Sunday, November 22, 2009

Delicious Holiday Books and Gifts

Each year my thoughts about Holiday gift-giving turn inevitably to food. Here are a few ideas for this year that fill the bill no matter what you'd like to give. From edible gifts that are a bit more expensive to homemade budget gifts to delectable books. Enjoy!

For a scrumptious countdown to the holidays, the chocolate lover on your list will love the Fannie May truffle assortment gift box ($17.99-$25.99) from Fannie May fine chocolates. The 16- or 25-piece assortment features a variety of Fannie May treats to indulge in, including Classic, French Vanilla, White Russian and Orange Royale flavors, all tucked inside a gift-ready holiday box. For more information, visit
*Who doesn't love truffles? Fannie May is one that we like a lot here.

For a new twist on a festive favorite, Cheryl & Co. will introduce Buttercream Frosted Brownies ($28.95 - $65.95) just in time for the holidays. Home of the famous Buttercream Frosted Cookies, the Buttercream Frosted Brownies collection will feature hot fudge brownies, fudge brownies and peanut butter brownies. For more information, visit
*Those brownies are dangerous! We loved ours and I highly recommend them.

For a gift that truly “pops,” The Popcorn Factory offers Big Snow design tins ($24.99$39.99). Available with The Popcorn Factory’s traditional three-way combo of robust cheese, butter and caramel corn, these tins are a classic gift that keeps on giving – in two-, three-and-a-half- or six-and-a-half gallon sizes. Tins can be personalized with a photo or message label on top. For more information, visit
*Popcorn from The Popcorn Factory is a favorite here; always fresh, crisp and delicious.

Thanks to Jamie Plaxco of MWWGroup for information and samples.

This holiday season give the gift of food with creative home made gifts that are as eye catching as delicious! has the Top 25 gifts that require simple ingredients but will have your friends and family talking until next year’s holiday season!

A few of the ideas offered:

Gingerbread Cookies

Get the kids in the kitchen to decorate a tried and true favorite. Decorative ginger bread cookies are simple, easy and fun for the whole family to get involved!

Cinnamon Hot Chocolate Mix Recipe

Give a gift for on the go with packaged hot chocolate! Mix cocoa powder, dry powder, creamer and cinnamon for some spice to give it a twist. Top with marshmallows in each individual package and send with a mug, perfect for the holiday season.

Peppermint Lollipops

Design your own festive lollipop for friends and family for a special gift. With just simple ingredients-peppermint oil, sugar, water, corn syrup and food coloring you can get creative in the kitchen with simple peppermint pops, great for after dinner treat!

Homemade Snow Globe

Get creative with a snow globe from home as a gift, layered sugar cookies with fluffy meringue topped with edible treats friends and family will sure to be impressed!

For these recipes and more like them visit

Thanks to Anjali Saxena of Krupp Kommunications for information and images.


Chocolate: A Love Story by Max Brenner, Illustrations by Yonatan Factor

Chocolate is a substance that transcends borders, boundaries and emotions. The mere mention brings a twinkle to the eye and a quickening of the pulse. Max Brenner knows this and shares his intense love for chocolate in this funky, eclectic and beautiful book. The illistrations themselves are worth the purchase, and the recipes are to-die-for. A perfect gift for the chocolate lover or art lover in your life.

Thanks to Anna Balasi of Hachette Book Group for information and book copy.

Elizabeth David's Christmas, edited by Jill Norman, illustrations by Mary Ross

Throughout her distinguished career, Elizabeth David wrote and collected many articles about Christmas food. She put together a file of these articles, recipes, and notes, and even wrote an introduction, intending to publish them as a book. It never appeared, and after her death in 1992, her literary executor
Jill Norman found the box with all this material. She put them together as Elizabeth intended, and we now have her "Christmas" edited for the American reader, handsomely illustrated and ready to guide us through this daunting festive season with good food and high spirits – and our humor intact.

Beautifully written, this new edition contains around 150 recipes
together with a selection of David's own articles, plus other writings that over the years she found interesting and helpful. Feeding friends and family for Christmas can be stressful, and this book is intended to help busy cooks plan ahead and enjoy Christmas as much as their guests. The classicsare all here: turkey (of course), but also goose; stuffings; sauces; mince pies; and Christmas puddings. For the armchair cook, the text also provides information as well as
diversion: here are the actual traditions of Christmas's past, as well as descriptions of the yuletide in other countries. In other words, a feast for mind, chef, and table.

I've been hanging on to my copy for over a year. SO entranced with it that I couldn't put it down and hardly able to find words to adequately describe it, I wanted to be sure and share it before Christmastime this year. For anyone who is a fan of Elizabeth David, a Christmas cookbook may almost seem absurd for her as she was happiest alone for that day, but this book is all her, written in as relaxed and comfortable a way as anything else she penned, with recipe done in a style that only Elizabeth David was able to deliver. A MUST read for any cook and a wonderful gift for the Ellizabeth David fan.

Thanks to Daniel Pritchard of David R. Godine, Publisher for information and book copy.

Nigella Christmas by Nigella Lawson

I don't even have this book yet, but I'm putting it here as part of my Christmas list! I think every book that Nigella has written is a must-have for anyone interested in cooking, from beginner to full-fledged chef. I have no doubt at all that this book is as wonderful as all of her others.


Nate @ House of Annie said...

Excellent list. I want that Nigella book. No, wait, I want Nigella to cook for me *from* that book! ;-)

I'm putting together a big list of foodie gift guides, and would like to include yours. May I?

Anne Coleman said...

Have at it, dears! Let me know when it's up - I can use some more ideas!

White Toast with Butter said...

I got the Nigella book last year - I ordered it from the UK - I love her and the book is FANTASTIC! HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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