2012 Holiday Gift Guide and Giveaway Part Two | Food Lover’s Edition

Holiday Gift Guide 2012 Part Two

As the series of Holiday Gift Guides continues I tackle one of my favorite topics: food. To ease a bit of your holiday gift buying pain, I’ve compiled this list of some of my favorite food finds from this past year that will satisfy even the most discriminating epicurean.

From chocolates for the hostess, gift baskets for friends and co-workers and stocking stuffers for the cook of the house there’s something for everyone including you! With most items costing fewer than fifty dollars, they might just become as indispensable in your pantry as they are in mine.


1. Droga Chocolates

Droga Confections ChocolatesPRICE: $29.95 Regularly $33.90

AVAILABLE AT: http://www.drogachocolates.com


NOTES: Founder Michelle Crochet’s passion for chocolate making stems back to her mother’s Rocky Road recipe that served as the inspiration for the creation of Droga Chocolates. Droga takes traditional favorites like rocky road, chocolate covered caramels and cookies and reinvents them using all natural, premium ingredients.

With all natural ingredients, outstanding taste and fun packaging these boxes make great gifts or stocking stuffers for any chocolate lover. The Limited Edition holiday boxes were designed in collaboration with Mr. Boddington’s Studio. Put Your Money on Honey are wildflower honey caramels enrobed in dark chocolate and sprinkled with fleur de sel and the Gingerbread Chookies are soft, spiced gingerbread cookies covered in dark chocolate.


2. The Republic of Tea u•matcha™ Gift Set

umatcha tea setPRICE: $35.95

AVAILABLE AT: Republic of Tea for the gift set, or just the matcha tea and also on Amazon


NOTES: Premium u•matcha natural or u•matcha yuzu tea is paired with a wooden matcha whisk making a perfect starter set for matcha tea novices and aficionados alike. The unique bright, fresh, springtime flavor of antioxidant-rich matcha tea is a real treat for mind and body.

Included in the gift set is a bamboo matcha whisk made specifically for preparing this in the traditional manner as matcha tea is prepared differently than green tea brewed from leaves. The tea is made by placing a spoonful of matcha powder in a bowl, adding hot water, and whisking with the bamboo tea whisk until the powder is completely dissolved into the water.


3. So Lucky (Gluten Free) Gift Baskets

So Lucky Gluten Free Gift BasketPRICE: Varies, ex. Gluten Free Dairy Free Gourmet Stocking Stuffers: ($27.99) Fall and Winter Entertaining Collection: ($65.99)

AVAILABLE AT: http://soluckygifts.com



NOTES: So Lucky Gift Baskets offers unique handpicked gluten free items that any food lover will appreciate. What I really like about this company is that they read ingredient lists, talk with the manufacturers and scrutinize production procedures because they understand how important those details are to people with food allergies and intolerances. Then they curate all their food finds into gift collections for almost every occasion you can think of. ( I tried the So Good Sampler which had a mix of savory and sweet items )

These baskets make a great gift to offer someone just starting on a gluten free diet. The package arrives in chocolate brown box tied with a pretty green ribbon and a hand written enclosure card is included free of charge as well.

*Thanks to the generous folks over at So Lucky Gifts, the winner will have their choice of a box up to $50.00!

4. Tate’s Bake Shop Cookie & Bar Tower and Cookbook Combo

Tate's Bakeshop Cookie and Bar TowerTate's Bakeshop Baking for FriendsPRICE: $48.00 and $19.95

AVAILABLE AT: Tate’s and the Cookie & Bar Tower and the Baking For Friends Cookbook are also available on Amazon.



NOTES: There’s something for anyone with a sweet tooth in these boxes of cookies and bars from Tate’s Bakeshop, the award-winning Southampton bakery. There’s a box of chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin and white chocolate chip macadamia nut along with two raspberry bars, two chocolate chip and walnut blondies, and two fudgy plain brownies. These never fail to please and are a wonderful assortment of what has made Tate’s Bakeshop so popular. My personal favorites are their gluten free chocolate chip cookies and brownies (made with almond flour) which are every bit as delicious as the originals.

Baking for Friends is the newest baking book by Tate’s Bake Shop’s own Kathleen King and is filled with more than 120 recipes including cookies, of course, but also scones, muffins, pies and tarts, and I even spotted a couple gluten-free recipes (although that’s by no means the focus of the book). With the holidays in full swing this is one baking book that you won’t want to put down, but it will keep you in the kitchen baking long beyond the holidays with it’s easy recipes that you will want to return to time and time again.

