Posts Tagged ‘gifts for foodies’

Cover of "My Last Supper: 50 Great Chefs ...

Cover via Amazon

The title of this blog post is a phrase that my husband has said to me many, many times!  Why? Well, because for some reason, I often (almost always) have a difficult time deciding what I would like to order when we are dining out.  And put me in an ice cream shoppe and I revert to a kid with a nickel in a penny candy store!  I can’t pick a flavor I want, I want all of them.  Mostly I order two different flavors for my cone or cup.  Hey at least I’m getting two out of the 3o I had to choose from!!  When this behavior takes hold, Peter looks at me and reminds me, “This probably won’t be your last meal”. 

Little did I know that there’s a book and a game about your last supper!  Actually not your last supper but rather the last meal of 50 great chefs.  The title of the book is: My Last Supper: 50 Great Chefs and Their Final Meals/Portraits, Interiews, Recipes, Melanie Dunea is the author.  

If the title of the book alone is not intriguing enough for you to purchase  one for the Foodie on your list, then let me drop a few names of the very famous chefs who have been interviewed for the book and they’re so famous, I need only to use their first names:  Wylie, Lidia, Scott, Daniel, Mario, Gordon, Jean-Georges, Alain and MORE!   

The following has been excerpted from Amazon’s web site – Chefs have been playing the “My Last Supper” game among themselves for decades, if not centuries, but it had always been kept within the profession until now. Melanie Dunea came up with the ingenious idea to ask fifty of the world’s famous chefs to let her in on this insider’s game and tell her what their final meals would be. My Last Supper showcases their fascinating answers alongside stunning Vanity Fair-style portraits. Their responses are surprising, refreshing, and as distinct from each other as the chefs themselves. The portraits–gorgeous, intimate, and playful–are informed by their answers and reveal the passions and personalities of the most respected names in the business. Lastly, one recipe from each landmark meal is included in the back of the book. With My Last Supper, Dunea found a way into the typically harried, hidden minds of the people who have turned preparing food into an art. Who wouldn’t want to know where Alain Ducasse would like his supper to be? And who would prepare Daniel Boulud‘s final meal? What would Anthony Bourdain‘s guest list look like? As the clock ticked, what album would Gordon Ramsay be listening to? And just what would Mario Batali eat for the last time?

I think this would be a really interesting addition to any Foodie’s cookbook collection!  Personally I would love it, however, I just received a fantastic present of a cookbook.  My FB friend, Melissa sent me an autographed copy of Ree Drummond a.k.a. The Pioneer Woman‘s  latest cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks Holidays.   This gift is very special;  I’ve never met Melissa and she lives in Texas.  She posted on Facebook that she was going to a book signing by Ree.  I replied to her how lucky she was because I’m follower of Ree’s blog.  She offered to get me a copy and would not allow me to pay for it.  Isn’t that a wonderfully generous gift to receive for Christmas?

My Last Supper: 50 Great Chefs and Their Final Meals/Interviews/Recipes  is available through Amazon.com for $30.11

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If that title didn’t grab you, I don’t know what will!!! LOL LOL.  No, I haven’t lost my mind or forgotten what these count-down blog posts are all about – Gifts for the Foodies in Your Life.  

We know that there is a broad definition to the word Foodie;  Some like to eat out and experience a wide range of ethnic foods or dine exclusively  at restaurants owned by renowned chefs, some prefer the ever-changing and exciting world of cocktails which often includes revivals of the classics.  Then there are creative cooks at home, the bakers and candy-makers as well as the gadget-collectors!

This post is for young emerging generation of cocktail connoisseurs.  They started out drinking the sweet, syrupy fruit-flavored drinks like all things made with Raspberry Vodka, Orange Vodka and every other fruit vodka.  Since vodka doesn’t  have too much flavor of its own and can be disguised with fruit flavorings, the newly-legal and the many under-age drinkers preferred drinking the equivalent of a cherry soda with a kick!  And some resorted to Jack and  Coke  or Jack Daniels and Red Bull (OMG) to get their highs.

But now, I see the Gen X and Gen Y crowd (well especially here in New York City) growing  into sophisticated crowd of cocktail connoisseurs.  They meet at the secret speakeasies around town and order classic cocktails, some with a modern twist.  Manhattans and Martinis, Single Malt Scotches, and aged Bourbons are among the new old preferred drinks of the day.

Additionally, one of the new hot buzz words in the Foodie world is small batch which could be described as artisanal and sometimes even local or regional unique offerings from private label companies.  In that vein, today’s gift idea is: AGED CITRUS BITTERS by Five by Five Tonics Co.

