Friday, 8 November 2013

Holiday Gift Guide: For The Total Foodie

It is that time of year again for my holiday gift guides. This year I will be running through my four usual guides: For The Total Foodie, For The Londoner, For The Globetrotter and For The Total Bookworm over the next few weeks. I've had such fun running around London, Westfield Stratford, Fenwick in Canterbury and browsing online to put these guides together for this year, and I hope you find them helpful while shopping for friends! I know it seems a little early to be thinking about Christmas gifts, but now Bonfire Night is over and we're actually only just a little over a month until Christmas, I know I've started worrying about Christmas gifts!
totalfoodie2013
One by Florence Knight Cookbook: £26, Hotel Chocolat Classic Prosecco: £18, Nigella Lawson Blue Measuring Cups: £25, Hotel Chocolat Mulled Wine Pouches: £5 / $10, Emma Bridgewater Great Britain Counties Map Apron: £12.50 / $21.95, Bordallo Pinheiro Melon Bowls: £14.95 / £24.50, Ottolenghi Christmas Cake: £12, Hotel Chocolat Christmas Mess Chocolates: £3.75 / $8, Ottolenghi Sumac: £2.80

I can tell you from personal experience that a cookbook is the very best Christmas present for foodies. As well as cooking from them, we enjoy reading them in front of the television, in bed, and even sometimes in the bath! Two books have really stood out for me this year, both of which are relatively recent and would make fantastic gifts.  The first of which I have not listed here but I have already waxed lyrical about, is James Morton's Brilliant Bread (£10). I reviewed it a few months ago, and I think it is the ultimate book for people who love baking bread, as well as the perfect gift for anyone wanting to learn to make their own as the book progresses in difficulty from the beginning. The second book that I have been loving this year and I have pictured here is One by Florence Knight, the head chef at Polpetto. It is a wonderful collection of Italian and British recipes, and it really has something for everyone. The recipes are really unique too, and its beautiful typeface makes it the perfect dish. So far I have made the Panzanella Salad and the Calves Liver in Red Wine Vinegar and both were absolute revelations.

While as you all know I'm a massive advocate for all things homemade, a few of my favourite artisan food suppliers have some great products this Christmas I can't overlook when it comes to gifts. They must have had it for ages and I was just being unobservant, but I has pleasantly surprised that Ottolenghi's now has an online store. With Christmas cake. It is only 'Coming Soon' at the moment, but for an early gift for someone you know does not have the time or knowhow to make their own cake, I think it would make a perfect and thoughtful gift. As well as the UK, it also ships to the USA, Canada and Europe. Also from the Ottolenghi shop as more of a stocking filler is a jar of Sumac. I know you can buy it elsewhere, but Yotam Otolenghi's books is really where Sumac became a 'thing' in the UK, and I have found it is such a versatile flavour, both cooked into recipes, and on a Sunday morning at brunch after a night out in Covent Garden the night before, a sprinkling on yogurt and eggs is simply divine and not to be overlooked. Mulled Wine is nice to make yourself from scratch, but a few years ago my Mother dropped a tin of Mulled Wine Spice Pouches into my Dad's stocking (we put them together for each other) and I've found they are great if you don't have a full spice cupboard to hand (like we don't in France) or you don't have a whole army to serve up to. When I saw Hotel Chocolat's new pouches, complete with cocoa nibs inside at their Christmas press event last month, I knew they'd make the perfect stocking filler. It was also at that event I drunk maybe a little bit too much of their fantastic house Prosecco. It may not have had any chocolate in it, but I still fell in love enough with it there to be recommending it to you here.

On the kitchen utensils and accessories track, I know I am a big cheerleader for weighing everything in baking rather than using American baking cups, I got used to cups when I was living in America and I found that they do make life easier when you are making drinks and savouries. I have an awful lot from Nigella Lawson's kitchen range; I own her cake stand and at home we have her glass cake dome, and her kitchen spoons and enamel kitchen utensils are also beautiful and versatile. I need to replace my cups, so I'm actually thinking about these beautiful blue numbers for myself! On another note, I think you can all agree with me that this pair of melon bowls I found are just simply awesome, and this Emma Bridgewater apron (I did not realise she no longer just sold china) is a really unique gift, and a change from the Cath Kidston aprons I usually recommend.


Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? I have ideas for about 1/2 of each of my parents gifts and a few stocking fillers, but for practically everyone else I still have to buy for I'm still totally at sea. Hopefully I'll be able to pick some things up and get ahead of the game on the first big Christmas Shopping trip I'm taking with my Mother into Canterbury tomorrow. It may be smaller and have less of a selection, but it is so much easier Christmas shopping at home than in the massive crowds of London and its department stores! If you still need some more ideas, IFB have got a great round up of other peoples gift guides, if you want to take a peek!

66 comments:

  1. I love those bowls they are beautiful! forget buying them for someone else they're going on my wishlist!

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  2. I love anything from their summer collection - particularly their lemony chocolates!

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  3. Thanks for the tip about the Triple Layered Coffee Buche - I know what my dad will be getting for xmas now!

