The holidays are upon us, and that means it's time to show your buddies you care by buying them things they probably don't need. But there's no reason to shell out for an expensive, ugly Christmas sweater that he'll never wear, or a tchotchke that will sit idly at the back of her closet, when you could give THE gift that everyone loves: food! Eating...Our Words writers have found some of the best food and food-related items for everyone on your list, from pets and kids to the true gourmand, and are sharing some of their favorites with you this holiday season. Let's get shopping!
Stumped about what you should get the foodie in your life? Look nor further, because this list has the present(s) you are looking for.
10. Mortar and Pestle
A mortar and pestle is an excellent gift for any foodie who loves to crush his or her own spices or make his own guacamole. They come in a variety of sizes and materials, and are useful in many recipes.
9. Herb Garden Set
Using fresh herbs is always the way to go. Give a gift set of fresh garden herbs so your foodie can grow his own to use in the kitchen. Williams-Sonoma sells a variety of herb packs, including an Essential Kitchen Garden set with garlic chive, English thyme, Tuscan blue rosemary, sweet basil, common sage and Greek oregano.
8. Pizza Stone
The best way to make pizza at home is on a pizza stone. Just like the mortar and pestle, it's an essential in any kitchen. Whether you are giving it to a young cook who's starting a cooking collection or to someone who just loves pizza, it will be appreciated and used.
7. Artisan Salt Collection
Our world is filled with a variety of salts, and each possesses a different taste and texture. Dean & Deluca offers a gift set of four salts -- Murray River Salt, Fleur de Sel, Pyramid-shaped Cyprus Flake Salt and Coarse Himalayan Pink Salt. You can also purchase truffle salt, coarse sea salt, snowflake salt and even black lava sea salt. Add a quality salt crock to the box so the recipient has a nice place to store the new salts in the kitchen.
6. Attachments for KitchenAid Stand Mixer
There are so many attachments for a KitchenAid stand mixer that it can be hard to choose which one to purchase. But, honestly, you can't go wrong with any of them. The pasta maker is an excellent option for those who love Italian food; the meat grinder is great for the avid griller who wants to turn filet mignon into a burger; and an ice cream attachment is great for anyone who can't get enough of fresh-churned ice cream.
5. Individual-Size Cast-Iron Skillets
For foodies who love to cook down-home comfort food, individual-sized cast-iron skillets make perfect gifts. They can whip together a variety of Southern classics such as macaroni and cheese, or serve up warm sweets such as skillet brownies and cookies with ice cream. Anything made in a cast-iron skillet is delicious.
4. Cookbook Stand (Or Tablet Stand)
Using a cookbook in the kitchen comes with perils. It's difficult to keep the book open to the correct page, and something is always splattering onto the pages. Make things easier for your fellow foodie by gifting him or her with a cookbook stand. If you know your intended recipient uses an iPad or other tablet as his cookbook, then wrap up a tablet or iPad stand for him to easily place his device in while cooking.
This is a gift for more serious foodies, or at least those who really enjoy cooking. Help them step up their cooking game by giving them a mandoline so they can easily and perfectly slice and cut fruits, vegetables and other items. Word to the wise: Don't give this device to dangerous, clumsy or young cooks.
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2. Cooking Class
What better way to let your foodie friend enjoy what he or she loves than with a cooking class? Hubbell & Hudson, Sur la Table and various restaurants around Houston offer cooking classes on a regular basis. Each class usually focuses on a specific cuisine, region or method of cooking, so choose the one that is best for the recipient, who'll love having the opportunity to expand his culinary knowledge and skills.
1. Dinner at Their Favorite Restaurant
All foodies have their absolute favorite places to eat around town (or out of town), so treat them to a meal at the place they just can't stop talking about. Whether it's a hole-in-the-wall pizza joint or a three-star Michelin culinary mecca, a certificate or gift card is sure to be appreciated.