I love December because I love gift giving and I love gift guides.
So since I can’t help myself — and because some of you have asked for it — here’s one by me, for you.
Oneg Bakery’s Double Chocolate Babka. I’ve mentioned this babka before, it’s made by a longstanding Hasidic bakery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and it is by far the best I’ve ever had. They ship the gooey, indulgent treat nationwide on Goldbelly. Maybe throw in a $69 Jumbo Party Size Challah, for good measure?
Emile Henry’s French Ceramic Fruit Bowl. This is my favorite item that I’ve purchased for my new kitchen. It looks nice and it stores a lot. Keep your fruit on top and your onions and potatoes underneath the cork lid.
CBD Rose Delights. These Turkish delight-inspired CBD gummies are crafted with flavorful, thoughtfully-sourced ingredients by notable chefs. I like them when I’m in need of a proper night’s rest and on lazy weekend days spent on the couch. My go-to flavor is Virgilio Martinez’s Magical Grapes, but you really can’t go wrong.
Cometeer’s flash-frozen instant coffee pods. If you’re a coffee snob, you scoff at the instant stuff. But have you heard about Cometeer? It’s a new company out of Massachusetts that sources beans from several of the country’s top roasters, brews them at peak flavor, flash-freezes the liquid into pods, and delivers them to your doorstep on dry ice. Great coffee doesn’t get much quicker than this.
Veladora Mezcal Glasses. For those who drink mezcal, a six-pack of classic Veladora fluted votives is essential. And they’re cheap!
Zucca Rabarbaro amaro. If you, like me, enjoy sweeter amaros such as Averna and Nonino, try a bottle of this stuff. It’s similarly syrupy but with an added depth of aromatic flavor, thanks to the key ingredient of Chinese rhubarb.
The Northlands candle by Keap is the perfect winter scent. One sniff and you’re cozied up by a fireplace as snow falls over pine trees outside.
Graf Lantz felt coasters. Get them in one color or multi, round or square. They’re soft, do their job well, and add little pops of color to your home.
Le Creuset’s Waiters Corkscrew. This is the #1 wine opener on the market. H/t to my dad who told me this and who is right. It’s also an invaluable tool for opening boxes, something that moving across the country requires you to do a lot of.
Erewhon gift card. Let’s face it: everyone who lives in LA wants this.
Soreno vintage ashtrays. I love these 1960s tree bark-textured ashtrays, especially the amber color. Go big and get a nesting set.
JEM Organics 8-jar sampler pack. I picked up a jar of JEM’s naked almond butter at Holistic Ranch General Store during a recent trip to the Yucca Valley — and now I won’t buy another almond butter brand ever again. It has a rich nutty flavor, a silky mouthfeel, and is shockingly only made of sprouted almonds and Jacobsen sea salt. My next move is to try all of their other flavors.
Daphnis and Chloe smoked chili flakes. For those who love spice (and enjoy a bit of smoke), every dish is improved by a sprinkle of this stuff.
Dandelion’s Chocolate-Dipped Fig Truffles. I adore everything Dandelion produces, and these black Mission figs stuffed with ganache and dipped in chocolate look divine.
Hasami Porcelain bowls, mugs, and plates. I know I said that my ceramic fruit bowl was my favorite thing in my kitchen, but I forgot about my real prized possession — a cabinet full of Hasami’s stackable plateware.
TruMedic Shiatsu Neck & Shoulder Massager. My friend Max Fried tipped me off to this gamechanging device, which works the knots in your back that otherwise only a professional masseuse would be able to undo. You will not regret this purchase.
Salt & Stone cleansing facial wipes. At $24 for a pack of 20, these aren’t cheap. But having them on hand keeps you feeling fresh out of the spa on a daily basis. I keep them in my car’s console for after hikes and exercise classes. Highly recommend to my fit fam.
Pasta: The Spirit and Craft of Italy’s Greatest Food by Missy Robbins and Talia Baiocchi. I’ve bought many excellent cookbooks this year, and I know that this one has been a fixture of 2021 gift guides. Still, I can’t help but choose it as my #1, too. The truth is I haven’t even made anything from the book yet, but it’s a stunning piece of work and a must-have for any pasta lover.
Happy holidays to all! :)