Tag Archives: 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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

 

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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

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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.

Candy Cane Vodka

Every year our holiday party gets bigger and bigger.  I would like to think it’s because Patrick and I are so super popular but I think the reality is word has gotten out about our favors – little airplane size bottles of home infused liquor.  I had seen a bunch of cute ideas on Pinterest about giving out mini bottles of booze as favors but they were all the kind you find

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2014’s Homemade Fireball

behind the checkout at your local package store.  Not only prohibitively expensive but also not as fun as making your own!  Last year it was fireball, this year, candy cane vodka.  Other infused liquors can take up to months to get right but this is super easy, as the candy canes do all the work for you.  Crushed up they melt into the vodka within an hour and ta da!   It’s a pretty subtle flavor – something that tasted like liquid candy cane sounded too much to me like cough syrup, but if you want to amp up the flavor just add more candy canes.  It wasn’t that easy to find fillable “nip” bottles but after much research I found the best quality and price here.  You may remember these mini bottles from my very first post ever when I gave out habanero infused tequila at my blog launch party.  They are super easy to fill – made a bit easier if you have a small funnel.  I use the one that came with Patrick’s flask and it works like a charm but I think with a steady hand you could do it unaided.  I ordered really cute labels this year from Tiny Prints but if you want to save money just print out your own labels like I did last year or tie with a festive bow.  My friends hoard these things – I caught my friend Amy packing some bottles for a long international flight months after the party!  This recipe is for a huge amount (here is where Costco vodka can be your friend) assuming that you are going to make your own bottles but really it’s just a method – crush up a mini candy cane and throw it into your drink and you will get the same flavor.  Cheers!

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Candy Cane Vodka (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:   stocking stuffers or favors
Special Equipment:  mini bottles like these and a mini funnel (optional)

  • 1.75 liter bottle of vodka
  • 30 mini candy canes or approximately 15 regular size candy canes

Crush the candy canes in a plastic bag with the bottom of a pot or another heavy object.  They don’t need to be pulverized, just broken into small pieces.  I poured half of the vodka into a pitcher and kept half in the bottle so there was room for the candy canes but if you have a large enough pitcher for both, combine them together in one.  If not divide up the crushed candy canes between the two vessels and allow to sit for an hour, stirring once or twice.  Once all the candy canes have dissolved you can store at room temperature indefinitely.  Decant into small bottles – a 1.75 liter bottle will fill approximately 40 nip bottles.

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Candy Cane Vodka

  • Servings: 40
  • Print

Special Equipment:  mini bottles like these and a mini funnel (optional)

  • 1.75 liter bottle of vodka
  • 30 mini candy canes or approximately 15 regular size candy canes

Crush the candy canes in a plastic bag with the bottom of a pot or another heavy object.  They don’t need to be pulverized, just broken into small pieces.  I poured half of the vodka into a pitcher and kept half in the bottle so there was room for the candy canes but if you have a large enough pitcher for both combine them together in one.  If not divide up the crushed candy canes between the two vessels and allow to sit for an hour, stirring once or twice.  Once all the candy canes have dissolved you can store at room temperature indefinitely.  Decant into small bottles – a 1.75 liter bottle will fill approximately 40 nip bottles.

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