Holiday Gift Ideas for Foodies

20 11 2014

Aside from the classic gift card to any number of amazing Bay Area restaurants for the foodie on your list, here are a list of great local(ish) places from which to procure yummy holiday treats for all the stockings you’re preparing to stuff.

~~STOCKING STUFFERS (SMALLER GIFTS)~~

TCHO Chocolate

Touting themselves as “The New America Chocolate“, this locally made and conscientiously sourced chocolate is a delicious treat anytime. For the holidays, they have a few great gift options that are as cute as they are yummy.

Lai "Ornaments" Holiday Chocolate Gifts - Starting at $6.95

Lai “Ornaments” Holiday Chocolate Gifts – Starting at $6.95

PureNotes™ Dark Sampler Clear Box 8×8g bar - $7.45

PureNotes™ Dark Sampler Clear Box 8×8g bar – $7.45

Scharffen Berger Chocolate

Ok, you can’t really ever have enough chocolate, right? When we’re talking about local favorites, Scharffen Berger is always another fun one on my list.

Scharffen Berger Tasting Squares Folio Box - $10.35

Scharffen Berger Tasting Squares Folio Box – $10.35

Toffee Talk

If you’re looking for a treat with a bit more pizzazz than plain old chocolate (gasp!), then try a baggie of this SF-made toffee. With just the right ratio of chocolate, nuts, and toffee, and a consistency that’s not too sticky but not too hard, this toffee will surely get an eyebrow raise or two. And rest assured it will be gone quickly — better order an extra bag for yourself. :)

toffee talk toffee pic

Toffee Talk Cello Bag - Starting at $6

Toffee Talk Cello Bag – Starting at $6

Hudson River Popcorn

Made in Menlo Park in small batches, this new-to-the-scene popcorn has been described as “addictive”. Fine, maybe the company itself said that, but it was still said. Either way, this is a yummy snack that’s sure to be fresh to your Bay Area stocking this year.

Hudson River Popcorn Holiday Mix & Match - $21

Hudson River Popcorn Holiday Mix & Match – $21

Rustic Bakery

Oh, Rustic Bakery! Artisanal, organic fine foods and baked goods!! If you’re not able to enjoy one of their cafes in the Marin area, their goods can be found in many specialty shops and they also have a great website for ordering online.

rustic bakery

Rustic Bakery Glazed Gingerbread Tiles - $12

Rustic Bakery Glazed Gingerbread Tiles – $12

Rustic Bakery Handmade Cut Out Sugar Cookies - $7.95

Rustic Bakery Handmade Cut Out Sugar Cookies – $7.95

BBQ Recipe Kit

I know it’s winter time, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get ready for summer again. This tiny new company, Bites with Spice, makes a bad-ass BBQ spice mix right here in SF. Gift it now, get a thank you later when it’s time to grill again.

Bites with Spice BBQ Recipe Kit - $9.99

Bites with Spice BBQ Recipe Kit – $9.99

Kind Bars

Ok, these aren’t local — they’re made by a relatively giant nationwide company. But, they’re healthy, delicious snacks that I like to eat instead of all the other stuff made of unpronounceable ingredients on the grocery store shelves. And, they make perfect stocking stuffers. :)

Kind Bars - Typically ~$2/bar

Kind Bars – Typically ~$2/bar

 

~~GIFT WRAP REQUIRED (LARGER GIFTS)~~

Figone’s Olive Oil

There are a variety of local olive oil purveyors, but Figone’s is my favorite. Manufactured in a modest, unassuming facility in the Napa Valley where you can watch the oils being created in the Fall and Winter and taste the offerings anytime, Figone’s is a fun place to visit and a great gift for pretty much everyone.

I particularly recommend the Tuscan Blend Olive Oil ($12 for 100mL), the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar ($18 for 100mL), and for the splurge, the White Truffle Mushroom Olive Oil ($26 for 60mL). They also offer membership in their La Visione Club which delivers two 250mL bottles quarterly, and includes a discount on any other purchases.

Figone's Olive Oils and Vinegars - 60mL starting at $7, 100mL starting at $12, 250mL starting at $19

Figone’s Olive Oils and Vinegars – 60mL starting at $7, 100mL starting at $12, 250mL starting at $19

Figone's La Visione Club - $48 or $58 per shipment, 4 shipments per year

Figone’s La Visione Club – $48 or $58 per shipment, 4 shipments per year

Bluxome Street Winery

With vines just up the way in Russian River, Bluxome Street Winery is an old school SF-built winery. I have not myself tried the wines, but the place looks rad, and the wines look pretty schmancy. Plus, it’s fun to buy things that are so proudly made in San Francisco.

