WINTER HOLIDAY GIFTS 2016
Winter 2016 BB Best Gifts Round-Up
As we do every year, we are pleased to present some of our great gift finds for the holiday season (and beyond). We've gathered up some special treats for the kitchen from some great companies we work with of course but also some lifestyle products and pretty things that are truly great finds.
In a few days (fingers crossed) my newest cookbook will be out. It's an e-book called Best Holiday Cookies.
It's the very first in a series of a 'baker's dozen' of little cookbooks I am working on. This inaugural book is my very best of holiday cookies. The next one (the title is a surprise!) will be out in the first quarter of 2017. They will be available on Kindle. I'll keep you posted.
Here's our gift list! Enjoy,
Cuisinart Smart Stick 300 C Cordless Hand Blender and Knife
Finally – two great achievements in one product! I love immersible blenders, aka hand blenders. They do the work of both food processors and blenders but are super quick and efficient and easy to clean. They are my number one choice in blending soups in the pot (without transferring back hot soup to a blender or food processor) and smoothing out gravers. But imagine great performance in such a product without the annoying cord? That’s what Cuisinart has done with this fabulous product. Then they’ve added a serrated knife attachment and the power source enables the unit to transform into another appliance entirely. It can smooth out the turkey gravy and then slice the roasted bird – all in one efficient appliance. This is a phenomenal design and it also comes with a 3-year warranty. A must for my kitchen or anyone’s.
Cuisinart Single Serve Brewer Coffee Maker
If you’re new to single coffee makers you can consider Cuisinart’s model and look no further. Made with the pro styling of all Cuisinart products, this is a one-stop brewer. It allows you to use regular Keurig k-cups (in a myriad of coffee companies and brews) but also allows you to make your own re-usable k-cup. Fully programmable, offering 5 cups sizes and options for hot water (for tea, soups and cocoas), and sporting a generous 80 ounce water reservoir, this turns your home into a B&B or coffee hub with the flick of a switch.
Cuisinart Single Serve Coffee Maker
Peugeot Nutmeg Grinder
For years, I used the old-fashioned nutmeg grater- that little rasp that was charming, rusted just a bit but was very grandmother, vintage in feeling. Then I created a holiday cookie book and was grating nutmeg for ages and I knew then it was time to upgrade. I didn’t have to look far and find the Peugeot Nutmeg Grinder – beautiful, functional, durable – it’s an investment grinder that works like a charm. It holds 7-8 extra nutmeg pods and keeps one in the center, held in place by a steel claw for grating. Perfectly ground, fresh nutmeg is your reward – aromatherapy of the highest order! Whether you’re making egg nog, fresh pumpkin pie or spice cookies, nothing beats this beautiful, artful tool. A wonderful gift and one of those, buy-it-once, have-it-for-life heirloom tools.
What beats a classic locket as a gift? A locket that features your horoscope star constellation. Julie Nolan has perfected these designs in her pendants and lockets. Clad in precious metal, etched with the first 3 letters of your star sign (for example, ARI for Aries) the Constellation Locket is the ultimate personalized jewelry. The holes in this piece represent the constellation for each sign of the zodiac. The designs in this collection of constellation jewelry were all patterned after a Swiss calendar from the 1900's. This is a holiday gift like no other but think ahead to Valentine’s Day and birthdays on your list. This is a gorgeous and thoughtful keepsake.
The Principal Collection Classic Duffle
Are you one of those people always searching for the perfect gym, yoga, dance and pool bag? This is (to me) the world’s finest bag. Why? It’s sleekly designed, lightgweight, water-resistant and features tons and tons of zippered compartments inside and out. Everything stays organized, the bag carries light and balanced (tote straps or shoulder straps). Inside, there is a rainbow fabric interior (instead of black) allowing you to see everything you’ve packed away. This is a BB ‘gift of the year’ since it’s the best design and construction I’ve seen in a duffle bag for women: ever!. Snag one for the holidays or as a gift in the new year, Valentine’s Day or for a special birthday gift.
LL Bean Oiled Leather Lapytop Messenger Bag
How many of us are looking for the perfect messenger bag for the guys in our lives? There are a few classics out there but none comes with a lifetime LL Bean warranty – that’s one thing. But the LL Bean Signature Leather Briefcase is unique, classic, and beautifully constructed of chocolate brown leather. It stands out from the crowd and is durable as the State of Maine!
