I'm P.C., and I have studied food and cooking around the world, mostly by eating, but also through serious study. Coursework at Le Cordon Bleu London and intensive courses in Morocco, Thailand and France have broadened my culinary skill and palate. But my kitchen of choice is at home, cooking like most people, experimenting with unique but practical ideas.

I live, mostly in my kitchen, in my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

Festive Finds 2013

Festive Finds

Holiday shopping season is upon us once again, and I love to share gift ideas for the food lovers in your life. As always, these are just some ideas about personal favorites – no one has asked me to promote any products.  To get a good look at all this year fun finds, follow me on Pinterest.

You can’t go wrong with a good gift of food, and if you don’t get around to going homemade, here are a few recommendations.  Classic cakes from Sugaree’s Bakery taste like you made them yourself.  And the fabulous, unique caramels like Old Fashioned and Artisan Beer and Pretzel from Shotwell Candy are a real treat.  Ricki’s Chipsticks are a chocolate chip cookie with a real difference- and highly addictive!  A special gift for any cook would be a subscription to BeshBox – a monthly box of recipes, tools and ingredients straight from New Orleans chef John Besh.

I think a cookbook is about the best gift there is, and the book I am hoping to find under the tree is The Great American Cookbook by Clementine Paddleford, a beautiful reworking of a true classic. These practical and pretty little Short Stack editions are a lovely gift for the cookbook lover, covering my favorite ingredients like buttermilk, grits, sweet potatoes and more.  Tara Desmond will jazz up all your meals with Choosing Sides, a wonderful book of creative side dishes. Or make eating your veggies more delicious with Sarah Copeland’s beautiful Feast: Generous Vegetarian Meals for Any Eater and Every Appetite. And for a rollicking good read (fiction this time), Cinnamon and Gunpowder combines food and pirates!

Grocery lists, recipe notes, photos of your favorite meals…keep them together in these bespoke notebooks and albums.  Pick a color and the text to imprint. Whether its making recipe notes, coaching the team or keeping the gift list in order, do it on style with these fabulous personalized clipboards. And it’s fun to make all those notes and lists with these fun Dewdrop Designs pencils. A beautiful ceramic piece from Ceramica Botanica is a work of art and useful in the kitchen.  And I would love one of these beautiful personalized mixing bowls from Ice Milk Aprons Southern artisan collection under the tree.   This fun Gastronomy cutting board features a map of the US with made up of local specialties.

I keep a fun, bright Scout Deano bag in the back of my car – it’s great for groceries, farmers market finds or anything thing that tends to move around.  You can even get it personalized.  And I love the hand-printed fabrics on Pomegranate’s aprons.  And if you’ll bring the snazziest dish to your next potluck in this classic canvas carrier.

For the gourmand in your life who deserves a little out of the kitchen pampering, Laura Mercier’s hand cream set includes fresh fig, crème de pistache, honey almond milk and crème brulee fragrances.  And what Southern girl (or lover of all things Southern) wouldn’t love some Sweet Tea Body Scrub from Farmhouse Fresh

But maybe the best gift of all is giving on behalf of someone you love to someone in need. There are so many great organizations to give to that will create special cards you can wrap up for your recipient or have it sent directly to them. Women for Women International is an amazing organization that works to raise women and girls out of poverty around the world.  They have a whole selection of gift donations.

And as food banks are under more strain than ever, Give-A-Meal through Feeding America to a family in need in honor of a family you love.  And remember your local food bank with monetary donations or canned goods.

For some more ideas about my favorite fun kitchen finds, book and movies – check out The Spoon’s Store, powered by Amazon. Just click on the box on the right hand side of the page.

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