2016 Holiday Gift Guide - Gourmet Gifts

So what do you get the cook who has everything? Something edible! Here are some of our favorite new discoveries this year to help get your started with your holiday shopping.

2016 Gourmet Gift Guide | Not Starving Yet

Pecan Honey Mustard - Terrapin Ridge Farms

Roasted Garlic Onion Jam - Stonewall Kitchen

Black Truffle Mustard - KL Keller

Red Pepper Jelly - Stonewall Kitchen

Mint Chocolate Chip Brownie Brittle - Sheila G's

Firecracker Dark Chocolate Bar - Chuao

Sack of Coal Candy - Hammond's

Onion Blossom Horseradish Dip - Robert Rothschild Farm

Chocolate S'mores Dip - Robert Rothschild Farm

Bordeaux Cherry Balsamic Vinegar - Wine Country Kitchens

Peppermint Candy Cane Dip - Robert Rothschild Farm

Didn't find what you were looking for? Don't worry, we have you covered! Check out our past gift ideas for more inspiration.
 

Disclosure


This post contains my Amazon affiliate links. I try to keep advertising unobtrusive and to a minimum in order to provide you with the best experience possible. Purchases made through these links provide me with a small income and ensure I can continue providing you with quality content.

The Perfect Fall Inspired Charcuterie and Cheese Board #Sponsored by @carnivoreclub

Thanksgiving is over and my parents are already back home, which means it's safe to crack in to this month's box from Carnivore Club. I know this is supposed to be the season of giving, so try not to judge me too harshly, but I had a feeling that I'd barely get a bite if I opened it up while I had company.

Sometimes it's ok to be stingy, especially when it comes to tasty, handcrafted meats.

If you missed our previous post this year and aren't familiar with Carnivore Club, they're a subscription service dedicated to delivering handcrafted, meaty goodness to your door. This is the ultimate meat club for discerning individuals and let me tell you, they don't mess around when it comes to providing you with quality meat. If you're looking for a gift idea for your meat-loving friends and family, then look no further, you could even pick up a box for yourself (I won't tell if you're not into sharing.)

Today's recipe was sponsored by Carnivore Club who has provided me a box of incredibly tasty meats from   Angel's Salumi   in   Carlsbad, CA. No other compensation was given for this post, but it does contain affiliate links.

Today's recipe was sponsored by Carnivore Club who has provided me a box of incredibly tasty meats from Angel's Salumi in Carlsbad, CA. No other compensation was given for this post, but it does contain affiliate links.

What's in the Box?


The November box included four delicious offerings from Angel's Salumi of Carlsbad, CA

Nostrano  (Salami w/ Black Peppercorn and Red Wine) 
Toscano (Salami w/ Black Peppercorn, White Wine, and Fresh Garlic)
French Rosette (Salami w/ Clove, Nutmeg, Garlic, and White Wine)
Duck Breast Prosciutto


Review


Most of the selections included this month were new-to-me, only the Nostrano was a style that I have tried in the past (in fact, it was one of my favorites in the April box.) I find that the flavor profile of Nostrano is very similar to Toscano which was also included this month. They're both mildly flavored, making them perfect to pair with a variety of things, but the Toscano receives a little flavor-boost from the fresh garlic, making it my favorite of the two. But the true stand-out among the salami in this box was the French Rosette—the flavor from the cloves and nutmeg really were out of this world, I've not tasted a salami quite like it before.

Full Disclosure: i'm absolutely nuts for anything made with cloves, I feel like they're really underutilized in cooking these days, so I was really excited to try this salami and may be a little biased, but as long as you don't loath cloves (and really, how could you?) then I think you'll enjoy this one. 

Now as much as I enjoyed sampling the various salami offered this month I'll admit it was all a bit overshadowed by the fact that the box contained Duck Breast Prosciutto. I love duck, in all its many forms, so this is the one I was most excited to try. Let me just say that it didn't disappoint, it absolutely melts in your mouth. I put a small amount on our Fall Inspired Cheese Board (recipe at the end of this post), but I've held the bulk of it in reserve for a open-faced sandwich I've had in mind that's topped with a soft-set duck egg, layers of duck prosciutto, and who knows what else. I'm going to enjoy experimenting with this once I have some spare time. If I had to pick a favorite this month, the Duck Breast Prosciutto would be it.

