Holiday Gift Guide 2023
I have to say I really enjoy putting together a gift guide each year. Sharing what I’ve come to know and love over the year gives me joy, for real. You’ll find mostly food and kitchen goodies here, but the 2023 list goes off the cooking grid to include pretty things to wear and a handful of self-care favorites.
Floral Society Candles — These hand-dipped tapers come in the prettiest colors I’ve seen….something to tuck into a stocking or give as a hostess or Hanukkah gift.
Fishwife Tinned Fish — Give the gift of Omega-3s via this colorful and terrific brand of tinned fish. I’m partial to the spicy chili crisp salmon and the sardines with preserved lemons.
Glass Straws — Call me a princess, but my mornings smoothies just aren’t the same if I don’t sip them from a glass straw. They’re pretty and eco-friendly to boot!
A Little Bit of Ayurveda — Just the right size for a stocking or Hanukkah gift, this is a beginner’s guide to an ancient system of health and wellness….providing simple rituals and dietary recommendations to help you stay balanced and feeling good.
Xilli Salsa Macha — For your heat-loving friends, I think of this as Mexico’s answer to chili crisp. It’s a magical mash-up of chiles, finely chopped peanuts, and chiles that is excellent spooned over tacos, veggies, or fried eggs.
Stasher Bag Set — An earth-friendly alternative to ziplock bags, these reusables are sturdy, travel well, and can even go in the microwave.
Seasoning Kits — Friend and fellow registered dietitian/chef launched these clever seasoning kits several years ago. They’re seasoning packets for a range of dishes, from sloppy Joe’s to tikka masala. Every packet includes a recipe plus the protein and vegetables you’ll need to get dinner done.
Salt Cellar — I always have a salt or two right next to the stove when I cook and a salt cellar is essential. This one has a swiveled lid, so it’s easy to swipe open. Alternatively, check out this two compartment option, to fill with your everyday salt and a finishing salt or pepper.
Classy Coupes — Though I have no need for more champagne glasses, I’ve got my eye on these delicate beauties. They come in two shades and at under$6 a glass, the price can’t be beat. Take the gift to the next level and pair the coupes with a bottle of bubbly.
Tear Off Cocktail Napkins – How cute are these cotton tear-off cocktail napkins? (I’m all about tartan for the holidays). Great for a stocking or hostess gift.
Wooden Nesting Bowls — My step sister gave me a set of nesting bowls like these last summer and I find that I reach for them often…the little ones for olives and condiments and the bigger ones for vegetable dishes and small salads.
Charming Outdoor Lantern — If you’re into outdoor entertaining, these are an attractive way to light the table. They’re rechargeable and put out a good amount of light. I’m also smitten with these mini ones, which you can dangle from tree branches or use for campouts.
Blue Moroccan Glassware — I so fell hard for these pretty glasses on our trip to Morocco that I hauled a set halfway across the globe. Much easier would be to have them delivered (and the price is right).
Nakano Knife — A quality knife is one of the best investments a cook will make and Nakano does it right. They offer beautiful, gift-worthy knives and terrific knife sets at a range of price points. Even better? Use code KMORFORD along with the link provided for 30 percent off.
Clever Cooking Multi-Tool — One of my favorite home shops in San Francisco sells this spin on a Swiss army knife. It’s got all the essentials for cooking on the go…a mini grater, zester, serrated edge knife, corkscrew and more.
Ceramic Non-Stick Pan — When one of my daughters asked for a non-stick pan, I did some research and landed on Zwilling ceramic pans. Reports from her kitchen give the pan a big thumbs up! You may also be interested in this set of two at a fairly friendly price.
Glasses to Go — Staying hydrated is one of the simplest fixes for wellness out there. For me, keeping one of these glasses in the rotation gets me drinking more. They also just make iced coffee and smoothies look real pretty.
Next-Level Kettle — I got to try this sleek kettle at a hotel recently and was duly impressed. It heats quickly to a specific temp and will stay hot for up to 60 minutes. Plus, it’s great looking on your counter.
Cheap and Cheerful Rice Cooker — Making rice has never been my strong suit, so I bought this budget-friendly rice cooker last year. It’s foolproof and does the job.
Top-Rated Air Fryer – Confession: I’ve yet to embrace the air fryer, but I’m getting close. I expect this will be the year and this is the one I plan to go for (it gets high marks from a few favorite chefs). For a smaller option, say for single folks, this compact one comes recommended.
Kitchen Speaker I like the company of music and podcasts while I cook, but don’t have a sound system in my kitchen. These speakers pack a punch, despite their petite size.
Outdoor Popcorn Maker — How cute is this gadget? A single-serve popcorn maker to heat over your outdoor fire or camp stove.
Good Things to Eat and Drink
Olive & Lavender Farms Oil — I discovered this charming farm shop on a road trip recently and picked up bottles of their lemon olive oil and balsamic blend for a friend. Both excellent with beautiful packaging.