    As for my favourite, I love the rum soaked sultanas - yum! (And *hic!*)

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  4. have you seen the whole day entertainment from the
    Large Chocolate Dipping Adventure

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  5. Hotel Chocolat chocolate is the best chocolate I've ever tasted. I only ever have it when someone treats me and for my birthday my sister bought me some that was a mix of chocolates with raspberries in which was delicious.

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  6. Mulled wine truffles are my favourite.

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  7. Triple Chocolate Wham Bam Giant Slab

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  8. Christmas Mess Truffles - yum!

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  9. Oh, those melon bowls are the cutest! I'm pretty sure I'd miraculously start eating more rockmelon if I had them in my life, haha

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  10. I like the 40% Milk Chocolate Batons.

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  11. Eton Mess Slab Selector :-)

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  12. Oh yum! I love their Mini Everything Selection Box. I went through 2 in one day once.

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  13. mmm this looks amazing! I love the white chocolate batons :) mmmm x

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  14. Have never tried Hotel Chocolat products but just love milk chocolate and coffee together so the Triple Layered Coffee Buche is right up my street! xoxo

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  15. I love the caramel slab the best , i've such a sweet tooth ! please count me in.

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  16. We visited the rabot estate in st lucia on our honeymoon! It was amazing, such a great experience. I have to say then that my favourite product is their single estate chocolate bars. Best dark chocolate ever.

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  17. dark with chill puddles, their dark chocolate is to die for!!

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  18. It's got to be the rocky road slab for me, oh yum!

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  19. The caramel cheesecake chocolate is gorgeous

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  20. The chocolate brownies are delish.

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  21. If I find those Nigella Lawson measuring cups under my tree I'll be thrilled - Often I read and love recipes with the measurements in cups so I really need some smart measuring cups in my life..Oh and chocolate..of course!

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  22. Shooting Star
    karen s
    twannywun at hotmail dot com

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  23. I love truffles, and the rum and raisin truffles are my absolute favourite.

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  24. Pistachio & Honey Slab Selector as I love honey and nuts...yum

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  25. Lovely prize - today my favourite has to be the advent calender

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  26. Kirsch cherries for me, lovely

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  27. Milk and salted caramel batons

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  28. I love the milk chocolate batons.....yummmmmm!

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  29. Pistachjo Praline Tuffles are gorgeous, had to pick a fave and so hard, this came out on top by a whisker

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  30. The Chocolatier's Humidor looks amazing
    http://www.hotelchocolat.com/uk/shop/christmas/luxury-party-chocolate-box

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  31. I've never tried anything from Hotel Chocolat before, but looking on their website, the chocolate slabs look amazing! x

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  32. Lovely giveaway - only tried a few but Rocky Road Slab OMG.... mmmm x

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  33. Now you've done it, lol, Not good me checking out a choccy site, well crimbo n route, so I don't feel to bad... the signature christmas collection is lovely, I choose this so I can wrap it up, and give it to myself.

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  34. OMG pistachio praline crunches. I adore any mix of sweet and bitter - such as chilli or sea salt!

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  35. I love Hotel Chocolat! I got the Marzipan collection for my birthday and I am obsessed!


    Maria xxx

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  36. The Rocky road slab is very moorish :0)

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  37. mmm my favourite is the Mississippi Mud Pie Giant Slab :)

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  38. I love the salted caramel selectors, they are divine! ive been hinting numerous times to my bf i want to be unwrapping those on christmas morning!

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  39. I have left this page open as a small hint to my boyfriend haha!


    Maria xxx

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  40. The slabs, I first got given one as a present from the owners of a restaurant I was working in when I was 17 and I still love them now...

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  41. At this time of year I love their Festive Wreaths, but at all other times the Isabelle Florentines are my favourites

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  42. Pistachio Praline Truffles are delish :)

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  43. The melon bowls are fantastic, and of course, anything Hotel Chocolat is always a great idea!


    xoxo

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  44. pistachio praline cruches or the petit cheesecakes or half the other things on their site ;)

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  45. Rachel, I've already been fortunate enough to become addicted to the Chambord Royale Champagne Truffles. I spend way too much at Hotel Chocolat and you've just reminded me that I need to get my hands on one of their lush advent calendars, sharpish.

    Really sweet blog. Keep up the great work and HAPPY (very much early) CHRISTMAS to you! :-D

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  46. Ooh id love to treat myself to the Chocolatier's Humidor but im sure my hubby would have something to say about me spending that much on Chocolate!! :D

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  47. One of the slabs because a slab sounds like a fantastic way to eat chocolate...probably rocky road :D

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  48. oh my goodness,these look amazing! id definitely go for the Pistachio praline crunches

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  49. oh wow!! What a hard choice!! I'll pick The Dark Selection :)

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  50. The Chocolatiers Humidor!!! Now that is what I call a box of chocolates.

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  51. the Pistachio praline crunches

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  52. Love the caramel slabs
    @muslimahi

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  53. I just loved the melon bowls like anything.

    xoxoxo
    Jewelry Gift Guide for Mom's

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