Relish Holiday Gift Guide 2012

November 26, 2012

From food to gadgets to fashion, here are our top picks for the holidays

Seattle Chocolates Holiday Chocolate BarsAspen Bay Season CandlesKitchen Sticky Notes: Helpful Notes for the Home CookWilliams-Sonoma Smart Tools for iPadPampered Chef Cookie ScoopsThe Entertain Apron by Valerie RiceOXO 3 Piece Angled Measuring Cup SetWilliams-Sonoma Vertical GardensArchipelago Elder and Olive Dish SoapWusthof Classic Serrated ChopperNudo Grow an Olive Tree and Adopt One Too Gift BoxNinja Cooking SystemBedol H2O Water ClockPiggy Popcorn from the Loveless CafeAnolon 12-inch Covered Ultimate PanBeatriz Ball Cake PedestalMicroplane Elite Series GratersLet's Make Some Great Placemat ArtEmile Henry Ruffled Baking DishHoney Ridge Farms Balsamic Honey VinegarVonny Pie CarrierDreamfarm TeafuPeugeot Nutmeg GrinderCuisinart Pure Indulgence Frozen Yogurt-Sorbet & Ice Cream MakerU Konserve Insulated Lunch ToteSprout Eco-Friendly Watches
Give your sweetie something to satisfy his or her incorrigible sweet tooth this season. We are particular fans of Seattle Chocolates 5-bar gift box. It's the perfect size for slipping in a socking, or sneaking under the tree and each bar takes a cue from a key holiday flavor, such as Christmas cookie, buttered rum and candy cane. And the retro 1950s inspired packaging? Too adorable for words.
Approx. Price: $20
Purchase: Holiday 5-Bar Gift Box
Whether there's food in the oven or not, we all want our kitchens to smell delectable. So here's a gift for the scent-sensitive chef to constantly keep good aromas in the air. The Seasons Collection from Aspen Bay Candles is perfectly festive for the holidays with scents varying from spice to juniper twig. And these candles, designed to last for 85+ hours, are made with an all-natural soy wax blend that absorbs more fragrance oil than any other natural candle wax.
Approx. Price: $30
Purchase: Seasons Signature Jar
If you have a friend who is a list-making type-A organizer, or you're encouraging a friend to become one, this portfolio of sticky notes is a thoughtful and useful buy. The collection opens like a book and contains 21 sticky notepads that are designed to help in everything from marking favorite (and least favorite) recipes to making shopping lists and writing down purposed menus. The pastel color palate resembles fine stationary and will ensure stylish kitchens don't reject the idea of being "stickied" up.
Approx. Price: $12
Purchase: Kitchen Sticky Notes: Helpful Notes for the Home Cook
It's likely someone on your list is desperately wishing for an iPad. Conspire with Kris Kringle to take the techie gift one step further with these smart gadgets from Williams-Sonoma. Sleek, sturdy and state of the art, this set is made up of a rechargeable Bluetooth Speaker, a no-slip kitchen stand and a clip-on screen shield. The accessories allow those who practically live in the kitchen, to comfortably have recipes at their messy fingertips while video chatting with those they love or listening holiday tunes.
Approx. Price: $215
Purchase: Williams-Sonoma Smart Tools for iPad Set
A potential stocking stuffer that we hope finds it way to the kitchen before holiday cookie baking begins is this easy-to-use cookie scoop by The Pampered Chef. Available in three sizes, the scoop eliminates the need for the messy spoon and finger technique and produces attractive and identical cookies for even baking.
Approx. Price: $12-$18
Purchase: Large Cookie Scoop
Although it's made to withstand splatterings of sauce, grubby hands and involuntary spills, we have a sneaking suspicion you'll want to keep this apron crisp and clean. Designed by popular blogger and chic-extraordinaire, Valerie Rice, the Entertain Apron is a wonderful gift for a holiday hostess. The apron is perfect for popping on once heavy-duty cooking is done and guests begin to arrive, and it's just the right length for showing off a holiday outfit.
