The holidays have crept up again, and I for one do not feel ready. These last few months have been a big ol' blur. But luckily I keep a list going all year long to help me figure out what gifts I want to buy for the handful of people I shop for each year.
And also maybe a few gifts for myself. Because let's be real... we all deserve to treat ourselves, too.
I've put together lots of gift guides over the years. Some are themed, like these white elephant funny gifts for foodies or the year I shared three different "shop small" guides to help highlight and support small businesses (part 1, part 2, part 3).
I stand by my recommendations from previous years, but I always enjoy adding some fresh products into the mix. This year's gift guide features a variety of kitchen tools and gadgets I've been loving lately, as well as one of my favorite local businesses.
Buckle up and let's get this sleigh ride going!
- ☕️ Freshly Roasted Small Batch Coffee Beans
- 🎁 Curated Gift Box Assortments
- 💃🏻 Make Your Own Churros Fiesta in a Box
- 🌎 Perfect Pour Over Set (No Paper Filters Needed!)
- 🌡️ Favorite Digital Thermometers
- 🚊 Spill-proof Commuter Mugs
- 🧊 Portioned Freezable Silicone Food Storage Trays
- 🧽 Eco-Friendly Kitchen Goods
- 🥛 Plant-based Milk Maker
- 💬 Comments
☕️ Freshly Roasted Small Batch Coffee Beans
If you follow me on Instagram, you're well aware of my love for coffee. I start almost every morning by making a pour over with freshly ground coffee beans. One of the biggest game-changers in my home coffee game has been sourcing my beans from a roaster right here in my hometown of Ossining, New York.
Here Coffee + Beer opened a little over a year ago right next to the Ossining train station. I was over the moon to find out that a roaster would be so close to home, and the beans from this place have never been anything short of swoon-worthy!
The coffee beans at Here are meticulously sourced for quality as well as environmental and social responsibility. They're freshly roasted in small batches and immediately packaged to ensure optimum freshness.
They have a rotating selection of beans, but there are a few staples that are always on the roster including one of my favorites, and their flagship blend, The River That Flows Two Ways.
For locals, you can find delicious baked goods, daily sandwich specials, a fantastic charcuterie selection, and a slew of homemade syrups and flavorings for your favorite caffeinated beverages.
Here also has a collection of curated specialty beers from around the world, including some of the Hudson Valley’s most revered. They have a well-stocked fridge of cans and bottles of beer and wine, along with some non-alcoholic options, and a rotating draft beer selection.
They even host live music and other special events often. It truly is my happy place!
Whether you're stocking up on coffee beans to brew first thing in the morning, making your own cold brew coffee, or you're a local looking to spend some time at a coffee shop run by a really rad group of humans, I hope you'll give Here Coffee + Beer a try.
Special Promo for Big Flavors Readers
For locals, mention the Big Flavors gift guide when visiting Here Coffee + Beer in person to get 5% off whole-bean coffee, beer (draft or package), or on-premises wine pours.
Online orders get free shipping by using discount code BIGFLAVORS at checkout. Their shop page has LOTS of delicious options.
Promos are good through January 31, 2024.
Thanks so much to Dylan and Stacey for extending these specials. I'm so glad to have you in Ossining and can't wait to see what the future brings.
🎁 Curated Gift Box Assortments
One of my favorite humans out on the West Coast recently launched Our Favorite Things - a one-stop shop for gorgeously curated gift boxes.
Paloma has always been a next-level holiday enthusiast and gift-giving rockstar. I love that she has channeled her energy into building thoughtful and downright gorgeous gift assortments for those of us who don't necessarily have the time or energy to do it on our own.
You can also shop by the type of greeting card you'd like to include and build out your assortment from there. Our Favorite Things takes the heavy lifting of item selection off your plate, but they still let you choose a few things, such as the scent of a candle or room spray or the type of chocolate included.
The gift boxes are packed with care, ensuring they'll arrive just as beautifully as the day they were wrapped. I couldn't get over the perfect white bow and magnetic closure keeping my treats secure.
Each item in the assortment that I received has seriously exceeded my expectations. The quality of the products is top-notch, and I appreciate the thought that was put into selecting each artisan.
Even the greeting card included in my gift box was thoughtful - it's a plantable card, so I'll be able to grow some flowers with it once we get past winter here in New York.
You can check out the vendors that Our Favorite Things works with over on their vendor highlights page.
"By purchasing from Our Favorite Things, you're directly supporting the livelihoods of small business owners and the charitable missions of the few larger companies we elect to work with."
