Saturday, December 3, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide for Foodies!

I both adore and despise holiday shopping.  I want to find everyone on my list the absolute perfect present, but of course nobody will give you a straight answer about what they truly want.  (Unless it's my sister, and no I will NOT buy you those ugly shoes!)  The key to buying a great Christmas gift is really just to know the person well enough to anticipate what they might use.  Is your dad a runner who lives in Minnesota?  Some great winter running gloves could be useful.  Is your friend an obsessive reader?  Try a book embosser (I love mine!).

But shopping for a foodie can be a challenge.  On the one hand, there is no shortage of wonderful cooking shops, neat pantry items, random utensils, or fabulous cookbooks to buy.  And no food lover has everything they could possibly need for their kitchen.  But on the other hand, so much of this stuff can come with a hefty price tag!  Being a foodie can be expensive.  There is no need to break the bank when it comes to holiday shopping for your food-loving friend.  Snoop around their kitchen to see what might be missing and then check out my top five picks for great food-themed gifts available right here in the Cities. 

1.  Minnesota Themed Gift Basket from Golden Fig

I love the Golden Fig store on Grand Avenue in St. Paul.  Over 70% of the items sold in the store are Minnesota made.  Golden Fig sells all kinds of intriguing spices, spice packets for making dips, locally-made snack items, and Minnesota-themed cookbooks.  But my favorite thing about this store is that they will put together a gift basket for you based on any price range and any theme.  Consider getting your favorite foodie friend a Minnesota-themed gift basket.  The photograph above is one such basket, and it has candy, honey, chocolate bars, chips & salsa, and some of the Golden Fig specialty spices.  But there are so many things to choose from that you can custom-make a basket to suit your friend's likes.  Even a non-foodie would appreciate this basket of deliciousness!

2. Fun Aprons

An apron is one of those cooking tools that every kitchen needs but that people are unwilling to buy themselves.  It's almost an afterthought for many people!  I would have never purchased my own apron, but I've received two awesome ones as gifts.  You can go for a plain, colorful apron, or something a little more fancy with ruffles and pretty patterns.  I have both!  You can check out Cooks of Crocus Hill, Williams & Sonoma, or even Anthropologie for cute and sturdy aprons.    

3.  The Great Scandinavian Baking Book (or any cookbook!)

As a Minnesotan and a St. Olaf graduate, I have a soft spot in my heart for traditional Scandinavian cooking.  And I truly can't imagine anything better than warming up my kitchen with the aroma of the sweet and savory breads, rolls, and cakes that you will find in this cookbook.  Beatrice Ojakangas is a Duluth resident who has penned many other cookbooks, all receiving glowing reviews.  This cookbook is no exception.  It's not a new cookbook, but it might just be one of those cookbooks that your friend didn't know they couldn't live without!  (Did that make sense?)

If your friend isn't a big baker, or if your friend already has this cookbook (lucky!), try any one of the other great cookbooks written by Minnesotans.  "The Minnesota Table" is a great cookbook featuring menus and recipes that follow the Minnesota seasons.  It would be a great option for a foodie interested in the locavore movement.  You can find tons of great Minnesota cookbooks at places like the Golden Fig, Common Good Books, or any other local shop.

4. Cooking Classes


I love taking cooking classes.  It allows me to try out new recipes and feel like a Food Network chef or Top Chef contestant.  I've tried the classes offered at Cooks of Crocus Hill and, more recently, the classes at Whole Foods.  Cooks of Crocus Hill (on Grand and in Edina) offers both passive and participation classes on a wide variety of topics.  The participation classes can run up to $70 or so, but you really do get hands on with the cooking.  At the Whole Foods in Minneapolis, you take classes with a group of about 8 people, and everyone has the opportunity to try their hand at a part of a recipe.  I liked the intimate setting, but you do sacrifice some of the participation.  Those classes are about $30.  Giving a gift certificate for a cooking class is a wonderful holiday gift!  And you know what would make it better?  If you went to the class with your foodie friend!  (You get to eat everything that is cooked, you know!)

5. Foodie Fight

Are you serious?  A trivia game about food?!  Do I really need to go into why this is such a perfect gift for a foodie friend?  I didn't think so.  I saw this game when I was shopping at Bibelot and fell in love.  The only challenge for you in giving this gift will be suffering an epic defeat when your foodie friend wants to play the game!

Do you have any other ideas for holiday gifts for the foodie on your shopping list?  Leave 'em in the comments!  Happy shopping everyone!

1 comment:

  1. It is also a perfect gifts for moms since they love cooking and baking food for the family and I like the apron.