Home Lifestyle and Culinary Tips 2020 Holiday Foodie Gift Guide: Emily Recommends (VIII)

2020 Holiday Foodie Gift Guide: Emily Recommends (VIII)

by Emily
2020 Holiday Foodie Gift Guide

This year, more than ever, we need some joy, laughter, friends, and family. Thankfully, the season of joy is around the corner. The cold weather has already started. Cozying up to the fire, drinking hot chocolate, baking cookies, and shopping for presents are soon to follow. Have any of you already started your holiday shopping? While many of us haven’t seen family and friends for months, we can still spread a little magic whether we physically come together or decide to send it through the mail. I know I am in the mood for joy! To kick off the 2020 winter season, we are introducing our Holiday Foodie Gift Guide. 

We Hope You Like Our Holiday Foodie Gift Guide

When I was a child, I could barely wait to open my presents. Now that I am in my mid-20’s, I prefer watching people open the gifts I prepare for them. Every year, I have to sit and think about the people I love when picking out presents. I think about their tendencies, hobbies, and needs. To me, that is what is so special about the holidays. It gives you time to think about others before yourself. Isn’t that a present in itself? 

So, let’s get started on our holiday foodie gift guide!

1. For a Small Family

With only my husband and me in our house, we rarely turn on our full-sized oven. Instead, we use our toaster oven almost every day. When making one small dish, why heat the standard oven?

holiday foodie gift idea: Breville toaster oven
The Breville Toaster Oven.

So, Why Do We Love Our Toaster Oven? 

  1. Toaster ovens preheat incredibly quickly. We do not have to stand around very long! 
  2. Multi-use capabilities. Need to toast bread? No problem, use the ‘toast’ function. Need an air fryer for a recipe? No problem, use the ‘air fryer’ function. Need to bake? Once again, no problem, turn onto the ‘bake’ function. I think you get the point. Breville allows you to have multiple appliances all in one! 
  3. We reheat most of our food in our toaster oven. While we love our microwave for defrosting, our toaster oven allows us to keep the textural integrity for a lot of dishes. For example, microwaves tend to give you soggy reheated pizza. Our leftover pizza is nice and crispy once reheated in the toaster oven. 
  4. Broiling works better in a toaster oven. Broiling requires your food to be close to the heating element. In a standard oven, you would need to move the rack to one of the top positions. On the other hand, because of the small size of a toaster oven, you can trust it will broil the same way every time. 

2. For Coffee and Tea Lovers

I drink at least one cup of coffee a day. During the winter months, when I am not drinking coffee, I am drinking a hot glass of green tea or hot water with dehydrated citrus. In the past, I heated my water in a kettle on the stove. Last year we upgraded to an electric kettle that I LOVE! We use our Fellow Stagg Kettle with a gooseneck spout for our pour-over coffee and when heating water for tea. On average, I use it 4-5 times a day.

Holiday foodie gift idea: fellow stag kettle
Fellow Stagg Kettle

The Stagg comes in multiple different colors. Check out all the websites because there are “specialty colors” offered on specific sites! 

3. For the Foodie Book Worm

Ruth Reichl, a retired food critic for The New York Times, started writing books a long time ago. If you are a foodie, I firmly believe you should read every single one of her books. They are such a good read. Take a look at Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise. Ruth Reichl gives insight into her time as a food critic when she literally dressed up in disguises to eat at and critique restaurants. Both endearing and laugh-out funny, this book is one of my favorite reads. 

Her most recent book, Save Me the Plums, is about her journey as the editor-in-chief of Gourmet Magazine.

She is one of my favorite foodie authors! I highly recommend her books! More of her books below…

4. For the Curious Eater 

Recently, while watching Buzzfeed’s Worth It, I learned about some different oils. On their show, they discussed Boon Sauce. Boon sauce is a delicious chili oil created by Max Boonthanakit. He developed this sauce as a reflection on his Thai/Chinese upbringing and his experience as a chef.

Boon Chili sauce is a great stocking stuffer
Photo Credit: Boon
Boon Chili Sauce Is a Great Stocking Stuffer

This sauce has been garnering rave reviews since its inception. You can check out the recommendations via Food and Wine, Eater, Robb Report, and more. Order this sauce quickly as there is already a waiting list!

