We've compiled foodie-friendly gifts for your friends and family all holiday season long, but the time has come for us food editors to reveal what's really on our Christmas wish lists. From a radish-printed dress to passionfruit candy to a knit teapot koozie, there are plenty of reasons for us to anxiously await Dec. 25.
After nine amazing years, How I Met Your Mother is finally coming to an end, and we're savoring every moment of the final season. That includes making our version of "sumbitch cookies," crispy, chocolatey, caramel and peanut butter cookies that are naughty in all the right ways. Bake up a batch of these to keep your mouth happy all the way through the series finale. Watch the video, and then get the recipe.
When it comes to entertaining over the holidays, the key is keeping things simple and delicious. The best way to do that? By serving memorable one-bite finger foods. We're talking appetizers and desserts that pack plenty of flavor but require no utensils and no cleanup. Ahead, check out 25 of our favorite recipes that pair perfectly with bubbly, of course.
Mike La Rocca, who helms A. La Rocca Sea Food, a wholesaler that supplies fresh Dungeness to seafood restaurants like Bistro Boudin and supermarkets like Mollie Stone's, offers one critical piece of advice: look for a critter that's heavy. "The best way to judge if you're getting a nice, fresh crab is if it's got some weight when it's sitting in your hand. You should feel that pound and a half in your hands — then you know you're getting a crab that's full of meat and juice. If it's been sitting in a counter for a few days, it's going to lose its juice."
Also, the obvious: live crabs should be, well, alive. "If the crabs are alive, they need to be moving," La Rocca insists. For those of you comfortable cooking live seafood, how do you choose and prepare crab?
This Christmas, give your beloved friends and family a thoughtful, inexpensive gift that'll keep on giving in the months to come: made-from-scratch vanilla extract. This recipe, which calls for only two ingredients and less than five minutes of prep, isn't just functional — it's also pretty and long-lasting. Watch the video to find out how to prolong the life of your homemade vanilla extract and how to package it as a beautiful gift for the holidays.
On the West Coast, the holidays aren't all about parties, roasts, and cookies; they're also about fresh, abundant Dungeness crabs, which are in peak supply during this time of year. But everything about the crustacean, from understanding the season to selecting the right live one, can be tricky.
To get a better handle — er, claw — on all things Dungeness, I turned to two seafood experts: wholesale distributor Mike La Rocca of La Rocca Sea Food and Misael Reyes, executive chef at the sea-centric Bistro Boudin in San Francisco. A few points I learned from the pros:
- Dungeness crabs own the West Coast. They live in Pacific Ocean waters that run all the way from San Luis Obispo, CA, to as far north as Juneau, AK.
- The season has official start days. The official kickoff of Dungeness crab season for the San Francisco Bay Area is the second Tuesday of November, and Dec. 1 for any area north of that, such as Oregon or Washington.
- Things don't always go smoothly, though. Crab conditions and price negotiations can easily delay the season. This year, it took several days for fishermen and processors to reach an agreed-upon price.
- Crab season is long, but timing is everything. Dungeness crab season doesn't actually end until June, but around 80 percent of Bay Area Dungeness is brought in by the end of the year. The rest of the harvest is brought in from regions farther north, such as Alaska.
More — including how to tell if it's a good season — when you keep reading.
Move over, eggnog: there's a new holiday cocktail in town. At your next holiday fete, we urge you to get into the yuletide spirit with a candy cane cocktail that calls for only three ingredients. To get everyone in the Christmas spirit, we'll show you how to create a candy garnish two ways: a superspeedy method and another that's sure to be the talk of the party. Watch the video to see how it's done, then print out the candy cane cocktail recipe for easy reference.
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.
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Not only are homemade gifts — particularly the edible kind — a thoughtful way to show loved ones you care, but they're also often budget-friendly. The downside: many require a large time investment. But not these three fast and easy edible gift ideas! Watch the video to get inspired.
Start a holiday party the easy way by crafting these appetizers featuring (mostly) pantry items like nuts, canned beans, olives, and other nonperishables. We promise your guests will never suspect a thing . . .
