Need some inspiration for the cookaholic in your life? Check out my Foodies Christmas gift guide 2016!!
How are you getting on with your Christmas shopping? I’m so behind! I’ve got a few bits and pieces, and quite a few ideas, but I haven’t bought nearly enough yet.
If you’re struggling for inspiration and need to get those pressies bought before panic sets in, take a look at my gift guide.
Lot of ideas, ranging from sweet treats, boozy gifts, recipe inspiration and kitchen gadgets.
All of these gifts have been chosen by me. I received some of the items free of charge for inclusion in my gift guide. All opinions are my own. This post also contains a few affiliate links – which means that if you click on them and then purchase product I’ll get a small commission (at no extra cost to you of course). If you do click through then thanks!
My mum buys me a BBC Good Food Magazine subscription every Christmas, and I also have a subscription to Delicious and Olive magazines. I love hearing them plonk through the post box and then making myself a brew whilst I flick through them for inspiration and fresh ideas. Buy a Christmas gift subscription here (UK): or here (US).
Dessert of the Day book:
This book has actually been out for a couple of years, but it’s packed so full of delicious recipes with gorgeous photography that I wanted to include it. I also think it can be safer to buy something that’s been out for a while, as you can sneakily check if the recipient has already got it and if they haven’t, buying a slightly older book means it’s less likely someone else will have bought it for them too. Available on Amazon.
With over 30 million sales, the Dairy Diary has been Britain’s favourite home diary for decades. Apart from being a great little book to keep track of appointments and important notes, it also includes lots of extras, such as recipes, memorable dates sticker sheet, kitchen conversions and home hints & tips.
Gin is going crazy at the moment! I’ve seen gin bars popping up in various towns, and I even know a blogger who blogs purely about gin!
This blue bottle gin has been awarded The Spirits Business Gold 2016 Medal in The Gin Masters Ultra Premium category and Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2015. Containing a heady mix of botanicals, juniper, nutmeg and cubeb pepper, plus a small amount of locally picked gorse flowers, this gin makes a fab gift for the flavour connessoiur in your life! You can pick it up from Drinks 21 for £40
A bit of a change to the classic lemoncello, this graprefuitcello is tart and sweet, and makes a great gift to take to dinner parties. I love the personal touch of the handwritten wording on the bottle too.
The non-drinkers and designated drivers always seem to get a raw deal over Xmas – cups of tea and glasses of lemonade are boring! Make them feel special with a warm glass of non-alcoholic mulled punch from Lidl.
With the arrival of my new Kitchenaid Nespresso Coffee Machine (also recommended below), I’m definitely becoming a wannabe coffee connoisseur.
These monin coffee syrups mean you can make your coffee taste just like the speciality coffees you can buy in coffee shops! Try a selection with the mini pack of mixed speciality coffee syrups, or the brand new limited edition mocha syrup.
Sweet and Savoury:
Elizabeth Shaw chocolates:
An absolute Christmas classic – I buy these to put out every year over Christmas and then end up eating them by the first week in December.
The dark mint and the orange are my favourite flavours, but they also do a milk chocolate mint and salted caramel crisp (as well as mint cremes, chocolate flutes, chocolate bites and choc liqueurs!!). Pick them up at your local supermarket.
Can you believe I’ve never made a gingerbread house! Well that’s all changing this year. The moment my kitchen table is in (Chris has got to make it yet), the kids and I will be getting some Christmas tunes on and building this gingerbread house from Lidl.
I haven’t told them about it yet, so I can’t wait to see the look on their little faces.
Something for the cheeseboard, or great to use in sauces, pastries, soups and pasta, Grana Padano has a history going back centuries, and holds PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) status. I was lucky enough to be sent a lovely hunk of this Grana Padano straight from Italy and I’m looking forward to using it in a creamy mushroom and roast chicken risotto (I’ll have to blog that one!). Pick it up from your local supermarket.
Add some of this Prosciutto di San Daniele to the Grana Padano as the basis of a fab Italian-style hamper.
Such a perfect ingredient for festive parties – serve it as part of a delicious cheeseboard, or wrap it around asparagus before griddling for a pretty appetiser. This yummy prosciutto also plays a major part in one of my favourite any-season salads – proscuitto and nectarine with griddled courgette.
Treat-filled Mason jars:
If you want to add a personal touch with your christmas pressies, how about filling some mason jars with some favourite snacks. My choices would be popcorn (sweet and salty!), fruit pastilles (perfect for scoffing whilst watching those Christmas films) and retro chocolate snacks – like Tunnocks teacakes and chocolate wafers. I’ve been providing these as builders snacks whilst our kitchen is being built, and I can’t resist sneaking a couple as I’m filling up the snack bowl!
Opies Christmas Fruits with Courvoisier and Opies pickled walnuts:
My dad’s going to love these! Although I’ve got to admit, I’m dying to try the Christmas fruits spooned over ice cream for a quick boozy dessert. You can pick them up at Waitrose and Ocado.
