Tag Archive for christmas gifts for foodies

Christmas Gifts for Foodies (2018 Edition)

Read through to the end of the post for the chance to win a $50 Fresh Prep gift card! 

Well, here we are in December, and Christmas is just around the corner.

I’m going through my annual struggle; what do I buy people? What cookies do I make to give away? When will I have time to even bake cookies??

The good news is, I have very few people to buy presents for. I usually make lots of cookies and give those out to family and friends, but the main person I buy presents for is Michael. As he gets older, though, it becomes a bit more of a challenge to buy stuff for him. When he was younger, there were always cool toys and games, but now that stuff no longer applies.

So this year, I’ve decided to go in a different direction. This year is going to be more about experiences rather than stuff.

As time goes on, I become more concerned about the state of the environment, and more aware of what I’m doing and how it’s affecting the world. So I’m trying to be more conscious of gifts that don’t create waste, are more sustainable choices and are better for the environment, ideally support local businesses, and/or are more about the experience and creating memories rather than stuff (that may or may not be wanted). Think presence rather than presents. Of course you can always take your special person out for a meal at your/their/a new favourite restaurant. But I’m trying to think of alternatives to that experience.

Having said all of that, I humbly put forth my ideas for Christmas Gifts for Foodies for this year.

Cooking Classes. A cooking class for you and your friend/S.O. or family member is a great gift. You get to first of all spend time together, you get to learn something, and then you get to eat it at the end! It’s a win/win/win. Check out Dirty Apron or PICA. Maybe learn to make cheese with Paula? Or if you’re vegan, take one of Karen McAthy’s.

Fresh Prep Spicy Red Pepper Tofu

Prep-at-home meal kits. If you can’t get out to a cooking class, home-delivered meal kits are a great alternative. I really like Fresh Prep. They are committed to sustainability, and creating less waste, which I love. They deliver the meal kits by bicycle courier! They have vegetarian options, and they are suitable for all levels of cooking experience. If you’re just learning, they’re great, and if you’re a more experienced cook like me, they offer something new and interesting. And making a meal with a loved one is a great way to spend time together. Add a bottle of wine, and voila! instant date night. I also buy gift certificates for friends who are recently married, who have just had a baby…

Want to try it for yourself?? Just use the code INFCOLEMAN18 when you sign up here, and you’ll get $33 off your first order!

Food Experiences. In this category, I’m thinking wine tastings, beer flights, charcuterie. You can, for example, put together a selection of 3 wines to pair alongside different types of chocolates or cheeses, and then make a night of it. Or visit a local winery for a tour and a tasting. I like Backyard’s wine and charcuterie experience.

Homemade goodies. I’m a big proponent of homemade goodies to gift. For me, it often takes the form of cookies or preserves. However, an alternative I’m excited about this year is the mason-jar option. You can make a cookie or brownie mix and gift it in a pretty mason jar. You can do the same with Instant Pot options. Another option? Homemade vanilla (but you’d better start it now).


Cookbooks. I named this blog Cooking by Laptop because I found that I was cooking more and more from google and the internet than I was from my cookbooks. But I still love cookbooks deeply, and perhaps even more so since writing one myself. There’s always a selection on my coffee table. Some of my recent favourites include Cooking in Color, Bottom of the Pot, and Eating Local in the Fraser Valley (Angie lists agendas in the back of her book for foodie adventures).

Staub La Coquette

Legacy Kitchen Gear. Okay, these are the pricier gifts, but they are also gifts that last a lifetime. A dutch oven from Staub or Le Cruset is incredibly versatile–I use mine to make soups and stews, to braise in the oven, and I even make bread in it! Plus they are so pretty. Mine lives on my stove year-round, even when I’m not using it. A good chef’s knife will last a lifetime, or a really good blender like a Vitamix or a Blendtec is basically forever.

SingleTree Wine Jellies

Specialty ingredients. There are things that many foodies lust for, but tend to be more expensive, and if you don’t have a reason to buy them, you might not. I’m talking about really good quality olive oils or balsamics, flavored sea salts (I love Amola and Vancouver Island Sea Salt. Specialty coffee is always wonderful, as is truffle oil. I also love to gift locally-made preserves, like Vista D’oro’s or Salt Spring Kitchen Co, or wine jellies to serve with your charcuterie. I am also IN LOVE with this local goat milk caramel.

