. and I are often feeling snacky but sometimes you just don’t want to reach for that same bag of potato chips. I love the idea of Love With Food (<– that link will give you all a 40% discount), a subscription box of snacks that gets delivered monthly. With the option of a small tasting box (8+ items), a larger deluxe box (16 to 20 items) or the gluten free snack box (10-15 items) all boxes are organic or all natural, GMO-free with no artificial junk. I was able to sample some of the snacks in the gluten free box when I was in Chicago at the BlogHer Food conference and it’s quality stuff! Plus, who doesn’t feel snacky now and then?
Years ago I worked as a barista in a coffee shop and drank so much coffee that I couldn’t have any for years afterwards. I’ve slowly been falling back in love with coffee lately and I forgot how much I not only miss it, but also miss all the random paraphernalia that comes with it. From the grinding of the beans, to the making of the coffee to all the cool mugs and cups you can use! My recent discovery is the cute Joco coffee cup, which is reusable glass cup with a silicon heatproof sleeve and reusable lid. I’m smitten with it, as it even comes in a bunch of fun colors (I only have the black one right now but I kind of want a bunch more in different colors!). One of the best thing about it is that I can bring it with me to the local coffee shop and have them make the coffee drink directly in the glass, as they come in standard barista sizes.
If you have followed my blog at all you’ll know that AJ and I love to travel. We did a road trip in 2013 across the country, from San Francisco to Miami and we did a shorter truncated trip in 2014 from California to Colorado. We camp a lot but one thing we didn’t have was a nifty set of travel knives. WÜSTHOF solved that with their CLASSIC 7-Piece Traveler Set, which include a small 6″ cook’s knife, a 3 1/2″ pairing knife, a 5″ serrated knife, scissors, corkscrew and mini knife sharpening! It tucks into a super nice zip-up travel case. I’m actually contemplating bring it back with me to Indiana when I visit AJ’s family for Christmas. Or is that too OCD of me? I mean, I plan on checking a bag anyway….
Speaking of traveling, I’m in LOVE with my new Samsonite hard case Omni PC suitcase. I never thought I’d like a hardcase bag. After all, I’m more of a soft case, pack as much as you can and have the bag bulging wide, kind of guy. But the Omni PC bag is not only durable and scratch proof but pretty to boot (I got the teal color, it’s subtle but still striking)! It has those awesome rolling wheels that roll in every direction and it super lightweight (yay!). Plus the hardcase means I can go shopping for breakable items like dishes and plates when I travel and not have to worry about them getting smashed if I have to check the bag. Sorry AJ. I know I don’t need more cake stands but now that I have this bag, I might be buying some in Indiana.
I’m a HUGE proponent of Microplane and their rasp zester. I’ve actually hand sold them to friends before, after I told them how amazing they are. Once in a bar, I made a friend of mine take out her smartphone and buy one on Amazon while I was there watching. That’s how hardcore I am about them. The new Microplane Elite series zesters and graters are even more convenient now because they come with protective covers that also can double and slide onto the back to catch the grating so you can measure how much you grate as you go. I love it when kitchen tools are redesigned to be more helpful!
Anyone that’s been to this blog in the past couple of months knows that I’ve been working with Anolon to create recipes using their products. But I’m going to state right now that I adored their cookware before I even started to work with them. I won a saucepan at a pie contest years ago when I first started this blog and I realized cookware really does matter! Their bakeware is equally awesome. Anolon’s 5 piece bakeware set comes with 2 8-inch cake pans, an 8–inch square pan, a 10×15-inch cookie sheet and a 9×14-inch cooking rack and is the perfect starter kit for those of you who want to upgrade your bakeware to something a little more durable and premium.
Finally, San Francisco bay area author Dana Velden (and contributor to The Kitchn) wrote the book Finding Yourself in the Kitchen and it’s a great gift for those folks who go to the kitchen to find comfort and to escape from the hectic life we all lead. Though there are a few recipes included in the book, this isn’t cookbook but rather a meditation on how to deal with all the craziness that modern life throws at you. The subtitle of the book is Kitchen Meditations and Inspired Recipes from a Mindful Cook and it couldn’t be more apt a description.
