ChefMom's Christmas gift guide for foodies
Tastes of Distinction Gift Basket
Would you rather someone else do the gourmet thinking for you? Then let 1-800-Baskets take care of your foodie gift list. ChefMom suggests the Tastes of Distinction Gift Basket because it features both sweet and savory delicacies. This generous basket boasts: Fannie May Assorted Chocolate Truffles, Cocina Selecta Garlic Stuffed Olives, Cheryls Chocolate Chip Cookies, Amaretti Del Chiorsto Cookies, Ferrero Rocher Gold Wrapped Chocolates, Fannie May Pixie Cocoa, chili citrus snack twists and much more. The basket is also a gift since it is reusable.
Cat Cora Starfrit Hard Anodized Fry Pan
(amazon.com, starting at $24)
Starfrit is one my favorite cookware companies and Cat Cora is one of my favorite celeb chefs! When they collaborated on skillets, this fry pan fast became one of my favorite cooking must-haves. Your gourmet giftee will follow suit. Twice as tough as stainless steel, these hard anodized fry pans (available in 8-, 10-, and 12-inch sizes) allow searing at high temperatures, deglazing like a professional chef and long-time use in the family kitchen. Best yet, the specially textured surface is a breeze to clean. Be sure to check out all of Chef Cat Cora's kitchen items and gourmet food products.
Re Midas Soave
An ideal wine for the budget oenophile, Re Midas Soave is a single varietal white wine made from the Garganega grape grown in Italy's Veneto region. The wine, named after the village of Soave (where the vineyards are located), has a bright, crisp flavor bursting with layers of fresh fruit and citrus and hints of toasted nuts. Re Midas Soave pairs well with seafood, shellfish, grilled veggies and grilled chicken and pork.
Caffè Bomrad Torino (2.2 Pound Bag) Whole Bean Coffee
One of the best coffees we've warmed up to this season. Caffè Bomrad is softer, rounder, more nuanced, more dimensional, fruitier and has a much more pleasant aftertaste compared to leading coffee brands. Made of 100 percent Arabica beans, which have more flavor and less caffeine than Robusta beans, Caffè Bomrad is slow roasted and packed in Italy. The 2.2 pound bag is good for over 140 espressos.
Tisano Chocolate Tea
(tisano.com, starting at $15)
Bags of specialty coffee make nice gifts but a gourmet tea will be a welcome gift for your favorite foodie -- especially if she loves chocolate. Tisano, maker of the first pure 100 percent chocolate tea, delivers all the deliciousness and health benefits of chocolate with none of the high-calorie guilt. Tisano Chocolate Tea is made from the fibrous husk of the cacao bean and contains all the antioxidants and nutrients of chocolate but no calories, fat and sugar. Bonus: This chocolate tea is fair trade certified and organic!
Brix Collection Gift Set
For the chocolate and wine lover, Brix Chocolate has just introduced the Brix Collection Gift Set featuring four 4-ounce Brix Chocolates (extra dark, medium dark, smooth dark and milk chocolate), made to pair perfectly with specific wine styles. Pairing suggestions and tasting notes are included in the gift box. Brix uses single-origin chocolate from Ghana, chosen because its bright, fruit forward flavors complement the complex flavors in wine. Fun trivia: Brix was founded by a pulmonologist and wine enthusiast who wanted to host wine pairing parties but didn't want to consume so much cheese.
The Popcorn Factory Winter Song Popcorn Tins
(thepopcornfactory.com, Starting at $30)
I have a weakness for gourmet popcorn and would love getting a popcorn assortment from The Popcorn Factory. As the popcorn authority for more than 30 years, this pop-yummy company delivers delicious popcorn, starting with plump, USA-grown kernels that are infused with bold, irresistible flavors. There are a variety of decorated tins to choose from, but ChefMom loves the Winter Song design, featuring greenery and birds. Surprise your fave foodie with a 3-way assortment with all-natural butter, robust cheese and secret-recipe caramel popcorns. Or a 4-way assortment with delicate white cheddar in the mix. Available in 2, 3-1/2 and 6-1/2 gallon sizes. You can even add a custom photo label for extra-special holiday greetings!
Scoop It Chop It Cook It
You can't go wrong with cookbooks as gifts -- foodies either collect them or obsessively use them. This cookbook, written by antipasti importer and food industry executive, Tara Brennan, invites readers to rely on the Mediterranean food bar for easy, flavorful, everyday meals. Scoop It Chop It Cook It (Feast Books, November 2011) features recipes for quick weekday dinners, casual entertaining and even outdoor grilling fare. Brennan shows us how to use roasted peppers, marinated mushrooms and kalamata olives (to name just a few MedBar ingredients), to make amazingly healthy and delicious dishes. Recipes include: Sweet and Spicy Quesadilla, Two Olives Pizza, Ultimate Stuffed Chicken and more. Be sure to direct your giftee to Brennan's companion website www.medbar.com.