Good Gifts Holiday Guide for 2022
If you ask me, a good gift is one you wish you could keep for yourself. That’s the way I feel about every last item on this year’s guide, my most comprehensive one yet. I polled a few of my taste-maker friends, included recommendations from my kids, and pulled from my personal favorites. I’ve included a varied assortment of goodies, with a wide range of price points in the hopes that this can be a “something for everyone” guide. Please share your go-to home and kitchen ideas in the comments section below, since we all can learn from each other.
Kitchen Goods Worth the Counter Space
A Good Knife — Choosing a good knife can be overwhelming, since there are so many options. I’ve been very happy with their chef’s knife (and they have lots of other great options, too). Plus, the price is right, especially since they’re offering my followers a 30 percent discount when you use this link to get to the site and the code KMORFORD at check out.
My Favorite Ceramic Mixing Bowl — We call this “the perfect bowl” in our house, just right for mixing cake batter or tossing a big salad. This smaller one is terrific for veggie sides or pasta for two.
French Farmhouse Kitchen Towels — You might feel like you’re in the French countryside using these darling kitchen towels, which takes the sting out of drying dishes.
Frieling French Press — This coffee maker does triple duty: it makes coffee, keeps it warm, and is pretty enough to sit on the table when company comes.
KitchenAid Mixer — If you’re on the fence about pulling the trigger on a KitchenAid, consider that I’m still using the one that was in my kitchen when I was a teenager. It’s a keeper.
Vitamix Blender — The Vitamix really is quite a workhorse, whether for smoothies, whizzing soups, or making your own nut butter. For something more budget-friendly, check out the Beast Blender, which I appreciate for it’s sleek design (plus some seriously good reviews).
Staub Cookware — From their sturdy Dutch ovens to their cast iron skillets, consider anything you buy from Staub to last a lifetime. If it’s beyond your budget, I am also a fan of cast iron classics by Lodge (this is a terrific size)
Good Things to Eat and Drink
Diaspora Spices — Fair-trade, ethically-sourced, beautifully packaged, and so much variety, there is much to love from this beautiful brand of quality spices.
Nana Joe’s Granola Bars — I discovered these just a few weeks ago and I’m hooked. The company was founded here in SF by a woman with some serious cooking chops and it shows. This could be just the thing to tuck into a stocking or wrap up for Hanukkah.
Maldon Salt — A bin of this flaky salt lives next to my stove. It’s excellent to crumble over a salad, on vegetables, or a piece of fish fresh off the grill.
Specialty Olive Oil — This is the first harvest of the year from Cobram Estates and it’s a special bottle… peppery, grassy, and brimming with the polyphenols that make olive oil so good for you. I also think the basil olive oil by Stonehouse delivers fabulous flavor (and comes in a variety of sizes).
Philz Coffee — This is my hometown brand that is a pantry staple in our house. Also a plus, the people who work there are incredibly nice, so it feels good to support the company.
See’s Nuts and Chews — While a simple bar of dark chocolate is what I reach for most days, See’s is my desert island dessert. If chocolate, nuts, and caramel are your loved one’s love language, this is the box to buy. If you want to keep it plain and simple, here are some colorful gift boxes by Tcho.
Mushroom Jerky — I am seeing more and more mushroom jerky on the market these days, but Farwest Funghi remains my top choice.
Bee’s Knees Hot Honey — The combo of sweet and hot in this honey is magic drizzled over oozy cheese, onto pizza, or whisked into salad dressing.
Cloth Napkins — Heather Taylor Home offers a wide variety of great looking and well-made napkins. They’re a bit of a splurge — the type of thing I wouldn’t likely buy for myself, but would happily welcome as a gift. For something a more budget-friendly, I have a stack of these gingham ones that I use all the time.
Classic Glass Storage Jars — Seeing a line up of pretty storage jars in my fridge gives me joy. They’re also great for dry storage and mean less reliance on plastic wrap and bags. A set of this size filled with my maple coconut granola may be just the thing for hostess and teacher gifts.
Bar Shampoo and Conditioner — Obsessed! When a friend gifted these to me for my birthday, I was skeptical that shampoo in a bar would do the job. In a nutshell: I’m never going back to plastic. Even my girls approve, and they have much fuller tresses than their mother.
Re-usable Cloth Lids — I picked up elasticized cloth lids like these a few years ago and feel good about pulling them over casseroles and mixing bowls in lieu of plastic wrap. Maybe your eco-conscious loved ones will feel the same.
Sparkling Water Machine — For bubbly water without the pile of cans and bottles, a DIY sparkler at home can’t be beat. We use this one daily.
Elegant Champagne Coupes — These delicate coupes from Crate & Barrel are a great price for a fabulous glass. I have a stash in my cupboard that I will be pulling out for holiday toasts.
