Holiday Gift Guide 2011 | Part One


Holiday Gift Ideas


Here we are, December, and there’s a laundry list of things to do.   I can hardly believe that the holiday season is upon us already; I blinked and another month whizzed by.

There’s no time to waste; it’s time to get moving on the gift buying and giving.  So from now until the end of December I’ll be offering suggestions for presents that  revolve around some of my favorite activities: cooking, taking pictures and eating!

Hopefully you’ll find a few ideas for anyone who loves food and/or photography and maybe a little present for yourself too.

I like giving gifts that are fun and a little frivolous or useful and practical (and sometimes a little bit of both), so my suggestions will be a mix.

I have been keeping track of my favorite finds on Pinterest and have a board of items that I dream of using as props for food photography or to just plain use for myself!

If you aren’t familiar with Pinterest, it’s a place to bookmark things you love on the web by pinning them to boards you create.  I really enjoy the visual nature of the site and find inspiration lurking at every corner.


Gourmande in the Kitchen Pinterest Boards


I pin food that I want to make, food photography and a few sweet things that inspire me along with tips on photography.  I’ve also started a board called “from gourmande in the kitchen” which serves as a visual recipe index for the blog.


Here are few things that have caught my eye lately:


Olive Wood Paddle Boards

Olive Wood Cutting Boards

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Beautiful grain and marbling along with durability are just a few of the reasons to fall in love with these olive wood boards perfect for a holiday cocktail party. On a more practical note, the boards can be monogrammed with different letters to avoid cross contamination of meat and vegetables or gluten-free from wheat.  


Herb Keeper

how to keep herbs fresh

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Keep herbs fresher longer with this Herb Keeper.

Just like fresh flowers, fresh herbs stored in water will stay fresh longer than when stored loose in the refrigerator or out on the counter-top.  Here the herbs stand upright with their stems immersed in water for hydration and this sleek container fits in the refrigerator door.


Colored Whisks

colored whisks

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These beautiful whisks have a pared-down design inspired by the silhouette of the Italian Cypress tree. The designers, LucidiPevere, wanted to challenge the archetypal metal whisk and made this sculptural version from plastic and bamboo.


The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook

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Cook’s Illustrated Magazine has always distinguished itself  by developing recipes that have been meticulously tested. More than 2,000 of Cook’s Illustrated recipes have been compiled into The Cook’s Illustrated  Cookbook.  It’s a must-have for any fans of the magazine and anyone looking to understand basic culinary principles and what makes recipes work.

I’ll be helping you cross off some names on your gift list for the next few weeks, so make sure to check back for my best picks for the holidays.

P.S. Don’t forget to enter to win $100 to Amazon to help with some of your holiday shopping!


Are you on Pinterest?  What are some of your favorite gift finds this holiday season?


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  1. says

    I need to start using pinterest properly! I signed up a few weeks ago but haven’t really used yet. Does look like there’s a wealth of gorgeous stuff on there though…and love the things you’ve picked out. I have a Joseph Joseph salad bowl which I adore – very similar design to the chopping boards above.

  2. says

    I love the whisk most out of the featured items, but I’m more happy to see that you have a visual recipe index!!!

    I’m so glad I’m a Pinterest follower of your boards and this new board of your recipes is going to be awesome!

  3. Farwin @ Loveandotherspices says

    Love them all,Sylvie.Thanks for sharing.I’m always excited to see your new additions in photography tips and tutorials in pinterest.

  4. says

    You are right on about cook’s illustrated. I got that as a gift from an aunt one year and boy was I ever excited and impressed with it. It is my go to staple now and I have learned so much from it. Great pic and of course I would take any of the other presents- they are all great!

    If you get a chance please stop by for a wonderful christmas giveaway at my site today! Xo

  5. says

    haha, great minds, Sylvie! I spotted those West Elm olive wood paddle boards when I was putting together my gift guide too and couldn’t get them out of my mind until I just went ahead and just bought them 🙂

  6. says

    Great ideas, Sylvie! I love the boards and herb keepers the best, although they would all come in handy at my place. Looking forward to more ideas to come.