Gift giving can be tough stuff. And between presents for family, friends, teachers, and gracious holiday party hosts and hostesses, it can also take a bite out of your budget.
These seven ideas are here to help. They’re all perfect for people in your life who love good food. All but one are things I own or that have been gifted (and much loved) by me. Even better, most of them are under $20.
1. Spice Grater
A few years ago, a friend gave me this Microplane Classic Spice Grater and some fresh nutmeg. I’d never ground my own nutmeg, and I loved how fresh it tasted–plus I found a bunch of other uses for the microplane too, like grating hard cheeses and zesting citrus. You can also use it for grating fresh cinnamon, garlic, and ginger.
2. Milk Frother
I bought myself this Aerolatte Milk Frother after using it at a friend’s house. I love how it makes at-home drinks feel coffee-shop special. I’m not a coffee drinker, but I love making Vanilla Steamers with milk, vanilla, honey, and almond flavoring (get my recipe for Copycat Starbucks Vanilla Steamer).
3. Homemade Vanilla Sugar
Speaking of vanilla, I made these little jars of Vanilla Sugar for some friends this year, using Alton Brown’s simple recipe. I picked up the glass canisters at World Market and the vanilla beans through Amazon (get a batch of 10 beans here).
4. Homemade Everlasting Vanilla
A friend gave me this for Christmas last year and I’ve loved using it. So I decided to make some for gifts too. Here’s how: Make a slit lengthwise in two vanilla beans. Place them in a jar, fill with 4-6 ounces vodka, brandy, or light rum, seal, and allow to sit for at least six weeks (preferably more). As the bottle runs low, just top it off with the alcohol of your choice. (I purchased the bottles through Specialty Bottle.)
5. Spice Box Subscription
This is the perfect gift for a foodie friend who has everything! Raw Spice Bar is a spice subscription service. Each month you get 3-4 spice blends, developed with the help of chefs and emphasizing spices from around the world, plus recipes and tips. Each box is $6 and you can choose between a 3-, 6-, or 12-month subscription. Subscribe here.
6. Food Box Subscription
Green BEAN Delivery service brings organic produce and natural groceries–grown and produced locally when possible–to your door. The service is currently for customers in parts of Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Missouri. I reviewed it earlier this year (read “I Tried It: Produce Delivery Service“) and have ordered bi-weekly deliveries ever since. I like that you can customize your bin for each order and that membership is flexible (you can suspend deliveries or cancel anytime). Green BEAN offers gift cards in varying amounts (a produce bin starts at $35). Order here.
7. Help With Dinner
Got someone in need of dinnertime solutions? If they don’t have my book Cooking Light Dinnertime Survival Guide: Feed Your Family. Save Your Sanity., they should!
For more ideas, check out my list of 5 Last-Minute Holiday Food Gifts.
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