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.
If you’ve stuck around this long I have a treat for you! I’m giving away THREE items from this holiday gift guide! One winner will get an Anolon 5-piece bakeware set, one winner will receive a set of the Microplane Elite Series graters and zesters and one winner will get a WÜSTHOF CLASSIC 7-Piece Traveler Set. Woo hoo! These are all awesome gifts and I’m thrilled I can offer it to you all. All you need to do to enter is leave a comment below by Friday, December 18th, 2015 9am PST and tell me your favorite holiday memory! I’ll pull three names and randomly assign winning items to each of the winners (sorry, I can’t give you all three items, you’ll only be getting ONE of the items). Good luck and happy holidays! The fine print – PLEASE READ
By leaving a comment below to enter, you are agreeing to the Official Rules.
▪ NO PURCHASE NECESSARY
▪ VOID WHERE PROHIBITED
▪ You must be over the age of 18.
▪ This contest is only open to U.S. Citizens. Sorry non-US people!
▪ The contest starts as of today, and will run until Friday, December 18, 2015, 9am PST.
▪ The retail value of the prizes range from is about $49.99 to $409.
▪ Only one entry per person please. Any additional comments by the same person will be discarded in the final selection process.
▪ The winner will be chosen by a randomly selected comment. All comments will be numbered and I will use Random.org to pick a random number.
▪ The number of eligible comments below determines the odds of winning.
▪ If there’s a problem with contacting the winner, I reserve the right to award everything to someone else randomly chosen. So in other words, make sure you type in your correct email address if you want the cookware and respond within 72 hours to me when I contact you or I’ll give everything to someone else.
▪ The prize is being delivered directly from Anolon, Microplane or WÜSTOF (or their PR company). If they have not delivered the prize to you within three weeks of me notifying you of winning, please reach out to me again and I will do follow up to make sure everything is OK. Please keep in mind we are all human and things happen. I will do everything within my power to make sure the prize is delivered in a timely manner.
Thank you to ABSOLUT, Joco, Love with Food, Mezzetta, Owl’s Brew, Rodale Books and Samsonite for providing products and samples for review and featuring on this blog post.
A special thanks to Nomiku for providing a sample for review and for providing special discounts codes for Eat the Love readers.
A very special thanks to Anolon, Microplane and WÜSTHOF for providing samples for reviews and for providing giveaway products to Eat the Love readers.
Though I received all the products mentioned above, I was not monetarily compensated for this post and all opinions are my own and not the views of the products or brands above.
On Christmas Eve when I was around 5 or 6, Santa Claus came to our house as a surprise for the kids. My back was towards the window, and he knocked on the window announcing his presence. I jumped like two feet off the floor he scared me so much
One of my favorite holiday memories is having breakfast with my parents and brother, just the four of us on Christmas morning before spending the rest of the day with our cousins. It’s always nice to have a quiet start to what promises to be a hectic but exciting day!
My favorite Christmas memory is making a gingerbread house with my family every year. I usually falls apart, or is covered completely in icing and candy, but it’s always fun trying to make it beautiful
ian aames says
Just happened upon your blog, looking forward to wandering around…
Laying on the floor under the Christmas tree in my pajamas, with my cat next to me, watching the twinkling lights…
My favorite holiday memory is Christmas Eve cooking and baking with my mother. Making cookies, apple pies, prepping the roast beef, turkey, pasta….ahhh I could go on and on. By the way, I used to live in San Francisco for 20 years and miss it so much, sometimes I live it vicariously through your posts. Thank you ever so much for your great blog!
Anne B says
My favorite Christmas memory is watching the northern lights on Christmas Eve with my young sons…..magical!
I love watching everyone in the mad dash to find the pickle on our tree.
My grown up favorite Christmas memory is of having lobster tails and butter with my parents on Christmas Eve.
Karen Niemtschk says
My favorite Christmas memory is the year my boys couldn’t stop playing with the boxes the toys came in instead of the toys.