Approx. Price: $39
Purchase: The Entertain Apron
Good measuring cups are indispensable in the kitchen and make a fun gifts for budding bakers. While there are plenty of cutesy cups out in the marketplace, we are fans of functionality and absolutely love Oxo's 1, 2 and 4 cup set because of the cups' ingenious angled design. With these, you can look down into the cup and see the measurements written on a diagonal lip. They make measuring liquids a dream.
Approx. Price: $20
Purchase: 3 Piece Angled Measuring Cup Set
We were instantly taken by this creative, artistic and innovative way to keep fresh herbs in the kitchen year round. Those cooped up gardeners-at-heart without a yard or space for a window box, will be especially thrilled with the vertical garden. The 10 planting cells are easily watered through an irrigation system at the top of the chalkboard frame. Write the herb names in chalk next to each cell for identification and to make the cutesy planter as attractive as it is functional.
Approx. Price: $130
Purchase: Chalkboard Wall Planter
Dishpan hands are one of the unfortunate consequences of a lifetime in the kitchen. So for those who constantly have their hands in the sink, this pampering set of soaps by Archipelago will be a much welcomed relief. The gift set includes a cleansing dish soap that's tough on grime but tender on hands, a matching hand soap, and a protective hand balm. The Elder and Olive scent is fabulous—it's not to strong and has a crisp and clean scent that lingers for just the right amount of time.
Approx. Price: $55
Purchase: Archipelago Elder and Olive Dish Soap
Over the years we've found the following to be true: Guys live for good knives. The sharper and flashier the better, of course. So when we saw the Wusthof Classic Serrated Chopper we knew we'd found a Christmas-morning pleaser. Complete with a scalloped blade forged from high-carbon steel, the knife will cut cleanly through all types of foods—making it extremely versatile in the kitchen.
Approx. Price: $125
Purchase: Classic Chopper Serrated Chopper
If you're shopping for a foodie who loves to travel, give him or her a piece of the Italian countryside—literally. With Nudo, you can give adoption papers to an Italian olive tree and your friend will reap the benefits this coming April with 3 x 500ml of first cold pressed extra virgin olive oil produced from the olives on the tree. Until then, he or she will enjoy a tin of olive oil from the orchard and be able to nurture a baby tree included in the kit. Best part? There's an open invitation to visit the tree in Italy.
Approx. Price: $125
Purchase: Grow an Olive Tree and Adopt One Too Gift Box
Is it a slow cooker? A roaster? Well, it's both—and a whole lot more. The Ninja cooking system has so many bells and whistles it's hard to sum up. If using as a traditional slow cooker, there is no need to brown your meat on the stove beforehand. You are able to sear meats and do other prep work, like caramelizing and sautéing veggies, right in the nonstick Ninja pot before flipping on the slow cooker setting. There is even the option to use the Ninja as a steam oven, allowing you to, believe it or not, make a cake. We think the appliance is a fantastic gift well worth the price tag, especially for those without an oven or spacious kitchen.
Approx. Price: $200
Purchase: Ninja Cooking System
No batteries are included with this clock—but that's because it doesn't need them. It runs solely on, you guessed it, water. We love this crazy time keeper because it's environmentally friendly and kids will love it because it seems to work like magic. Keep in the kitchen to never lose track of time while using an oven's timer, and whenever the water's low, just refill with fresh tap water.
Approx. Price: $25
Purchase: Bedol Water Clock
Be still our hearts. This gourmet popcorn from the famous Loveless Cafe in Nashville, Tn. is popped in bacon renderings, coated in a caramel of real butter, brown sugar and pancake syrup and then studded with smoked bacon bits. Sound sinfully good? It is—and a wonderful and affordable gift for any bacon-lover with a penchant for finger-lickin' good treats.
Approx. Price: $7
Purchase: Piggy Popcorn
Everyone needs that one pan that can do everything—and it's a bonus when it doesn't break the bank. The 12-Inch Covered Ultimate pan from Anolon is attractive, sturdy and has a nonstick coating which makes sautéing, among other cooking activities, a breeze. Though it features a slightly cushioned handle, the pan is oven safe up to 400F. Get it for the new cook, recent grad or newlywed who needs a centerpiece for his or her budding cookware collection.