Bluxome Street Winery 2012 Balinard Vineyard Pinot Noir and Riedel Decanter - $74

Bluxome Street Winery 2012 Balinard Vineyard Pinot Noir and Riedel Decanter – $74

Bluxome Street Winery 53B Wine Club - $200 or $250 for 6 bottles. Shipments 3 times per year.

Bluxome Street Winery 53B Wine Club – $200 or $250 for 6 bottles. Shipments 3 times per year.

Hangar 1 Vodka

This seemingly-innocuous warehouse way out on the tip of Alameda brews some seriously sprightly spirits. Stick with the classic Hangar One Vodka, or branch out to something more exciting by visiting their tasting room…

Hangar 1 Vodka - $35 (four flavors)

Hangar 1 Vodka – $35 (four flavors)

Avital Tours

For the ultimate SF foodie adventure, a guide is always helpful. Take a walk with Avital on one of her food tours of The Mission, North Beach, Union Square, or The Haight. You’ll nibble some of the local neighborhood favorites, listen to tales of all the local legends, and learn a whole heck of a lot more about places you thought you knew.

Avital Tours Walking Food Tours of San Francisco - $68-$88 per person

Avital Tours Walking Food Tours of San Francisco – $68-$88 per person

Happy holidays everyone!





Corazonas Oatmeal Squares

18 08 2014

The nice people at Corazonas approached me recently about their heart-healthy, oatmeal-based snack bars. They sent me a few to try, and I have to say that I really liked them.

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These snack bars are similar in size to a Clif Bar, which has historically been my go-to “energy” bar-type snack (though I have more recently moved to Kind Bars). Corazonas are different: they are softer and fresher-seeming, almost like an oatmeal cookie, but not so sweet. They have a variety of flavors available: banana walnut, chocolate brownie & almonds, blueberry, cranberry flax, chocolate chip, and more — and most of them I tried were really tasty.

IMAG1334

The big claim to fame for these particular snack bars is that they are fortified with plant sterols — compounds that occur naturally in fruits, veggies, and other foods that have been shown to reduce bad cholesterol. Nutrition facts and ingredients for each flavor are also posted on the website for your viewing pleasure; in summary, each bar has about 180 to 200 calories, five grams of fiber, and six grams of protein (and 5-8 grams of fat, and around 30 grams of carbs, if you care about more things than I do).

While I’m sad that these snacks aren’t available at the small natural food store by my house, they are accessible to most Bay Area-ites via Safeway, select Costcos, and other local stores like Andronico’s and Berkeley Bowl. Anyone who likes “energy” bars, or just likes quick snacks for work, school, home, or on the go, I would definitely encourage you to try Corazonas.

oatmeal-HeroShot-675x283





Full Circle – Organic Produce Delivery

14 06 2014

Oh! I just happened to see that Full Circle is having a LivingSocial deal right now and thought I’d take the opportunity to recommend them highly! Full Circle was kind enough to give me a six month subscription for free a while back, which was totally amazing. I hadn’t really done the CSA box thing (though Full Circle is apparently not a true CSA, which is ok), and Full Circle was an amazing introduction.

If you’re thinking about getting weekly fresh, organic produce delivery and you live in the delivery areas around the SF Bay, try them out. And buy their LivingSocial deal to get a discount!

full circle

Pros:

  • Fresh, delicious produce
  • Hassle-free weekly delivery to your front door (or you can pick up at a designated location if you prefer)
  • Excellent website and customer service
  • Super easy to “skip” a delivery via their website for when you’re headed out of town

Cons:

  • My only complaint wasn’t a complaint to Full Circle, but since I live alone, it was hard for me to consume even the smallest size delivery available. And since I hate wasting food, this was always a struggle. But, if you have more than one person, or you mow through fruits and veggies, it’s awesome!




Awesome Website: Mouth.com

5 04 2014

I WANT THIS:

pickles every month

Yes, this is a pickle of the month club. And I want it almost as badly as I want it to cost less. They offer 3-, 6-, 9-, or 12-month subscriptions that calc out to $57 per month for delicious, gourmet, handmade pickles to be delivered to your house. That, imho, is outrageously expensive, but I guess they’re just that delicious, gourmet, and handmade. Oddly, the price per month does not decrease as you increase your subscription length — no bulk discount on pickles? Sad face.

