Sunday, December 27, 2009

Gifts for the foodies (and for yourself!)

Just before New Year's Eve celebrations, you had a last-minute invitation to the most amazing party of the decade and you are stuck with your gift list. Lost between too many options and even more social obligations, you don't know if you will go for the classy Chardonnet or you will be somehow different. Because it's a party at the Eve of the last day of the year, everybody loves food and drinks. So if you stick to the list below, you are safe. My advice: keep the items you like for yourself or buy two of each!

Coffee is a classic gift for the hostess. This pack of Dean & Deluca was discovered on a corner of the Hacienda Esmeralda farm in Boquete, Panama. The incredible floral fragrance is followed by an intense citrus note and a deeply sweet, honey-like flavor. The price is a fierce $60 per pack, available at Dean Deluca.

One of the most innovative items of 2009 was the portable espresso machine, courtesy of mypressi. The TWIST's unique pneumatic engine also ensures you can enjoy incredible coffee even where there is no external power. The only thing to do is to add hot water. Brilliant items do not come cheap so expect to pay $169 which is nothing for a permanent enjoyment of coffee.

This Armani jam is rather pricey (between $25 to $30 a jar) but it is almost certain that you will impress everyone, including yourself. Find it at the Armany store, 717 Fifth Avenue (56th Street) if you are NYC based. If not, buy a gourmet jam with less...

Impress your friends or the hostess with a customized photo on Jones soda. Jones soda allows you to put your photo in front of any soda bottle. All you have to do is to upload the picture of your choice at their website Follow the steps, add it on and then proceed to the checkout with your sodas. Make sure the picture is not an embarrassing scene between you and your dog or the ugly naked guy across the street!

Everything is better with bacon. Peanuts are no exception together with maple syrup and some spices. One of the best snack foods of 2009, first discovered at the New Amsterdam Market in September. Buy it from their website:

"Only 9 out 10 like chocolate. The 10th lies". So, you get the message. This year the trend is spicy, with chillies or pepper bars found online like the Vosques Oaxaca exotic bar, a combination of guajillo & pasilla chillies and 75% Tanzanian bittersweet chocolate ($7.50). Or try Christopher Michael's Aztec Spiced Dark Chocolate Bar, 61% Dark Venezuelan chocolate blended with chillies and cinnamon ($6). But for an up for grabs gift, those miniature tablets with designs of Brooklyn based stencil artist, Ed Roth of Stencil1, from the Chocolate Bar, will impress. At 1 ¾" each, those small bites of pleasure are excellent for snacking!

Alcohol is a dear friend to all women and (most) men. The newly launched in the market Skinny Girl Margarita will add a new element to the margarita nights. With only 100 calories per service, this clever product idea will help you forget that you actually added 500 calories more with the chips and salsa in front of you. I am sure your friend will appreciate the gift so go for it! (Guys, this is also for you too! Admit it, you secretively like margaritas, don't you?). Check the website for stores and price:

Champagne! This is the must-have for the upcoming New Year’s celebrations so if you crave for uniqueness, go for the cute, small bottle of Nicolas Feuillatte One fo(u)r fun. Available in Brut (the blue bottle) and Rose (the pink bottle). Click here for online purchases and store locations:



Whats Cookin Italian Style Cuisine said...

Great idea's and wonderful pictures!