Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With String

These are a few of my favorite things.  Today when many of us are still bustling around trying to find the perfect little something for our special someones, I am lingering on gifts for foodies.  So, here are a few things that perhaps you might want to share with a foodie on your Holiday List.

Favorite Bubbly – Bortolotti Prosecco – Available at Gemelli Wines and Spirits

Favorite Bleu Cheese – Lotsa Pasta’s Gorgonzola – Ask Will at the Cheese Counter.  Perfect paired with toasted walnuts and drizzled with a local raw honey.

Favorite Smoked Salmon – Available at The Seafood Connection in Chenoweth Square.  A portion paired with a bottle of bubbly and a fresh baguette will make a wonderful gift.

Favorite Sandwich Slice – Breadworks Sunflower Wheat (great for toasting too).

Favorite Reference Book on Wine – Dornenburg and Page’s ‘What to Drink with What you Eat’.  Anyone serious about food and beverage pairings needs a copy of this encyclopedic volume.

Favorite Crowd Pleasing Red Wine – Stephen Vincent’s California ‘Crimson’ – also available at Gemelli Wines and Spirits.

Favorite Red and Green Appetizer – Place a log of goat cheese on a (preferably) white serving plate.  Arrange diced roasted red peppers and capers over and around the cheese.  Drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and liberally garnish with freshly ground black pepper, and chopped fresh rosemary and thyme.  Serve with crackers or slices of baguette.  The components listed above and packaged in a small basket or on a cutting board or plate would make a lovely gift.

Favorite Baguette – Blue Dog Bakery.  Any questions?

Favorite Gift for the Grill Meister – A new silicon basting brush and a fantastic BBQ Sauce.

Favorite use for leftovers – make soup!  Leftover baked potatoes?  Make Baked Potato Soup.  Leftover Prime Rib?  Beef, mushroom and barley soup.  Leftover steamed veggies?  Cream of  (broccoli, asparagus, acorn squash…) soup.  I suppose you can’t give leftovers to your friends, but what about a book on soups?  My CD cookbook, entitled ‘Soups’ is available on my website.

Favorite shop for spices, teas and paraphernalia – The Spice Merchant in Chenoweth Plaza.

Favorite Gift for the Salad Lover  – a perfectly balanced Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Favorite Shopping spot for vintage ‘stuff’ – The Crescent Hill Trading Co.  Behind Carmichael’s at Frankfort and Bayly.  Vintage kitchen ‘stuff’, furniture, doors, windows, architechtural salvage – something for everyone.  You never know what you’ll find and going once a day wouldn’t be too often. Pair a vintage plate with homemade cookies or a cup and saucer with your foodie friend’s favorite drink. 

Favorite Hot Sip – ‘My Brew’ hot tea.  Perfect with the Cocoa Tea Cookies below.  

Favorite New Addition to the Holiday Cookie Tray – Cocoa Tea Cookies.  A rendition of a recipe found several years ago in the CJ, it’s new to many, and an addictive and sublime little bite.  Serve with ‘My Brew’ tea, of course.

Cocoa Tea Cookies

These cookies are similar to the Pecan Puffs posted earlier, but are definately different enough to have along side them with many other cookies.  You will most likely have to make a special stop at the store to pick up the mini chocolate chips as a lot of us don’t use them all that often. 

8 oz unsalted butter

5 Tbls sugar (just less than 1/3 cup)

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 oz chopped pecans

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1 Tbls cocoa powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 1/2 cups flour

powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325.

Cream the sugar and butter.  Add the vanilla, pecans and chocolate chips.  Whisk together flour, cocoa and cinnamon.  Stir into the creamed mixture.  Scoop into 1 Tbls portions and place on parchment lined sheet pans.  Press down slightly.  Bake for 15-18 minutes.  Cool slightly and roll in powdered sugar.  Makes about 3 dozen small cookies – enough for 1 person!

Enjoy!

Happy Holidays!

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