I can’t keep a sad face for long. So many pickles! And not just that, look at the other stuff they have! Chocolate club! Gifts under $50 (making them far more affordable and far more likely to be purchased by my cheap ass)! Cookie club!! Other things!!!

mouth.com gifts

I haven’t actually ordered anything from Mouth, so I can’t personally attest to the quality or anything else about the experience beyond the website. But the website is selling it, right? I love the way everything is displayed, I love the fonts (yes, I’m part font geek), and I love the feel of the whole site. They are totally catering to food-snobby little me, and it’s totally working.

mouth.com gifts for special occasions

If I’m ever feeling wild and decide to buy a (not cheap) gift for someone (I don’t do gifts anymore — a topic for another day), I now know where to go.

P.S. This is not a sponsored post, and mouth.com has no idea that I know about them. My friend passed me the link (knowing of my love of pickles) and I couldn’t help but share. If you’ve tried the site, please let me know!!





Rewinery

5 08 2012

Update: Rewinery has since shut down. :(

So, I have a food blog. Hi, yes, this is it. Because of this, I sometimes get free stuff. Or get invited to food events. It’s kinda awesome. And while I never promise to write about any of these things, I will write about them if I particularly like them. And sometimes, you get a coupon for stuff too (see below).

Enter Rewinery.

Rewinery is a wine delivery service in SF. They have one wine on special at any point (they seem to rotate about every week or two) and you order two bottles (typically) for $30. It is then delivered to your door by bike messenger within the hour. Or, you can specify an hour in the future (not the past, sorry) for it to be delivered if you want to order for later.

It’s awesome. Their site is simple and easy to use. The wine is good (says the person who knows nothing about wine) such that $30 is a steal for two bottles (or so they tell me, at least). And they have specials sometimes: TCHO chocolate with your wine; Cowgirl Creamery cheese and Acme bread with your wine; all the fixins to make a pasta dinner with your wine. You get the idea. Also, sometimes, they have “happy hour” where they sell a bottle of wine for $5 for one hour (limited quantities, and you have to be on top of it to catch the deal).

I got those things in that box when I ordered my Rewinery. Yum.

Basically, I think it’s a great service and that they’ve executed it very well. I highly recommend it and they’ve given me a coupon to share with you so you can try it. Hence, fair San Francisco dweller, no need to put your outside-jacket on (Summer in SF — yeay!), Rewinery will come to you for $15 cheaper than they will everyone else. Type in the code brocandchoc at checkout to get $15 off your wine order at rewinery.com.

Side note: Also, apparently you’re supposed to tip your courier… a fact I was unaware of. Sorry, courier man, I live on a massive hill and I didn’t even give your sweaty ass a couple bucks for coming to me. Bad form. Please accept my apologies.





Canvas Print – Sponsored Post

8 09 2011

Not so much sponsored, really, as part of an exchange. This is new to me and I was pretty excited about it.

Brendan from Easy Canvas Prints contacted me a bit ago to see if I wanted a canvas print in exchange for blogging about it. While I love this idea, I typically pass on promos because I don’t often find them relevant to my blog and don’t want to clog up the content with crap no one cares about. But Brendan knew a weakness of mine… I love canvas prints. I also love picture and photos in general. And I love ordering things online. Ok, Brendan, let’s do this.

Because this was being posted on my food blog, I figured it wouldn’t be appropriate to order a canvas print of my family, a sunset, or my cat. It’s really only appropriate to order a photo of food to discuss on a food blog. So, I set off perusing my multitudes of photos for one that would turn out well on a canvas.

I was looking for a superior photo, obviously, one with good light, a tantalizing subject, and perhaps some color. A close-up was going to work best since the canvas that Brendan kindly offered was an 8×10. After much deliberation, I chose this photo:

Tuna Sandwich from The Brick House in SF

Yeah, that photo is totally awesome, huh. I know. So, I used their “photo to canvas” website and created my canvas with just a few clicks. I told Brendan that I’d be happy to post about my experience on my site, but that I wasn’t going to pump anything up that wasn’t up to par. He was confident, and I see why. His site is solid, his product is great, and there’s nothing to complain about. I had a great experience (in addition to getting a free canvas print), and I love my sandwich canvas. Here she is:

Sandwich Canvas. I haven't hung it up yet, so I took this photo outside. Which is weird, I realize. But the lighting was good.

And here I am:

Me and Sandwich Canvas.








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