I am not a Christmas or holiday shopper. I don’t rush out to stores to catch the sales. I do my holiday shopping year round. I take great pleasure in going on a trip to a far off land and extending the experience of my visit by buying treasures to carry home with me for my loved ones. I have a running tally of friends and family that I will gift. Seeking out the uncommon goods, wandering through souks, bazaars, markets, and artisan stalls is a highlight of any trip. I even travel with an empty piece of luggage to haul my loot home. When it comes to the holidays, there is no dashing out to buy a last minute present or stocking stuffer. I go to my Gift Closet that I have curated throughout the year. It’s such a treat to relive my adventures as I wrap each present.
One of my childhood best's mother, Linda Conrow, blew my mind as a little girl introducing me to the Gift Closet idea. She taught me you must always buy the thing you love when you see it. Keep a shelf in the closet just for those treasures. You never know when the perfect time will arise when you can gift it to the perfect person.
On my blog today, I’ve created my own little Gift Closet for you highlighting some of my favorite artists, objects, and goodies. Nearly all of them are running a discount or giveaway. These are All Good Things products that I love made by people that I believe in. Buy them now, tuck them away for later if you’ve finished your shopping. Or buy something special for yourself to celebrate your accomplishments of 2015.
Sel Magique elevates so many of the dishes I prepare in my kitchen. I discovered their amazing products at the Fancy Food Show this summer and I'm an eternal fan. The salt jars are like little works of art. You'll repurpose them to hold some other culinary treasure long after the salt is gone. (Don't worry, they sell refills.) Their Salt and Pepper blend is the best idea ever. Oh and they make chocolate bars!...Well, maybe that is the best idea ever. 20% off your order using the code GIFTS2015C.
I wrote about JQ Loves U a few years ago in a post called Love Your Selfie. Did you buy one of those Tshirts back then? Her designs are functional, innovative, and original. The Infinity Shrug can be worn seven different ways! So cozy. So fun. Jacquie is offering a 15% discount until January 6th using the promo code la2015.
You've seen Treadle Ceramics on the blog before. I commissioned Lisa Harper Kennedy to make some platters for food photo shoots. Her work is truly special. Most people have a mug they LOVE. It helps them get out of bed to greet the day with coffee or chai. Treadle Ceramics mugs are that kind of mug. Comforting to hold and no two are alike which is my favorite quality about handmade items. Lisa gave birth to baby boy, Rocco, last month. Support a new mama!
Of course StoneRidge Orchards made the list! They are an All Good Things regular! Good news! Now their products are available to buy online at iHerb.com. I'm lucky that my neighborhood grocer carries their dried fruits and chocolate dipped berries and cherries. In fact, every single time I go grocery shopping I make a point to walk by the StoneRidge Orchards display to give them some good energy. I beam with pride that I get to represent a brand that I love so much. Snatch up some of these delicious and healthy treats for stocking stuffers or to mingle into your holiday cheese tray.
Tailfeather Designs is the baby of Liat Cohen, a New Yorker with Israeli roots, but she might as well be from the moon. She is otherworldly. I never liked the word goddess. I never identified with the word goddess. Until Liat. I met her years ago when Amma, the hugging saint from India, brought blessings and embraces to NYC. Every year Liat and I reconvine for our hug, some juicy girl talk, and I get to bask in her light. Each handcrafted piece of Tailfeather Designs tells a story and carries with it many blessings that have been intentionally infused into it during its creation. Don't you want to wear something made by a goddess? Use the promo code GIVINGTHANKS and get 20% off until 12/11/15.
Erin Stutland, has created a workout called Shrink Session that is the perfect gift for the person who travels, for the person whose work schedule doesn't allow them to always make it to the gym, and especially perfect for the person like me: a homebody! This time of year as the evenings get colder and darker I have a hard time leaving the coziness of my own home. Erin's Shrink Session lives inside my computer so I have no excuse! Shrink Session is a mindful workout where 'movement in your body creates movement in your life.' The program builds strength and confidence. Her free Winter edition of the Say it Sweat it Get it Challenge starts today! Commiting to one week and just 5 minutes a day of movement and motivation is exactly what I need to get the ball rolling again after the marathon of Thanksgiving cooking (and eating!) You can buy the whole program to keep someone you love moving and motivated despite the holiday craziness, but first you can try it for free. Join me and sign up for the challenge right HERE.
I'm running my own holiday giveaway! Follow me on twitter, instagram, and like my chef page on Facebook - all 3 - by Sunday December 6th at 11:30pm and you’ll be entered to win a beautiful jar of my handmade cranberry chutney! Mailed anywhere in the continental US in time for you to enjoy at your holiday table. Winner will be announced next week!
This is a cranberry chutney that I make during Thanksgiving and savor all year long. I make big batches and do the whole jarring process so it can safely sit in my pantry until the need for my favorite condiment presents itself. I could eat cranberry chutney on everything. I use it as a spread for sandwiches, a party snack on top of goat cheese crostini, and as a sauce for nearly every protein imaginable. (It’s even delicious over vanilla ice cream!) This has been a standby recipe of mine for over 15 years.
Cranberry Pear Ginger Chutney
3 cups fresh cranberries
2 cups finely chopped peeled pear (about 3 pears)
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1 1/4 cups dried cherries
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
4 tablespoons dried currants or golden raisins
4 tablespoons minced crystallized ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- Combine all the ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Chill. Freezes well.
Food images by Cheryl Stockton of Stockshot Studio.