17 Food Gift Ideas for Your Favorite Foodie

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WHEN IT COMES TO CHRISTMAS, I GOT THE FOOD GIFT IDEAS ON LOCK.

In fact, they’re my favorite kind of gift to give! (Are you surprised by this?)

I also love food gifts because they make awesome stocking stuffers. 

You see, popping cute and interesting food gifts in Christmas stockings equals less tiny little toys and crayons that I have to pick up on Christmas morning. See why they’re my favorite kind of gift?

Plus, when you find cool food gift ideas, it’s kind of like finding a new little treasure.

I’m not so sure I’d find a valid reason to buy myself an adorable pistachio bowl any old time of the year, but I sure as heck would buy it at Christmas! 

So with that in mind, I gathered together this awesome little list of new and interesting food gift ideas, just for you!

Take a peek around and see what tickles your food gift fancy; and if you buy any of it, let me know how it tastes/works/etc! 

FOX PADDLE GRATER, $13

How freaking cute is this little guy!? Made of brushed aluminum and all-rubber features, this little fox is too sweet. It’s a great gift for kids who are just getting into the kitchen, and small enough to be tucked into a backpack for a picnic.

ALE-IGATOR BOTTLE OPENER, $9

I adore this little guy. As if it wasn’t fun enough to open a beer, now you get to do it with an “ALE-igator”! (Get it!?) Buy it here for yourself or your fave drink afficianado.

“OMG, MY MOTHER WAS RIGHT ABOUT EVERYTHING” TEA TOWEL, $36

Speaking as a mother who has a mother of my own, I would just like to say… it’s true. This tea towel is completely true. Speak the truth in your kitchen and buy it here. 

HAMILTON BEACH BREAKFAST SANDWICH MAKER, $22

Imagine waking up in the morning and eating a hot, cheesy, salty, eggy breakfast sandwich… without ever leaving the house! This cool little gadget has a spot for each component of the perfect breakfast sandwich, and it’s compact enough to fit neatly on your countertop.

WOWLY PISTACHIO BOWL, $13

I love the cheery yellow of this pistachio bowl, but it’s got an even cooler factor: the little compartment underneath to store pistachio shells! Get it here for almost 2/3 off the original price. 

UPRIGHT SPOON HOLDER, $21

Got someone who loves cooking, but hates placing their spoon on the countertop? This pretty upright spoon holder sits next to the stovetop and lends a space to rest the spoon between stirring. It’ll hang on to your spoon collection as well, if you want to keep it clean. And it’s a steal at this price!

MURRAY’S CHEESE OF THE MONTH CLUB, $275

Ful disclosure, my husband bought this for me for Mother’s Day and it is the BEST. Every month, Murray’s sends me 3 distinctly different types of cheeses in a box lined with cold-storage bags. The cheeses also come with information about the creamery, the cheese itself, sometimes a little history, and pairing notes. It’s the highlight of my food month, for sure. Send this awesome gift to a cheese lover you know with this link.  (new members get 10% off!)

JAPANESE SNACK PACK $9

The Japanese just do food well. From sushi to miso soup to ramen to amazing snacks, it’s a country that knows the human palate well! This snack pack gets you tons of different type of snacks and goodies, all for $9. It’s perfect for the world-traveler and the couch surfer alike! 

FAMILY BREAKFAST GIFT BASKET FROM STONEWALL KITCHEN, $89.95

Who doesn’t love breakfast foods!? Each of these sweetly packed baskets includes: Maine Maple Syrup, Wild Strawberry Jam,  Double Chocolate Pancake & Waffle Mix,  Farmhouse Pancake & Waffle Mix,  Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Mix, Blueberry Muffin Mix, and Cinnamon Bun Mix. It’s a perfect start to any day, especially at the holidays. Buy this Stonewall Family Breakfast Basket for someone you know who loves curling up in their pj’s with a hot cup of coffee on Sunday mornings.

OMAHA STEAK BOX $69

I’ve sent Omaha Steaks as a holiday gifts a few times in the past, and it’s always been a gift that is welcomed with open arms. It’s also the gift that keeps on giving, since you can choose from a wide variety of box options; my parents live in Northern Michigan where it’s not exactly grilling weather in the winter, so they cook up the sausages and use the condiments Omaha sends and store the steaks in the freezer til summer, when they can bust out the grill. Send a popular Omaha Steak variety box to your loved ones with this link. 