A terrific holiday gift (as well as Father’s Day or convocation)
Delonghi’s Dedica, Burr Coffee Grinder
If you want the look and feel of a professional barrista in your own kitchen, look no further than the Delonghi Dedica Grinder. The rich fragrance of freshly ground beans holds the promise of an exceptional cup of espresso, Americano, slow-drip or latte – just customize the grind for your coffee experience. The Dedica Stainless Steel Conical Burr Grinder with a clear, well-lit digital LCD display and 18 different settings including espresso, slow drip coffee/pour over and French press, you can customize your grind coffee like a pro. Grind a single espresso directly into the portafilter, or grind enough coffee for 14 cups and keep them it fresh in the included storage container. The grinder has a generous container that holds 12 ounces. The machine, unlike many grinders, is easy to keep clean (the upper burrs are removable for complete cleaning), is remarkably quiet and overall, looks like an Italian sports car, (but in a coffee grinder) landed on your kitchen counter. An investment kitchen appliance!
Krups GVX 2
Sometimes you have to trade size for performance or when you opt for a compact, efficient grinder, it also might not be up to the level you need in a home coffee grinder – which is durability, sound manufacturer, style and of course, burr action. Burr grinder coffee machines offer ground coffee with supreme flavor and extraction but often, you have to also take a monster machine that dominates your counter and is too big to store away – you’ll never use it that way. The Krups Grinder GVX2 is a perfect example of great technology, a compact grinder with burrs and impressive hopper capacity at a great price. https://www.amazon.ca/Krups-GVX2-Expert-Burr-Grinder/dp/B0001I9R8W/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1482252358&sr=8-2&keywords=krups+grinder
T-Fal ActiBread Machine T-fal PF311 ActiBread
Bread machines were the rage and then only die-hard bread makers embraced them. But the bread machines of the 90’s aren’t at all as exciting as what T-Fal is offering now. Sleek, stainless design disguises a workhorse of a bread machine/chef that makes three size loaves, in three crust settings. The machine is designed to make healthy, warm and fragrant gluten-free bread as well as classics like rustic country or French bread is it can whip up a batch of rustic, pizza dough. It comes with recipes, a dough hook and non-stick bread pan that makes clean-up a breeze. This is the state of the art of bread machines now! A perfect gift.
To Purchase :
Based in Toronto, Headline Coffee is a sleekly simple premise: find great, single origins coffees from free-trade coffee growers, ship it in, expertly roast it as soon as it arrives and ship it out, still warm and fragrant. Once a month, 12 ounces, no confusing choices or too many choices – just pure and simple: a coffee-of-the-month from a new place and grower at one great price. Great customer service; you can order it once a month or quit a second after your first and only order or send a year of coffee as a gift to yourself or a friend. For Betterbaking.com subscribers, 50% off the first 2 months with the code BETTERCOFFEE
Each year we work with Avon to be able to share with BB readers the diverse, high performance products Avon offers. What always astounds me is the prices (totally reasonable) and treasure chest of quality products- and not just in make-up and scent. But when it comes to make-up and scent, Avon is probably the most respected cosmetic company in the world due to the unanimous agreement in the industry that their standards of sanitation in the products of their care products are the best, bar –none. Here’s some very special products we worked with this season that make great gifts for the holiday season.
Anew Vitamin C Brightening Serum
I would buy this by the gallon. It does all it says it does: brighten your skin – it even smooths your hands out. It removes fine lines but mostly, it seems to fade spots on your face and leaves it radiant, bright and renewed. Apply it to neck and face, wait and then apply a moisturizer. Viamin C Serums are the trend of 2016 and this is one of the best.
Anew Power Serum
Like Vitamin C Serum, this renews your skin as well as offering hydration, smooth texture and firmness. Beautifully packaged, this is a luxurious serum to add to your regime.
Black Suede, Black Suede Sport, Lucky
Avon excels at fragrance (ask anyone who still wears Sweet Honesty which is an iconic classic), offering trending, contemporary scents for men and women, as well as working with celebrities for signature scents. For the men in your life, who might not know what to pick, Avon has created a trio of particularly appealing, masculine scents. With notes of spice, amber, woods, leather, moss and musk. Black Suede is a good choice for any guy in your circle but the Black Suede Sport is a good option for a younger man. Check the Avon website for the full scent descriptions and also browse the options in companion products such as anti perspirant, soap and aftershave. Priced so that you can choose a few scents for the same guy, giving him a choice of day and evening or week day and weekend fragrances to choose from.
Avon Stocking Owl Hanger