Would I order this again? Absolutely! Carnivore Club is always a winner in our house, especially when we're hit with a case of the munchies, but I love having a selection of meats on hand to pull out when I need something to bring to a party (what little bit I have left will be following me to our first holiday party of the season in just a few days.)
 

Price


Pay as little as $50/month with a recurring subscription (monthly, bi-monthly, and quarterly plans available) with a three month minimum or purchase a single box for $55. 
 

Where to Subscribe


Carnivore Club - The Ultimate Meat Club for Discerning Individuals

For a limited time Save 10% off your order using coupon code EATMEAT Offer valid through 11/30/16

Deadline for the December box is November 30th (it will arrive in early December, just in time for gift-giving!) This box will feature a selection of meats from Wisconsin River Meats including elk and bison summer sausage!

Make sure to keep reading for our tips for putting together the perfect Fall-Inspired Charcuterie and Cheese board.

Fall-Inspired Charcuterie and Cheese Board + Carnivore Club Review

Fall Charcuterie and Cheese Board


There really is no right or wrong way when it comes to putting together a cheese board, but a good variety is the key to ensuring all of your guests find something to enjoy. It's important to know your audience. If there is something one of your guests loathe (like olives) don't include them on the board. You can always keep these types of things in a dish off to the side if you really want to serve them.

Keep your selection simple, in most cases I pick out one cheese per meat, although this time I opted to pair things down and go with two cheeses that were long-standing favorites: cheddar and bread-cheese, or Brun-uusto. Bread cheese is always a hit, but it is best served warm, so I let guests know to pop it in the microwave for a few seconds before eating, that way it's warm and melty.

Cheese

Brun-uusto (a Wisconsin-made 'Bread Cheese') - Brunkow Cheese
Goat Milk Cheddar - MontChevré 

Meat

Nostrano  (Salami w/ Black Peppercorn and Red Wine) 
Toscano (Salami w/ Black Peppercorn, White Wine, and Fresh Garlic)
French Rosette (Salami w/ Clove, Nutmeg, Garlic, and White Wine)
Duck Breast Prosciutto

Crackers, Bread, and other things...

Potter's Crackers - Garlic and Baby Onion Crackers and Caramelize Onion Crisps
Fresh Baguette
Sweetened Dried Cranberries
Sugar-rubbed Whole Pecans

Other important things to remember:

Don't forget to add condiments! I like to include something sweet, something savory, and a variety of mustards. In the fall things like fig jam, caramelized onion preserves, and pepper jelly are great choices to liven up your cheese board.

Always buy twice as many crackers as you think you'll need. Even after everything else is long gone people always enjoy nibbling on them.
 

Disclosure


Today's recipe was sponsored by Carnivore Club who has provided me a box of incredibly tasty meats from Angel's Salumi of Carlsbad, CA. No other compensation was given for this post, but it does contain affiliate links.

 

Almond Cookies #fbcookieswap

Today happens to be one of my favorite days of the year, do you know why? It's time to reveal my recipe for the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap hosted by Julie from The Little Kitchen and Lindsay from Love and Olive Oil. This is, without a doubt, the highlight of my year. I get to bake and eat cookies while I help support an incredibly important cause. My job is so cool sometimes! This is my third year participating in the swap which partners with Cookies for Kids' Cancer to raise money to fund new therapies used in the fight against pediatric cancer.

For the swap I made a batch of traditional almond flavored butter cookies and sent them out to my three partners in crime: Rachel from Bakerita, Reneé from Kudos Kitchen by Renee, and Elizabeth from Food Ramblings. I've always loved the simple flavor of these cookies and the fact that you can dip or drizzle them in dark chocolate for a little something extra. They're one of the few cookies that go in the cookie care packages I send out to my friends every year—they're always a hit!