When it's completely frigid outside, nothing is more inviting to guests than entering a heated home filled with the scent of mulled wine. Possibly easier to pull together than any punch, mulled wine consists of apple cider, spices, red wine, orange peel and juice, and . . . this particular recipe calls for a secret ingredient.
- 20 top-rated restaurants across the country — Zagat
- Watch Gordon Ramsay and the Swedish Chef's kitchen throwdown — Delish
- How to get your hands on a bottle of the elusive Pappy Van Winkle — Grub Street
- A beaut of a fruitcake — America's Test Kitchen Feed
- The peel-less guide to peeling that orange — HuffPost Taste
- Jon Stewart's hilarious take on the fast food wages strike — Eater
- How America learned to embrace sushi — Food52
- Find out what kind of wine matches your personality — Yahoo! Shine
With its bright red color, there is a common misconception that grenadine, the syrup used to flavor many cocktails, is made with cherries. The thick, sweet liquid is actually made with pomegranate juice (the word grenadine is derived from the French word for pomegranate, grenade).
When I realized that the sweetener was very simple to make, I decided to whip up a batch and present it to my sister, who enjoys the occasional "cherry" coke. Homemade grenadine is a great hostess gift, especially for someone who is into mixing cocktails or who has a penchant for Shirley Temples. To look at the incredibly easy recipe, read more
As a judge on Top Chef, you know Gail Simmons has great taste in food. But the culinary expert, TV personality, and Food & Wine special projects director also happens to have great taste in holiday gift picks, too. She gave us the lowdown on what she's really coveting this year. Here's what's at the top of her wish list.
The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook
"After years of work on this project, chef Michael Anthony and Danny Meyer have published The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook ($30, originally $50), one of the most beautiful cookbooks I’ve seen in years. It's big and glossy and drool-worthy, and I want it!"
Michele Varian Large Baguette Board
Keep reading for more of Gail's top gift picks.
10. Toasted Nuts
Roasted chestnuts and spiced nuts make a house smell extraordinarily Christmasy. Those who live (or visit) in New York City during the Winter know it's near imposible to resist picking up a bag of warm, cinnamon-coated nuts on the street. The scent wafts through the cold air.
9. Peak-Season Citrus Fruit
Kumquats, oranges, grapefruit, and other citrus fruit finally hit their peak season. We're talking the juiciest, most unctuous stuff. Guilty of eating them one after the other until your mouth is covered in canker sores? Join the club.
8. Holiday Ham
It's not a Christmas party unless there's a huge ham to carve and make mini Parker House roll sandwiches out of.
Poached eggs seem so fancy, but foxeslovelemons shares a microwaveable version that any home cook can crack.
if you work in an office or are otherwise away from a stove and saucepan for the day, a poached egg really isn't in the cards for you. Unless. . . you have access to a microwave, a mug, a spoon and a napkin. Now, a poached egg really is in the cards for you. No longer will you be eating sad bowls of last night's leftover veggies and rice. Now, you'll be eating a bowl of veggies and rice with a poached egg.
For more — and the recipe — visit her blog, and then be sure to share your food photos via Savory Sights on POPSUGAR Social or by starting your own blog. If you're on Instagram, chime in on the conversation with the hashtag #SavorySight.
Los Angeles natives know that Casa Vega is the place to get your Mexican comfort-food fix. Particularly popular is its signature dish, tamales. As owner Christina Vega explains, unwrapping one of these hearty, tender, corn-based delights is like unwrapping a present for your dinner plate. Watch the video to see how she makes them, then print out the recipe.
A homemade edible gift is always a thoughtful gesture, whether it's destined for a spot under the Christmas tree or to be toted along to a party as a hostess gift, but it's no secret that most take a fair amount of time and foresight to prepare. Still, that's no reason to abandon the idea entirely. If you're pressed for time, turn to this fast yet festive fix: za'atar spiced nuts. Not only are they a nice reprieve from the onslaught of holiday sweets and decadent treats, but they also can be made (cooling included) in only about an hour, so you can get on with the festivities at hand. Get the easy recipe.
Looking for gingerbread house ideas to spark your imagination? We've covered the full gamut of styles, whether you're a modern design fanatic, a birdhouse lover, or a die-hard fan of classic houses.