Congrats again on the launch of your shop, Paloma. I'm so proud of you, friend!!
💃🏻 Make Your Own Churros Fiesta in a Box
I was at a conference in Brooklyn a few months ago when I discovered a make-your-own churro kit from San Diablo Churros. The smell of the churros lured me in, and the taste, presentation, and friendliness of the crew that was doing the demo kept me there.
The churro kit comes with everything you need to make churros at home. They call it a fiesta in a box and I can see why!
There are a few different ways you can buy your churro-making kit. You can get the whole fiesta kit that includes the churro maker, churro mix (just add water!), 9 differently shaped interchangeable nozzles, a cinnamon sugar shaker, and a bottle of dulce de leche to fill your churros.
It also comes with some little pitchfork utensils to eat your churros and some cute accessories, all in the angel-devil theme.
My favorite thing about this kit, other than the super cute branding, is that the churros can be deep-fried OR air-fried! I haven't tried making them in my air fryer yet, but I will be soon and will report back for sure.
The San Diablo Churros website also sells the churro-making gadget separately, as well as a variety of bottles of fillings and signature cinnamon sugars.
You can also order just the churro mix (again, just add water!), or a pack with churro mix, dulce de leche, and cinnamon sugar.
I love how easy San Diablo Churros has made it to enjoy some seriously delicious churros at home. They include an e-book of recipes, pro tips, and video tutorials with step-by-step instructions, including gluten-free and vegan recipes.
This is a really fun gift that's guaranteed to bring the holidays to the next level.
Special Promo for Big Flavors Readers
San Diablo Churros is offering Big Flavors readers 40% off of EVERYTHING on their website through December 31, 2023. Use my affiliate link and be sure to enter code BIGFLAVORS at checkout.
🌎 Perfect Pour Over Set (No Paper Filters Needed!)
We've already established that I'm quite a fan of good coffee. I love making a pour over for myself every morning. There's just something calming and meditative about swirling the water to make a perfect cup (or 3).
I've been using a glass carafe pour over setup, combined with a coffee sock (reusable filter) for several years now. And then a few months ago I came across this Classic Perfect-brew Pour Over Set from Stanley and I've been obsessed ever since!
It comes in several colors - I went with matte black. I love that it includes an easy-to-clean stainless steel filter so you don't need to bother with the paper ones. I'm passionate about reducing and minimizing kitchen waste, and I love how eco-friendly this option is.
The pour over top can hold up to 20 ounces, which is larger than the other one that I have. Truthfully, I tend to use the top with a coffee sock instead of the metal filter over my glass carafe most mornings.
I've found that the steel filter does a great job but there does tend to be a little layer of sediment at the bottom. If you don't mind that, then you're all set with this kit!
This set will come in handy big time when I travel. I'll just pack it all up together in case wherever I'm staying doesn't have a good coffee setup. Because yes, I do tend to grind some beans before I leave home to keep me covered when I travel juuuuust in case.
I do love the mug that this came with. It's a stainless steel 12-ounce camp mug with a lid that keeps my coffee nice and hot for a looooong time. What can I say? I like to savor my coffee.
You may already be familiar with Stanley because of their Flowstate Tumblers. I had heard the hype for a while and didn't necessarily believe it, but maaaan do I love mine!
I got the 40-ounce in black gloss deco and it's been a game-changer for this water lover. The tapered base means it's able to fit in my car's cupholder, and that wins big bonus points from me.
The tumbler is double-walled and keeps drinks cold for hours. The lid has 3 different positions: a straw opening designed to resist splashes while holding the reusable straw in place, a drinking option, and a full-cover top.
It can be used for hot beverages also but I've used it strictly for water since I got mine. There are lots of other designs and sizes available if this type of thing is up your alley.
🌡️ Favorite Digital Thermometers
An instant-read thermometer is one of the best tools you can have in your kitchen. Whether you want to check the doneness of your roast chicken, monitor your Thanksgiving turkey, or keep tabs on your homemade yogurt's cooking process, a good thermometer is key.
I've known about ThermoWorks for several years but hadn't taken the splurge to these super reliable tools until this year.
Let's start with the Thermapen® ONE. This beauty comes in lots of color options so it can match any kitchen. I picked orange because it matches my brand and logo.
I opted to also get a silicone cover for mine because it has a magnet on the back, so I can stick it right on my refrigerator. It also glows in the dark, which would come in handy if you're grilling at night and need to go check the temp quickly.
The Thermapen® ONE was such a nice upgrade from my previous instant-read thermometer. There are a lot of subtle things that really make it worth the extra money.