Blue Grouse Wine Candles

Candles. I like food-scented candles a lot. My go-to are the vanilla ones from Ikea, but there are some locally-made versions that rock. Cartems, my #1 all time favourite donuts, have just launched a line of donut scented candles. Let me say that again: donut scented candles!!!! You can also buy wine-scented candles from Blue Grouse, that come in an upcycled wine bottle.


Tis the season for gift-giving, so I have one for you. Fresh Prep has kindly offered one of my readers a $50 Gift Card for their service, so you can try it for free, or you can gift it to someone for Christmas!

To enter, just comment below and tell me what’s on your Christmas wish list this year.

I’ll choose one lucky winner at random on Friday, December 14.

Good luck!


Christmas Gifts for Foodies (plus a giveaway)

Welcome to my second post on Christmas gifts for Foodies (first post on gadgets is here). Although, if you are a foodie, you might want to add some of today’s suggestions to your Christmas wish list, as well! By the way–these would all also make awesome Hostess gifts.

At the end of this post, I’ll be giving away a couple of bottles of wine courtesy of The Girls–a very special kind of wine. Read to the end to find out why and to learn how to enter!

Before I start, I just want to say that a big trend I’m noticing this year is giving experiential gifts instead of “stuff.” I really want to encourage you to think about this–give your fave foodie the gift of a cooking class, for example, or a rare and interesting ingredient they can experiment with in their kitchen. Give them a gift card to their favourite (or a new place they’ve been wanting to try) restaurant. Give them a wine tasting or a food tour. Sign them up for a monthly subscription, like cheese-of-the-month, or a snack service, or The Missing Ingredient. 

Now! On to my list of Christmas gifts for foodies. Many of these, you will note, are personal, and experiential.

Mozzarella Cheese Making Kit. What foodie isn’t interested in mucking about in the kitchen? Why not give them a kit so they can make their own cheese? About $30, available online or at Got Craft? this weekend.

Personalized Cookbooks, Aprons or Mugs: wanna display your gorgeous #foodporn photos to your friends? Or share some of your favourite recipes in a professional-looking cookbook for friends? London Drugs Photolabs offer lots of customizable options to gift.

Vancouver Brewery Tour: Got a beer-lover in your life? Buy them the ultimate local craft beer experience. They’ll get picked up and whisked around the city to a variety of local craft breweries, where they can take tours, meet fellow hop-heads, and, of course, drink beer.

Long Table Bourbon Barreled Gin: speaking of locally-brewed booze, following on the heels of the craft beer craze is a craft spirit craze happening right now in our fair city. One of my absolute faves? The Bourbon-Barreled Gin from Long Table Distillery.

Amola Sea Salts: These are my favourite thing right now. Available though Edible Canada, these are wonderful for adding a last-minute hit of flavour. I love the truffle, but I’ve tried quite a few, and they all rock.

Mink Mermaid’s Choice Chocolate Bar. Oh, you know. No big deal. Just the best chocolate bar in the world. If salted caramel is not your thing, try something else–everything here is amazeballs.


Bacon socks: Yeah, baby!! (I already bought a pair of these for a certain person’s stocking. Shhh!!) From Well Seasoned.

IMG_5664 Sourgum: this is something we don’t cook or bake with much in this part of the world. This maple syrupy/molassesy hybrid hails from down south. Pick some up to experiment with. From Well Seasoned.


Pink Spatula Peppermint Macamallows: this awesome mashup of a macaron and a marshmallow is delicious, and helps support a good cause. From Well Seasoned.

And speaking of supporting a good cause…

the girls wine

Wine: simply put, everyone loves getting a bottle of wine. When I give wine as a gift, I like to go as local as possible, usually something from the Okanagan. My go-to gifting wine this season has been The Girls. I love this wine. It’s affordable (under $20), it’s delicious, it’s from the Okanagan, and 100% of all the profits of the wine go to Breast Cancer Research. It’s like a gift that gives twice.Plus–c’mon. How adorable is that label? I am giving away two bottles of The Girls 2012 Voluptuous Red. Grown in Oliver,The Girls 2012 Voluptuous Red is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, barrel aged for 18 months in French oak.

To Win TWO bottles of The Girls 2012 Voluptuous Red, comment below, and let me know what you would do with your two bottles. Maybe you’ll keep one for yourself, and give one away? Or maybe you’ll use them at a party? Or cook a recipe with them? I want to know!

You can get a second entry to the contest by tweeting:

Contest runs until midnight, December 14, after which I will draw a random winner from all entries. Good luck, and Happy Gifting!!


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