Are you like me, not done with your holiday shopping yet? I’ve got fun gift ideas for the gluten-free, healthy eating, baking fiends on your list. And I’ve also got a giveaway of my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE holiday item. Let’s go shopping…
The one must-have on my holiday list this year is Diane of The WHOLE Gang’s Cookbook Desk Calendar. The calendar has 12 beautifully designed months in a clear case that converts into a stand for your desktop or countertop. Each month features a color photo with an easy recipe on the back, making you look like a food rock star! All of the recipes are gluten- and dairy-free plus easy modifications to make them vegetarian, vegan and paleo are included on every recipe. These recipes fit just about any diet! Each calendar comes with a special code for a super secret web page full of insider information, tips, tools and additional recipes on The WHOLE Gang website. $14.95 (Keep reading…you could win one below!)
My next gift recommendation is a cooking class. Give your loved one a gift certificate to the local culinary school or even better, sign both of you up for a class and go together. I think experiences make really terrific gifts and experiences that involve food? Well, that’s just perfect! If you are in the KC area, check out my classes, classes at A Thyme for Everything and the Culinary Center of Kansas City. In other cities, check with culinary centers and grocers like Whole Foods for options in your area.
I’ve got two book recommendations in my gift guide. The first is Chef Amber Shea’s Practically Raw: Flexible Raw Recipes Anyone Can Make. When I went gluten-free, I only had a vague idea of what “raw” food was about. I wish I had grasped the concept quicker, as nearly all raw or living foods recipes are gluten-free. Amber’s cookbook is one of my favorites for many reasons, the first of which is an entire chapter of kale chip recipes. I’m completely over the moon with her Italian sausage recipe. Not only is it delicious uncooked, it’s great on a baked pizza. I also like that oven and dehydrator instructions are included, in case you don’t have the time to dehydrate or don’t have the counter space for a dehydrator. Buy this book for yourself and give it as a gift, it’s a must-have.
The second book I recommend is Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Kitchen: 150 Plant-Empowered Recipes to Ignite a Mouthwatering Revolution. Her books have been such a terrific help in my kitchen and have introduced me to many new foods. Her new cookbook is packed full of recipes that are raw, recipes that are cooked, blended, juiced, you name it, it’s in here! If there were one cookbook I would recommend for a person looking to make a switch to healthier eating, this would be it!
Here’s my splurge item for holiday gift-giving. The Calphalon Electric Extra Large Digital Convection Oven rocked my world this year. I started out using this oven for my culinary classes. After using it in classes, several of my students bought their own ovens and started telling me how often they were using them. It heats up super fast and has a bump-out on the back so it can accommodate a good sized pizza. This oven easily replaces a toaster and a toaster oven, bakes cookies and cupcakes perfectly, convects, broils…it simply does it all! One of my culinary students lives in a mixed household where gluten is present in her kitchen and she bought one of these ovens to be hers exclusively. What a terrific way to have wonderful homemade baked goods with less risk of cross-contamination! $199.99.
I highly recommend the Calphalon 5-pc. Nonstick Nonstick Bakeware Set, Gray set to go with this oven. Four of the pieces fit perfectly inside the oven (the baking sheet does not). I use the 6-muffin tin most often. I reduce my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe into 1/3 of the original and bake up six cupcakes in a hurry. Less than 5 minutes for the oven to heat up and 20 minutes later, I’ve got home baked goodness to share! $49.99
GIVEAWAY CLOSED! About that giveaway…Thanks to Diane at The WHOLE Gang, one of you lucky folks will win one of her Cookbook Desk Calendars! Leave a comment below, tell me what your favorite holiday gift recommendation is, and you’ll be entered to win! A winner will be chosen randomly on Sunday, December 2nd, 2012 at 9 PM CST. One entry per person please. GIVEAWAY HAS CONCLUDED. The winner is lucky #7! Congratulations, Crystal!
Happy holidays and stress-free shopping to all of you!
