Hi! I'm Alison.

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A Foodie's Gift Guide

A Foodie's Gift Guide

A Foodie's Gift Guide via Food by Mars

Let me not be too cliche and start off this post talking about how I can't believe it's Holiday shopping time right now... but guys, I CANNOT BELIEVE IT'S HOLIDAY SHOPPING TIME RIGHT NOW. With that, I've curated a list of amazing foodie gifts that your food-loving friends and probably you too... will LOVE.

There is a good mix of both small-business' products that I've been so lucky to have recently discovered from a few different Holiday Markets around NYC, as well as some tried and true big name brands. All are shoppable online, and I've done the taste and product testing for you - this is good stuff.

As always, some homemade goodies strait from your kitchen made with your own two hands is a great idea and usually budget friendly... so I've included some links to inspire the homemade route too! 

Merry almost everything! And remember it's all about enjoying who you're with, laughing lots, and sitting around some delicious food. Gifts are merely the sprinkles on that cake!


LITTLE LUXURIES

Good things come in small packages! These small business finds are hand-crafted for your artisinal-loving friends.

Amagansett Sea Salt Co. - From Long Island, New York - Amagansett Sea Salt is truly unique going above and beyond your average sea salt... they have blends including: herbs de Provence (don't get me started), lemon zest and truffle oil but that's just the beginning... they have MERLOT AND ROSE WINE flavors too! I sampled all of these flavors at the NYC Food and Wine Festival last year and had to physically remove myself from the table, it was that good. Bonus - they have gift packs so you don't have to only pick one... and they come with a teensy little sea salt spoon!

Spoonable - Strait from Brooklyn, these little jars of heaven (aka Caramel) will take any dessert from good to HOLY COW, WHAT IS IN MY MOUTH good. "Sampling" these and looking classy was quite difficult as I was pretty weak in the knees for how delicious all the flavors are. They're all amazing, but hi... the Lavender? The lavender is everything. Also the Buttery Apple Pecan will knock you on your butt. This is for your friend with a sweet tooth and your friend who hasn't discovered their sweet tooth yet - it just works both ways. And of course... the sampler gift pack is where it's at.

Bee Raw - After a sampling at ABC Market, I stumbled upon this brand. I personally love honey and each of these have their own story. Unique flowers and flavors as well as origins. The founder and company has a great purpose and is dedicated to spreading the word on saving endangered bees as well as supporting artisinal beekeepers and farmers. That's a purchase I can feel good about for multiple reasons, win-win!

Demetria Chappo Ceramics - Deme is a total sweetheart who I was also lucky enough to meet and spend some time with. She is mega-talented and super dedicated to her craft, she even teaches sculpting classes to children in various NYC schools. She's known for her spirit eye ceramics that are just gorgeous, I own quite a few of her stunning spirt eye items: a jewelry holder and two amazing mugs, though it's hard to not buy everything. She has much more on her website.

Milk & Honey Luxuries - Found on Etsy and followed on Instagram, these beautifully engraved kitchen essentials are the perfect accent to any table or countertop. I love the pre-made ones and you can customize as well. Who doesn't love a personalized spoon?!

Taproot Organics - While not technically food (although there is an awful lot of coconut oil used...) Taproot's face masks, deodorants, soaps, lotions, and more are all simply wonderful. They frequent the LIC Flea which I do love shopping at and the owner is extremely dedicated to his products. He makes them all himself and knows each product and ingredient like the back of his hand. All natural, organic and sustainable top-notch materials and ingredients are used. I can personally recommend the face mask shown (it's dry and you mix it with water), any soap especially the french lavender and honey, and the Joint therapy- if you have anyone with ailments such as arthritis, carpel tunnel, etc. - it does wonders. The lotions are also divine. 

Also, I recently went to the Renegade Craft Fair... which if it is ever in your town- you must drop whatever you're doing and go. It is a fun day! Top talent is there by the boat-loads with unique hand-made: jewelry, ceramics, clothing, candles, and other homeware, and so much more. I'm listing all the favorite vendors I got to meet here. 

Houseware:

  • Jessie Lazar Ceramics - stunning bowls, mugs, tea pots and more! 
  • Cor Pottery - gold dipped mugs? THEY GOT 'EM. And much more.
  • Margins Imprints - lovely astro-inspired prints to decorate your walls with.
  • Corbe Company - porcelain heaven... and in shapes of your favorite state, too.
  • Sam Nichols Pottery - more amazing pottery... simplistic and delicate.
  • Borough Makers - for an eclectic mix of local artisan products, this one-stop shop has it all in the heart to Brooklyn
  • TAPA (kaendl) - these candles and their scents... I had to get my nose out of them - amazing!

Jewelry:

  • Aster & Antics - beautiful unique brass hand-made jewelry - great for layering too.
  • Butch and Miggs - unique jewelry inspired by the moon, you know I am obsessed.
  • Morgan Reed - lovely, simple well-made jewelry.. their evil eye ring is my fave!
  • Abacus Row - dainy, detailed and refined...