Aged Citrus Bitters

Aged Citrus Bitters

The company’s description of their product is as follows:  

Five by Five’s Aged Citrus Bitters are unique in that our aged component does not come from aging the bitters themselves, it comes from selecting citrus varieties at various stages of maturity from fresh to aged.  This gives the Aged Citrus Bitters a wider range of flavors than you will find in any other citrus bitters available from the aromatic flavor of citrus peel to the savory flavor of aged tangerine peel.  This is a truly handmade product crafted meticulously from botanical to bottle.

Mixing notes:  This is an extremely versatile citrus bitters able to mix well in all traditional uses of citrus bitters, while also imparting enough balanced savory flavor to shine in cocktails where normal citrus flavor wouldn’t.  These bitters pair well with brandy, vermouth, and work exceptionally well in a martini.

Tasting notes: Savory and warm with complex citrus notes.

And as a bonus I’m including their recipe for a FIVE SQUARED VIEUX CARRE

5 Squared Vieux Carre

  • 3/4 oz. Rye Whiskey
  • 3/4 oz. Cognac
  • 3/4 oz. Sweet Vermouth
  • 2 Dashes Five by Five Aged Citrus Bitters
  • 1 Dash Five by Five Aromatic Bitters

Stir 50 times over ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.  Garnish with a orange peel.

Notes:  I’m sure there are many of you crying out that the Vieux Carre is not a cocktail that is served up.  Traditionally the Vieux Carre is served in an old-fashioned glass over ice.  I like to think of this more as a Nouveau Carre for two reasons.  One, being that this drink is best made with high quality spirits, serving it up will not allow these flavors to be diluted.  Also, the keen-eyed observer can see the absence of Benedictine in this recipe.  I feel the herbal component of this cocktail is handled quite nicely by employing both of Five by Five’s bitters flavors and makes this gem of a cocktail a bit more accessible to the home cocktail enthusiast.  

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Not all Foodies excel in the kitchen, some just love good food and they eat out all the time.  They love gourmet food, they  follow certain chefs but they may not do much cooking or baking at home.  However, if the Foodie on your list cooks and bakes, this handy-dandy little kitchen tool will make a great gift!  And inexpensive too – just $10.39!!

I know you’ve seen those famous chefs on television crack eggs with one hand swiftly and efficiently but how about the rest of us?  And what if you’re cooking for someone who is watching their cholesterol intake and wants only egg white omelets?  Or your recipe calls for eggs and then extra egg yolks?  

Well lookee here…You need to buy a PLUCK.  A PLUCK is a cleverly-designed egg separator. Think Sunny Side Out! Extracting the yolk from healthy egg whites can feel as tricky as pulling a rabbit from a hat. Pluck makes it easy by separating the two with a simple squeeze and release of its silicone chamber. Now everyone from bodybuilders to soccer moms can just pluck that caloric yellow stuff right out.  Pluck’s clear tip plastic and silicone bulb come apart for easy cleaning by either hand or machine.

Squeeze Me

Squeeze Me

Can you imagine how easy this makes separating a yolk from the white?  No more tiny bits of shell floating in the gooky yolk  or the sticky white!  I think this is a terrific kitchen toy for a Foodie.

Available online through Amazon and in stores such as Bed, Bath and Beyond.

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While cooking dinner this evening and thinking about writing today’s Foodie gift blog, it occurred to me this past April I found a wonderful new kitchen tool and I should write about it.  My husband and I and his sister and husband took a trip to Quebec in April.  We thought it would be lovely and spring-like;  Instead, it was cold, windy and rainy.  However, we were undaunted and covered the Lower Town and the Upper Town.  One afternoon while strolling though the Lower Town in Old Quebec City, Stacey and I wandered into a lovely shop filled with kitchen ware and flatware and cookware.  We are both Foodies and love to cook, so we spent considerable time picking up item after item, many of which we had never seen at home.

We came across a pair of strange-looking scissors. Fascinated, we asked the clerk about them and were told that these shears were meant to julienne herb leaves or thinly slice mushrooms, lettuce, and even ham.  Immediately I knew I had to have these scissors to slice my basil leaves over my juicy Jersey tomatoes.  Not only would the little shreds be distributed more evenly over a caprese salad, the slices would release some of the basil oil.

Made of stainless steel and with 5 blades, this is one of the most useful tools in my kitchen.  Available for purchase online from several stores as well as Amazon, you can purchase these MASTRAD shears for under $10.00

Shear Delight

Shear Delight

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