HEDGEHOG BOWL, $12

This adorable bowl is perfect for parties, weeknight dinner, your key bowl, and more! I love how the little hedgehog is a surprise at the bottom. Get this guy for the hedgehog lovers of adorableness in your life. 

BLUEBERRY BATTER BOWL GIFT SET $49

I am in love with this sweet little blueberry printed batter bowl from Stonewall! It’s just the cheery thing you want to turn to in the mornings when you’re making breakfast; it also comes with blueberry syrup. blueberry jam, and pancake/waffle mix. Click here to buy for someone you’s love to make breakfast with!

DEAN & DELUCA SPIRAL CUT HONEY HAM $44

I feel like a good ham is a perfect gift; it covers every single meal of the day, it travels well, and the bone can be used for soup after! Buy this spiral cut honey ham for someone you want to help out for a few meals or ten. 

DEAN & DELUCA JAMAICAN SPICE RUB, $8 

Slightly spicy, a little sweet, with nutty notes- this is a fabulous jerk seasoning rub! It makes an easy weeknight chicken dish. Buy it here for the busy person you know who loves jerk chicken. 

SUNBASKET GIFT BOX, PRICES VARY

I’m a new convert to Sunbasket, a delivery meal kit with a purpose. I love how easy their system is! You choose from some seriously delicious recipes, and all the packaging they send is easily recyclable. Send a basket to a busy person you know who could use easy, flavorful dinner choices.  

That’s It! Happy shopping! 

If you buy any of these items and love them- I wanna hear about it! Drop me a line on Twitter or Instagram and fill me in.

Quinoa Risotto Baked Tomatoes

Creamy quinoa risotto stuffed baked tomatoes make a perfect vegetarian main course! This filling dish is sure to warm any heart.

Print
Quinoa Risotto Baked Tomatoes
Author: Ruthy Kirwan
Ingredients
  • 1 small acorn squash seeds removed
  • for the quinoa risotto:
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups tap water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • for the baked tomatoes:
  • 4-6 large tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • olive oil to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 450* and slice the acorn squash down the middle. Remove the seeds with a spoon, then place the squash on a baking sheet or wrap in aluminum foil and roast for 30 minutes, or until the flesh is soft and can be easily pricked with the tip of a knife or a fork. Set aside and let cool slightly. When the squash is cool enough to handle, mash the squash and reserve one cup. Any squash left over will freeze beautifully. (The squash can be roasted and mashed ahead of time)
  2. for the quinoa risotto:
  3. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, melt the butter over medium heat and add the onions, cooking until they are soft and translucent. Add the garlic and quinoa and stir until the garlic is very fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the cup of mashed squash, vegetable stock, heavy cream, and tap water and stir to combine. Turn the heat to low, and cook, uncovered and stirring often, for at least 1 hour to 2 hours. The risotto is ready when most of the liquid cooks away and the grains are soft all the way through.
  4. for the baked tomatoes
  5. Preheat the oven to 350*F. Cut a hole in the top of each tomato and, using a paring knife or a serrated spoon, dig a hole into the tomato, taking care not to pierce the bottom. Fill this cavity with the finished risotto, and top with a layer of panko breadcrumbs. Drizzle the breadcrumbs with a little olive oil.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes or until the skin on the sides of the tomato has just started to split and the flesh is hot. If the breadcrumbs are not crispy enough, broil the tomatoes for a minute or two until the breadcrumbs have browned.
  7. Serve hot.

15-Minute Homemade Beef Lo Mein with Bok Choy

This is crazy! It takes my delivery guy like 30 minutes to come to my house, so I gotta start making this easy beel lo mein recipe instead- wow! Good pin.

Why order takeout if this easy beef lo mein only takes 15 minutes from start to finish?!

Every busy person has a few delivery places up their sleeve… or in the app on their smartphone. But what if you could make your favorite Chinese delivery option even faster than the guy can show up at your house!?

Bonus: you’ll know EXACTLY what goes into this beef lo mein. No hoping the restaurant went light on the oil this time, and you can add in as many extra veggies as you wish.

Or no veggies. Your call.

Whatever it is, you’re gonna go crazy for this insanely easy recipe.