Approx. Price: $50
Purchase: Anolon 12 Inch Covered Ultimate Pan
A cake pedestal is one of those essential serving items that people need, but don't realize how much until they have one of their own. And because an occasion is oftentimes the cause for a cake, we think the pedestal should be equally special. We love the artsy flair of this handmade aluminum stand by Beatriz Ball, it's perfectly quirky while still being wonderfully sophisticated.
Approx. Price: $150
Purchase: Beatriz Ball Organic Pearl Pedestal
A "grate" stocking stuffer, the Elite Series Graters improve on Microplane's kitchen classics. Each grater comes with a transparent protective cover that can be easily flipped and then used to catch and measure ingredients. The best part is the series looks (and is) super sharp with it's stainless steel blades, frames, and comfortable soft-grip handles.
Approx. Price: $17
Purchase: Microplane Elite Series Paddle Graters
Keeping kids occupied before and during mealtime can be a bit of struggle. Instead of flicking on the TV, these tear-out placemats will have them entertained and thinking creatively. Written and illustrated by whimsical artist Marion Deuchars, a variety of "mats" are included in the book. Some encourage kids to do draw their own meals, others teach about the importance of portion size and then there are those that are pure fun, having kids draw dreams, birds or even Mona Lisa's smile. A great gift for a mom who doesn't have enough hands.
Approx. Price: $12
Purchase: Let's Make Some Great Placemat Art
It's hard to mention Emile Henry without hearing "oohs" and "ahhs" from cookware collectors. France's renowned brand makes some of the highest quality ceramic goods on the market. Our eyes were drawn to their red ruffled rectangular baking dish. We suggest gifting to a holiday host before the big day—paired with a subtle comment on how fabulous it will look Christmas morning filled to the brim with an egg casserole.
Approx. Price: $50
Purchase: Red Ruffled Rectangular Baking Dish
Honey and balsamic may not sound like the most natural pairing, but the bee-keepers at Honey Ridge Farms have concocted a balsamic honey vinegar so heavenly we can't get enough of it. A fitting gift for those who enjoy a touch of sweetness in their dressings, this vinegar has a lovely mellow taste that is fantastic drizzled over salads or mixed in marinades for poultry or meats.
Approx. Price: $12
Purchase: Balsamic Honey Vinegar
Transporting a pie so it arrives at a holiday party in perfect condition is no easy task. Doing it fashionably? Even more difficult. This adorable pie carrier from Vonny Los Angeles is the stylish solution for avid bakers, pot-luckers and picnickers. Just cover the pie with foil or Seran wrap and pop it in the insulated carrier for a simple delivery.
Approx. Price: $64
Purchase: Pie Carrier
Shopping for a tea lover? Here's an infuser that's cute, quirky and sure to make anyone who uses loose-leaf tea very happy. The Teafu snaps open and close easily and unlike other infusers, there is the option to squeeze the handle so the pouch will compress resulting in a faster brew. Available in 6 bright colors, pick the one that fits the receivers personality best.
Approx. Price: $15
Purchase: Teafu
Freshly ground spices can make all the difference in a dish, and for someone who is always garnishing French meals or other recipes that contain nutmeg, a nutmeg grinder may be just the gift you're looking for. This one by Peugeot comes complete with about 6 whole nutmegs—we think enough to effectively last a lifetime. The shaving mechanism is made from treated stainless steel and grinds fine to medium sized flakes.
Approx. Price: $50
Purchase: Nutmeg Grinder
Cuisinart has a stronghold on state-of-the-art ice-cream makers—and for good reason. The company offers four models ranging from $60-$300 and their machines are oftentimes the ones used in trendy small-batch ice-cream shops. Their Pure Indulgence maker is our pick for gifting. It can churn 2 quarts of homemade ice cream in just 20 minutes and has just one switch to flip, making it incredibly simple to use.
Approx. Price: $90
Purchase: Pure Indulgence 2 Qt. Frozen Yogurt-Sorbet and Ice Cream Maker
It's hard to come by stylish lunch totes for adults these days. If you have noticed a co-worker who is in desperate need of a new carrier, he or she would be undoubtedly thrilled to receive this bright and modern tote from U Konserve. A responsible purchase, this bag is made entirely from recycled plastic bottles making it more environmentally friendly than most.