*Tate’s is also offering my readers $5.00 off Baking For Friends when you use the coupon code: BAKEOFF at check out on their website.


5. Sistema Organic Olive Oil

sistema organic olive oilPRICE: $24.00

AVAILABLE AT: Sistema and Amazon



NOTES: This 100% Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil is cold pressed using traditional mechanical methods immediately after the harvest and bottled directly at the estate in Andalusia, Spain. It contains 100% Picual olives and is certified organic by Andalusian Committee of Organic Farming, the EU and USDA.

This olive oil is robust with a fruity aroma and peppery finish. It’s fresh and forward taste will compliment salads and vegetables alike. I’m thoroughly smitten with it and have been find any and every excuse to use it.

6. Tonewood Maple Syrup

tonewood maple syrupsPRICE: $28.99

AVAILABLE AT: http://www.tonewoodmaple.com/



NOTES: A deep mahogany color and rich, hearty flavor characterizes the grade B syrup from Tonewood Maple Syrup. Although Grade B is typically used for cooking and baking, I really enjoyed the robust flavor of this one its own. Unlike refined sugar maple syrup has nutrients such as manganese, iron, calcium, zinc, and potassium which is why along with honey, it is one of my preferred sweeteners.

Tonewood products are single-sourced, unblended, and free of additives. What I love about this company is their commitment to preserving maple production through sustainable forest farming via a maple tree adoption program and their support of small-scale maple farming.

Tonewood has recently launched a Kickstarter crowd funding campaign to move into a commercial maple kitchen and you can help them reach their goal by supporting them with your pledge.

7. Big Island Bees Honey Sampler Collection

Honey Sampler 3 Pack from Big Island BeesPRICE: $32.00

AVAILABLE AT: Big Island Bees and single jars at Amazon



NOTES: Four generations of beekeeping experience and guidance is behind Big Island Bees’ growth from just a few hives in the early ’70s, to 3,800 hives and 190,000,000 bees today. Big Island Bees are producers of single-floral, raw, artisanal honey from Hawaiian blossoms. The raw honey from Macadamia trees has a mild, creamy taste and texture that cannot be found anywhere else.

I like that all of the honey is unheated and unfiltered to preserve the natural enzymes and nutrition unlike much of the honey you find in grocery stores which has been heated to high temperatures and filtered to extend its shelf life. Even their bees eat seasonally! Depending on the time of year, Big Island Bees moves the bees to areas where flowers are blooming where they eat and collect ripe, seasonal nectar. That explains the phenomenal taste of these unique honeys that are not to be missed.

Happy Shopping and thank you to all the wonderful companies that made this giveaway possible!

Win the List 2012 Holiday Gift Guide Giveaway!

Enter for a chance to win the items on this year’s gift guide.



1. Droga Chocolates – Holly

2. u•matcha™ Gift Set – Kate

3. So Lucky $50.00 Gift Basket – Jessica

4. Tate’s Bakeshop Cookie and Bar Tower and Cookbook – Sara

5. Sistema Organic Olive Oil – Terri

6. Tonewood Maple Syrup – Courtney

7. Big Island Bees Honey Sampler – Bonnie K.

Entering is easy:

1. Just leave a separate comment for each item from the list you’d like to win. You can enter once for each item for a total of seven entries (plus an extra entry below). That’s it!

PLEASE REMEMBER: Leave a separate comment for EACH of your entries and indicate the item you are entering for or only one entry will be counted.


2. If you already follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest let me know as well, and it will count as an extra entry.
Giveaway starts on 12/10/2012 and will run until 12/17/2012 at 11:59 pm PST.

Official Rules:
To enter leave a comment. Open to US residents only.
One winner with a valid entry will be selected at random for each prize. I will email the winner and they will have up to 3 days to claim their prize or another winner will be selected.
Ten winners will be selected at random to receive one of the gift ideas listed above.
The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
Disclaimer: I was provided with items for the purposes of this review, all opinions are my own. Some of the links above are affiliate links.


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  1. Jamie says

    Maple syrup is my favorite thing to eat in the whole world 🙂 I would love to win the Tonewood Maple Syrup for all the pancakes I eat!!

  2. Wehaf says

    I am a maple syrup fiend, but because it is so pricey, we never buy the good stuff. I’d love to win the Tonewood set and treat myself!