I first made this beef lo mein with my students at the Percolate Kitchen Cooking Class for Busy People. It was done so quickly that I had to come up with a second recipe to make, just so we could adequately fill the time!

In fact, that’s what’s so great about this easy beef lo mein recipe; that you can totally add in as much or as little veggies as your heart desires.

But the real easiness lies in the fact that you don’t have to seek out traditional lo mein noodles if they’re not readily available in your area; you can just use regular pasta noodles from a standard Western grocery store.

Traditional lo mein is made with a wheat based noodle, so subbing a thin noodle like angel hair or spaghettini still gets you the same texture you’d find in a more authentic beef lo mein recipe.

So here’s what I would do, if I were you:

Buy a pound of hangar steak and a bottle of oyster sauce.

Get yourself some mushrooms and a box of angel hair pasta.

Make this lo mein on a night when you’re tired, you’re drained, you don’t feel like a big all-out meal. Relish in the fact that it takes 15 minutes to prepare.

If you’re feeling fancy, throw some spicy chili paste on top.

And congratulate yourself. Who needs Seamless delivery!?

Print
15-Minute Beef and Bok Choy Lo Mein
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 
This is a simple, quick weeknight dish that not only packs a lot of flavors, but it’s incredibly versatile; I’ll often throw in as many veggies as I have since the sauce goes so well with everything! 


Lo mein is traditionally made with wheat flour based noodles, which means substituting regular old pasta-aisle noodles will work just as well as finding specialty noodles in the Asian aisle. Try to use angel hair or spaghettini (thin spaghetti) noodles; they won’t suck up as much sauce and keep the texture well-balanced.

Author: Ruthy Kirwan
Ingredients
  • 12 ounces spaghettini noodles (or angel hair)
  • 1/3 cup beef broth
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 3 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound hangar steak sliced thin against the grain
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms sliced
  • 1 large bunch bok choy ends trimmed and roughly chopped (about 4-5 small heads, or 10-12 large leaves)
Instructions
  1. Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the package, then drain and set aside.
  2. While the noodles are cooking, mix the sauce ingredients together in a plastic container that has a tight fitting lid. Add the lid, making sure it’s secure, and then shake the contents until the sugar and ground ginger have dissolved. Set aside until needed.
  3. While the noodles are cooking, heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Heat until the oil is hot and shimmering.
  4. Add the beef and brown both sides.
  5. Add the mushrooms and bok choy and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have started to soften and the bok choy is beginning to wilt, about 3 minutes.
  6. Add the sauce and stir to combine, then bring to a simmer.
  7. Add the noodles and stir to combine. Let cook, stirring occasionally, for another 5-8 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly and the mushrooms have softened all the way through.
  8. Remove and serve hot.

Heck yes, that sounds awesome!

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Pan Seared Spinach Stuffed Chicken and Mushroom Marsala

An easy one pan chicken recipe with a sauce so delicious, you’ll want to lick the pan clean.

But maybe don’t, because not only is that a little like, you know, germy, but the pan could be hot.

Kind of not really a good look. You know?

But seriously, this is an easy one pan chicken marsala recipe that you’ll want to add to your weeknight recipe repertoire, pronto.

It does have a decent amount of butter and oil, and the base of the sauce is made with marsala wine (obvi), so this is not a low-fat diet recipe you pull out when you’re looking to lose some weight.

But what this easy chicken marsala recipe is is a comforting, delicious, savory and warming weeknight dinner, and I think your family is gonna love it.

You know those kinds of recipes that you just keep in your back pocket for the nights when you want to just… kinda fancy?

That’s this easy one pan chicken marsala, straight up.

The marsala makes it feel ever so fancy, but really it’s just a basic fortified wine you keep in your cupboard so it’s ready when you are. Leave the good wine for drinking. Marsala wine is slightly sweet and makes a way better sauce base.

I know I keep going on about this sauce, but this is another thing I love about it: the sauce is thickened with flour that the chicken has been dredged in, which accelerates the browning of the chicken while adding body to the marsala sauce.

A word about the spinach stuffing; I tested this recipe using frozen chopped spinach, which I found to mix great with the grated parmesan. I haven’t tried using fresh spinach, but if that’s what you have on hand, I think using about a third less than the recipe calls for and roughly chopping it before mixing with the grated parmesan would work just as well.