Approx. Price: $30
Purchase: Insulated Lunch Tote
For the foodie that has everything, sometimes you have to get creative and think outside kitchen utensils and appliances. An eco-friendly watch may be just the thing. Made from corn resin, Sprout makes watches for both kids and adults. Some models boast boldly bright colors while others feature subdued earthy tones. No matter which style you think would suit your recipient best, we dig the idea of utilizing food in fashion. Plus, a watch always has a place in the kitchen for timing recipes.
Approx. Price: $30-$80
Purchase: Eco-friendly watches
Give your sweetie something to satisfy his or her incorrigible sweet tooth this season. We are particular fans of Seattle Chocolates 5-bar gift box. It's the perfect size for slipping in a socking, or sneaking under the tree and each bar takes a cue from a key holiday flavor, such as Christmas cookie, buttered rum and candy cane. And the retro 1950s inspired packaging? Too adorable for words.
Approx. Price: $20
Purchase: Holiday 5-Bar Gift BoxWhether there's food in the oven or not, we all want our kitchens to smell delectable. So here's a gift for the scent-sensitive chef to constantly keep good aromas in the air. The Seasons Collection from Aspen Bay Candles is perfectly festive for the holidays with scents varying from spice to juniper twig. And these candles, designed to last for 85+ hours, are made with an all-natural soy wax blend that absorbs more fragrance oil than any other natural candle wax.
Approx. Price: $30
Purchase: Seasons Signature JarIf you have a friend who is a list-making type-A organizer, or you're encouraging a friend to become one, this portfolio of sticky notes is a thoughtful and useful buy. The collection opens like a book and contains 21 sticky notepads that are designed to help in everything from marking favorite (and least favorite) recipes to making shopping lists and writing down purposed menus. The pastel color palate resembles fine stationary and will ensure stylish kitchens don't reject the idea of being "stickied" up.
Approx. Price: $12
Purchase: Kitchen Sticky Notes: Helpful Notes for the Home CookIt's likely someone on your list is desperately wishing for an iPad. Conspire with Kris Kringle to take the techie gift one step further with these smart gadgets from Williams-Sonoma. Sleek, sturdy and state of the art, this set is made up of a rechargeable Bluetooth Speaker, a no-slip kitchen stand and a clip-on screen shield. The accessories allow those who practically live in the kitchen, to comfortably have recipes at their messy fingertips while video chatting with those they love or listening holiday tunes. 
Approx. Price: $215
Purchase: Williams-Sonoma Smart Tools for iPad SetA potential stocking stuffer that we hope finds it way to the kitchen before holiday cookie baking begins is this easy-to-use cookie scoop by The Pampered Chef. Available in three sizes, the scoop eliminates the need for the messy spoon and finger technique and produces attractive and identical cookies for even baking.
Approx. Price: $12-$18
Purchase: Large Cookie ScoopAlthough it's made to withstand splatterings of sauce, grubby hands and involuntary spills, we have a sneaking suspicion you'll want to keep this apron crisp and clean. Designed by popular blogger and chic-extraordinaire, Valerie Rice, the Entertain Apron is a wonderful gift for a holiday hostess. The apron is perfect for popping on once heavy-duty cooking is done and guests begin to arrive, and it's just the right length for showing off a holiday outfit.
Approx. Price: $39
Purchase: The Entertain ApronGood measuring cups are indispensable in the kitchen and make a fun gifts for budding bakers. While there are plenty of cutesy cups out in the marketplace, we are fans of functionality and absolutely love Oxo's 1, 2 and 4 cup set because of the cups' ingenious angled design. With these, you can look down into the cup and see the measurements written on a diagonal lip. They make measuring liquids a dream.
Approx. Price: $20
Purchase: 3 Piece Angled Measuring Cup SetWe were instantly taken by this creative, artistic and innovative way to keep fresh herbs in the kitchen year round. Those cooped up gardeners-at-heart without a yard or space for a window box, will be especially thrilled with the vertical garden. The 10 planting cells are easily watered through an irrigation system at the top of the chalkboard frame. Write the herb names in chalk next to each cell for identification and to make the cutesy planter as attractive as it is functional.

