Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Way to a Man's Heart {and, um, anyone's heart, obvi}

The old saying goes that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. But let's be real-- everyone loves food. Especially food that tastes good and is made of natural, wholesome, and/or local ingredients. Aside from a trusty bottle of local or organic wine, tasty snacks make great gifts to bring to holiday parties to share or give as host/hostess gifts. Here are eight treats that I'm eager to give out this year:

hostess gifts, gifts for him, food for the holidays

Clockwise from top left:
  • Founded in 1888, the family-owned Squirrel Brand Co. is one of the oldest roasted nut companies in the country. From crème brûlée almonds to herb-tossed pecans to dry-roasted pistachios, they make for a delectable gift or treat for yourself. Made in McKinney, Texas.
  • Stumptown Coffee Roasters was founded in Portland in 1999 (the name refers to the city’s historic logging legacy). After years of traveling around the world to develop relationships with coffee producers, Stumptown launched their Direct Trade program, which allows them to source the best coffee in the world while making sustainable and financial improvements in growing communities around the globe. And the coffee is so, SO good. Local DC folk can drink a cup at Filter or Dolcezza, in addition to giving a bag as a gift.  
  • One dozen cholate chip cookie dough chocolate truffles. I mean, I feel like I don't have to write more than that. Handmade to order from Amadeos Bakery and Candy Company. You have to look through the rest of their store to see the amazing treats this Italian baker makes!
  • This Beer Making Kit is made in the USA and available from Nordstrom. If your recipient is not the crafty type (like me), they might also appreciate a six pack of craft beer made in your city. In the DC area, my favorites are Port City Brewing Company from my hometown of Alexandria, VA, DC Brau, and Resurrection Ale from the Brewer's Art in Baltimore, Md. If you have a favorite local beer, tell me about it in the comments, please--  I loooooove local craft beer. :)
  • From AHALife: "For the 2013 holiday season City Grit's Sarah Simmons has selected the Made in Brooklyn, a new basket to be distributed exclusively through AHAlife and Daily Candy. This chef-driven basket includes Empire Mayo in Lime Pickle, McClure's Bloody Mary Mix, Mike's Hot Honey, Baking Bean Gingerbread Sandwich Cookie and Brooklyn's Roasting Company Coffee and a two-sided recipe card. One recipe is for Sarah's Fried Chicken, perfectly paired with Mike's Hot Honey, and the other for Deviled Eggs using Empire Mayo's Lime Pickle." Sounds awesome to me.
  • Just Cook Food Rubs are made in San Francisco by married couple Scott Lucas and Cathy Storfer and their chef friend Daniel Capra. Flavors include names like Herbed Coffee, Ancho Chicken, and Gimmie Steak.
  • Leckerlee treats are handmade for you in NYC, and they claim to be the only modern-day lebkuchen artisan in the New World. 100% natural with no preservatives. Highest-quality ingredients including nearly 40% nut content by weight (almonds, hazelnuts, marzipan), NY state honey, candied citron and orange peel, and our proprietary cold-ground 9-spice blend. Less than 10% wheat flour.
  • Tates Bakeshop cookies are the best cookies I have ever had from a bag. They're made in New York. They're delicious. They're $5.99. They're available at your local Whole Foods, or at least they are at mine. But you can order them online here.

If you'd like to see 175 more (yes, that many!) ethical gift ideas for everyone on your list, I invite you to check out My Fair Gift Guide.

Once you've exhausted that resource, feel free to follow along on my gift guide Pinterest boards-- I will be updating them throughout the month of December, and they include men's gifts, mom gifts, gifts under $30, my own wish list, hostess gifts, and more.

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