Holiday Shopping Finds 2012

Black Friday. Small Business Saturday. Cyber Monday. Giving Tuesday. So many ways to spend your well-earned paychecks in the days following Thanksgiving and leading up to Christmas.

I thought I’d take a quick glance at some of the quirky foodie finds that you can find out there this year. All of these items were found at a local CVS pharmacy in the metro Boston area so you may not be able to find all of these in your area. I’ve tried linking to online shopping sites that carry the items, if you’re curious.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the foodie gifts…

super pretzel makerThe first item on our wish list is this Super Pretzel maker. Now, you can bring home that soft-baked pretzel taste from the ballpark. You can make five mini soft pretzels and warm up cheese for dipping. It also comes with a recipe book. In the store, it sells for $19.99. Buy online here.

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Product Review: Yonanas

yonanas description flierA few weeks ago, I told you that I was having issues with a stomach bug. Well, it turns out it’s not a stomach bug but some other undiagnosed issue. At the moment, I’m under doctor’s orders not to have any dairy, until further notice. A super-hard task for a Wisconsin girl, who is used to a daily diet that includes a healthy amount of cheese, yogurt and milk. So, I have a few weeks until my first colonoscopy – which will hopefully lend some clues to why I’m not feeling well. The thought right now is that it possibly could be Celiac Disease, or a gluten intolerance. I’ll keep you posted because it will definitely change the tone of this blog if I do end up having some sort of food allergy.

Now, I still have a pretty healthy appetite – and that includes my sweet tooth. For the most part I’ve been really good – I’ve snuck a few pieces of chocolate here and there, as well as some small nibbles of frosting from cupcakes. But, I do miss my frozen yogurt and ice cream, even my morning Kefir smoothie.

So, we decided to buy this as-seen-on-TV gadget called Yonanas, based on a recommendation from my friend Stacey. You simply need to freeze those overripe bananas that you were going to toss in the garbage or bake into banana bread. Then, you can add other frozen fruits, peanut butter and other add-ins for a frozen treat that comes out in the consistency of soft serve ice cream. If you don’t use bananas in the mixture, but just frozen fruit – like strawberries, blueberries, or mangoes – it comes out in a sorbet texture.

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Cooking with the Beatle’s Yellow Submarine

Yellow Submarine metal lunchboxI found these little treasures at one of the shops in the United Kingdom section of Epcot’s World Showcase. So, if you’re a Beatle fan or just know a foodie in love with the Fab Four, check out these items…

“We all live in a yellow submarine…”

One of the gifts you can find in this British treasure trove is an aluminum Yellow Submarine lunchbox that features artwork from the 1969 animated film of the same name.

Beatle Trivia: Yellow Submarine originally appeared on the Beatle’s 1966 album Revolver, which also featured the single Eleanor Rigby.

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Foodie X-mas Wishlist 2011

I’m back again this year with some of the best gifts to get that foodie on your X-mas list (hint, hint honey…) this holiday season.

So, here are some of my favorite things from the interwebs in 2011 – the kitschy, the quirky and just plain fun.

Scrabble - Cooking EditionScrabble: The Cooking Edition

Who doesn’t love the classic tile word game? Now, your favorite food lover can have a blast with this special edition set that comes with recipe cards and a mini grocery bag.

Cost: $29.95 from Cooking.com

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Foodie Tool: Butter Boy

I was so disappointed when our dishwasher killed my Pampered Chef corn butterer. Waking up in the middle of night to the smell of burning plastic, cottony lungs, and needing to air out your apartment for a day and half can’t be good.

But a girl needs her sweet corn in the summer. Yes, I could just use a knife to slather my ear with butter, but that would be – uh – like sensible.

So, I found this little guy one day while wandering through Bed Bath and Beyond (y’know you need to be careful of that beyond section…)

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Add Giada to Your Next Dish

Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby SchuesslerI am off today to San Francisco for the Scleroderma Foundation’s National Patient Education Conference. In the meantime, I have a new guest blogger who recently met one of Food Network’s most-beloved celebrity chefs (and she’ll be cooking for Prince William and Princess Catherine later this week in L.A.). By day, Bobby Schuessler works in NY at Lucky Magazine but today he’s filling us in on some of Giada De Laurentiis’ new cookware for fall available at Target.

Take it away, Bobby!

“Now sprinkle some mozz-u-rrrrela,” Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis exclaimed as she finished making her famous dish for a group of (hungry) magazine editors.

Editors from top publications (including myself) had the honor to gawk at the Italian-American chef as she introduced her new fall products of her Target cooking line. The new line complete with everything from a sleek food processor to beautifully packaged sun-dried tomatoes and pastas had everyone in the room buzzing, not to mention salivating (maybe just me) as she served her perfectly made dishes.

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Foodie Tool: Google Recipe

I’m convinced we’re going to wake up one day and Google will have taken over the world – at least the technology world. This week, they announced a new search tool to help foodies find the perfect recipe.

Google Recipe is a search tool that will help you find recipes by specific ingredients or a certain dish.

Google RecipesSimply click “Recipes” in the left-side navigation bar and you can find dishes (such as my chicken pot pie example). Then, you can search even further by finding certain ingredients in that dish, how many calories or how long it takes to prepare.

Many of the recipes guide you to food sites such as AllRecipes.com, Food Network or Epicurious but it still is an easy way to find a dish if you’re in a pinch and don’t have a cookbook handy – especially if you’re using a mobile device. Other features of the search include finding recipes by holiday or occasion or meals created by celebrity chefs. I should also note that recipes are sorted by popularity, not by ease or if it’s an actually good-tasting recipe. Still, the next time you need some help in the kitchen, try out Google Recipe to find that perfect meal!