On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me… It’s December 1st tomorrow and it’s time to post our holiday gift guide! Some stores have had Christmas decorations for sale since the end of summer. So it’s time to start planning that Christmas gift for that foodie friend of yours, or if you are like some of us here at Fine Choice Foods, just buy it for yourself! We have 12 items on this holiday gift guide for you, aside, of course, from gifting Sum-m! products to your friends and family. They vary in price and some of these have actually been tested and are products that we own or our family and friends own and rave about.
Stainless Steel Soap
Walking through the dollar store or Daiso (a Japanese based discount store here in Richmond, BC), you will see these hanging on the rack in the home and kitchen section. This little piece of stainless steel works like magic when it comes to removing odor (as tested by one of our mothers). She now swears by it after handling fresh seafood, onion, or garlic. Simply wash your hand with cold water while rubbing this bar of stainless steel like it’s a bar of soap for about 30 seconds and you are good to go! This is an odor remover, so we do suggest scrubbing your hand with a bit of hand soap to remove any bacteria after. You can also get it here.
Pyrex Reindeer Food Container by Pyrex
We have all heard how plastic containers may contain BPA. To avoid having to read labels to make sure that containers are BPA free, why not switch to a non-toxic, glass storage system? Pyrex glass is also oven, microwave, fridge, and freezer safe. Their lids are PBA free and they have a 2 year limited warranty. Fine Choice Foods’ President reminds his staff to switch over to a glass container every time he sees a plastic one. So when we saw this reindeer edition by Pyrex, we had to put this on our Christmas list! This one is for you Charles! You can get one from Pyrex’s site here.
BUILT NY Insulated Neoprene Lunch Tote
Actually, BUILT NY has many different types of bags so you don’t have to stick with the Lunch Tote. Since it is made from neoprene, it expands and stretches to fit containers of any size. We also love that it insulates to keep what’s inside at just the right temperature. It’s also machine washable so there is no worry about spills and messes, just toss in the washing machine. And unlike those brown bags, they come in different colours and patterns. And every morning, you can pack your lunch, put it in a Pyrex container, and dress it up in a wetsuit! (Wetsuits are made of neoprene too). Have a look at what else they have to offer here.
Olive & Ciboulette’s Lobster Oil
Talk about adding a touch of elegance! For those who had the luck of visiting the Cannery Seafood Restaurant in Vancouver when it was still opened, you might remember your dinner bread being served with some lobster oil as a dipping oil or had the oil drizzled on top of a dish served there. If you’re hoping you can pay them a visit today, The Cannery has been closed since 2010. Lucky for us though, the Lobster oil lives on! Olive & Ciboulette is producing and bottling the lobster oil in Vancouver and it’s available at Edible Canada or on Olive & Ciboulette’s website here. We’ve even tried drizzling a bit of it when frying up some fried rice and it sure impressed a few family and friends!
This is something we think everyone should have, especially a foodie. It is also an item that fits most gifting budgets. There are ones you can pick up for under $10 that come with a handle and 1 single blade. Starfrit mandoline slicers are pretty affordable in the $20-$30 range and they usually come with a container and a safety guide to keep your food in place and hand away from the blade. You can find the Starfrit one here on Amazon. There’s something about evenly sliced veggies and fruit that makes food presentation that much more impressive!
Bubble Waffle Iron
For those who grew up in Hong Kong, we are familiar with sidewalk vendors cooking up some egg waffles, right outside of our primary school, waiting for students to get out of class. For those who grew up here in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, we know them as bubble waffles from the Richmond Night Markets in the summer, available in various flavors. Needless to say, we got excited when we saw Williams-Sonoma came out with their Nordic Ware Egg Waffle Pan! You can pick one up on Williams-Sonoma’s website here. Once it arrives, its bubble waffles all day – every day!
Portable Espresso Machines
While pour over drip coffee is all the hype right now, we want to share the portable espresso machine. Handpresso, a French company, created the portable espresso coffee machine that you can take anywhere. All you need to do is add hot water and hand pump to release the coffee into a cup. They also have a higher end model that plugs right into your power outlet in your car. Wacaco, a Hong Kong based company also makes a similar product. Check them both out. Handpresso here, and Wacaco here. This would make a great gift for your coffee enthusiast friends. You can now have espresso anytime you want, whether it is while hiking, camping, on the road, or on a boat!
While visiting this weekend’s Circle Craft, we came across this new product in the gourmet section. Abeego is a food wrap made of a piece of cotton that’s been infused in beeswax, organic jojoba oil, and tree resin. These materials are naturally anti-fungal, antiseptic and anti-bacterial, which create a protective wrapper that still allows the food to breath. It is also reusable! All you need to do is hand wash it in cold water and a bit of biodegradable, alcohol-free dish soap, dry it with a towel for immediate reuse or place it over a dish rank to dry. At the show, they showcased it as a cling wrap around a bowl of salad (and it clung to the bowl) and wrapping a piece of cheese. To our surprise, it’s clingier than some of the cling wraps we use at home! Learn more and give them a try here.
Mary Mary Handmade
If jewelry is something you are looking to gift, Mary Mary Handmade has 4 exclusive handmade necklaces in sterling silver, brass, or 14k gold for your favourite foodie over on Food52. There are 4 different kitchen accessory charms available. A whisk for those who love eggs. A set of measuring spoons for those who love to bake. A coffee bean for those who love coffee. A cast iron fry pan for those who love their Sum-m! Gyozas perhaps? Check out these whimsical necklaces here.
Dirty Apron Cooking Class
Most Lower Mainland foodies have heard of The Dirty Apron – Cooking School & Delicatessen. Located in Downtown Vancouver, Dirty Apron is a great place for everyone who would like to learn and find their inner chef. Their classes are 4 hours long, themed, and super hands on. In January 2016, they have classes that focus on seafood, meat, Thai cuisine, comfort food, Italian food and classes for couples! The average price is $158 per person and you learn to make a few courses per class. If you don’t know what classes to gift, there are gift certificates available for you to pick up. If you are a foodie yourself, this would be a great present for yourself! Have a look at all the classes available here.
Instagram Photo Magnets
Almost every foodie has an Instagram account! We do! Are you following us @fcfsumm? The amount of work that goes into perfecting the shot, we think should be shared with the world, and not just on those who follow you on Instagram. Sticky9.com allows you to do just that. You can turn your images into 10cm x 10cm magnets for you to put up on your fridge, your filing cabinet at work, and maybe even the back of your car? And guess what, they sell gift certificates! So you can gift a magnet package to your favourite foodie! There are a lot more than magnets too. Head on over to sticky9.com to see what else you can gift!
A gift that keeps on giving throughout the year! We say this because gifting someone a magazine subscription means they will get the magazine in the mail monthly (some publications only do 10 months a year). There are a few great ones out there like Bon Appétite ($2.88/month), Food Network Magazine ($2.50/month), Food & Wine Magazine ($2.50/month), Saveur ($2.88/month), and Organic Life ($2.77/month). The only tip is, if your recipient already subscribes to a magazine, it’s probably best to make sure you don’t send them the same one. Have a look at Rogers Magazine Service for the whole collection under Cooking & Foods here.