First of all, the temperature readings come in one second or less. That means less time that you need to have your oven or grill open and a super quick gauge on if your item is close to being done.
I also love that the display rotates, so you can take temperature readings from lots of different angles and the display is always facing "up". There is an automatic backlight and the light sensor is sensitive to changes in ambient lighting conditions.
It also goes into sleep mode if it's sitting and you aren't actively using it, which is nice because the screen doesn't stay on, draining the battery, until you probe something again. With my old thermometer, I'd have to constantly clean off and close the probe to keep it from staying on until I was done using it for my cooking session.
Next up is the Signals™ BBQ Alarm Thermometer with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth® Wireless Technology. This multi-probe thermometer is awesome for monitoring either multiple items that you're cooking at the same time, or something like roast turkey where you want to monitor the white and dark meat to prevent overcooking.
We used this on Thanksgiving this year and it made all the difference! I've used dual-probe thermometers in the past but none of them have held up well, and they tended to glitch out on me.
With Signals, you get four probes, and you can set high/low alarms for each one individually. You don't have to use all four, but they're there if you want to. There are also color-coded silicone rings so you can make sure you know which probe is in which item.
It comes with an app that is super easy to set up, and there are lots of great customizations you can make. You can label each probe separately, set the color so you know which one it's referencing, and set high and low alarms to get notified if you're temperature is dropping too low or approaching your desired doneness level.
You can also name your device, which is adorable. I just put my last name on mine for now, but I'm absolutely open to fun name suggestions!
Within the app you can also see a graph of temperatures over your cook time. There's a place for notes as well, and you can go back and reference the notes at a later date if you plan to make the same thing again and want to take a look back at your last cooking session.
This thing seriously has a lot of fun features, and I'm excited to play with it more in the future. It comes with 3 high-temp cooking probes, 1 high-temp air probe, and a grate clip, which comes in handy if you're using it in a grill or smoker.
You can use the app over Bluetooth or wi-fi, which means you don't have to be RIGHT next to the base to check on temperature readings. This is huge, especially for longer cooks like brisket.
🚊 Spill-proof Commuter Mugs
I've been a fan of Corkcicle for many, many years now. Their Whiskey Wedge Ice Wedge Whiskey Glass is one of my all-time favorite pieces of barware. I've also been super into their double-walled stemless flute glasses. The little contoured part where
This past October I checked out the Corkcicle pop-up booth in Rockefeller Center. They're set up there through January 10, 2024. It's a great location - you can watch the ice skaters, check out the holiday decorations, and get some good NYC people-watching in.
The pop-up has some exclusive designs for sale, including my favorite Commuter Cup with the adorable New York City 2023 holiday logo. I picked up one of them at the pop-up and immediately bought 2 more after I tried it out. I love them so much!
The Commuter Cup comes in 17-ounce and 9-ounce sizes with a variety of design options. I bought The Mandalorian™ one for my husband and a smaller one in Nebula for when we want a smaller coffee on-the-go. That one is also the perfect size for my son!
These mugs seriously impressed me! They're perfect for people who are on the go. My husband doesn't commute to NYC daily anymore, but when he did, there were a few incidents with leaky mugs.
I tested out the Commuter Mug's no-spill claims by filling it up, popping the lid closed, and turning it upside down. ZERO leaks! I was super impressed.
I love how easy the lid is to pop up/down to seal it or drink from it. The design of the 360° Sip Lid lets you sip from anywhere around the top, so you don't have to search for the opening. It's the little things that add up for a superior design here.
My family has been using these mugs daily, and we really love them! We mostly use them for coffee and tea, and they keep them hot for 5 hours. They also keep cold beverages chilled for 18 hours.
The mugs are made from insulated stainless steel that's ceramic-coated, which has made it a lot easier to clean than a lot of other travel mugs I've owned. They're also top-rack dishwasher safe.
I've been super happy with all of the Corkcicle products I've owned. They have lots of creative and innovative items for both home and travel.
The holiday coffee mug was also from the NYC pop-up I went to, and does a great job of keeping my coffee piping hot. It comes in the buffalo plaid red that I have and also a peppermint plaid that's white and green with a little bit of red.
Special Promo for Big Flavors Readers
Be sure to use my link and enter code BIGFLAVORS10 at checkout for 10% off your purchase!
🧊 Portioned Freezable Silicone Food Storage Trays
I've been using Souper Cubes for a few years now. They're the perfect way to portion and freeze items in the kitchen. They come in a variety of sizes and are really easy to use and clean.
