Sunday, November 29, 2020

2020 Holiday Gift Guide for Food Lovers Part 1: Food Inspirations #HolidayGiftGuide2020 #FoodieGifts2020 #GiftsForFoodLovers

Thanksgiving is in the rear view mirror...and the final month of this crazy year is upon us. That means one thing here at The Weekend Gourmet: it's time for my annual two-part Holiday Gift Guide for Food Lovers! This year, so many of us will be celebrating without traditional big family gatherings due to social distancing. However, most of us still want to send family members and friends a gift. This year, I'm showcasing gift ideas that can be ordered online and shipped anywhere in the U.S. The eight items I'm sharing today have one thing in common: they provide your loved ones maximum fun...and comfort! J
ust because this holiday season is likely going to look quite different from usual doesn't mean we have to forego every holiday tradition. I can't wait to share my picks for the very best holiday gifts for the food lovers in you life!

(1) Theo Chocolate Virtual Chocolate Tasting Class ($40).
Seattle-based Theo Chocolate offered very popular Chocolate Tasting Classes at their factory before pandemic lockdown. Now? They offer their 1-hour tasting class virtually via Zoom, which allows anyone in the U.S. with a computer and webcam to participate! A Theo chocolate expert hosts the virtual tasting, and participants follow along and interact as they learn how chocolate is made. Then comes the best part: a guided tasting of several varieties of Theo's organic, fair trade chocolate! Here's a great added bonus: each class purchase includes access for one computer per household...but the tasting kit contains plenty of chocolate to include up to four other people with you at the tasting! To make gift giving easy, Theo Chocolate is offering a
 Giftable Virtual Chocolate Tasting ClassSimply purchase the tasting class and tasting kit via the provided link and include your recipient's e-mail address. The gift is sent to their e-mail, then they visit the Theo Chocolate website to sign up for a tasting date and time. A few days before their scheduled tasting, they'll receive an e-mail with details...including a Zoom invite code and link. The included Chocolate Tasting Kit contains the following items:

This Virtual Chocolate Tasting is delicious, fun, and very informative. My mother and brother joined me for a Virtual Chocolate Tasting a couple of weeks ago. We all three had a great time and highly recommend the experience. This is truly a perfect gift for the chocoholics on your holiday shopping list!

(2) 99 Things I Love to Eat: A Journal for Meals & Memories (ABRAMS Books $12.99)
This amazing guided journal is a thoughtful gift for food lovers in your life who love to write or journal. This book will
 provide literally hours of fun for food lovers. It's comprised of 99 comprehensive food-related prompts and lists to complete. Some prompts look back at past food experiences and memories...while others are designed to provide inspiration for future culinary adventures. Examples of prompts found in the book include The Most Adventurous Thing I've Eaten, A Great Dish I Bring to a Potluck, A Complex Recipe I'm Going to Tackle, and -- my personal favorite -- The Fanciest Restaurant I've Ever Dined In. There's ample space for the writer to share as much...or as little...information as they choose.
This interactive journal also includes fun, whimsical illustrations for every prompt. 99 Foods I Love to Eat is a great way for food lovers to document their past, present -- and future -- cooking and baking, dining out, and travel adventures! This paperback journal can be purchased via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, Bookshop, IndieBound, Powells, and Indigo.

(3) Hamilton Beach® 
11 Liter Digital Air Fryer with Rotisserie & Rotating Basket ($129.99). Air fryers are popular for a very good reason: they fry perfectly crisp food with hot air instead of oil...saving fat and calories. My first air fryer was way smaller than we needed, so we recently upgraded to Hamilton Beach's new large-capacity 11-liter digital air fryer, and we love it! For any sports fans on your shopping list, this air fryer is ideal for whipping up tons of game day snacks! This 1700-watt unit is way more than a air fryer, though. It has five other cook functions, including: roaster, toaster oven, pizza oven, dehydrator, and sandwich maker. Users 
can customize cooking by manually adjusting the unit's time and temperature up to 60 minutes and 400° F. This versatile appliance cooks and reheats food faster than a traditional oven with powerfully circulated heated air. It features eight pre-set functions, including: fries, beef, chicken, fish, shrimp, rotisserie, vegetables, and dehydrate. There's also a handy glass window and light so you can keep an eye on the food as it cooks.
Accessories included with this air fryer include three metal mesh shelves for toasting and dehydrating, a rotating metal basket for air frying, rotisserie spit, and a multi-purpose shelf/crumb tray. If you order direct from Hamilton Beach, shipping is currently FREE on all orders greater than $75.