Approx. Price: $130
Purchase: Chalkboard Wall PlanterDishpan hands are one of the unfortunate consequences of a lifetime in the kitchen. So for those who constantly have their hands in the sink, this pampering set of soaps by Archipelago will be a much welcomed relief. The gift set includes a cleansing dish soap that's tough on grime but tender on hands, a matching hand soap, and a protective hand balm. The Elder and Olive scent is fabulous—it's not to strong and has a crisp and clean scent that lingers for just the right amount of time.

Approx. Price: $55
Purchase: Archipelago Elder and Olive Dish SoapOver the years we've found the following to be true: Guys live for good knives. The sharper and flashier the better, of course. So when we saw the Wusthof Classic Serrated Chopper we knew we'd found a Christmas-morning pleaser. Complete with a scalloped blade forged from high-carbon steel, the knife will cut cleanly through all types of foods—making it extremely versatile in the kitchen.
Approx. Price: $125
Purchase: Classic Chopper Serrated ChopperIf you're shopping for a foodie who loves to travel, give him or her a piece of the Italian countryside—literally. With Nudo, you can give adoption papers to an Italian olive tree and your friend will reap the benefits this coming April with 3 x 500ml of first cold pressed extra virgin olive oil produced from the olives on the tree. Until then, he or she will enjoy a tin of olive oil from the orchard and be able to nurture a baby tree included in the kit. Best part? There's an open invitation to visit the tree in Italy.
Approx. Price: $125
Purchase: Grow an Olive Tree and Adopt One Too Gift BoxIs it a slow cooker? A roaster? Well, it's both—and a whole lot more. The Ninja cooking system has so many bells and whistles it's hard to sum up. If using as a traditional slow cooker, there is no need to brown your meat on the stove beforehand. You are able to sear meats and do other prep work, like caramelizing and sautéing veggies, right in the nonstick Ninja pot before flipping on the slow cooker setting. There is even the option to use the Ninja as a steam oven, allowing you to, believe it or not, make a cake. We think the appliance is a fantastic gift well worth the price tag, especially for those without an oven or spacious kitchen.
Approx. Price: $200
Purchase: Ninja Cooking SystemNo batteries are included with this clock—but that's because it doesn't need them. It runs solely on, you guessed it, water. We love this crazy time keeper because it's environmentally friendly and kids will love it because it seems to work like magic. Keep in the kitchen to never lose track of time while using an oven's timer, and whenever the water's low, just refill with fresh tap water.
Approx. Price: $25
Purchase: Bedol Water ClockBe still our hearts. This gourmet popcorn from the famous Loveless Cafe in Nashville, Tn. is popped in bacon renderings, coated in a caramel of real butter, brown sugar and pancake syrup and then studded with smoked bacon bits. Sound sinfully good? It is—and a wonderful and affordable gift for any bacon-lover with a penchant for finger-lickin' good treats.

Approx. Price: $7
Purchase: Piggy PopcornEveryone needs that one pan that can do everything—and it's a bonus when it doesn't break the bank. The 12-Inch Covered Ultimate pan from Anolon is attractive, sturdy and has a nonstick coating which makes sautéing, among other cooking activities, a breeze. Though it features a slightly cushioned handle, the pan is oven safe up to 400F. Get it for the new cook, recent grad or newlywed who needs a centerpiece for his or her budding cookware collection. 
Approx. Price: $50
Purchase: Anolon 12 Inch Covered Ultimate PanA cake pedestal is one of those essential serving items that people need, but don't realize how much until they have one of their own. And because an occasion is oftentimes the cause for a cake, we think the pedestal should be equally special. We love the artsy flair of this handmade aluminum stand by Beatriz Ball, it's perfectly quirky while still being wonderfully sophisticated.

Approx. Price: $150
Purchase: Beatriz Ball Organic Pearl PedestalA "grate" stocking stuffer, the Elite Series Graters improve on Microplane's kitchen classics. Each grater comes with a transparent protective cover that can be easily flipped and then used to catch and measure ingredients. The best part is the series looks (and is) super sharp with it's stainless steel blades, frames, and comfortable soft-grip handles.
