Sunday, December 14, 2014

Gift Guide: Edibles (AND a Giveaway!)

Ho Ho Ho ... and a stocking full of ... food?

The great thing about being a food blogger is that people sometimes send me food to try. A lot of the time, it's snacks. Sometimes it's sauces or condiments. Sometimes spices. But the great thing is that quite often these are things that I might not have bought on my own. Sometimes because they're simply not available in my local store. Or the products are too new to be on store shelves.

These are great for gift baskets, grab bags, and stocking stuffers. Or for you, too. There's nothing wrong with giving yourself a little treat for the holidays

Here are some of my favorites.

For your avid geeky cooking friends, the Spiceologist Block has spices in test tubes in a wooden rack for easy access and display. You can order a themed set, or choose your own spices. If you don't want buy a whole block of spices, you can pick and choose individual spices or rubs.

The perfect gift for folks who love cheese and crackers with extras. The spreads can also be used for cooking, like this recipe for figgy chicken. Check the bottom of this post for a giveaway!

Here's an easy way to spice up meats and vegetables. A great stocking stuffer, or tuck a few into a gift basket. I wrote about them here.

Perfect for snacking. Tuck a little bag into a stocking, or a larger package into a gift basket. Or fill a whole basket with shortbreads for you cookie-fiend friends.

Chocolate hazelnut spread makes a lovely gift for your nutty chocolate lover friends. I used it to make ice cream in this recipe.

Bacon spread in a jar. What more can you ask for? I used it to make corn chowder, but it's also pretty darned good spread on a sandwich, mixed into salad dressing, stirred into pasta or eggs, or used pretty much everywhere bacon is appropriate.

Nestle Delightfulls

Flavor-filled chocolate chips. A great stocking stuffer for your friends who bake, but they're also a great snack for your friends who'd eat them as a snack. Four flavors, and they're available at the grocery store, which is a great for last-minute space-filling in stockings or baskets.

Or, buy them for yourself and bake something. I made chocolate mint bars.

Flavored olive oils are fun, or you can get your friends a really unique gift by renting an olive oil tree, and your friends will get all the oil from the tree's next harvest. I have a giveaway for this oil going on right here.

For adults only - three whiskeys with pie-themed flavors - cherry, apple, and pecan. The pecan is my favorite, but the others are pretty darned good, too. I'll be writing more about these later.

Wild Hibiscus Flower Company hibiscus products and 
Honey Ridge Farms whipped honey

This is just a small sampling of what you can find from these two companies, so go check them out. In the photo, we have flavored pyramid salt, tea, hibiscus in syrup and a really interesting flavoring in that blue bottle. You'll be hearing more about these later.

The honey in the photos is a whipped blackberry honey cream, but they have plenty of other flavors.

For adults only - a new drink from Smirnoff with a sweet-sour flavor. Perfect over ice. I wrote about it here.

These little bottles of oils and vinegars are the perfect samplers. Great for new cooks who aren't sure what they like, or open the boxes and toss a bottle into everyone's stocking as a little extra something. Or have them on hand for the holiday table to drizzle or dip different flavors.

Umami is said to be the fifth thing we can taste, right after sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. Your cooking friends will love the pastes that they can add to whatever they're cooking, while the jars hold seasoning you can add at the table.

Giveaway is OVER.


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