All I Want for Christmas: Holiday Gift Guide for Foodies, Cooks, and Gourmets

The holiday season is upon us.  Lots of excuses to cook, bake, and eat, plenty of parties to host or attend, and, if you're lucky, a present or two under the tree.

If you're a foodie, or you have a special foodie in your life, here are some ideas to inspire your holiday wish list or gift giving.


Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust - While I find all of Ina Garten's recipes to be "foolproof," her latest book provides a great collection of trusted recipes that are guaranteed to bring you go back for a second helping.  I can't wait to get my copy when Ina visits DC next week.

Home Made Winter - If you liked Yvette van Boven's Home Made, check out her inspired winter recipes that are perfect for the cold months ahead.

Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative - Austin Kleon's book about creativity can definitely be applied to cooking and recipe writing.  The first time I picked up the book at Kramerbooks in DC, I couldn't stop reading until I had finished the entire book. 

The Daily Soup Cookbook - This is one of my most frequently used cookbooks.  Every soup that I have made from this cookbook has been delicious, and I have made at least 20 of them at this point.  There are soups for every season and palate.

The Cook's Illustrated Holiday Baking magazine is a perfect stocking stuffer for any baker.


I love a great film, but a great film about food?  Spectacular.  For some reason, many of my favorite food movies have yet to be released on Blu-ray. For now, we'll have to suffer through Standard Def versions of these foodie favorites.

Big Night - A great film about the conflict between the restaurant business and art of cuisine. A great story and a wonderful cast.  This film will make you hungry, so make sure you eat a great meal before watching, or at least have reservations at a great restaurant for when you finish. 

Julie & Julia - Every food blogger has to love this movie, right?  This is one of the few available on Blu-ray.

Waitress - If you've never made a homemade pie, I bet you will be inspired to do so after watching Waitress.  This movie is for anyone who's dreamed up recipes while trying to fall asleep at night.

Chocolat - For all the chocolate lovers. This one is also available on Blu-ray.

The Godfather, Part One - The Godfather is a food movie?  Yes.  Check out the scene where Clemenza teaches Michael how to make spaghetti for a crowd.  It's also a holdiday movie in my eyes.  In any case, it's worth owning on Blu-ray.

Like Water for Chocolate - Many of us use cooking to express our love for others, but this film takes that to another level.

No Reservations - A pretty typical romantic comedy, but with lots of time in the kitchen and talk about food.

For the Coffee Lover

If you're not already using the pour-over style to brew your morning coffee, I recommend starting now.  The method doesn't require any expensive equipment or specialty coffee, and I think that you really can taste the difference.

But don't take my word for it - check out Katie Carguilo's tips on How to Make an Awesome Cup of Coffee.

I use the Chemex 6-Cup Glass Coffee Maker :

But the Hario V60 is a good option too:

You may want to get a kettle with a thinner spout, but it's not necessary:

Make sure to include some great coffee beans with any coffee-themed gift.  Some of my favorites are:

M.E. Swing Co. ~ Coffee Roasters since 1916
Photo from Swing's Coffee
Swing's Coffee - My favorite local coffee shop also roasts coffee beans and sells them by the pound. I usually go for the Diplomat Blend because I'm a fan of dark roasts.

Photo from Peet's Coffee
Peet's Coffee - I used to get Peet's coffee shipped to my house before I discovered Swing's in DC. Peet's offers some good gift packages, as well as monthly "coffee tours," where you can get a new pound of coffee delivered every month for three, six, or twelve months. 

Counter Culture Coffee
Photo from Counter Culture Coffee
Counter Culture Coffee - These folks know their coffee. They're also offering $3 flat rate shipping in December, which is perfect for gift giving from afar.  

For the Kitchen

Every serious baker deserves a great stand mixer.  It's a big investment, but a good mixer should last generations. 

My biggest kitchen splurge was on this Vitamix blender.  It was worth every penny.  Your soups, sauces, and smoothies will reach a new level with this blender.

Lodge now makes enameled cast iron items for any budget.

I just love Emile Henry's pie dishes.  They are a bit of a splurge, but the crust always turns out perfectly. 

Specialty Food

Rancho Gordo Heirloom Beans - Heirloom beans are the perfect gift for any cook who is looking to improve the flavor and texture of their soups and salads.  You might even want to cook up a pot of heirloom beans as a healthy holiday side dish. Throw in some aromatics with the cooking liquid, and the resulting broth will be extra flavorful.

Photo from Rancho Gordo

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