Never tried pickled walnuts? Serve them sliced with cold meats and cheese, or as a gourmet addition to slow cooked beef or venison stew. Available at Sainsburys, Tesco and Waitrose.
Baru Chocolate Marshmallows Assorted Flavours Gift Box:
How to make fluffy marshmallows even better? Cover them in salted caramel and chocolate of course!
I defy you not to eat the whole box before you find the wrapping paper. These are a gift for me 🙂
Baru’s range is available at Harvey Nichols, Wholefoods and selected independent retailers. Waitrose also stocks limited lines.
I love these cute tins, full of buttery shortbread. Apart from tasting delicious with a cup of tea, I also like to use shortbread to make truffles. I’ve got some mince pie truffles coming on the blog in the next week that use them, and they also make amazing apple pie truffles.
The tins are great for storing knick knacks later too!
Packed with fruit, spiked with rum and topped with nuts and cherries, the Melton Hunt Cake makes a really tasty gift.
I’ve had to hide this from Chris so far, as he’s a sucker for a good fruit cake. Normally by this time of year, I have one fruit Christmas cake maturing on top of the kitchen cupboard, and another one that goes down by precisely one slice a day (that’s the sacrificial cake to ensure the maturing Christmas cake remains untouched). However, since i’m without an oven at the moment, I was soooo happy to be sent this rich, fruity cake by Dickinson & Morris. Famous for their Hunt cake (first made in 1854), Grandmother Dickinson was also the originator of the Melton Mowbray pork pie.
Who’s the cocktail maker in your house? Chris and I love a good cocktail. Whenever we manage to get out for a date night, we find ourselves flicking through the cocktail menu before the food menu (which is saying something for a greedy pair like us).
If we’re invited to a party, more often than not, we’ll come armed with cocktail ingredients rather than a bottle of wine. And yes, I’ve also taken fresh limes, straws and mason jars on a girls spa break.
So this Press & Pour Cocktail shaker is definitely the present for us. It’s button activated, with a self straining top that requires only one hand to pour, so you can get your Tom Cruise on and make some fabulous concoctions. In fact I think we’ll challenge ourselves to come up with a New Year’s cocktail using the cocktail shaker. Keep your eyes open for it!
Perhaps a bit of an unusual gift idea. I’m not sure that I’d be over the moon with getting a deep fat fryer for Christmas, but I know Chris would be. He’s wanted one for about 2 years now, and I keep saying no. This year, I’ve decided to say yes and I’ll be using it to make twice fried chips (there’s even a setting for them!), homemade donuts and my favourite straw fries.
We bought a Sage toaster a year or so ago, and love the details that set it apart from other toasters – such as the crumpet function and the toast ‘a bit more’ function. The Sage fryer looks fab too. Compact, dishwasher safe parts and pre-programmed cooking functions.
I wanted to include a few items in my gift guide local to me. As well as the Dairy Diary (produced just up the road from me in Crewe), I’m including this gorgeous pottery jug from Doris & Co. Doris & Co is a British company devoted to making English creamware pottery and home wares using old fashioned methods. The shapes and designs are based on Georgian or Early Industrial shapes, from the time that pottery and home wares were still made by hand. In fact the Doris & Co mugs are still all made by hand at their pottery in Stoke-on-Trent (about 20 miles away from me). I chose this jug as I think it’ll look amazing, filled with fresh flowers on my new dining table. There’re lots of other pottery items to choose from, and the designs and inscrptions are hand-drawn exclusively for Doris & Co by artists. Take a look at their beautiful range here: www.dorisandco.co.uk
A potted plant with a difference!
As well as being a talking point and a delightful way to display plants and herbs, the sky planter is also a great space saver. No need to take up floor or shelf space, hang these pots from the ceiling in the kitchen for easily accessible fresh herbs. They come with an inbuilt drip-feeding system, so you only need to water them every couple of weeks – which is great for someone like me who forgets to water her plants until they just look like brown sticks buried in soil.
Chris and I attended a Nespresso cafe opening in London a few months ago, were they had a GIANT nespresso capsule vending machine (like the size of my son’s bedroom), and lots of coffee cocktails on offer. We also happened to be staying at a hotel that had Nespresso machines in the rooms. We got a real taste for the top quality coffee, and we ended up buying this beauty when we got home. We’ve been trying out all the different coffees since. I love the vibrant colour of this machine. Also, the mechanism for the chunky lever is so satisfying! I’ve not bought a jar of instant coffee since!
Well if you’re going to buy the coffee machine, you might as well buy the aeroccino too! This is another one I use everyday to make my coffee feel extra special. You can use it to heat milk, create creamy milk foam, and it will even froth cold milk for iced coffee. I often use it with almond milk – so I get to have almond milk cappuccinos at home! I love the fact that it’s dishwasher safe too. A great gift for someone who’s serious about good coffee.
That’s the end of my Christmas gift guide! Hope you enjoed my choices. I’d love to hear what you’re buying this year for the foodie in your life!