A few items I can't live without

Who doesn’t love food, amiright? It’s just so good! And so necessary.

If you have a food-lover in your life, and I’m guessin’ you do, I highly recommend throwing together a fun gift basket for Christmas this year. Each individual item doesn’t need to be spendy (sure, we all want the $500 blender, but that’s a hefty price for a single present), just choose a theme and include a few fun items. Check out a few possible gift basket ideas below, and know that I’m including these products because I actually use them on the regular.

Gift basket for the coffee lover

coffee gift basket

Coffee is like the morning drink of the gods. And while not everyone is a coffee drinker (I personally don’t understand why), there are enough of us out there that you’re bound to know someone who would appreciate a killer coffee gift.

I live and die by my Bialetti Moka Express espresso maker, using it to make at least 2-3 cafe americanos per day. You can pick up one up from Target for about $35, then supplement with a few cute mugs and a bag of Starbucks Espresso Roast.

Gift basket for the baker or cook

gift basket for a cook

I eat about 98-percent of my meals at home, which means I cook a lot. And while I don’t bake cookies or cakes often, I roast tons of veggies and make a killer green bean casserole. If you know someone who regularly slaves over a hot oven, I can guarantee they’d appreciate these presents.

Start with a standard baking sheet – nothing fancy – then supplement with a truly great oven mitt. I have one from BUILT NY that I use every single day – the neoprene fabric is stain resistant and hand-washable. Plus, it grips so well I use it to open jars (and to unscrew my Moka Express).

Add a Cookina Club reusable non-stick sheet (available in Christmas colors!) to make cleanup quicker and easier, and top it off with a cook book.

Cookbook tip: To make the gift more personal, consider giving a book of your favorite recipes (you can make a nice one on Shutterfly) or give a blank cookbook so the recipient can start tracking her own favorites.

Gift basket for the fruit and veggie lover


Okay, not everyone loves eating produce, but a lot of people do actually want to start eating more of it. If you have a friend or family member who keeps talking about wanting to eat more veggies, consider whipping up a fruit and veggie tool basket.

See, here’s my thinking: Many people don’t like eating produce because it’s kinda boring. And prep work usually sucks. While I’m not claiming these tools will all make prep work any easier, they will make the experience a little more fun.

Start with an apple corer and divider, like the one above from OXO. When apples are quickly an easily divided, you’re more likely to spread them with peanut butter or dip them in Greek yogurt for a quick and healthy snack. I also use mine to divide apples before I throw them into a juicer or blender for a green juice.

Next up: Mastrad’s Topchips Maker and Deco Veggie Slicer. The Topchips maker comes with everything you need to make veggie chips in the microwave in about five minutes flat. I was skeptical at first, but the sweet potato chips I make really do come out crispy. Just be aware, your recipient needs to have a mandoline to make thin veggie slices. If she doesn’t already have one, consider adding one to the basket.

Finally, the Deco Veggie Slicer is perfect for making ribbon-like slices of zucchini and yellow squash. I use these wider ribbons (rather than spaghetti- like strings) in place of Thai-style noodles in Asian dishes.

Finish out your basket with a few of your friend’s favorite fruits and veggies, or with a gift card to a local farmers market so she can buy her own.


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