Tag Archives: food gifts

ACC’s 2017 Gift Guide

Somehow this year December just sort of snuck up on me so I was a bit behind the ball on gifts.  Usually I purchase them throughout the year when I find something just right, but on Thanksgiving I realized I had no gift pile started!  If you are in the same boat as me never fear – I have picked out a bunch of fun items at all price levels for friends and family that like eating, drinking and entertaining.  Happy holidays!

For your city dwelling cook – Food 52’s Grow-Anywhere Herb Grow Bar


This genius bar can be added right under your kitchen cabinets so you can have a thriving herb garden right in your own kitchen, no backyard or window required.

For your preppy entertainer – CB2’s Franklin Double Old Fashioned Glass


I love anything tortoise and these glasses have that great Ralph Lauren look to them (at a much more reasonable price).  They would be a great way to punch up your table as water glasses or as aptly named – for a delicious old fashioned.  I would love to see these under the tree (hint, hint).

For someone who has everything – William’s Sonoma Outdoor Pizza Oven


It’s pricey (around $300) but think how much you would save on delivery!  Also a great gift to go in on with other family members.  Our neighbors have a wood fired one and it’s really terrific but this one is even easier as you can hook it up to a propane tank just like a grill.

For the Scandal (or wine) fan – Crate and Barrel’s Camille Red Wine Glasses


Yes these are the exact glasses that Olivia Pope comes home and swirls red wine in on her pristine cream colored couch (which may be the most unrealistic thing about the show).  I love how delicate they are with the large globe – these have been on my list for years but Patrick knows me well enough to know I would probably break them in a minute…

For the cocktail lover – Mouth’s Mini Gin Gift Pack


There are so many great craft small batch spirits being made now and Mouth.com has a great selection.  I love the pretty bottles on a bar cart especially these gins made in Chicago.

For the book lover – l’appart or Rasika


I love getting cookbooks as I usually don’t buy them for myself – the Rasika Flavors of India book is an exception because I just had to run out and get the book from one of my favorite restaurants.  The book is beautiful and the recipes are a lot less complex than you would think.  David Lebovitz is a terrific American writer who lives in Paris and his new book is a funny and yummy look at his life there.  It also has some great recipes as well.

For your silly friend – Tukernuck’s Buzzed Cocktail Napkins



My friend Hilary LOVES entertaining gifts with funny sayings on them and I have been the lucky recipient of many (some of you may remember the “When I dip you dip we dip” dip bowl I have featured).  These cocktail napkins are a great stocking stuffer.

For pankcake lovers – Stonewall Kitchen’s New England Breakfast Gift


My Aunt Janice got me this one year and it’s the perfect gift – we all end up feeling like we don’t need more “stuff” but who wouldn’t want yummy breakfast food?  Especially at a time of the year when you are bound to have more guests, this is a great gift from a delicious Maine based company.  Best of all it comes in a great Nantucket style basket you can keep and reuse.

The Gift of Food for New Parents

I am just about the luckiest auntie in the world, as my friends and family just keep having more and more adorable babies.  The newest addition to the club is lovely little Kavi Stephens born one week ago today!  I wish my friends Scott and Semonti lived closer so I could spoil them, and him, rotten but his birth did get me thinking about good gift ideas outside the normal onsies and baby books.  I am what you call a PANK – Professional Aunt No Kids (there is a whole industry based around us according to the New York Times).  For me that means that I get a never-ending supply of yummy baby smell and lots of frazzled friends.  Whether it’s your first baby or third, a new addition to the family can send everyone’s schedules out of wack.  So I always make sure to try to provide a little relief in the way of food (and free babysitting).


I wasn’t always a pro – me and my BFF’s first daughter 

Even if your loved ones are not procreating at the moment, the gift of food is a great idea for anyone who needs extra help, be it because of a medical issue, a new job or simply being overtaxed.  It’s important to think about food the recipient would like, and remember that in the first couple of weeks often new babies come with excited grandparents so there might not be an immediate need for a home cooked meal.  I play it by ear with each situation but usually I wait a week or two and then bring by a couple of meals that can be frozen or stored in the fridge for a while.  Make sure to include clear instructions on how to heat and serve whatever you drop off so they don’t have to guess.

I often gift homemade jam along with something to spread it on.  The featured picture above is the Pound Cake Perfection along with apricot jam.  A couple special touches take it to the next level like cellphone wrapping, cute ribbon and personalized labels.  I am obsessed with the labels done by an incredible artist from Massachusetts, Felix Doolittle, who does precious watercolor images on personalized labels.  Go ahead and slap one of these on a store-bought item and it will instantly become special.  Gift baskets are also a great way to show you care without having to make everything yourself.


This brunch in a basket is perfect for new parents (especially the coffee!).  Some chipolte vodka goes great with Gordy’s Bloody Mary Mix, along with pancake mix and syrup.


Another idea is doing a nice Italian dinner all in one.  Usually after a new baby it’s pretty hard for date night but everything you need is right here.  Instead of using a basket I used a colander – sort of a cute pasta twist.  A delicious bottle of red pairs perfectly with Cipriani pasta and Rao’s, the best of all jarred pasta sauce.  These are just a couple of ideas to get the creative juice flowing – just think of things that go well together and that are easy to prepare.

I also like to drop off already made items that can be frozen or eaten straight away.  Some good ideas are my two lasagnas, the Goat Cheese and Prosciutto or the Pumpkin Lasagna.  The Chicken Enchiladas are a good option or for easy breakfasts go with the English Muffin Toast.  You can also reach the site for the freezer friendly tag for other ideas.  Any way you slice it your friends are going to be grateful and hopefully a little less stressed.  Welcome to the world Kavi – can’t wait to meet you!!!


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