(4) Embossed Heirloom-Quality Patterned Rolling Pins ($34.50). Do you have a baker on your holiday gift list? Then an Embossed patterned beech wood rolling pin is a unique gift that will take their goodies to beautiful new heights! Every rolling pin starts with a piece of natural beech wood that's 
100% food-safe and doesn't contain BPA or other toxic preservatives. Embossed then carves each piece of wood into shape and uses a high-precision laser to carefully engrave one of eight detailed decorative patterns onto the rolling pin: Floral, Snowflakes, Reindeer, Leaves, Paw Prints, Paisley, Hearts, and Roses. To use, simply roll out your dough to the desired thickness with using a standard rolling pin. Then, make one pass over the dough with the Embossed decorative rolling pin, leaving a beautiful pattern on your dough. Then use a cookie cutter to cut the patterned dough into cookies. How fun and festive!
Embossed rolling pins are 17.5 inches long -- including handles -- which is the standard size for rolling pins. The patterned portion of the rolling pin -- excluding handles -- is 9.5 inches long. This size produces a large engraving pattern, making it versatile for a broad range of baking needs. Each rolling pin is 2 inches in diameter and weighs approximately 10 ounces. To order an Embossed rolling pin, visit their online store. Order processing and shipment time is approximately 1 week, so plan your shopping and shipping time to ensure on-time holiday delivery.

(5) Grow and Make Artisan DIY BBQ Sauce Making Kit ($39.95).
The Grow and Make 
DIY BBQ Sauce Kit is a genius gift idea for grill cooks, backyard BBQ enthusiasts...or the Dad who has everything! Each kit provides enough spices and other essential ingredients to make three different flavorful homemade BBQ sauce recipes. Spices showcased include chili powder, paprika, garlic, and liquid smoke. This handy kit also provides a trio of small glass bottles for storing each sauce creation! The only ingredients not included to make the BBQ sauces are tomato paste and oil. By using the kit's easy-to-follow recipe instructions, it's a snap to create tomato- and/or mustard-based BBQ sauces and a vinegar-pepper BBQ mop sauce. Once the sauces are complete, it's time for some fun! Fire up the grill and let everyone try these homemade signature BBQ sauces.
For other cooks on your shopping list, Oregon-based Grow and Make also offers DIY kits to make homemade hot sauce and fresh goat chevre cheese. 

(6) Big Macs & Burgundy -- Wine Pairings For the Real World (ABRAMS Books $24.99).
This fun, informative guidebook is an excellent resource for wine lovers. Big Macs & Burgundy provides e
ssential wine pairings for real, everyday food...from popcorn to pad thai...and yes, even Big Macs! The suggestions are based on author Vanessa Price's popular Grub Street column. This uniquely approachable wine resource is based on the science behind pairing wine with any food -- which is as elemental as acid, fat, salt, and minerals. Price proves you don’t need to eat fancy food to enjoy wine! The book is full of great wine knowledge presented in an easy, approachable manner. A great way to present this gift is to select a pairing from the book. Then, include a restaurant gift card, along with a bottle of the food's suggested wine pairing. For example, Price suggests pairing a Big Mac with a lush red Burgundy wine. She then suggests specific wine labels in three different price points. This paperback can be purchased via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, Bookshop, IndieBound, Powells, and Indigo.

(7) Well Told Custom Etched Drinkware ($16-$20 +$5 for Personalized Side Etching).
If you're looking for a gift that's uniquely personal, a piece of custom etched map drinkware from Well Told is just the thing! The first step is to pick your preferred drinkware, which includes rocks glasses, pint glasses, stemmed or non-stemmed wine glasses, mason jar drinking glasses, glass and copper mugs, carafes, and even champagne flutes! Then? Pick a map to be etched on your drinkware selection. You can choose from U.S. cities, towns, and states; U.S. college towns;; and select international cities. 
Whether you want to represent a beloved hometown, remember those crazy college days, relive a special vacation spot...or maybe highlight the city where you became engaged? Commemorate a special locale with one of these uniquely personal drinkware designs. To create and order etched-map drinkware, visit Well Told's website.

(8) The Fulton Fish Drop Seafood Box Virtual Gift Card ($25-$200). 
New York City's iconic Fulton Fish Market has been open since 1822, offering the largest assortment of fresh fish and sustainably sourced seafood in the world! For those of us who don't live near New York, they can ship the freshest seafood catch to any address in the U.S. Their new Fulton Fish Drop service is a great way to gift the seafood lovers in you life with some truly amazing seafood. I use Fulton Fish Market seafood in my recipes, and it always tastes fresh and delicious. To gift a Fulton Fish Drop virtual gift card, purchase from the Fish Drop website. Virtual gift cards are available in $25 increments. You'll receive an electronic code via e-mail, which you will then share with your gift recipient. Upon receipt, they will use the code to redeem their Fulton Fish Drop virtual gift card online. 
The Fulton Fish Drop offers six different seafood boxes in various price points that contain finfish, shellfish, or a finfish/shellfish combination. Most seafood boxes are curated by Fulton Fish Market staff, but the Fulton Faves box is comprised of seafood personally selected by the gift card recipient.

There you have it...Part 1 of my top eight picks for holiday gifts for the food lovers in your life! Be sure to stop by later this week for Part 2 of this year's Gift Guide for my top eight mail order food gifts. 

Disclosure: The manufacturers of the items included in this year's Holiday Gift Guide for Food Lovers provided me with sample products to try out. I only share items with my readers that I have tried myself and loved. All opinions shared are solely my own.

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