Over on my Lifestyle blog I’ve been compiling some Christmas gift guides and didn’t want to leave my readers over on this blog out so I hope you enjoy some of the selected items I have for you to either give to loved ones or write down on your Christmas list.
Regular readers may remember my post about the Newcastle opening of Brewdog in April which you can view here. I had the most fabulous time sampling the drinks on offer and I’m very pleased to announce that Brewdog have unveiled their Christmas beer range.
Christmas Paradox is an impressive 15% imperial stout which has spent 12 months maturing in rum casks, housed in a fetching gold and black gift box it will make the perfect present for an alcohol loving recipient!. If that doesn’t get you in the Christmas spirit, then the single hop simcoe IPA named Hoppy Christmas at 7.2% definitely will.
Unfortunately I haven’t had the chance to sample either of these drinks and wont be able to until after my baby is born so I’m refusing to buy alcohol related gifts for people this year! Bah Humbug.
Cloudberry Living is an online boutique offering you a range of high-quality designer gifts and contemporary home accessories from Scandinavia, I’ve picked some of my favourite items which are ideal for the person who loves food and drink but doesn’t want a perishable food or drink gift.
Sagaform’s beautiful Retro print ceramic tableware is reminiscent of the 1950s and Sweden’s heritage of richly patterned ceramics. This retro print teapot (£24.95) reminds me so much of a dinner set that my grandparents owned, I would love to wake up on Christmas morning to find some of the Sagaform range under my tree!
Nearly everyone I know bakes or knows someone who bakes their own cakes so I know this Iittala Kastehelmi cake stand (£49) would be welcomed by a huge number of people on Christmas morning (you could even use it to serve your Christmas cake!) The Kastehelmi range of glassware was designed by professor Oiva Toikka in 1964. Kastehelmi was one of Toikka’s most popular designs and remained in production until 1988. To celebrate Toikka’s 50 years at Iittala, Iittala reintroduced the range in 2010.
The eye-catching FERM tea towels (£9.95) are made from 100% organic cotton and packaged in 100% recyclable cardboard envelope. My favourite is the ‘Copenhagen’ tea towel designed by Danish designer Trine Andersen which features artwork that is good enough to frame.
For gift recipients who like their gifts to have a bit of spice I may have found the perfect stocking filler!
The Single variety range comprises seven chilli sauces, each made from a different variety of chilli using wholly natural ingredients and to traditional artisan recipes. Chillies are as much about taste as they are about heat and the Hot-Headz range is dedicated to bring out the full flavour and unique taste of each variety of chilli as well as providing a complete range of heat to suit every palate from very mild indeed (Pasilla) through to extremely hot (Red Savina). Hot-Headz firmly believes in letting each chilli ‘speak and not scream’ and they are recommended to put in food, on food or on the side.
The sauces are not at all expensive at just £3.49 each. A selection of two will cost well under £10, five well under £20 and the whole collection of seven just under £25.
The range comprises the following seven sauces (each scored out of 5 for heat level):
- Pasilla – Very Mild 1/5 The Pasilla chilli is one of the holy trinity of chillies used for many Mexican recipes, particularly Molé sauces. Its complex, deep and smoky dried fruit flavour makes it ideal for a multitude of uses. Perfect for those who do not like heat.
- Jalapeño – Mild 2/5 The Jalapeño is named after the town of Jalapa in Mexico. This sauce has a distinctive, fresh and grassy flavour with zingy undertones. Perfect with fish, vegetables and in salsas.
- Chipotle – Mild/Medium 2.5/5 The Chipotle chilli is a large smoke dried Jalapeño. Medium thick fleshed, smoky and sweet, with a subtle, deep, rounded heat. Great with grilled meats and in bacon sandwiches and hot dogs.
- Serrano – Medium 3/5 The Serrano chilli is common to mountainous regions. A distinctive tang and clean heat with hints of pepper and high acidity. Excellent with oysters and in salsas.
- Habanero – Medium/Hot 3.5/5 The Habanero chilli (meaning from Havana) is one of the world’s hottest chillies. This sauce has a tropical fruit aroma and taste with a lasting, but not over burdening, tingle of heat.
- Scotch Bonnet – Hot 4/5 The Scotch Bonnet is a fiery, fresh and fruity, ‘full-on’ flavoured sauce with a very distinctive aroma and yellow/orange colour. A native of the Caribbean that gives the classic West Indian jerk taste to food.
Red Savina – Very hot 5/5 Developed in California (a relation to the habanero), the Red Savina chilli held the record as the world’s hottest from 1994 to 2006. Delicious fruity citrus flavour known to add balance to many dishes.
Coffee lovers like myself would undoubtedly love a Douwe Egberts gift in their stocking or under their tree.
The master blenders at Douwe Egberts have created a brand new range of premium instant coffee infused with a variety of tantalising flavours – The Flavour Collective. Available in Delicate Vanilla, Smooth Caramel and Roasted Hazelnut. I love nothing better at Christmas than a cup of coffee with a flavoured syrup but as we all know syrup is full of sugar and callories, at just two calories per serving this coffee makes a perfect treat without the calories.
The Flavour Collective range from Douwe Egberts is available in Sainsburys and Tesco – RRSP £2.99 for a 50g jar.
When we moved house in August I left my beloved Coffee maker behind so Mr Gourmand if you’re reading this I’ve put the Senseo Twist on my Christmas list!
The Master Blenders at Douwe Egberts have poured their coffee expertise and passion for great tasting coffee into their latest machine, SENSEO ® Twist, providing coffee lovers with the opportunity to add a different twist to their coffee moment. The launch comes as Douwe Egberts introduce two new ranges of delicious SENSEO ® pods, offering a richer, more aromatic tasting coffee to drinkers in the comfort of their own home.
Available in crisp white and lime yellow or chic black and cobalt blue colour combinations, SENSEO ® Twist delivers great tasting coffee to delight the senses, in a stylish kitchen appliance that will add a modern touch and elegance to any home.
Appealing to the contemporary coffee aficionados seeking a bold, design-forward and intuitive coffee appliance, the SENSEO® Twist simplifies coffee preparation, while enhancing users overall coffee experience. Intuitive features such as the smart guided touch panel and adjustable strength setting, allow users the added freedom to create and personalise their own perfect cup of coffee, accompanied by the ‘direct start’ functionality, which delivers the desired strength and number of cups at the touch of a button.
The SENSEO ® Twist coffee machine is available in Argos & Amazon, RRSP from £150.00*. Milk range pads RRSP from £2.99 and Lungo pads RRSP from £3.59.
Look out for my next installment of Christmas Gifts, Hampers, Home made items and my own wish list!