Holiday Gift Guide 2020
The holidays are going to be different this year and we’ll have to get creative on how we celebrate. One tradition I’m not planning to give up – eating and gifting lots of great food! This list includes food gifts for those who love to cook and those who just love to eat. Most of these gifts could be mailed across the country or left in a gift basket outside someone’s front door as a way to tell them you love them from afar.
Are there any great companies or products I missed? Tell me in the comments!
I wouldn’t be a responsible business owner if I didn’t plug my own company on this gift guide! I’m now offering downloadable gift certificates for both my virtual cooking classes (private or public) and for my personal chef services. Whether your gift recipient loves to cook, wants to learn how to cook or just wants someone to do the cooking for them, I have a gift for that!
Curio Co. is a woman-owned certified B corp based in Cambridge, MA and the quality of their spices is incredible. They have beautiful gift boxes and spice blends that are perfect for gifting. Bonus: some of their gift boxes will include a recipe developed by me!
I may be biased because the two co-founders of this pantry staples company are friends I made while teaching cooking classes together, but their all-purpose veggie-packed sauce (Not Just Pasta Sauce) is delicious and perfect to keep on hand in your pantry. The glass jars and pretty packaging make it perfect for gifting. And they just opened up pre-orders for their three new products (salad dressing, pesto and caramel sauce) which will ship this month.
There’s nothing better than a holiday gift you can pick up from the grocery store! Maya Kaimal’s brightly packaged and flavorful sauces are perfect for quick weeknight meals. I love to simmer chicken thighs, canned chickpeas or cauliflower florets in the sauces until tender and then serve them over rice.
These sprinkles are made from natural dyes but most importantly, the designs are adorable! Definitely not your average sprinkles – give the gift of cookie decorating!
This cheese tastes like cheddar and parmesan had a delicious baby. Pair in a basket with a box of TJ’s Fig and Rosemary Crackers and you’ve got a gift any cheese lover will be excited to receive.
For my 16th birthday, my friend Carter gifted me a French baguette, a collection of dipping spices and a bottle of olive oil. It’s still one of the best gifts I’ve ever received. Visit a local bakery in your hometown and select a nice loaf to pair with a bottle of gourmet olive oil or butter. If you’re local to the north-of-Boston area, let me recommend Breadboard Bakery in Arlington – my friends and I ripped through a sourdough loaf with our bare hands during a hike last year, delicious!
When my daughter was born, our friends brought us over a bunch of snacks to munch on (which is perfect because we were basically snacking constantly while in newborn-mode) and included was a package of parmesan crisps. They feel fancier and more indulgent than everyday crackers and are the perfect gift for your favorite cheese fan.
Another gift we received when our daughter was born, these are truly the best chocolate bars I’ve ever tasted. They are inexplicably creamy and the flavors are perfectly balanced. Buy a bar for a stocking stuffer or go wild with a full gift box while supporting this woman-owned company.
This Somerville, MA based company has been helping me fill stockings for the past few years. I love the variety of flavors they offer. There’s an option for everyone but I love the Mexican Chocolate Almonds and Sea Salt Rosemary Cashews.
Last year, I bought this on a whim while picking up ice cream to bring to a friend’s house (remember when we could casually go to the grocery store and then casually go to friends’ homes?!) and holy hell if it isn’t the best store-bought hot fudge I’ve ever tasted! They even have a vegan version as well as caramel and mocha varieties. The fun jar design makes it especially giftable.
When I studied in Buenos Aires in college, alfajores were one of my favorite treats. They consist of two cookies sandwiched with dulce de leche and covered in either powdered sugar, caramel, meringue or, my favorite, chocolate. Gift these to your friend who loves trying global treats!
The best part of an everything bagel, in a jar! I sprinkle these on plain toast, avocado toast, eggs, hummus, sandwiches, mix it into yogurt for a dip, and anything else I can think of. The perfect stocking stuffer for an everything bagel fan. (Trader Joe’s has a great version but many other stores sell one now too.)
I grew up in Troy, Ohio – a little town in the Dayton area that has a very picturesque town square. Purebred is a newer fixture of that square and I’ve been so impressed with their coffee on my visits home. They offer free shipping on orders over $25 so it’s the perfect way to support a small business.
These cans of iced tea are brewed with hops and are perfect for an IPA lover who isn’t drinking alcohol – or who just wants an alcohol-free option.
I am a black coffee person but Milk Street has some fun options for those who like a little sweet in their morning beverages. I like to add the Turkish Cardamom to my chai tea and a sprinkle of the Mexican Mocha to hot chocolate. A 6-pack sampler is 50% off so it’s a fun way to build a few gift baskets.
This black and woman-owned wine shop in South Boston ships all over the country and offers an incredible selection. Not sure what to order? Give them a call and chat with their super knowledgeable staff for some top-notch suggestions. Their unique progressive scale makes it easy to choose a wine even if you aren’t a connoisseur and I love their mix packs where they do the selecting for you.
When COVID first hit, Buenas started offering free delivery of their frozen empanadas and I’ve been getting at least one delivery per month since April. They have a different theme each week and the empanadas are perfect for keeping on hand for a quick lunch or dinner. They also offer pick-up at their Somerville location. Gift a pack of empanadas or a gift card to a friend who needs some comforting snacks in their freezer (aka all of us).
You may remember Mia from the Make Your Own Pasta virtual cooking class we hosted together. She’s now offering a Saturday Supper Club in addition to a la carte options, all available for free delivery in the Boston area! Give the gift of homemade pasta to your favorite Bostonian.
I first met Mary when I took one of her cheese board classes at a local brewery this past February. She is a lot of fun and I learned some great cheese board tips. She’s currently offering virtual cheese board building classes which would be a fun gift for anyone near and far – or gift a Boston-local with one of her cheese board creations!