Approx. Price: $17
Purchase: Microplane Elite Series Paddle GratersKeeping kids occupied before and during mealtime can be a bit of struggle. Instead of flicking on the TV, these tear-out placemats will have them entertained and thinking creatively. Written and illustrated by whimsical artist Marion Deuchars, a variety of "mats" are included in the book. Some encourage kids to do draw their own meals, others teach about the importance of portion size and then there are those that are pure fun, having kids draw dreams, birds or even Mona Lisa's smile. A great gift for a mom who doesn't have enough hands.
Approx. Price: $12
Purchase: Let's Make Some Great Placemat ArtIt's hard to mention Emile Henry without hearing "oohs" and "ahhs" from cookware collectors. France's renowned brand makes some of the highest quality ceramic goods on the market. Our eyes were drawn to their red ruffled rectangular baking dish. We suggest gifting to a holiday host before the big day—paired with a subtle comment on how fabulous it will look Christmas morning filled to the brim with an egg casserole.
Approx. Price: $50
Purchase: Red Ruffled Rectangular Baking DishHoney and balsamic may not sound like the most natural pairing, but the bee-keepers at Honey Ridge Farms have concocted a balsamic honey vinegar so heavenly we can't get enough of it. A fitting gift for those who enjoy a touch of sweetness in their dressings, this vinegar has a lovely mellow taste that is fantastic drizzled over salads or mixed in marinades for poultry or meats.
Approx. Price: $12
Purchase: Balsamic Honey VinegarTransporting a pie so it arrives at a holiday party in perfect condition is no easy task. Doing it fashionably? Even more difficult. This adorable pie carrier from Vonny Los Angeles is the stylish solution for avid bakers, pot-luckers and picnickers. Just cover the pie with foil or Seran wrap and pop it in the insulated carrier for a simple delivery. 

Approx. Price: $64
Purchase: Pie CarrierShopping for a tea lover? Here's an infuser that's cute, quirky and sure to make anyone who uses loose-leaf tea very happy. The Teafu snaps open and close easily and unlike other infusers, there is the option to squeeze the handle so the pouch will compress resulting in a faster brew. Available in 6 bright colors, pick the one that fits the receivers personality best.
Approx. Price: $15
Purchase: TeafuFreshly ground spices can make all the difference in a dish, and for someone who is always garnishing French meals or other recipes that contain nutmeg, a nutmeg grinder may be just the gift you're looking for. This one by Peugeot comes complete with about 6 whole nutmegs—we think enough to effectively last a lifetime. The shaving mechanism is made from treated stainless steel and grinds fine to medium sized flakes.
Approx. Price: $50
Purchase: Nutmeg GrinderCuisinart has a stronghold on state-of-the-art ice-cream makers—and for good reason. The company offers four models ranging from $60-$300 and their machines are oftentimes the ones used in trendy small-batch ice-cream shops. Their Pure Indulgence maker is our pick for gifting. It can churn 2 quarts of homemade ice cream in just 20 minutes and has just one switch to flip, making it incredibly simple to use. 
Approx. Price: $90
Purchase: Pure Indulgence 2 Qt. Frozen Yogurt-Sorbet and Ice Cream MakerIt's hard to come by stylish lunch totes for adults these days. If you have noticed a co-worker who is in desperate need of a new carrier, he or she would be undoubtedly thrilled to receive this bright and modern tote from U Konserve. A responsible purchase, this bag is made entirely from recycled plastic bottles making it more environmentally friendly than most.
Approx. Price: $30
Purchase: Insulated Lunch ToteFor the foodie that has everything, sometimes you have to get creative and think outside kitchen utensils and appliances. An eco-friendly watch may be just the thing. Made from corn resin, Sprout makes watches for both kids and adults. Some models boast boldly bright colors while others feature subdued earthy tones. No matter which style you think would suit your recipient best, we dig the idea of utilizing food in fashion. Plus, a watch always has a place in the kitchen for timing recipes.
Approx. Price: $30-$80
Purchase: Eco-friendly watches
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