If you have some gift certificates to spend (or maybe a gift to return!), get yourself something to inspire your time in the kitchen. Display those healthy edibles—like clementines, grapefruits, or pomegranate—in a pretty bowl. (Consider it an antidote to the fridge full of leftovers!) Potted plants are always a treat this time of year—consider herbs, orchids, or clean-air plants for the kitchen.
These make excellent gift ideas for all you last-minute shoppers out there, too! A simple box of chocolates or maybe a fruitcake wrapped in colorful cellophane and tied with a neat bow may have sufficed years ago, but not anymore. With so many options these days—souped-up blenders, artisanal candies, beer-making kits—it’s so hard to decide!
If you haven’t noticed, giving the gift of food isn’t cheap. If you like flexing your cooking or baking muscles, why not whip up something that you know the recipient will love? How about a batch of irresistible brownies, a loaf of fruit-studded stollen or a jar of seasoned nuts? Plus, your homemade treats won’t be pumped with additives, and can be personalized with custom packaging and hand-written messages on note cards. Look for recipes in books, magazines or websites, and get wrapping supplies at craft or baking supplies stores. (Shameless plug: my book The Flying Brownie offers tips and recipes for great shippable treats!)
It might be old-fashioned, but people will never grow tired of receiving fruit, especially when the holidays are synonymous with overindulging. Send a box of seasonal fruits like clementines, grapefruits or pomegranates. When artfully arranged on a platter, this gift also doubles up as a gorgeous table ornaments.
Potted plants are a refreshing alternative to cut flowers, and can breath life into any room for years to come. Consider herbs, orchids, succulents or even clean-air plants for the kitchen.
Some of the best gifts are those we’d never buy ourselves. Spend a little extra on fancy but useful foodstuffs that he or she will love. A nice bottle of olive oil or balsamic vinegar, or even a bundle of vanilla beans can go a long way in the kitchen, and each time they’re used feels like getting another little gift.
I love kitchen gadgets as much as anyone, but my kitchen is too small to store all those single-use specialty items that take up precious drawer space (I’m talking to you, avocado slicer!). Look for everyday tools that you know your recipient will use, like a set of colorful vegetable peelers or silicone spatulas, or a multi-function grater.