Finding the perfect gift during the holidays is a victory in and of itself. But add in the word "affordable" and you've got a win-win. That's why we've searched the net for budget-friendly finds that everyone from mom to co-worker will love. And the best part is they all ring in at less than $10. That's right — $10! At that price, might as well grab some for yourself too.
Food & Wine editor in chief Dana Cowin is known for sharing her latest gourmet expeditions, from spicy fried chicken in Sonoma County, CA, to caviar tasting menus in Singapore, with her readers. So it's only to be expected that she's amassed quite the arsenal of great gift ideas for everyone, from girlfriends to gourmet snackers.
Red Kite Caramels
Luca Jackson Napkins
"Hand-printed in San Francisco by Julia Busenitz, these one-of-a-kind linens from Luca Jackson ($40) are sold at The Mill, a must-go stop for incredible coffee and toast. The napkins come in both neutral and vivid colors with fabulous contrasting stitched edges."
For more of Dana Cowin's unique gift ideas, keep reading.
Are visions of sugar plum fairies dancing in your head? For many of us, it wouldn't be the holidays without a visit to a local production of The Nutcracker. George Balanchine's ballet masterpiece is as much a part of the holiday season as the smell of pine and the sound of wrapping paper falling to the floor.
For Darcy Miller, editorial director for Martha Stewart Weddings and a mother of three young daughters, the New York City Ballet's George Balanchine's The Nutcracker is a holiday tradition. Darcy remembers seeing the ballet as a little girl and loves taking her daughters each year. They've watched the video and listened to the soundtrack hundreds of times. The ballet inspired Darcy to create a Winter wonderland party filled with ballerinas, snowflakes, nutcrackers, and angels to usher in the season. Keep reading for a look at this dreamy party.
There are so many sweet and indulgent edible gifts to be had during Christmas, but one need not feel an ounce of guilt for these kale and sweet potato chips. The chips are best eaten the day they're made, so this is an ideal last-minute gift that doesn't require many ingredients or time.
If you don't have a mandoline, prepare to bake the sweet potato chips much longer than anticipated. Before removing them completely from the oven, test the chips to see if they are crispy and dried out. Otherwise, the gift recipient won't be too keen on the bag of soggy chips!
Look, this combo is unbeatable. The savory kale combined with the sweet potatoes will make any healthy-snack disbeliever change her ways. Just remember to double the recipe so you can get your snack on too.
Part thrill, part nightmare, the Christmas season is making an earlier appearance than ever with the abundant limited-edition, peppermint-flavored sweets filling grocery store shelves. We raided the aisles to bring you the very worst and best of the holiday-themed candies, cookies, chocolates, and more. As a bonus, we'll even show you the best way to eat all of the treats together at once, in GIF form. May your Christmas be sweet and your pantry peppered with only the most delicious mint-flavored treats!
Sometimes big things come in small packages, and when you're lucky, with an even smaller price tag. Whether you're looking for a little extra something to add to an existing gift or are on a tight budget, we have 10 fitness- and health-inspired gifts that do not go over the $5 mark. With prices like these, you can gift everyone on your list with ease.
Arguably the most fun part of Christmas parties is pulling out your beloved ugly Christmas sweaters. The more puffs, decor, and sequined appliqués, the better. However, take things a step further by icing cookies, inspired by these notoriously bad Christmas sweater designs. Gaudy snowmen? Check. Bright, blazing Christmas trees? Check. Naughty or nice? Check (the latter one). Glean some awesomely bad decorating tips from these cookies.
If you're searching for a gift to present to a loved one, why not go for something homemade and delicious? Whether you're looking for a quick and easy project or a more involved afternoon affair, these creative gifts will impress all of your friends and family. Likewise, we have picks for any palate and proclivity, including those with a raging sweet tooth, the salt obsessed, the boozehound, and more.
Jump ahead to:
When comfort food comes to mind, thoughts of bread are usually not far behind . . . especially buttery, hot skillet cornbread. But what if I told you that there was something even better — and more "comforting" — to be had? Enter cornbread with Italian turkey sausage, fresh sage, thyme, dried cranberries, and sautéed celery and onions. Sounds like the trappings for cornbread dressing, I know. Except with this dish, they're baked inside the cornbread batter. The result is the ultimate can't-get-enough comfort food. I like to call it elevated cornbread!
Turkey, Herb, and Cranberry Cornbread
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1/2 large onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
Ground black pepper and salt, to taste
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 stick (8 ounces) unsalted butter, plus 1 tablespoon
1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
1 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups milk
2 large eggs
In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over a medium-high heat and brown the turkey sausage. Set aside the sausage in a separate bowl. In the same skillet, sauté the onions, celery, sage, thyme, and red pepper flakes, adding a light sprinkling of salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables are softened, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from the skillet, and add to the sausage. Toss in cranberries, and set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the stick of butter in a cast iron skillet and place in the oven until the butter melts, about 5 minutes. Remove skillet, and pour the butter into a large bowl and set aside to cool. Wipe the skillet clean.
In a medium bowl, add the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt, and stir to combine. To the large bowl, add the milk and eggs. Toss in the dry ingredients, along with the turkey mixture, and stir until just combined. Take the remaining tablespoon of butter and place in the skillet, and return the skillet to the oven for about 5 minutes. Remove the skillet, and ensure the bottom and sides are fully coated with the melted butter.
Pour the batter into the skillet, and return to the oven. Bake for about 25 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove to a cooling rack, and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Cut cornbread into individual servings. Serve warm and enjoy!
It's time to rethink your holiday dinner party. Rather than opting for the traditional red and green decor, the entertaining essentials below are classic with a modern twist. And, while the overall setting is fit for the season, each piece is versatile enough to be styled beyond the holidays. Whether you're looking to host friends within the next few weeks or simply update your existing serverware, the products below will do the job!
- Garland ($14, originally $20): Instead of a table runner, try garland. While it's fitting for the season, this style can be reused for a nautical-themed dinner in the Summer.
- Napkins ($7): Because of their neutral color, linen napkins are a versatile purchase that can be used throughout the year.
- Cocktail Shaker ($15): What better way to serve up a holiday cocktail then with this gold shaker?
- Flatware ($5-$7): This flatware is fancy enough to be used during the holidays yet casual enough for daily dining.
- Cutting Board ($250): Go from the kitchen to your table in ease, serving up appetizers on this cutting board.
- Servers ($54): These utensils will modernize your spread and come in handy even after the holidays.
- Hurricanes ($27-$34, originally $39-$49): A tabletop must, hurricanes are great for displaying both candles and flowers.
- Serving Trays ($54-$135): These trays are a sleek addition that will allow your food to take center stage.
- Tablecloth ($18): Set your party's foundation using this tablecloth. It's so affordable, you won't get upset if there's a spill or two.
- Gift Tags ($3): Instead of using gift tags for gifts, wrap them around your napkins as place cards!
- Pinecones ($20): A holiday classic, use pinecones to fill a vase or stagger them around your table.
- Plate ($13): Layer these plates atop of your daily dishware during the holidays — the turtledoves perfect for the season.