Oh, and that ‘lick the pan clean’ marsala sauce? It goes best with a simple starch on the side, like egg noodles. There’s a lot of richness from the parmesan and spinach stuffing, plus the buttery marsala sauce, so a mellow starch balances out the dish.

Adding in a mellow starch like egg noodles keeps this easy one pan chicken dish squarely in the kid-friendly camp, as well.

Because hands up if your kid prefers to only eat the boring stuff you serve them and not the actually delicious stuff.

(raises hand)

Which means that this is a dish that keeps the whole family happy!

And in the meantime, who’s got tips on how to actually get my kid to eat dinner?

Um, asking for a friend.

Anyway! Easy one pan chicken marsala with melty cheese and mushrooms for the win!

 

Print
Pan Seared Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Marsala Wine Sauce
This recipe is inspired by a number of classical recipes, especially spinach stuffed chicken and marsala chicken, but it’s a flavor all its own. Even better? It comes together in an easy 20 minutes, making it a perfect weeknight dinner option. I prefer using pre-chopped frozen spinach in this recipe since I feel it binds best with the grated parmesan. Feel free to play around with fresh spinach in similar quantities, if it’s what you have on hand. Also, I use pre-mixed shredded “Italian blend” cheese in this recipe, which is often just a combination of mozzarella, parmesan, and provolone. If you can’t find a pre-mixed blend of these cheeses, substituting with provolone or mozzarella is fine.
Author: Ruthy Kirwan
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1.5 cup chopped frozen spinach thawed and drained of excess liquid
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup white flour
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup unsalted chicken stock or broth
  • 1 ½ cup marsala wine
  • 8 ounces shredded Italian blend cheese
  • Toothpicks for securing the chicken breasts
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine the spinach and grated parmesan and stir to combine.
  2. Using a sharp knife, cut a slit in the side of each chicken breast. Season the breasts al over with salt and pepper.
  3. Stuff each breast with about 2 tablespoons spinach and parmesan mixture. Use a toothpick to securely close the opening and set the breasts aside.
  4. In a large, wide saucepan set over medium heat, add the butter and olive oil. Stir to combine and heat until the butter has melted.
  5. While the butter is melting, pour the flour onto a plate.
  6. Once the butter has melted, dredge each chicken breast in the flour, coating each side of the breast. Place the chicken breasts in the pan on by one, leaving a small amount of space between each breast.
  7. Cook the breasts in the butter and oil, turning once or twice, until each side has lightly browned.
  8. While the chicken is browning, mix together the chicken broth and marsala wine in a bowl or large measuring cup.
  9. Once the chicken has browned, add the mushrooms to the pan, distributing evenly around the chicken breasts. Pour in the chicken broth and marsala mixture and turn the heat to medium-high.
  10. 10. Bring the sauce to a simmer and let cook 5-8 minutes, or until it has started to reduce, the chicken breasts have cooked through, and the smell of any alcohol from the marsala wine has burned away.
  11. 11. Sprinkle the cheese evenly on top of each chicken breast. Let the cheese melt, then remove the pan from the heat and serve.

Is Online Grocery Shopping with Thrive Market Really Worth the Hype?

(This page contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

Like all busy people, I often find myself doing my grocery shopping online… like, a lot.

What can I say? I’m a busy working mom. I live in the city and I don’t own a car. I want my kids to eat healthily and not break the bank. And I’m not crazy about dragging them around the grocery store since I usually acquiesce to terrorist toddler demands for juice boxes.

 

And so, I have fallen in love with online grocery shopping. I love the ease of it, especially that I can do it at 10 pm in my pj’s while drinking a glass of wine and half-watching Netflix.

I can comparison shop much easier when I can go online grocery shopping. I find it helps me stay in my budget much better. And when I do run out of something too fast, or forget to put it on my list, I can run into a physical store, grab the thing, and get out before my 3-year-old can even say “CHEDDAR BUNNIES!”

So when I discovered Thrive Market, an online grocery store that offers organic and natural foods at drastically reduced prices compared to physical stores, I was like this:

Here are the two BIG things I love about Thrive Market:

• Their amazing prices. Seriously, I spend less on pantry items and snacks here than I did before. Like, way less. Thrive estimates I’ll save over $600 with them before the year is out!

•Their kind heart. I admit, it’s a bit of a bite spending $59.95 a year on membership, even if their prices are awesome. BUT, for every membership purchased, Thrive donates a FREE membership to a family in need. 