Simple Chic Candle Holders — There’s nothing like candles to set the mood at a dinner party and a friend put me onto these simple and chic brass ones at a fair price.
Personalized Cocktail Ice — For the cocktail lover in your life, you can order up a monogrammed ice cube tray on Etsy. It’s kitchy and silly and may be just right for the right person.
Freeland Spirits — Freeland Spirits in Portland Oregon is one of the rare brands run entirely by women, from the founder, to the farmer who grows the grain, to the distiller who makes the magic happen. They do a delightful gin, a smooth-as-silk bourbon, and a few cute canned cocktails. (full disclosure, I was so impressed with the women behind the brand, I invested in the company).
No-Booze Cocktails — I’m a newcomer to Caleño, a brand with a female founder that makes alcohol-free alternatives to gin and rum. Great for the teetotalers in your life or those who are just looking to drink a little less. The website is loaded with cocktail recipes and inspo.
Margarita Glasses — The color and scale of these glasses is right up my alley. Also a big plus is that they’re from Green Heart Shop, which exclusively sources products that are fair trade, eco-friendly, or carry a social mission. P.S. They make great napkins and kitchen towels.
Self Care Cozy
Parachute Robe — I think all three of my girls have the Cloud Cotton robe on their wish list (and it’s just as suitable for the dudes in your life, too).
Ugg Ultra Mini Booties — I like the idea of shuffling around the kitchen making my morning coffee in these mini booties, which is why I put them on my own wish list. )Side note: If anyone in my family is reading this, I’m a size six and partial to the chestnut color 😉
Electric Kettle — Get a hot beverage into your hands in seconds with an electric kettle. There’s a reason nearly every household in the UK has one.
French Girl Body Oil — Smother your skin in this glorious smelling golden oil after your bath or shower and you’ll feel like you spent the day at the spa.
Rise and Shine — Breakfast is the coziest meal of the day, and you’ll find heaps of recipe inspo in my middle child of cookbooks. Head to the link given or support your local bookseller by getting your copy there.
Books for Cooks
Dinner is Done — Author Marcia Smart puts all the wisdom that comes from years of teaching cooking classes into one inspired volume of family-friendly, nourishing recipes. This will be getting a workout in my kitchen.
Brain Health Kitchen Cookbook — Give the gift of health and wellness with this informative and inspired book by brain health expert Annie Fenn. Though the book isn’t available until the new year, you can pre-order it for your loves ones now. It’s worth the wait.
Via Carota Cookbook — The duo behind New York’s veggie-forward (though not vegetarian) Italian eatery, Via Carota just put out a cookbook sharing some of their best dishes. It’s living on my kitchen counter at the moment and I can’t get enough of their green salad dressing.
Take it Easy — I love the latest cookbook by cooking whiz Gaby Dalkin, which emphasizes ease in the kitchen. The photos are fab, too and will make you want to make every last recipe.
Korean American Cookbook — If you’re as wowed by Korean flavors as I am, consider this newcomer by New York Times columnist Eric Kim. Storytelling and recipes are his secret sauce.
The Workweek Lunch Cookbook — Author Talia Koren has built a loyal following based on her inspired make-ahead meals. This is a good one for folks on the go who want shop and cook ahead so they can eat healthy all week long. Loads for recipes, inspo, and make ahead meal tips.
Slow Cooked — My current read has me staying up past my bedtime. It’s a memoir by Marion Nestle, one of the country’s foremost thought leaders on food and nutrition. I love her clean, direct writing style and her story of growing up in an era when women had far more limited options than we do now.
For the Littles in your Life (and the Big Kids, Too)
PREP — Whether you have a tween, teen, college kid, or a starter cook to find a gift for, PREP will walk them through every step. Add some cooking gear (cutting board, knife, sturdy skillet, or whisk, just to name a few), for a themed gift with little effort.
Starter Knife — A cook needs to start somewhere with knife skills, and this sturdy knife from Zwilling is perfect for young hands. I gave one to my 7 and 8-year-old niece and nephew last summer and they got right to work.
Global Grub Cooking Kits — Fun DIY cooking kit for making everything from homemade tamales to matcha donuts. These clever kits are just as suitable for grown ups as for kids (who may need support staff, depending on age and ability).
Tweetie Egg Cups — I have a crush on egg cups and this petite pair of birds might just get your little ones to the breakfast table
Their Very Own Sprinkles — Nothing makes food more fun than sprinkles. These ones are free of artificial ingredients, but plenty colorful to dress up whatever is on their plate.
Pint-Sized Apron — These pin striped aprons are darn cute and may encourage your kids to pitch in with kitchen prep.
More Holiday Guides and Gifting Ideas
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