Vive Glam lipsticks by MAC. 100% of purchase price goes to the MAC AIDS fund to support men, women and children with HIV or AIDS.
What a terrific idea! I love MAC cosmetics and giving back to a worthy cause while buying a gift makes me happy!
This is my favorite coffee mug. I think they would make great gifts:)
What a great idea–a coffee mug for us on-the-go folks!
As much as I’d LOVE that convection oven, that calendar looks like a GREAT idea!!! Great ideas for building blocks to a healthy new year here!! Thanks for the ideas Johnna!
The Calphalon convection oven has been a great new addition to my kitchen. I can’t get over how useful it is!
I love to identify my closest loved ones struggles for the year and try to give them a gift that helps alleviate or better their situation that they are struggling with. It can be something as simple as getting our Aunt who cans food a canning machine to help alleviate 50% of the manual workload so she has more time with her grand kids. She was so surprised and thanks us every year since for the time savings. She says she wishes she had done it years prior.
I love how much thought you put into gift-giving, Candra!
Being gluten free I think any of the gluten free cook books would be a wonderful gift.
Thanks for dropping by, Carolyn. I’m with you, I don’t think you can go wrong with a great gluten-free cookbook as a gift!
I live in a shared kitchen and that oven sounds great, and i love muffins, so i can imagine making them in smaller batches mire regularly with it! I’m not sure we have the counter space for it. I’ll have to check it out.
My favorite gift last year was a Vitamix, and we use it almost daily. It has allowed us to increase our family’s veggie intake in a very positive way. They are expensive, so we couldn’t have gotten one on our own, but a high-speed blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec would be my recommendation for a great gift!!
I agree about the Vitamix, Rachael. It took me a long time to make the investment but I’m so glad I did!
Crystal Wayward says
I could get some good use out of that Crazy Sexy Kitchen book.
Congrats on winning the Desktop Countertop Cookbook Calendar, Crystal! I hope you’ve added Crazy Sexy Kitchen to your Christmas wish list, it’s a great book.
Greta @gfunkified says
Oh, gosh, what a great list for gluten-free folks! My favorite thing to give is a travel coffee mug or tumbler filled with drink mixes or other goodies.
Love your gift idea, Greta! A coffee mug and drink mixes would make my day!
Love giving homemade apple butter or cookies! 🙂
I don’t think you can go wrong with a homemade gift, Ashley! Thanks for dropping by.
I like the idea of giving a travel mug or adorable coffee mug as a general gift. For family, in addition to their other gifts, I also like to make them some homemade goodies! 🙂
Coffee mugs and homemade gifts are two of my favorites! Thanks for the ideas, Heather!
Rebecca @ A Beautiful Ruckus says
I would love new bakeware…that Calphalon set looks fantastic! I bake ALL of the time, so that would definitely get good use at my house! 🙂
I’m really enjoying the Calphalon bakeware, especially that 6-cup muffin tin. Now I wonder why I waited so long. 🙂
Chef Almost Vegan says
Thank you so much for recommending Practically Raw, Johnna! I’m so glad you love the book 🙂
Besides my own cookbook =X my top holiday recommendations tend to be food gifts. Just last night I gifted both my mother-in-law and sister-in-law with “Pasta Night Party Packages”: a bag of whole grain pasta, a home-canned jar of fresh marinara sauce, and a little shaker bottle of homemade raw “parmesan cheese” sprinkles. 🙂
I love your gift idea! How fun to put a set together. We make lots of homemade gifts here, too, and Brazil nut parmesan is on our list this year.
gift baskets are always fun. another idea is that people can usually always use sharper knives for their kitchen.
What great ideas, Claire! You are so right about sharper knives. I would be thrilled to receive a gift certificate for knife sharpening, too.
Kelli Hapes says
I hope I win this contest. What a great gift idea!
It really is a great gift! The minute I opened mine, I wondered why I haven’t seen this clever style of cookbook before. Diane has created a really terrific cookbook calendar!
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