Using Souper Cubes has totally changed the way I save and freeze a lot of leftovers. The size I bought has ½-cup and 1-cup markings inside so you can be sure to portion things out equally if desired.
After last year's Thanksgiving dinner, I froze some of my Instant Pot Spiced Cranberry Sauce with Bourbon in 1-cup portions, and it worked out beautifully! When this year's holiday meal rolled around, I knew I wanted to freeze even more leftovers in them.
The tight-fitting lid keeps the contents of the cubes from getting freezer-burnt, but I usually transfer them to freezer bags and vacuum-seal them to keep them fresh for even longer.
Once the items are frozen, they come out of the silicone tray super easily. I really love the ease of use and cleaning, and the ability to perfectly portion things. It comes in handy to have exactly one portion of soup, half a cup of pasta sauce, etc. ready to go when you need it.
Plus, it's yet another way to reduce kitchen waste, and I'm allllll about that.
🧽 Eco-Friendly Kitchen Goods
I'm always trying to find new ways to be more sustainable at home, especially when it comes to reducing kitchen waste. One of the brands that I absolutely love when it comes to low-waste, reusable kitchen items is Porter Lee's Reusables.
I've been using Porter Lee's products for several years now. Aside from the quality of their products, I really enjoy the variety of designs they offer. You can find something to go with any decor that you have going on in your house.
My entry into Porter Lee's product lineup was the washable reusable sponge. I picked one up from a local bookstore that has a table full of low- and zero-waste household goods. I had previously only used the yellow and green scrubby sponges from the grocery store.
These "Unsponges" are made from 100% white cotton terry cloth on one side and 100% cotton flannel with a polyester mesh layer on the other side, giving a soft side and a scrubby side.
They're filled with 1" thick, mildew-resistant, washable, hypoallergenic foam made from recycled materials. You can machine wash them in the washing machine or dishwasher and tumble dry on low or air dry.
If you make sure to squeeze them out well after each use, they won't likely get funky too often. When it's humid, they tend to need to be cleaned a little more often in my experience.
We tend to wet the sponge and microwave it for 3 minutes to help kill any funkiness whenever it needs it.
We usually buy a few of these per year. They last a really long time, even with daily use. The above photo shows a new one versus one we've been using for a long time.
It has some cosmetic damage and is about ready to be replaced. But it can handle a LOT of loads of dishes!
I've used "unpaper towels" for years now, and they made a huge difference when it comes to the amount of paper waste coming out of my kitchen. I do still use regular paper towels for a few things, like when I need to pat raw meat dry, but for the most part I use these reusable ones.
What I like about Porter Lee's compared to others I've tried is that they don't have any snaps or other plastic accessories that are used to keep them together on the roll.
The other reusable cleaning product I've bought from Porter Lee's that would also make a great stocking stuffer is a set of reusable mop covers. These are a great alternative to the disposable ones that come with a lot of housekeeping items.
Aside from kitchen items, they also have several beauty and personal care reusables like reusable face rounds and reusable cloth wipes. Can't decide on just one item? Check out the Sustainable Seasons Greetings Gift Box or the Eco Extravaganza Gift Box, perfect for the sustainability enthusiasts in your life.
There is such a fun variety of patterns available, and their customer service is always super friendly. I applaud their passion for sustainability and am so glad to have discovered their products!
🥛 Plant-based Milk Maker
Do you drink plant-based milk? There are lots of brands and varieties out there, with various price points.
But did you know that it's easy to make your own plant milks at home? And it's incredibly easy to do!
The Soyabella makes quick work of making milk from a variety of different items. I love that the Soyabella allows you to make a variety of plant-based milks while knowing exactly what the ingredients are. No additives, preservatives, or unpronounceable ingredients unless YOU add them.
Not only is this great for people, like me, who have a member of the household who has lactose intolerance, but it's also a great way to encourage more economical beverage options at home.
I most often use my Soyabella to make raw almond milk, but I've also made oat milk and cashew milk. It's really easy to use, and you can make raw plant-based milk from soaked nuts, seeds, grains, and beans in just seconds. It grinds and processes everything for you.
You can also opt to use the heated process, which will grind and process the ingredients in as little as 15 minutes.
The model that I have also came with a tofu-making kit, which enables you to make homemade tofu from your soy milk. I haven't tried that part out yet, but I do plan to give it a go.
Special Promo for Big Flavors Readers
Be sure to use my link and use promo code TINYKITCHEN15 at checkout for 15% off of your purchase through January 31, 2024.
However you're celebrating, I hope this holiday season treats you well!