Skip worrying about what to give as holiday gifts this year. We've done all the work for you. Working in the EatingWell Test Kitchen, I'm surrounded by people who eat and talk about food all day. Here's a list of all the things we'd be happy to take home, or give to our closest friends and family.
For the cook who also loves to entertain, a beautiful apron is a must. Created by a chef and industrial designer, Thread & Whisk aprons are a visually appealing as they are functional. Made of 100 percent linen in Portland, Oregon, the aprons have detachable button-on hand towels for wiping your hands and a pocket to stash your phone. The cross-back straps are adjustable, giving this apron a flattering fit on virtually anyone. It's available in 4 colors (natural, khaki, indigo and charcoal); we're particularly fond of the charcoal apron with goldenrod flounce.
Keep knives within reach (but off your counters) and save drawer space with this magnetic strip. Great for knives, this ultra-strong strip (the strongest we've ever seen) also works for scissors and other kitchen tools, or bring it out to the garage for screwdrivers and more.
Kitchen staples—oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, wine—are always welcome gifts in my house. This limited-edition, sleek set from Greek producer Gaea features a hand-painted black-and-white design on bottles of single-varietal olive oil from Crete and rare, aged vinegar from Santorini. Plus, it's already in a gift box. Just tie a bow on it and go!
This is the season to break out the cozy blankets, slippers and fires. If you don't have access to a wood-burning stove or fireplace, an oil lamp is a welcoming and warm addition to any room. Each handmade lamp from Danforth is signed by its maker and constructed of lead-free pewter. This lamp's shape is inspired by an onion, and it holds 25 ounces of pure lamp oil—that means 75 hours of a smokeless warm glow. Smaller versions, the shallot and scallion oil lamps, hold 10 ounces (30 hours) and 3 ounces (9 hours), respectively.
These gorgeous organically dyed woven sisal trays are made by women across Rwanda who artistically integrate their village traditions into the designs—and who provide income to their families. We were stunned by the beauty, quality and welcome weight of the trays. Available in a wide range of colorful designs, these trays make beautiful table centerpieces or can be hung on the wall for decoration.
Maple syrup is part of Vermont's culture, so when we came across Runamok's infused offerings, we were dubious that they could be as good as the pure golden syrup. Boy, were we surprised! These syrups are available barrel-aged in rum, whiskey or pecan barrels or in infused flavors including cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom, elderberry and, our new favorite, ginger. Go classic and drizzle them on pancakes or waffles, or get creative and use them instead of simple syrup to make killer holiday cocktails.
Cheeky statements and whimsical illustrations make these our favorite dish towels of the season. From "Hello Gourd-geous" to "Love the Wine You're With," I'll be stocking up on these as gifts for my food-loving friends, and for myself!
Sofia, Verano and Harbison. Those are the names of three amazing cheeses that might show up to your house, along with Quince and Apple's pear with ginger & honey preserves and Simply Wheat crackers from Castleton Crackers. Treat yourself (and your party guests!) or gift a friend with this artisan cheese subscription service from the professional cheesemongers at Fairfield Cheese Company, named one of the top five cheese shops in the U.S.
Do you have a friend or family member who only likes useful gifts? Or do you know someone trying to lose weight? This is the gift for them. Guaranteed airtight, this salad-and-snack set makes it easy to bring healthy food anywhere. Pack soup, salad, yogurt and other wet foods without the worry that they'll leak and get your lunchbox dirty. BPA-free, dishwasher-, freezer- and microwave-safe, it's hard to find a better to-go container.
To celebrate their 25th anniversary, Zingerman's—the famous Ann Arbor, Michigan, bakery—shares 65 of their favorite tried-and-true recipes with the public. This is a must-have book for any baker, beginner to pro, featuring Jewish classics like rye and challah, and including their cult-followed brownies and pecan pie. The meticulously tested recipes really work, and this is a book that will immediately make it to the used-all-the-time shelf.
This time of year, it's easy to get weighed down with all the treats and holiday parties. Gift a healthier treat: this nut-and-seed mix combines chia seeds, goji berries, raw cacao nibs, amaranth, millet, pepitas, sesame seeds, flaxseeds, buckwheat, coconut and almonds into a superfood blend that may help promote gut health. Stir it into a smoothie bowl, add it to your protein balls or sprinkle it on yogurt—just a little goes a long way. In fact, the tagline for this crunchy mix is "best poo ever."
Local and fresh are words we use a lot to describe food at EatingWell, so when these adorable onesies showed up at our office, emblazoned with "I'm a little fresh sometimes" and "Local Catch," we couldn't help but smile. Made in the U.S. from 100 percent cotton, the snappy wearables are perfect gifts for any new parents looking to keep their babies as cute as they are warm. Our other favorite find: a baby hat that says "May contain peanut."
Tired of fried or scrambled eggs? Up your egg game with coddled eggs—i.e., eggs that are very gently cooked with your choice of flavorings. The process is simple: butter the egg coddler, add herbs, spices, cheese, vegetables or meat, crack in an egg, secure the top and simmer for 10 minutes. What emerges is a perfectly cooked egg that's soaked in all the added flavors but still soft enough to dip crusty toast into. And not only does the porcelain Äggcøddler make cooking simple, it also comes in different colors so each person knows which creation is theirs. Our favorite combination: artichokes, ham, Parmesan, halloumi and basil.
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Our Favorites for the Host
Best Food-Inspired Gifts for Kids
Gifts for the Super-Healthy Trendsetter
Last-Minute Gift Ideas