My favorite holiday memory is spending Christmas through new years with the family at a ski resort…no presents, just quality time with each other.
Tina Myers says
Great list Irvin. After years of being a retail buyer I find it refreshing to see products I’m not familiar with. The glass coffee cups are on my list. Also pack the Wüstof. I hate using other people’s knives when I’m cooking. Favorite Christmas memory: visiting the ranch of my friend’s parents and learning to make Guatemalen tamales. We made close 100. Stirring masa is not for the feint of heart.
the thing i remember most often and most fondly is making and frosting cookies with my mom and brothers! they weren’t the tastiest, but we (and santa!) loved them!
Caroline Watanabe says
I’m a U.S. citizen but live in Japan…any chance of being included? I assume it’s for shipping purposes, so I guess not. I’m happy to have found the perfect gift for a friend and that’s enough for me. Happy Holidays!
My favorite holiday memory is from my childhood. My mom sent me and my sister to visit our paternal grandparents for Thanksgiving. My parents were divorced and my dad lived about a 20-hour drive away. Right before we sat down to eat the big meal, the doorbell rang and it was him! It was a wonderful holiday surprise and is the reason why Thanksgiving is still my favorite holiday.
As kids we would do Easter egg hunts with real hard-boiled eggs. One year we lost one and from then on always numbered the starting eggs!
Hi Irvin – GREAT post – and now I have a bunch of gift ideas! When I was a kid Santa always came on Christmas Eve the years we were with my Oma and Opa, who were 1st and 2nd generation Americans but had reinforced their German descent by living there for 17 years. Those of my aunts, uncles, cousins who still went to Mass 🙂 would do that and the rest of us would drive around their southern NH town looking at Christmas lights. When we returned from church/light gazing a few hours later, Santa had come! (Clearly I never noticed that at least one of my and my cousins’ moms or dads had stayed behind.) We’d do our whole kid Christmas until late in the night, playing with toys, eating cookies, the parents egg-nogging. Such fun! I’d never be organized enough to do that for my own kids – they get the American Christmas morning discovery, complete with the 5AM wake-up call for me and my husband!
Hey – thanks for asking! It was so nice in this crazy, harried season to take a moment and actually write that down. And it’s lovely to read others’ memories as well. Happy Holidays!
Debbie G says
Hands-down my best memory was the first time each year my dad turned on the record player with the Merry Christmas Brenda Lee album. To this day her version of Jingle Bell Rock is my favorite & I always think of my dad.
Francine Long says
My favorite holiday memories are centered around children, when my own children were young it was the best of times, now that I have grandchildren it is even better! I love the beautiful smiling faces with excitement in their eyes!
Fantastic gift guide! Not one of your items is a repeat to any of the other many cooking gift guides I’ve looked through. Very unique.
My favorite holiday memory is when I was 6 or 7. My sister and I came running down the stairs as fast as we could to see what Santa left us. Somehow we collided and both went sliding down in a colossal jumble. We didn’t stop though! We both bounced right back up without a stutter and continued on to the presents. Ridiculous. And my father caught it all on tape. A favorite old video to watch!
My favorite Christmas memory is sitting in the back of a trailer being pulled by a tractor on grandpaw’s farm. My mom always used to take us kids down to the creek and across an old wooden bridge to go hunting for our Christmas tree. I knew Christmas wasn’t far away when the sawdust started flying off the best white pine we could find. Good times!
My favorite memory is of setting out cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve and finding them gone in the morning.
My favorite holiday memory is back when I was a little girl and every Christmas and New Year’s Eve the entire family would get together at my grandparent’s house and feast on ham, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, cranberry relish, etc
Alison H. says
My favorite holiday memory is riding around town with my family looking at all the beautiful Christmas lights and decorations!
Sue Tacke says
I love your blog Irvin and look forward to your photos and reading your posts. I would also love any of the three give-aways.