5. For the Environmentally Conscious 

Stasher Bags continues to be added to lists over and over again as an investment for those environmentally conscious. These bags are made out of reusable silicone. Instead of using plastic Ziplocs once, try using these silicone alternatives. Not only will they help save the environment one baggy at a time, but they will also save you money as Ziplocs will forever be removed from your grocery list. 

Stasher Bags are Environmentally Friendly!
Stasher Bags Are Environmentally Friendly!

Also, for the sous vide fans out there, you can use Stasher instead of the disposable vacuum seal bags! It is a win-win!! 

6. For Those Interested in Drinks

Imbibe, a magazine all about “liquid culture,” delves into anything and everything you need to know about alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. For your family and friends out there interested in drinking culture, whether it be about coffee, tea, cocktails, wine, beer, mocktails, and more, Imbibe is sure to interest them. A subscription to the magazine is a gift that keeps on giving throughout the year! 

Photo Credit: Imbibe Magazine
Enjoy Imbibe Magazine (Drink Recipes, Recommendations, and Tips)

7. For Parents Who Want a Little Helper 

For parents who want to teach your toddler how to cook, look into giving your partner, your spouse, or yourself a kitchen helper stool. These stools have rails around all four sides so your child cannot fall off. These stools are perfect to help them reach counter height. Soon your kids will be helping with dishes, stirring brownie mix, and more!

There are many to choose from based on you style preference and what you think is the safest for your child in particular. Below is a list from Amazon.

I first heard of these when listening to the podcast The Splendid Table. Recently, they had an episode for fathers in the kitchen. We recommend checking it out. They have tons of tips for parents!!! 

8. For Kids Who Love to Cook

Every Night is Pizza Night is the newest book by the amazing James Kenji López-Alt. For those who do not know him, Kenji is a contributor to Serious Eats. He writes the food column, “The Food Lab,” as well as working on the Serious Eats Youtube Channel. He wrote a book with the same name as his food column–which we also recommend

His new book, Every Night is Pizza Night, is a book for children. Follow the main character, Pipo, as she goes on a journey to prove that pizza is the best! This book will help your children become curious cooks and eaters in the kitchen! 

You can also learn more about this book on the same episode of the podcast The Splendid Table. If you cannot tell, I am a huge fan of that particular episode, and I do not even have kids yet!

9. For the Clumsy Chef (or Eater)

We all know that one person who spills something on their shirt every single time they eat. I would know–that person is me. Every sweatshirt I own has at least one stain from pizza sauce, chocolate ice cream, gochujang, etc, etc, etc… Thankfully, we have Tide. 

Holiday foodie gift guide stocking stuffer!
Tide To Go Wipes

The Tide stain remover wipes are a perfect stocking stuffer for those who spend a lot of time around food. I carry a few in my purse for all my culinary and eating accidents. Save yourself or your clumsy friend a few curse words by gifting the gift of being clean. I know I would appreciate these! 

10. For the Farm to Table Chef

Every year, I attempt a little garden on my back patio. Eventually, winter comes around. Soon, all my herbs and produce die, leading me to head to the grocery store more often. A few years ago, my husband gifted my sister with a little indoor garden. Ever since then, I steal basil and other herbs when I head to her place during the winter months. While I sometimes struggle with not-so-pretty grocery store produce, she has too much basil on her hands! I recommend this for the gardener who loves to cook!

Holiday foodie gift guide for a farm to table cook
Gardening Made Easier!!!

Soon, your gardening friend or family member will have basil growing during the winter as well! Maybe they will cook you some yummy pesto someday. Doesn’t that sound nice?

Do You Have Kitchen Gadgets, Ingredients, and Utensils You Love?

Do You Have Anything You Would Add to Our Holiday Foodie Gift Guide?

If you have ideas for wonderful holiday presents, let us know in the comments below. Let’s spread the joy and be merry. After all, it is the most wonderful time of the year. Stay safe and healthy everyone! We hope you enjoyed our 2020 Holiday Foodie Gift Guide!

Feel free to email us at  carvingajourney@gmail.com for any questions, recommendations, or stories. We love hearing from you! You can also follow us at @carvingajourney on InstagramTwitterFacebook, and Pinterest. Finally, you can subscribe to our blog by joining our mailing list.

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