Now in return I got to snack on some pretty amazing cookies, so if you're looking for something new to bake you may want to try out these Ginger Crinkles from Shana at Shana Was Here, Chocolate Dipped Walnut Butter Cookies or Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies from Susan at A Life Less Processed, and Egg Nog Shortbread from Tracy at Pale Yellow.

Or you can check out some of our other popular cookie recipes from years past:

If you are a food blogger or know a food blogger who might want to participate the swap next year you can sign up for the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap mailing list for updates.

Almond Cookies - Not Starving Yet

Almond Cookies
makes approximately 36 cookies

Ingredients

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon pure almond extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup almond slivers 

Directions

  • In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar, then add the egg and almond extract. Slowing add flour, baking soda, salt and almond slivers then mix until well combined. The final dough will be very course.
  • Place finished dough on a sheet of plastic wrap, roll into a large ball, and cover tightly. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before continuing.
  • Preheat oven to 325ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • Using a cookie scoop form 1¼ inch balls and place then 2 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Press the balls flat with the palm of your hand, then bake at 325ºF for 14-16 minutes or until edges and bottoms are lightly browned.
  • Allow the finished cookies to cool for several minutes before transferring to wire racks.

Notes

With butter cookies it's important that you don't place your dough on a hot pan or leave it out on the counter while you're working—the cookies will lose their shape. Make sure you refrigerate your dough until you're ready to bake and allow your cookie sheets adequate time to cool down between batches.

For the most accurate results you'll want to roll all of your dough into balls at the same time. Otherwise you can form them as you go, but your may find your yield varies slightly.

2015 Holiday Gift Guide: Tea Lovers

When the stress of the holidays gets to be a little much, why not sit back and have a nice cup of tea? Here are our top picks to make your favorite cup a little more enjoyable.

2015 Tea Lovers Gift Guide | Not Starving Yet
  • 16 ounce ingenuiTEA Steeper from Adagio from Amazon: This steeper makes both steeping and cleanup a breeze, which is why it's been my go-to steeper for the past few years.

  • DoMatcha - Ceremonial Grade Matcha Green Tea from Amazon: This matcha is an absolute joy to drink. The flavor is mild, with slightly toasted notes and a hint of spice. It was no surprise when it won 1st place in our Ceremonial Grade Matcha Blind Taste Test earlier this year.

  • Flavored Sugar Sticks from Red Leaf Tea: These sticks are a great way to add a hint of sugar to your tea. They're available in Caramel, Hazelnut, Honey, Lavender, Orange, and Pomegranate.

  • Takeya Iced Tea Maker Set from Amazon: This pitcher set gets a lot of use in our house year around. Just fill it with tea and cold water, let it sit overnight, and you'll have enough iced tea to last you all day long.

  • Steep and Go Water Bottler Tea Infuser from The TeaSpot from Amazon: This nifty tea infuser attaches to most popular water bottles allowing you to cold steep your tea on-the-go. It's the perfect sized stocking stuffer for the tea lover in your life.

  • KATI Tea Brewing System, Snowflake from Tea Forte from Amazon: Pair this festive looking cup and steeping basket with some quality loose leaf tea and you have a gift any tea lover will appreciate.

  • Zojirushi Hot Water Pot from Amazon: Always have your water ready for brewing when you need it with this adjustable temperature hot water pot. It's a tea lover's best friend!

  • Terra Verve - Culinary Grade Matcha Green Tea from Amazon: This culinary grade matcha has a mild grassy flavor and a hint of sweetness, it's one of my top picks for cooking or making smoothies.

  • Smart Soak Tea Stain Dissolver from Mandala Tea: If you've been wasting time scrubbing tea stains from your favorite cup, this is the product for you! It will take the stains out of many types of materials in under 20 minutes. Want to know more? You can check out our Full Review of this product.

Disclosure

 

This post contains my Amazon affiliate links. I try to keep advertising unobtrusive and to a minimum in order to provide you with the best experience possible. Purchases made through these links provide me with a small income and ensure I can continue providing you with quality content.