Gap Creek Gourmet Holiday Gift Guide
It’s full-on Griswold Christmas in the Livengood household. We hauled home a eight and a half foot tree yesterday from Mystic Farms and from our best estimate, wrapped the massive hunk of holiday cheer in 7 strands of colorful lights. You know what that means? Now that’s done, it’s time to get wrapping, AND it’s time again for the Gap Creek Gourmet Holiday Gift Guide! I’m so excited to share this year’s list with you. It’s full of foodie bliss, and there’s something on it for everyone.
Gotta-Have Tools and Gadgets:
Whether you are churning out mixed drinks, making peanut butter, soup, or whipping up healthy smoothies, this blender is a must for your kitchen. I cram it full of fruits and veggies almost every day for a little healthy smoothie action.
During my recent trip to San Diego we drank cappuccinos every afternoon and used my aunt’s Nespresso Aeroccino Milk Frother to top our cups with the fluffiest milk I’ve ever seen short of spray whipped cream. I absolutely have to have one of these. A must-have gadget for coffee drinkers! Get ready folks, this one’s on the 12 Days of Giveaways!
I met Quintin Middleton at his workshop behind his home in St. Stephen, South Carolina this past summer to interview him for an article that ran in the November 2014 issue of Town Magazine. He makes beautiful chef knives that are in the hands of the South’s most famous chefs: Craig Deihl, Sean Brock, etc. Looks like they are selling out fast online, but you can grab one for that special someone on your list at Charleston Cooks! stores in Greenville, Columbia and Charleston. Quintin also makes high end custom chef knives, but you’ll be on a waiting list for a while. He just finished a successful Kickstarter campaign and is backed up through Christmas. I imagine Charleston Cooks will sell out of their stock as well, so you might want to jump on this one quickly! You can order them from Charleston Cooks online shop, as well.
I’m in love with these cutting boards made by Charleston artist Jack Manchester. I hope Santa adds one of these to my list! Stay tuned to 12 Days of Giveaways and you might just wine one too! (It’s shaped like a pig!!)
Give your loved one a customized Whiskey experience with these Whiskey Element sticks. Pop one in a fifth of whiskey for 24 hours to give it mild notes of Maple-Vanilla-Oak or Mellow Smoke and Oak, or leave it longer for more POW. I’m totally bummed I don’t have a whiskey drinker on my list to share this gift with! Santa? Hook me up?
I LOVE this Randall, Jr. beer infuser! I found out about it at Quest Brewing Company where they use something similar for their seasonal beer offerings. It’s a toy that will entertain a beer lover for hours. All you have to do is twist off the top, and add hops, spices, fruit or whatever you choose for your own customized beer infused creation.
Mason jars are hot, hot, hot right now. I use them for everything from water to wine. Shake up your holiday gift giving this year with the Mason Shaker Barware set. It includes a one shot/half shot stainless steel jigger, a 10″ hardwood muddler (comes in handy for those summer Mojitos), and a copy of the Shake drink recipe book. The Muddle and jigger in the set are both made in the US. #madeintheusa
I won a set of Photojojo lenses for my iPhone in Seattle. If you know someone who is constantly showering your Facebook or Instagram feed with photos, then you should get these fun lenses for them. They attach right to your smartphone or tablet with a magnetic strip and take beautiful pictures with macro (REALLY up close), telephoto (far away) and fisheye lenses (imagine yourself in a fishbowl looking out). I’m giving away a set of three for the 12 Days of Giveaways!
So many people are getting all of their recipes online now, but there is something to be said for flipping the pages of a well-worn cookbook. I hope you’ll add these to your list this year and make them a part of your family’s Southern Cooking traditions. I’m giving away all three during the 12 Days of Giveaways!
I know your mom or grandmother or aunt have a recipe box full of wrinkly, stained, used-and-used-again recipe cards. They are the dishes taken to wakes, family gatherings, and parties. The recipes your mom or grandmother has memorized but pulls out the card anyway, just in case. This new cookbook by Southern Living curated and written by Sheri Castle contains a selection of hand-picked recipes from more than 50 years of reader submitted recipes to Southern Living. It contains the recipes that define our Southern Cooking heritage. Think of it as your mom’s recipe box.
I always tell people that Tupelo Honey Cafe is quintessential Asheville. It’s Southern food at it’s finest. It doesn’t get better than biscuits and jam and fried chicken, does it? The restaurant has recently opened new locations throughout the Mountain South, and the move has inspired a new cookbook to embrace the unique culture of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
OMG. I’ve waited on this cookbook for so long! If Sean Brock’s first cookbook doesn’t win a James Beard Award, I’m going to be thoroughly shocked. Who is Sean Brock? He’s the Executive Chef of McCrady’s and Husk (Charleston and Nasheville). Not only does Brock bring his famed recipes to your table, the photographs in this cookbook by Peter Frank Edwards will take your breath away. A MUST for the chef and home cook on your list.
For the kiddos:
I was in Beija-Flor Jean boutique this week and saw a Faucet Face hummingbird bottle. I immediately started thinking of all the people on my list who’d love one! For each of their glass bottles you purchase you help provide a minimum 100 liters of clean water for families in India.
