Treat the foodie in your life to one of these fun,
unexpected gifts that won't break the bank.
Pineapples, what are they good for? Well, pina coladas, pineapple upside-down cake, tacos al pastor, the list goes on. But they're not so easy to break into. They are now! The handy Pineapple Easy Slicer (Williams-Sonoma, $20) is a breeze to use, making it easy to dig into these prickly fruits. Just insert the slicer into the top of a trimmed pineapple, twist the handle and voila! You're left with juicy rings and no core or thorny shell. Combined with a fruit basket, this makes a lovely gift for the health-conscious — and the practical.
This adorably seasonal mug cozy (by Chic 'N Warm, sold on Etsy, $15) makes the perfect present for the tea, cocoa or coffee lover. And as a bonus, whomever you're buying for most likely won't have anything like it yet. Yes, it's a fashionable way to sip a hot beverage, but it will also keep your digits from burning and your mug easily-distinguishable from others. It fits snugly around mugs of all shapes and sizes, and traveling mugs and tumblers too. Now you and your cup can wear matching sweaters. So adorable.
Whiskey stones (Sur la Table, $20 for a set of 9) are an elegant gift for the whiskey-drinker in your life. Only it really doesn't have to be whiskey — a lover of any fine liquor "on the stones" will do. Made of soapstone, they have superior thermal properties, keeping your drink chilled longer without watering it down like ice. The stones are nonporous and softer than granite, so they won't flavor or scent your drink, and they won't scratch your glass either. Paired with a nice bottle of bourbon, these would make any aficionado happy. Just be sure to keep them in the freezer so they're ready at a moment's notice when that cocktail is calling.
Meaning "flower of salt," this hand-harvested sea salt (Saveur du Jour, $15 for 8.8 ounces) is collected off the coast of Brittany, France. Because it's skimmed by hand, it's not cheap, which is why this magical sea salt makes such a good gift — it's something every foodie wants, but might not want to spend the money on. So, what do you do with such a precious commodity? It's used as a finishing salt and is added after cooking so that it doesn't dissolve into the food — adding a notable flavor, texture and appearance to dishes. To really make it shine, sprinkle it on desserts, like caramel, ice cream or creme brulee.
This might be the cutest cookie jar (Anthropologie, $88) we've ever seen. Colorful yet muted at the same time, this wise keeper of the sweets will delight any girly-girl or baker. Whether it's simply used to add a pop of style to a chic kitchen or actually stocked full of goodies, you won't be able to take your eyes off it. And he won't take his eyes off of you either.
We couldn't leave out men when choosing our favorite gifts. This silly apron (Flirty Aprons, $22) is the perfect present for your college-aged son, goofy boyfriend or little brother. Any aspiring grill master would be proud to don this apron — hey, it's important that they protect their T-shirts and maybe give guests a chuckle while they're doing it.
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