09 January 2010

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things!

Julie Andrews might have been happy with doorbells and sleighbells and schnitzel with noodles, but me, I like food.  And things having to do with food.  I got a bunch of great foodie Christmas gifts this year, some that I asked for, some that were surprises, and I wanted to share my haul with the blogosphere.

A staple in my family is panettone, an Italian bread/cake that's made with dried fruits.  If you buy it in the grocery store or at a department store, you often pay upwards of $8 a loaf for it.  But if you buy it at the Christmas Tree Shops, you can get it for half that price...which of course, means you can get two!

My sister Jenna picked out a beautiful granite cutting board for Andrew and I.  It's found a place of honor next to the stove, and I love that I can quickly chop ingredients, rest a hot pot or a dirty spoon, or toss a steaming hot noodle on it to cool quickly. 

Andrew got me two awesome Silpats, fresh from France (well, via Amazon)!  I am so excited to use them for baking - talk about a great gift!  Nonnie found Madagascar vanilla beans - I was on the last one of my stash, so that was perfect timing!

Here's a collection of some of my other favorite gifts.  The white bottle with the yellow label is Lemon Verbena Sugar from the Village Herb Shop.  I'm looking forward to making sugar cookies with lemon zest and this sugar in them.  The gold labeled bottle (sorry about that crazy reflection, by the way!) is full of whole nutmegs that Nonnie and my mom found for my stocking.  You can see those vanilla bean vials again - hey, I'm pretty psyched about them, you can't blame me for posting two photos, can you? 

The "herb-savor" is a great product that I spotted in Real Simple magazine.  You can buy it from prepara - Ann got one for me and one for herself because she thought it was so cool.  She was right - it rocks!  It's an upright container that fits into a base which has a water well.  You change out the water the way you would with fresh flowers, and it keeps your herbs fresh, watered, and protected.  I've been storing flat leaf parsley in it; so far we're at seven days, and it still looks as fresh as the day I brought it home.

Though this isn't truly a "foodie" gift, I was thrilled to receive these stacking bins from SunCast (looks like Home Depot has the best price right now).  I love that you can open each bin while they're stacked on top of one another, and the bright primary colors are cheerful and fun.  Ann got these for us and we put them to use immediately.  Our town doesn't do pick-up recycling, but having grown up in the Northeast, recycling is a no-brainer for us.  We save our recyclables and bring them to a recycling center every few weeks, so this is a great way to keep them organized.

Since this post is titled "My Favorite Things", I feel the need to add a couple pet photos.

Finn reminds you to bundle up - we do live in the Snow Belt, after all!

And Evin says, "take these ornaments down, it's JANUARY!"

Did you get foodie gifts for the holidays?  What was your favorite new "toy"?  Anything still on your wish list?

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