Dandelion Hot Chocolate — Dandelion is a small chocolate company that makes their bars in small batches with just two ingredients: cocoa beans and organic sugar. They also do excellent hot chocolate in a few flavors, which, lucky for us, they sell online.
Wine Clubs — Living in the shadow of the California wine country, I have two wine club suggestions for the oenophiles in your life: 1. Bricoleur, located in Sonoma County offers a quarterly delivery of 3 bottles (that you get to choose) 2. Robert Sinskey Vineyards, which offers a Seasonal Glutton Club that ships two bottles, recipes, stories and a “culinary surprise” crafted by in-house talent Maria Sinskey.
Focaccia Baking Kit — I’ve included these cooking kits in my gift guides before, and that’s because they’re darn cute, affordable, and terrific for kids and grown ups. This focaccia set is a good one, but they also have sushi and a variety of sweets.
Coffee Box — A friend had rave review about her monthly Misto box. It’s a coffee subscription that delivers fresh roasted beans based on your likes and dislikes. All coffees are single origin and roasted in the U.S. of A.
Buttery Little Cookies — I currently have a few boxes of these savory cookies in my freezer to pull out when friends pop by for a glass of wine. They come in flavors that include Cheddar, black pepper, and olive and arrive wrapped in a pretty box with a bow. They are the perfect gift to bring for a hostess gift or to ship to clients. They also have iced sweet cookies in brilliant colors.
Shearling Slides — My daughters gifted a pair of these last Christmas and I’ve been wearing them nonstop ever since. They’re delicious for lounging around the house or dashing out to do errands.
More Cozy Slides — I recently picked up a pair of these faux fur slides and highly recommend for a cheaper option to the ones above. They have loads of color options … camel is my personal favorite.
Clean Candle — This candle company is new on the scene and so clever. It’s a candle-in-a-bag that you pour into your own vessel at home (or pick up one from the company to re-use again and again). It’s got 100% compostable packaging, non-toxic oils, natural scents, and eco-friendly coconut blend wax.
Cashmere Jogger Set (this plus this)– I was given a black cashmere jogger set as a gift last year and it’s dreamy to wear, whether lounging around the house or dressed up with cute flats and jewelry. This brand offers budget-friendly cashmere in lots of colors. Here’s a quality quarter zip sweater for the dudes in your life.
Belt Bag — Whether you’re setting off for a hike or a day of airplane travel, this Lululemon belt bag comes at a fair price and is big enough to house the essentials. For more of a stylish splurge, my Clare V has accompanied me everywhere (I have this size and my sister swears by this bigger version).
Evlo Online Fitness — This past year I’ve focused on adding more weight lifting into my exercise routine and this online class is a high-quality option with trainers who know what they’re doing. For something more gentle and pilates/yoga based, check out MWH, which I also do on the regular.
Massage Gun — When my daughter Rosie trained for a half marathon, she invested in one of these massage guns to deal with sore muscles. Now, we’re both hooked.
Fresh Fragrance Sampler — Cruelty-free and made with mega-clean ingredients, my daughter Bella put me onto Henry Rose fragrances. It’s tricky to pick out fragrance for friends, so this set of mini perfumes are a good way to go. It comes with a $20 coupon towards the purchase of a full-sized fragrance.
Ice Roller — I find an ice roller incredibly soothing for puffy eyes or when I’m hit with seasonal allergies. Keep this one stashed in your freezer so it’s icy cold. Alternatively, my sister swears by these puffy eye patches.
Books for Cooks
Everyday Snack Tray — I’ve been eagerly awaiting this colorful cookbook from registered dietitian Frances Largeman-Roth. It’s a go-to guide for colorful, nutritionally diverse, fun boards for everything from a quick weeknight bite to an elaborate holiday spread.
Tenderheart – Cookbook author Hetty McKinnon has a way with both words and recipes and it shows in this gorgeous cookbook devoted entirely to vegetables. It’s full of fresh ideas with beautiful stories to go with.
Snacking Bakes — This is the latest from the same talented writer to publish Snacking Cakes a few years ago. Sixty one-bowl, no-fail cookies, cakes, browning, and bars!
The Everylasting Meal Cookbook — This is a book built on leftovers…an A to Z guide on how to turn that little bit of anything into your next meal. The focus is less waste and more meals as author Tamar Adler shares her expertise on what to do with everything from leftover rice or the pile of peels after the apple pie is made
Meal Prep Magic — I have pantry envy when it comes to my friend Catherine McCord. The girl has mad meal prep skills and she distills it all in her latest guidebook and cookbook.
World Central Kitchen Cookbook — Chef Jose Andres never ceases to amaze me with his dedication to feed people in crisis. This cookbook of recipes and narratives is inspired by many of the places their team has cooked following disasters around the world. Proceeds go to the cause (or skip the cookbook and simply donate in someone’s name here).
More is More — The latest from Molly Baz, who has a playful voice and crave-worthy recipes. She makes cooking fun and manages to weave in loads of tips and encouragement to lean on your kitchen intuition more and measuring cups less.
More Holiday Guides and Gifting Ideas
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