My favorite holiday memory? Easy! My youngest son was born on Christmas Eve. Awesome, right? But that is not the best part. To this day, he will be 28 this year, we have not remembered the name we had picked for him. Obviously the name we had decided upon prior to his birth was not meant to be his name. With the nurses pressing for a name to finish their paperwork, I told my husband I always liked the name Clark. So named.
We live in a very small town. A local auto body repair shop was having their annual Christmas Tom & Jerry Party. The owner’s father, an elderly gentleman named Clark, walked up the fairly steep hill to the hospital with a Tom & Jerry, in a styrofoam cup for me, because we named our son Clark. The hot beverage was ice cold by the time he got to the hospital, but to this day it is my favorite Tom and Jerry ever … and favorite holiday memory.
Merry Christmas Irvin & AJ!
I love the lights and decorations. Every year we go to Candy Cane Lance to see the street with every house lit up for Christmas.
My favorite memory is “Santa Staging”. When I was very small, my parents set up Santa’s arrival while we were all in the bathroom for my bath on Christmas Eve. We heard noises from the living room, and of course there were many presents under the tree when we emerged from the bathroom to check. I really believed in Santa for many years, and appreciated how far my parents went to recruit the Santa neighbor to deliver the stuff. I cannot tell you a single present, but I still remember the wonder of that night.
Andy Lai says
My favorite holiday memory is having family gathering. It is the one time that all my relatives will come together and cook together. The warm and cozy atmosphere is what I love most about the holiday!!
Love your blog!
libby rouse says
My favorite memory is waking up on Christmas morning and seeing what was left under the tree and in my stocking, one year stands out, nearly 70 years ago, I got a radio all my own, and I was so excited!
One of my favorite memories is baking DOZENS of cookies with my mom is our small kitchen. We made the small space work!
Fabulous giveaway, and love your list!!
My favorite holiday memory is when we were on vacation for Christmas, and we didn’t have a Christmas tree, so my brother and I spent the night of Christmas Eve drawing one on dozens of sheets of A4 paper and then taped them to the hotel wall.
ed ang says
My favorite memory was going to get our annual pictures with Santa Claus at the Emporium in downtown San Francisco.
My favorite winter holiday memory would probably be during my last year in college. I spent it with some close friends. It was a potluck so everyone made a lovely home-made dish, we were dressed in holiday sweaters, and we simply got to share wonderful holiday memories.
My Favorite Memory was my dad taking me down into the basement to plug in the lights. Yes, it was that big of a deal. We had no outside outlets that could handle the large bulbs and the quantity of them. It was a small house with a LOT of lights and when I plugged it in, sparks shot out of the outlet!! Scary AND exciting!! I miss him and his lights….
Alissa A says
My favorite holiday memory is making homemade ice cream every Christmas with my grandparents. So good!
Erin R. says
Awesome list! I just ordered one of those coffee cups for my mom, who has been a stumper this year for some reason. Thank you!
Also, I used to love waking up on Christmas morning, usually inhumanly early, and having to wait while our mom went to plug in the tree lights and see if Santa had come. The torment of waiting for her to come back to the bedroom and get us was wonderful.
My favorite memories are snuggling with my sister, huddled under the blankets, waiting for Santa to come.
Patti Johnsen says
One of my favorite memories is waking upon Christmas mornings to the smell wafting from of the kitchen of my mom’s amazing pancakes, a tradition which still holds true today.
Ginny Prell says
My favorite Christmas memory is my mom and I baking a lot of cakes, candies, and cookies and just sitting around laughing together was so precious. I would give anything for that again.
Favorite memory is bringing home our first baby on Christmas day!
Many years ago, we had “cookie day” at my cousin’s house, with her, my spouse, my sister, and me in on the action. We had two stand mixers, a countertop convection oven and her main oven, and about a dozen cookie sheets all in operation at the same time. It was organized chaos, and it was one of the best days of my life.
Stephanie Baker says
Getting up before everyone else turning on the Christmaa tree lights and looking in my stocking!
Amy S. says
My favorite Christmas memory was getting back home after Christmas Eve midnight service and finding my parents had gotten a kitten for me. I had always wanted a cat and he was the best!
