It’s the first weekend in December and while there might have been a time when I enjoyed holiday shopping in crowded malls and department stores, that time is not now. Most of my holiday shopping has been relegated to the internet in lieu of my preferred activity, holiday entertaining. Before we break for the weekend, we have a few favorite things to share with you.
Cheeky Home: One of the only things that ever keeps me from cooking is the thought of doing the dishes when I’m finished. Cheeky is a brand-new line of fun and colorful tableware that marries style and design with social responsibility. Not only can you set your dinner table fashionably with bold, bright paper and plastic tableware — from plates, bowls, napkins to cold cups, hot cups and cutlery — you can mix and match prints to create and customize your own unique place setting. Cheeky is also helping to fight hunger in America: for every Cheeky item purchased at Target, Cheeky will donate the monetary equivalent of a meal to Feeding America. The Feeding America network of food banks then provides food to adults, children and seniors across the country.
Marvelous Red 2011: A bold and spicy red from Marvelous Wines, a collaborative line coming from South Africa, Marvelous Red blends Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Viognier. Winemaker Adam Mason (Mulderbosch Wines) teamed up with award winning Chef Peter Tempelhoff to create a line of multi-varietal blends designed specifically with the intention to pair effortlessly with food. A Rhone-style blend, the Marvelous Red 2011 is all about spice, red fruit flavors and freshness and will pair perfectly with whatever you’re serving this holiday season.
Chilewich Dahlia Coasters (Set of 6): Perfect for holiday gifting — or hostess gifting at anytime throughout the year — these stylish coasters will dazzle any cocktail table. Chilewich, led by a husband and wife team, creates innovated textiles for the table, floor and windows for numerous occasions. We also love their collection of placemats and table runners, always elegant and on-trend. The company recently opened its first store in New York City’s Flatiron neighborhood and we’re afraid to go there because it would be all too easy to give them all of our money.
Microplane Spiral Cutter: Few things make us happier than a nifty kitchen tool we didn’t even know we needed. Whether or not you have room for one more culinary toy, the Microplane Spiral Cutter will change your life. Creating low-calorie, high-fiber noodles is all the rage and this gadget can help you to easily create spiral-cut vegetables for stir-fry, casseroles, and pasta-inspired dishes. It’s even dishwasher safe. Be still my heart.
Edible French: Tasty Expressions and Cultural Bites: The idiosyncrasies of language can tell us a lot about a culture and few things exemplify the importance of food in the French culture than its culinary expressions. This book, penned by veteran food blogger Clotilde Dusoulier, delves into the history and meaning of fifty of the French language’s most popular food-related expressions alongside a few of her winning recipes.