Food:

  • Woodward Extract - deeeee-lish mulled cider kits with vanilla and bourbon, such a great idea for a gift!
  • Lakeside Maple - I housed their ginger chai trail mix in a matter of days, so flavorful!

LIFE-CHANGING KITCHEN TOOLS & APPLIANCES

Work smarter, not harder.

Warning: You may not end up giving these away after purchasing them. You may want to order two just to be safe. You're welcome.

Ninja Blender with Auto IQ - This. Does. It. All. - OK, let me take a step back. I went to the Blogher conference this year and met with a ton of awesome brands, Ninja being one of them. They were handing out green smoothies left and right which obviously got my attention right away. Then I inquired on how it works and what made it special... cut to me wanting my own immediately. The Auto IQ blending is so helpful, I mean, I cannot do it all - I'm one person. This Auto IQ button stops when it's done, so you don't need to sit there pulsing for an hour. THANKS, NINJA! I've made smoothies, gazpachos, nut crusts, my own almond and oat flours, minced garlic... so on and so forth. Thanks to this invention, I got to throw away my old hideous blender and my food processor. I also love that I can get more nutrients out of my smoothies by not wasting anything by throwing away pulp.. you just chop up your fruits and veggies and VOILA. So needless to say, this replaced my old school juicer that took up A TON of room in my pantry as well. I'd highly recommend this baby to the versatile, efficient cook who loves smoothies and hates their blender.  

All-Clad NS1 Nonstick Pans - I do not feature brands on my blog that I don't personally love and use, and I'm picky. I believe while it's important to save money, part of that means knowing when to INVEST in good quality items you use. So if it's something you're cooking with and eating off of, make sure it's good. You're ingesting it. All Clad has been a joy to cook with, I have their stainless steel pots and pan set which is a strong foundation for any kitchen. For an additional non-stick option, they've come out with their new NS1 line that is PFOA-free and much safer than a teflon non-stick. This skillet is easy to use, easy to clean and requires less oil when cooking. It's large shape is perfect for stir fries, frittatas, and so much more. This would be an excellent gift for cooks who make dinner every night and need it done in a snap for easy cooking and easy cleaning!

Bialetti Stainless Steel Moka PotOh my dear, how my weekend mornings have been upgraded with this little thing. Espresso makers (good ones) ARE PRICEY! But you do not need to spend a ton on fancy ones, making a delicious cup of espresso is actually quite simple. This is for the coffee lover who loves European style espresso.. and has a stovetop. That's it. And getting a stainless steel one instead of the traditional aluminum means it will last longer and is a healthier choice.

Milk Frother - Kick things up a notch for your coffees, teas, hot cocoas - you name it. Frothed soy milk on any of those drinks will instantly make you an at-home barista, pair this with the moka pot above for some killer cappuccinos! 

Paderno Vegetable Spiralizer - OK. If you have not gotten on this bandwagon, first buy yourself one and then one for your healthy eating friend or family member who needs this in their life (hint: that's anyone who doesn't already have one). The price is right and it's the most fun you can have in your kitchen cooking with squash, potatoes, beets or anything else you decide to try out! Print out this recipe and give it to them with their gift! This cookbook is also full of fun recipes to try out.


GIFT SETS

Already done for you... because you have holiday menus to plan.

TryTheWorld.com: For the traveling foodie who is constantly scouring for hidden gems and ethnic ingredients they can barely pronounce, but of course know how to cook... This site has adorable custom gift sets based on the country of choice. Buy one or a monthly subscription!

Ceremonial Grade Matcha Gift Set: For your friend who loves tea time and loves matcha lattes!  (add affiliate tracking)

Mouth.com: Every kind of food basket combo you can think of? That's the description of this one!


Flourless Chocolate-Hazelnut Cookies via Food by Mars (gluten-free)

HOMEMADE GIFTS

If you wake up on the Martha Stewart side of the bed one day...

COOKIES! Last year I participated in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap which was a blast, and while I was too strapped for time to do it this year... my cookie recipe shall live on. All my Nutella-loving friends will be getting a batch of these Flourless Chocolate-Hazelnut Cookies...

More Crafty Links to LOVE:

Homemade Vanilla Extract by Tasty Yummies

DIY Linen Spray by Style Me Pretty

DIY Hand Cream by HeartBeet Kitchen


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Hope you enjoy!
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Use #foodbymars to tag your FBM inspired creations! I'd love to see!

**Alison
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Squash Ravioli w/ Kale Pesto & Pine Nuts (gluten-free, grain-free, vegan)

Squash Ravioli w/ Kale Pesto & Pine Nuts (gluten-free, grain-free, vegan)

Cauliflower Squash Bisque (vegan & gluten-free)

Cauliflower Squash Bisque (vegan & gluten-free)