The clock is ticking and the days growing shorter. If you haven't finished your holiday shopping, there's still time... We have put together a list of some of our favorite products that are useful all year and won't break the bank. We hope this collection of gift ideas will help you find just the right thing for the foodies in your life!
1. Stasher Silicone Bags
We are totally crushing on reusable silicone bags. Not only are they washable and reusable, they are also more durable than a typical zip-top sandwich bag. In addition, they are microwaveable, freezer-safe, and can go in the dishwasher. While there are many brand options, we highly recommend Stasher brand bags that are made from 100% pure platinum silicone and features a Pinch-loc™ seal and are available at The Cook’s Warehouse from $9.95 to $19.95. So far, Stasher has sold millions of bags preventing over one billion single-use plastic bags from entering landfills and critical water resources. And, as a proud member of 1% For the Planet, a portion of every Stasher sold goes straight to high-impact nonprofits like Surfrider and 5 Gyers, which are dedicated to preserving and rehabilitating our oceans.
2. Draft Top Can Opener
Another eco-friendly product on our list is Draft Top – a gadget that turns your canned beverages into cocktail vessels and eliminates the need for those red plastic Solo cups that fill our landfills. Super convenient for camping or tailgates, you can even add ice, pour in some alcohol, and garnish your cocktails. The $25 price tag pays for itself in no time. And, when your drink is gone, simply rinse it out and make it a cup, herb planter, or pen holder. The options are endless. Please remember to recycle!
3. World Market Napkins
We’ve been using cloth napkins for years to reduce our paper consumption. Imagine the amount of paper we have saved during this pandemic year when we are eating every meal at home and have more than doubled our napkin usage. The 100% cotton napkins at World Market are the best we have found and you cannot beat the price of $9.99 for 6. Eco-minded, soft on the lips, and great at absorbing spills, these machine-washable napkins are an easy way to add color to your table – lots of colors! They are available in a dizzying array of hues and seasonal patterns - perfect for any tabletop décor. These make fabulous hostess gifts (especially when paired with a wooden spoon!
4. Wooden Spoons
Continuing our theme of sustainable, eco-friendly products, wooden spoons are useful for a variety of tasks, such as mixing stiff cookie dough, browning roux, sautéing onions, or stirring soups especially when we want to protect the surface of nonstick pans or enameled cast-iron pans. Wooden spoons are one of the oldest cooking tools found by archaeologists in Bronze-Age settlements and Egyptian tombs and since they are made from a renewable resource, they will likely maintain their popularity for many decades to come. Soak vintage spoons in hydrogen peroxide to clean, brighten old stains, or buy them new and enjoy the patina they acquire with age. Wanna personalize your gift? Dip the handle in oil-based paint, and allow plenty of time to dry before gifting or using.
5. CAUSEBOX subscription
Causebox is a subscription box that sends a curated collection of beauty products, fashion accessories, and home décor, but what sets it apart is that all the products are sourced from socially, economically, and environmentally conscious brands. The boxes are sent quarterly: spring, summer, fall, and winter and contain six to eight new products that are all cruelty-free, sustainably sourced, and intended to serve, support, and empower disadvantaged communities. With an annual subscription of $199, each box is $50 with contents valuing over $200, making this subscription is a win-win-win. You get to try amazing new products at a deeply discounted price while supporting good causes. And, our readers get $10 off subscriptions by clicking HERE.
6. Philips Avance Pasta Machine
With this amazing pasta maker, you can enjoy fresh homemade pasta in less than 20 minutes. After choosing a program and pressing the start button, the machine automatically mixes, kneads, and with 1600 pounds of extrusion force, can make one pound of pasta with perfect texture all in one go. We use this machine at least once a week and have never been disappointed. While this is the most expensive item on our list with an MSRP of $250, it is truly a game-changer for the pasta lover on your gift list!
7. Newly-released Southern Cookbooks
In this era of online recipe compendiums like Food52, Saveur, and NYT Cooking, it can seem passé to suggest printed cookbooks for gift giving. However, there is still something about perusing a hard copy collection of recipes that have been carefully curated by the author. The feel of the paper as you turn the page, the glossy photos of the dishes, the intimate story headnotes… So, if you agree, here are a few of our favorite Southern 2020 releases:
- Welcome to Buttermilk Kitchen by Suzanne Vizethann
- Nathalie Dupree's Favorite Stories & Recipes by Nathalie Dupree
- Let's Brunch: 100 Recipes for the Best Meal of the Week by Belinda Smith-Sullivan
- The Southern Entertainer's Cookbook: Heirloom Recipes for Modern Gatherings by Courtney Whitmore
8. Highclere Castle Gin
Highclere Castle London Dry Gin, produced by castle owners Lord and Lady Carnarvon, is inspired by botanicals hand-selected from herb gardens located on the castle grounds which were originally planted in the ninth century by the Bishops of Winchester. With a delicate balance of juniper, lime flower, orange peel, and a touch of lavender, it is the true essence of Highclere’s ancient estate. Enjoyed in the “Highclere Style” for over a century, the traditional method of indulgence involves a cocktail made with gin, tonic, a fresh orange squeeze, and peel, and finished with a rosemary sprig from the garden.
9. Buffalo Plaid Everything
If Classic, bold, and gender-neutral, the woodsy pattern known as buffalo check is popping up EVERYWHERE from clothes to home furnishings. This bold pattern is an American frontier classic and cabin-chic mainstay, but is equally striking in more formal spaces (like the sword-studded reception room at the Governor’s Palace in Colonial Williamsburg), rubbing shoulders with ritzy decor and ornate furniture. No need to go overboard - think tablecloths, pot holders, and serveware. Added bonus, the most common color blocks are red and black – University of Georgia colors! Go Dawgs!
10. Cocoa Bombs
When all else fails, ply them with sweets. Cocoa bombs are the hottest thing since, well… hot cocoa. Who doesn’t love to snuggle under a cozy blanket and sip hot chocolate? Cocoa bombs are a fun way to elevate your cocoa experience. And, our friends at Trader Joe’s have upped the cocoa bomb game with their Hot Cocoa Snowmen. According to the Trader Joe’s blog: “He’ll bob and tip like he’s enjoying a cozy bath…until he starts to melt away.” As he melts, a flood of mini marshmallows will rise to the surface as milk chocolate pieces drop to add even more creamy goodness to your mug. Stir and sip – heaven in a mug. At the extremely reasonable price of $1.99, you should buy one for everyone on your list (and a few for yourself)!