Denise P says
As a kid, I lived in the US while my grandparents all lived in the UK. Way back in the 70’s international calling was expensive so we were always excited to get phones calls from them.
Elle @ Only Taste Matters says
Every year my mother and I would spend a day making spritz cookies and listening to Christmas music. It doesn’t seem odd, except we are Jewish! 🙂 Also, it was the only baking my Mom did all year. In fact, I am just realizing that this was the only time I ever got to bake with her that didn’t involve a mix. 🙂
So many good memories… Probably my favorite is making Christmas candy at my grandma’s house with all my aunts and cousins.
My favorite holiday memory was the first that my daughter was aware of what was going on, and the joy we shared at her excitement and wonder.
Paola C says
It had some deadlines to work on so I was super busy and couldn’t make it to the big family dinner. My closer relatives decided to stay at home and do a casual, small dinner in support..
Stephanie C says
When I spent my first Christmas with my dogs!
Favorite holiday memory is making cookies with the kids – what a mess! But such fun.
My fav memory was cooking with my mom
Thank you for the selection of great recipes and food ideas over the year. It has definitely helped to spice up our dining. Keep up the good work. it is much appreciated.
jenny hartin says
I got a rock.
Aaron Rishell says
Getting a Nintendo for Christmas after they came out.
Mary Ann says
In the town in which I live Santa comes on a fire truck to every home that leaves presents at the firehouse. They have been doing this for over 70 years. There is actually four Santa and four trucks that go out at 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve and continue until every gift is delivered.
One of my most memorable holiday memories is the time my Mom baked our cornbread dressing in an exploding Pyrex dish. A few minutes after she removed it from the oven and set it on the trivet in the middle of the table, we began to hear a crackling sound. Suddenly, the entire dish splintered like a windshield and glass began to drop from the sides. I was devastated as this is my favorite holiday food. My Mom forbade me to eat any, but I took one giant spoonful out of the very center and it was all I had that holiday. We laugh about it now, but it was heartbreaking at the time! Thanks for the opportunity!
Just love the happy sport of the whole season.
Lisa Barron says
Thanksgiving with our neighbors every year including the green jello salad that no one ever touched !
Pamela S says
My favorite holiday memory is Christmas at my grandma’s house. My aunts and cousins would all be there and we’d play games and Christmas music and eat all day.
sharyl wolter says
My favorite holiday memory is when Mom gave us all a family cookbook that she had worked on for months. Best gift I ever received.
Linda Mire says
I’m blessed that my favorite memory occurs each year when my adult children return home and we celebrate a quiet, late Christmas Eve together. Always special. Great reviews and great giveaways. Merry Christmas!
tara pittman says
Mine is baking cookies with the kids.
Bethann phillips says
My favorite memory is helping my brother with the map to his first color tv. My parents hid it and gave him a map to search for it. Prior to that christmas we played atari and Nintendo on a black and white. No easy feat.
Oh I love your gift guide! I am going to email my husband the link so he can get some ideas. My favorite Christmas memory is that each year my siblings and I would wait at the top of the stairs until the whole family could walk down and enjoy the excitement together. Even better, my boys love doing the same thing. Thanks for the chance to win!
Laurel Eden says
When my son (28 years old now) was a little one, he suffered from severe car sickness. We were returning from spending an early Christmas with my parents in Iowa and on the return trip home to Minneapolis I sat in the backseat of the car with him and sang him Christmas carols until he fell asleep. If I were to win, I would give the “prize” to him and his new bride.
One of my favorite holiday memories is the Christmas we got our daughter and son what we called Flintstones cars. The look on their faces when they saw them was priceless.
Holiday memories abound, flood starting now !Digging the giant Christmas tree being giantly pregnant,the tree being all decorated in a german fashion with real candles, always Stunning.
My favorite holiday memory was baking cookies with the kids on Christmas Eve. I miss that now that the kids are grown.
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine says
Waking up at the crack of dawn with my brother Chirstmas morning to sneak downstairs and see all the presents and stockings!