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Holiday Gifts 2009

December 14, 2009
Celia Sin-Tien Cheng

We’ve really enjoyed putting together 2009’s holiday gift list. Each item represents a perfect work of artisan craftsmanship. Click on the name or image below to read more about each.

Small Things Savory

Adopt an Olive Tree

Cooking Tools

Pasta Sfoglia, The Silver Spoon: Pasta, Encyclopedia of Pasta

Handmade Chocolates


Happy Holidays!

Small Things Savory A. Allan Battman Batt

Small Things Sweet and Small Things Savory are Alan Batt’s seventh and eighth self-published books. Leafing through the pages of the latter, a cookbook that features hors d’oeuvres created by 120 of America’s leading chefs, I was mesmerized by the stunning photography. This is food porn at its best.

While cookbook photography... full article

Adopt an Olive Tree B. Nudo

Nudo is a family-run cooperative of olive groves dotted around a small hilltop village in the Marche region of Italy. Their olive tree adoption scheme now includes 2514 olive trees from a collaboration of nine small, artisanal olive producers. By adopting a tree, you can choose a specific olive variety, follow the progress of your tree... full article

Maplewear Cookware C. Littledeer

During a weekend trip to Montreal this fall, I packed in as many food-related activities as I could. I visited the Atwater and Jean-Talon markets, ate at Olive et Gourmando, Au Pied de Cochon and Toqué, and had a ball. One of the most memorable treats was visiting Les Touilleurs, a wonderfully well-curated kitchenware boutique in Mile... full article

Dandoy Biscuits D. The Sweet Palate

I love Dandoy’s famous speculoos — each biscuit encapsulates the taste of Christmas with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and anise. Dandoy is Belgium’s premiere biscuit house, and they’ve perfected their art over six generations (since 1829). Thin and crisp, these biscuits are delicate and delicious. Elegantly packaged, Dandoy’s... full article

Pasta Sfoglia E. Ron and Colleen Suhanosky

Sfoglia is one of my favorite Italian restaurants in New York City, so imagine my delight when owners Ron and Colleen Suhanosky came out with Pasta Sfoglia. The photos in the book will make you as hungry as the recipes.

The Silver Spoon: Pasta F. Phaidon Books

The Silver Spoon by Phaidon is a classic and now the same team has come out with The Silver Spoon: Pasta. The book presents 360 all-occasion pasta recipes for both the novice cook and the gourmet. It’s comprehensive, user-friendly and delicious!

Try one of the basic recipes for fresh pasta from the recipe box to the right.

The Encyclopedia of Pasta G. Oretta Zanini De Vita

The Encyclopeida of Pasta is what a foodie geek like me has always wanted. Food scholar Oretta Zanini De Vita traveled throughout Italy investigating the history of pasta. Each entry includes ingredients, names, how it’s served and notes. I’m so excited that now I can become knowledgeable about pastas I’ve never even heard of before.

Chocolates H. Kee's Chocolates

Kee Ling Tong’s seamless ganache flavors make her outstanding bonbons the consistent top winner in our Best Chocolates contest. Key lime, cherry cordial or crème brûlée, Kee’s Chocolates are like no other.

Banana Mousse I. Martine's Chocolates

Classic Martine’s Chocolates churns out dark, milk, and white chocolates, marzipan and more. Their latest fluffy banana mousse in dark chocolate couverture is another instant classic as delicious as the chocolate mousse. Though it looks like a truffle, the banana mousse is made of fresh cream, so if not eaten immediately, it should be... full article

Pig Candy J. Roni-Sue

Rhonda Kave’s signature Pig Candy, (dark and milk) chocolate covered bacon, at Roni-Sue is a real treat for those who love the contrast of savory and sweet and for hard-core bacon lovers.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bonbon K. Theo Chocolate

Joseph Whinney founded Theo Chocolate, producing premium organic and Fair Trade specialty chocolate. Theo’s bonbons are exquisite. Beautifully crafted to indicate the flavors inside with a dust of fennel pollen, crushed coffee, or burnt sugar, each bite exudes the freshness of the ingredients. The peanut butter and jelly... full article

Banana Split Truffles L. Coco-Luxe

Stephanie Marcon of Coco-luxe creates retro flavors reminiscent of the 50’s, such as devil’s food and malted milk. But the two most mind-blowing are the German chocolate and banana split truffles. These chocolates truly taste like those other desserts but packaged in a small, enticing bonbon.

Petits Fours M. Valerie Confections

Gift boxes from Valerie Confections make a statement. Valerie Gordon crafts chocolate-covered toffees, petits fours and confections. From their signature ivory and brown boxes to the sweets inside, Valerie speaks sophistication and high quality. You’ll swoon over the shocking perfection of their petits fours, the different flavors are white... full article

Passion Fruit Truffles N. B.T. McElrath

Passion fruit truffles are undoubtedly one of my favorite chocolates, and Brian McElrath’s take on them has the perfect consistency, flavor and texture. Even if you’re not a white chocolate fan, its presence in this bonbon is inconspicuous yet instrumental to the bonbon’s ultimate perfection. The white chocolate passion fruit... full article

Creamy Pecan Ganache O. Sucre

Part of Sucré’s signature New Orleans Collection, Magnolia is a creamy pecan ganache encased in dark chocolate and topped with a southern pecan half. Like hand in glove, the ganache pairs seamlessly with the earthy pecan. Without any lingering aftertaste, these magnolias go down so smooth. While I like variety, I wouldn’t mind a whole box of these!

Chocolates [CLOSED] P. Bespoke Chocolates

Newcomer Bespoke Chocolates just opened in February 2009, and Rachel Zoe Insler’s collection of precious truffles is conquering the City. The boutique and selection of chocolates is small but truly bespoke. The pretzel-covered sea-salted caramel is outstanding. The caramel is silky smooth, hand-rolled in a 66% cacao chocolate shell,... full article

Chocolate Bars Q. Rogue Chocolatier

Rogue Chocolatier’s chocolate bars are made with love. From the outstanding quality and taste of the chocolate to the simple beauty of the packaging, the 100% artisanal production is heartfelt.

Minneapolis based chocolatier Colin Gasko currently produces three 70% cacao single-origin chocolate bars: Sambirano (Madagascar), Hispaniola... full article