Christmas

Foodzie describes their Tasting Box program as “serendipity delivered to your doorstep” and I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been participating in their monthly program since November and it’s incredibly exciting to receive the email which alerts you to the shipment of your special box full of fabulous treats.

This month’s package was carefully packed with delicious samples from the following mouth watering vendors:

Madagascar Single Origin Chocolates
Gary West Jerky
Effie’s Homemade Oatcakes
(which deserves a special shout-out as they’re based in Hyde Park, Massachusetts)
Granola from Flour Craft Bakery

A large selection of salt samples from The Spice Lab
A Square One Brownie from Chocolate Gourmet
Amella’s Cocoa Butter Passion Fruit Caramels

The tasting program is only $19.99 each month for individuals, or you can sign up in increments of 3, 6, or 12 months. The tasting box can also be gifted to friends and family so if you’re still looking for a unique present to buy for that person who simply has everything I’d highly recommend checking out this service.

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This fanciful kitchen towel from Sur la Table would be the perfect addition to your favorite foodie’s holiday kitchen.

The re-imagining  of the traditional 12 Days of Christmas lyrics into food terms is quite clever and is presented as follows: A Partridge in a Pear Sauce, Two Turtle Soups, Three French Chefs, Four Cooking Blogs, Five Golden Wings, Six Subtle Sauces, Seven Sticks of Butter, Eight Artisanal Cheeses, Nine Ladies Cooking, Ten Wine Stewards Leaping, Eleven Pastry Chefs Piping, Twelve Lobsters a-Lunging.

On a personal note I’m especially partial to the “four cooking blogs” line.

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Eureka! I’ve found it at last! Egg Nog Bubblegum: the perfect stocking stuffer. I’m an egg nog fiend this time of year, and since those delicious Egg Nog lattes only last so long during the long work day wouldn’t it be nice if you could pop a cute little gum ball in your mouth and enjoy some instant holiday cheer without having to bundle up and walk down the street to your favorite coffee shop? You better believe it!

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Starbucks Candy Cane Cold CupWhat would the holiday season be without some new Starbucks drinkware? Traditionally, holidays means the hot beverage Red Mug. We’ve covered Holiday-themed Starbucks Mugs in the past. This year, Starbucks takes the heat out of the equation by offering a Cold Cup!

The Starbucks Candy Cane Cold Cup Tumbler (Venti shown – $14.95, also available in Grande) is a must have for the Starbucks enthusiast. For the times that you just don’t want a hot beverage, this double-walled cup keeps your drink cold and your hand warm while the signature candy cane straw keeps you in the holiday spirit. An optional dome lid allows you to top it off with whipped cream.

Want a gift set that includes extra straws and the dome lid? Just like the straws? Those and more are also available on the Starbucks Seasonal Gifts page.

Hershey's Kisses Candy Cane

Oh God, these are gooood! That’s exactly what I said moments after biting into a limited-edition, red-and-white striped, Hershey’s Candy Cane Kiss. It must be true what they say, that good things come in small packages, because these scrumptious mints in classic kiss shapes are positively divine. Flavored with mint and swirled with attractive red ribbons, candy cane kisses—which are made from a creamy fondant—melt in your mouth, but include sprinklings of tiny, red nonpareils to add a satisfying crunch. I passed these around the workplace and the vote was unanimous: Hershey must’ve figured out how to put invisible halos of mistletoe over our heads, because none of us could get enough of these Christmas-themed kisses!

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Holiday Peppermint Striped Kitty CrackersMeowy Christmas! Beloved San Francisco-based pet boutique, George (featured in magazines like Metropolitan Home, House & Garden, Instyle, and Lucky) takes the traditional British Christmas cracker and gives it a twist with these adorable Holiday Peppermint Striped Kitty Krackers, made specially for your favorite feline. Fashioned into tantalizing sausage-like shapes, these festive toys with their jaunty striped fabric are stuffed with organically grown catnip that’s sure to make kitty’s pawlidays merry and bright. Available in both kitten and tomcat sizes, Holiday Peppermint Striped Kitty Krackers make a purrrrrfect gift for sassy cats.

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Snowman Wine Bottle HolderMove over Frosty, there’s a new snowman in town. For what he lacks in a corncob pipe and a button nose, this sculptural snowman more than makes up for it with a unique, whimsical design and practical purpose. Created by artist, Guenter Scholz, The Snowman Wine Bottle Holder is a wine bottle caddy with character. Individually handcrafted and welded from recycled steel and copper, this stylish snowman holds one standard wine bottle and would be an excellent gift for the art enthusiast on your list. As an added bonus, when winter chill gives way to spring, this snowman won’t melt; he’ll simply get tucked into the cupboard for safe-keeping until it’s time to remerge, inspiring holiday cheer for another celebratory season.

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Nigella ChristmasI have a serious girl crush on Nigella Lawson. I adore the tone of her cookbooks and the devil-may-care manner in which she prepares food on her numerous gorgeously styled television programs. Nigella’s cookbooks always present entertaining in such an approachable and anxiety-free way that I’m repeatedly convinced I can host a fabulous dinner party without having a meltdown. I’ve yet to accomplish this feat though. I always have at least one hissy fit at some point before a big party, but a girl can still hope, right?

Nigella Christmas, Lawson’s latest gorgeous volume of recipes, was recently released and I simply can’t put it down. I’ve flipped through the festive pages numerous times over the past weeks and changed my mind about which dishes I hope to prepare for our Christmas dinner on countless occasions. Presently I have my eye on a Tiramisu Layer Cake, a sticky looking Gingerbread, and a decadent Clementine based chutney. Obviously I need to find some sort of protein and vegetables to serve between this array of sweets but I’m certain Nigella has my back.

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Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff MintBow WOW! Impress your pooch this Christmas with the gift of an Orbee-Tuff Mint dog toy. This toy is buoyant, bouncy, and durable—great for dogs who like to gnaw! The pleasant minty scent, non-toxic construction, and dishwasher safe materials make the peppermint dog toy a win for doggie mommas and daddies as well. Best of all, this product is made in the USA by a socially responsible, values-based designer who creates long lasting toys “made for dogs, by dog lovers.”  For the lucky recipient of this adorable dog toy, the howlidays will be happy indeed.

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Recycled Coffee/Tea Sack StockingCoffee, tea, or a stocking for me? Interesting and eco-friendly, the Recycled Coffee/Tea Sack Stocking appeals to foodie sensibilities while being socially responsible. Handmade in Guatemala, these striking stockings are crafted from sturdy recycled burlap bags and are a shining example of sustainable design at its best. With only 2.5 weeks until you hang your stocking by the chimney with care, consider the beauty of burlap. Tis the season to help save the world—stuff this recycled sock with fair trade coffees, chocolates, and soaps and you’ll be giving a gift—not only to your intended recipient—but to third-world artisans who receive vital income.

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