With our bellies full of delicious food and leftovers just waiting to be, well, gobbled, it’s time to turn our attention from gluttony to giving presents. And if you’ve got a foodie in your life, or a techie, or some kind of foodie techie, then we have compiled the perfect gift guide for you!
The Spoon staff has gone over all the gadgets, gizmos and other great stuff we’ve encountered throughout the year and assembled them into one handy-dandy list. Take a look and let us know what you think!
CATHERINE LAMB’S PICKS:
We all know that we shouldn’t be using single-use straws because they end up in landfills and oceans. But many reusable straws are large, tricky to clean, and too awkwardly shaped to carry around with us to the office or our favorite lunch spot. That’s why these colorful silicone straws from Food52 are such a win. Not only do they look pretty; they’re also flexible so you can bend and store them in their accompanying carrying cases. Bonus: They come with a squeegee for easy cleaning. A four-pack is $25, so that shakes out to four holiday gifts for under 10 bucks each!
Willie Nelson CBD Coffee
If you need a gift for someone who loves country music, coffee, and is a slightly adventurous (or just two of the three), a bag of beans from Willie’s Remedy may be just the ticket. The coffee from Willie Nelson’s company is infused with CBD, the trendy wellness ingredient that’s the non-hallucinogenic chemical compound in the cannabis plant. It’s meant to promote relaxation and focus, giving you that caffeine boost without the jitters. (Bonus: It’s tasty stuff.) Buyer Beware: While Willie’s Remedy coffee may ship openly around the U.S., CBD-infused food and beverage is technically not approved by the FDA.
There are those people who are really hard to buy gifts for because they already have everything. But one thing that no one (alright, hardly anyone) has enough of is wine. Especially if it’s personalized to their tastes. Bright Cellars is a wine subscription service that uses a short quiz to curate monthly wine deliveries tailored specifically to the recipient’s preferences. It uses feedback to further personalize the wine selection — so it’s also a tool to teach you more about what wines tickle your fancy. Prices are flexible and start at $100.
JENN MARSTON’S PICKS:
GoSun Reusable Cutlery
I’d bet money that for most people who do the whole stocking stuffer thing (raises hand), only about 10 percent of the gifts involve items that are actually useful. But if you want to branch out from chocolate coins and lip balm this year, consider investing in a few pairs of GoSun’s portable utensil packs. The set of reusable cutlery comes with a stainless steel fork and spoon nestled in a metal case roughly the size of a credit card. Pieces are dishwater safe and, in theory at least, can help us curb the amount of disposable cutlery used at QSRs and fast-casual restaurants. The sets are available for $20 each, which is pricier than chocolate coins but exponentially more useful. The only drag is that they don’t actually ship until February 2020, so a photo of the product in someone’s stocking will have to do for the holidays.
Ember Mug 2
Ember released the second-generation version its temperature-controlled mug in October of this year, which makes it an obvious candidate for our 2019 guide. Dubbed the Ember Mug 2, the ceramic “smart” mug keeps your coffee or tea heated to an exact temperature for hours by talking to your phone, which controls the temperature via an app. Yes, the new version is pricy: $99.95 for the 10 oz. mug, $129.95 for the 14 oz. version, and $179.95 for a travel mug. But if you have a loved one who particularly hates microwaving lukewarm dregs of coffee, the Ember Mug2’s longer battery life and touchscreen interface on the mug might just be worth the price hike.
Ponix System Herbert Farm
Got health-conscious family members on which you’re willing to splurge this holiday season? Consider buying them a vertical farm that hangs on the living room or kitchen wall. Ponix System’s Herbert farm uses LEDs and software to grow plants directly in water, with no need for soil. The unit can grow up to 15 plants at once, which is more than enough to provide fresh greens to a single household. The best part of this product is that you can save additional space by mounting Herbert onto the wall. The system goes for €490.00 right now. If you’re outside of the EU, expect additional shipping fees that are determined on a case-by-case basis.
MIKE WOLF’S PICKS:
Equal Parts Cookware and Coaching
No matter how much you cook at home, it’s always good to have a friend you can rely on for cooking advice. If you (or someone in your life) haven’t found that person yet, you might consider a cookware set from Equal Parts. Each set of cookware from this new cookware brand targeted at millennials comes bundled with two months of coaching provided through text messaging, which allows the home cook to ask about anything from techniques to recipe recommendations. I’ve been trying out the coaching service in preparation for Thanksgiving and find my coach responsive and knowledgeable. The cookware+coaching bundles start at $65 and go up to $500 and can be found on the Equal Parts website.
Terra Kaffe TK-01 Grind and Brew Coffee Machine
If you or a loved one has been looking for the closest thing to a coffee robot for the home, the Terra Kaffe TK-01 might just be it. This grind and brew coffee machine allows you to make pretty much any coffee drink under the sun with a few touches of the button. With the ability to optimize your favorite drink and save a specific formulation using the user friendly touch screen, the TK-01 could be the perfect gift for the coffee snob who thinks (s)he has everything. And because it grinds from whole beans stored inside an internal reservoir, it’s more environmentally friendly than that old Keurig, and could be a good gift for someone looking to put pod-based coffee behind them. Priced at $775, you can pick up a TK-01 for $675 using the discount code BF2019 for a limited time.
Just because you can doesn’t mean you should, unless of course it’s adding bubbles to a beverage. That’s my and my family’s attitude at least since we’ve been testing out the Sparkel home carbonation machine and add fizz to everything from sweet tea to cold brew coffee to golden milk. The Sparkel, which is available in a starter pack for $99 (or $119 for a Smeg-ish color like pink or light blue), is a good gift option for anyone in your family who loves to try out new types of beverages or just consumes tons of sparkling water.
CHRIS ALBRECHT’S PICKS:
A sous vide cooked steak is delicious, but it can be a hassle. You have to bring the water to temp, then seal up your meat in plastic (yuck), heat it in the bath for a long time, and then after all that you have to get a pan or grill ripping hot so you can sear it. Ugh. Who wants to deal with all that? The Cinder grill is like a George Foreman grill on steroids that does all of the above in one device. It offers precision sous vide style cooking with no water bath, no plastic bags, and you can sear it on the same device — and the results are delicious. At $429, the Cinder is a lot more expensive than a sous vide wand, but the time you’ll save will make up for it.
Freshly Meal Plan
I tested a lot of prepared meal delivery services this year and while Freshly wasn’t the cheapest, it was the tastiest. Freshly offers a wide range of meals like Sicilian Style Chicken Parm, Sausage Baked Penne, and Coconut Green Curry Chicken. They arrive already made and packaged up so all you have to do is pop them in the microwave, plate and enjoy! Perfect for busy folks and families looking for a little variety in the weekly dinners. You can gift four meals for $50.
Sugary breakfast cereals are delicious, but also… packed with sugar, which is a no-no. Enter Magic Spoon, the “healthy” sweet breakfast that is reminiscent of your childhood but accommodates your adult lifestyle. It’s gluten-free, keto-friendly, packed with protein and most importantly, SUPER TASTY. So you can eat like a kid without any adult guilt. It does, however, come with an adult price, costing $40 for a four-pack, but having gone through four boxes myself, it’s worth trying at least once.
Those are our picks! What do you want for the holidays? Leave us a comment and let us know!