A little box comes to your child once a month containing 3 recipe guides and shopping lists, 1 skill card to help kids learn culinary techniques, two creative activites and a Table Talk card deck to keep your family sitting, talking and eating together. Kids also get a patch each month for thier Raddish Kids apron. My daughter and I tried out a box for ourselves and made some scrumptious Pumpkin French Toast. With three, six or twelve month subscription options, the Raddish box is perfect for the little chef on your list. Single kits are also available with different themes like: Bon Appetit helps kids cook like a French chef and explore global eats, Celebrate Your Roots helps kids discover their heritage and learn about what grows underground, My Dream Restaurant helps kids create their dream restaurant!
There is ALWAYS a line outside of French Broad Chocolate Lounge. Their artisan truffles are at the top of my Christmas list this year, and from the looks of that line, on top of everyone else’s too! I’d stand in line for hours for their Eggnog Truffle. It’s one of the many holiday flavors included in the French Broad Chocolate Holiday Truffle box. You guessed it! We’re giving one away for 12 Days of Giveaways!
When I popped open my first can of Dark Chocolate covered Dottie’s Toffee (made in Spartanburg, SC), I could not quit eating. I seriously emptied half the tin for lunch that day and when I appeared on WYFF 4 Noon Show in Greenville, the folks on set couldn’t get enough, either. Want to show a little client appreciation? Send over a tin this holiday season! I’ll send you one if you win it during the 12 Days of Giveaways!
Artisan peanut butter is all the rage right now and my buddy James Aikers has some of the best there is. I am in love with his Butterscotch White Chocolate. My daughter and I ended up digging in with spoons here and there for a couple of days and emptied our jar! He also has a new Chai selection for the holidays. You can order online or find him at the Travelers Rest Very Merry Local Christmas Market on Dec. 13 from 12-4pm. He’ll send you three jars if you win them during the 12 Days of Giveaways!
So it’s not so much local artisan as some of my other gift ideas, but Vom Fass has stolen my heart. The newly opened Greenville location of this European sensation features cask aged liquors, olive oils, vinegars and liqueurs, as well as wine and specialty grocery items. You can purchase oils and vinegars by the ounce and taste your way around the store. I love that the company has personal relationships with their farmers and actually help pick during harvest to insure quality. I’m getting a few Scotch samplers and engraved bottles filled with holiday oil and vinegar selections for people this year. You must go by and check off some of the people on your list. We’re giving away a gift certificate for Vom Fass Greenville during the 12 Days of Giveaways!
The folks at Charlotte, NC based Polka Dot Bake Shop are making an incredible soft brittle assortment for Christmas. They sent me some to try and I am totally digging the Cranberry Spiced Brittle! The best part about Polka Dot Bake Shop? They make gluten free baked goods like cookies and pies that can be SHIPPED anywhere in the US. That got your attention, didn’t it? Check out the selection of Sweet Treats on their website, and in case you were wondering, the Soft Brittles are Gluten-Free too!
I’m always digging around for fun things to stuff stockings! Try these edibles, gifts and gadgets for stocking happiness this year.
Olive Stuffer – This is a great little tool for hand stuffing olives with homemade pimento cheese or anchovies at the next party or gathering. An awesome little gadget that will be the talk of Christmas morning. You can find them at Charleston Cooks stores or at Amazon.com.
Blue Heaven Powdered Blue Cheese from Rogue Creamery – I saw this somewhere and jotted it down on my wish list. I forsee this accompanying me into the movie theater for some serious popcorn action.
Molly and Me Pecans– Kay Holseberg makes these decadent sweet and savory pecan offerings from locally sourced pecans. (Local to Charleston, SC, that is.) You can harvest your own pecan gift from her website.
Chocuterie from Olive and Sinclair – (yes, that is Chocuterie, not Charcuterie) It’s a lovely log of delicious chocolate and seasonal ingredients ideal for slicing and sharing with friends. Makes a great stocking stuffer, but I won’t judge you if you decide not to share. (The Olive and Sinclair Buttermilk White Chocolate bar with Salt and Pepper and box of Duck fat caramels are also on my Santa list!)
Food lovers and most excellent South Carolina coastal band, Dangermuffin, has a new CD called Songs for the Universe. You’ll want it for your next drive to the coast.
Large Silicone Ice Cube and Ice Ball Trays – When you boil your water, pour it in these trays, and put in the freezer you get near perfect clear ice to show off your top shelf liquors. Available locally at Charleston Cooks stores or online at Amazon.com
Have you been good this year? This is the big stuff!
Made of weather resistant pressed steel, these fire pits are built to last generations. They were a featured product at Euphoria 2014’s Sunday Supper and were snatched up by the local chefs left and right.
Fount was featured in Southern Living this year. I ripped out their story and immediately added the bag to my Christmas list. Remember the time when you opened your presents and rewrapped them when you were a kid? Well, I kindof did that TOTALLY by accident (honestly) this year, so I know there’s one under the tree for me. YAY! The bags are made in Cleveland, Ohio by husband and wife duo Phillip and Jackie Wachter and take around 5 hours each to produce. This will be my first really leather bag. It’s absolutely beautiful and you must get one for yourself or the woman on your list who’s been extra nice this year.
Ready for some shopping?
Did you know? I’m giving away items from this guide in our 12 Days of Giveaways starting December 1st!
Click here for more info and to enter.