Honestly, that was my nail in the coffin. If my membership can help our family save money AND get quality, lower-cost organic and all natural ingredients and household goods to another family, then sign me up, man.

But of course, when you get right down to it, the best online grocery shopping experience offers great products at great prices.

Thrive offers this and more (if you don’t believe me, check out their awesome app. #lifesaver)

Guys, I’m not buying something if it’s not worth my time, dollars, or effort.

I don’t care if it’s coconut oil hand harvested by virgins and cold pressed with vintage heritage wood, if it’s eleventy jillion dollars or requires actual effort on my behalf, I’m gonna pass.

So I thought I would order a few of my favorite items (the kind that cost significantly less than eleventy jillion dollars while also making my life easier), do a quick ‘unboxing’ video, and let you see how the process works!

I ordered all these items late on Friday afternoon and they arrived on Tuesday with the regular UPS delivery. Not bad, I’d say. Amazon Prime has them beat but isn’t that the case with everything?

Here are my favorite products from Thrive, along with the prices I found on Amazon for the same products. (not all products are on Amazon; I linked the ones I could find!)

(all links below are affiliate links, just so you’re aware!)

Want to see the unboxing of my snack haul in action?

Watch the video below!

That’s it! If you have ANY questions about WHY Thrive Market is the best organic online grocery store, the total bee’s knees, and why I think you’ll adore it, drop me a message!

Happy shopping!

Pear, Leek, and Cheddar Bread Pudding

(This page contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

I brought this side dish to my company Thanksgiving Side Dish Only party, and it was a HUGE hit! What's better is, it's a totally make ahead recipe, too- I made it two days beforehand and let it sit in the fridge til I was ready to bake. So easy! Can't wait to bust it out for my holiday dinner recipes, too. Great pin!

This easy make-ahead savory bread pudding makes a GREAT Thanksgiving side dish!

I have made it a couple of years in a row on Thanksgiving, and it’s always popular for being just a little different and out of the box- but still really well suited as a holiday dinner side dish.

What I really love about this simple bread pudding is how well it does when it’s made ahead, and left to sit in the fridge before baking.

You know how some soups and sauces are even better the same day?

That’s the same idea behind this pear, leek and cheddar bread pudding! Letting it chill out in the fridge for a while makes the flavors come together even better than when you make it the day of.

And when it comes to the cheese you use in this savory bread pudding, let me tell you – the sharper the cheddar, the better the flavor.

I like using really sharp, blow-your-mouth-off cheese in this dish. Sharp cheddar really holds its own against the sweet flavor of pear and the chewy, crusty texture of the bread cubes.

Plus, I mean, we’re talking about cheese. I get all the heart-emoji over cheese, in any form.  So when it’s added to a Thanksgiving side dish, I’m a pretty happy bunny.

Thanksgiving side dishes can get a bad rap sometimes, I think.

In the balancing act of tradition with new-ness, sometimes side dishes can be either boring as all heck, overplayed, or just weird.

This pear leek and cheddar bread pudding is none of those things.

➡It hangs out really well with savory turkey, especially when said turkey has an herby crust.

➡It’s a perfect foil against creamy, crunchy green bean casserole.

➡It’s a sweet-enough side that kids dig it.

And it actually holds up banging as a leftover. The next day when you’re throwing together that perf turkey sandwich, add a spoonful of this bread pudding on top.

 

You’ll be thankful you did (see what I did there?)

It’s time to change up the roster of your usual Thanksgiving side dish, guys. Try adding this sweet, savory, cheesy Pear, Leek and Cheddar Bread Pudding to your holiday table!

 

Print
Pear, Leek, and Cheddar Bread Pudding
Servings: 4
Author: Ruthy Kirwan
Ingredients
  • 2-3 cups diced day-old bread let it get good and dried out
  • 1 cup minced leeks
  • 1 pear peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350*F.   In a large bowl, toss together the bread, leeks, diced pear and cheddar.  
  2. Combine the eggs, heavy cream, garlic and salt. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and toss to distribute evenly.

  3. Dump the contents into a 9"x13" ovenproof baking dish and spread out evenly, making sure all the ingredients are still evenly distributed.
  4. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the egg and cream mixture has set and the top bread cubes have browned and crisped.  Remove from the oven and serve warm.