Forget the Flowers, Here are Five Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Foodies

I don’t need to tell you Valentine’s Day is coming, a simple visit to your nearest pharmacy will suffice. Whether you are in a relationship or not, this holiday is capitalistically designed so that you are probably thinking of getting someone something, whether they are a significant other or your best friend.

On my end, I like to take Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to be creative and encourage you to gift beyond the classics which are expected. I’ve compiled five top choices below to spark some ideas.

gift-paris_grande

  1. Try The World Box ($198/year) – Have you ever been obsessed with something you have not even been able to try? That’s how I feel about Try The World. Still, I can tell it’s amazing and I can’t wait to try it. Try The World is basically the best option for when you want to travel the world and eat all the food, but you can’t afford a plane ticket. You get a box every two months and each box features gourmet foods from one new country. cast-iron-fondue-set
  2. Cast Iron Fondue Set ($39.95) – Melted cheese at home? Whenever you want it? Who doesn’t want that? There are a lot of fondue set options out there, it really depends on what you are really planning to do with it. If you are just looking for a one night thing, then don’t spend big. If you see yourself, however, using it for dinner parties or even chocolate fondue, there are some fancier options like this one from Sur La Table.
  3. cookie-mix-cornflake-chocolate-chip.df767b4b2e8a6d87e598bba426544134Baking Mix Tin – Cornflake Marshmallow-Chocolate-Chip Cookie from Milk Bar ($17) – This is baking made easy and delicious. Have you had anything from Milk Bar yet? You have to. This gift can be a good activity to do together or a nice surprise if you want to skip ahead and make them beforehand for quick enjoyment. You can look at more flavors here. The mix of marshmallows and cornflakes is a delicious combination of crunch and softness, highly recommend it! This is also a good option for a more low key gift.
  4. main_variation_Default_view_2_425x425Sur La Table Cast-Iron Oyster Pan ($39.95) – I’m not gonna lie, this one is tricky. I have never really cooked seafood on my own. Sure, I love eating it, cooking it is just not my specialty. Still, since Valentine’s Day merits something special, why not cook an aphrodisiac meal? Just looking at this image gets me excited… for food. Don’t ask me where to get the oysters, I have no clue, BUT here’s some wine to drink with them. clubW
  5. Club W ($ – Varies) – Speaking of wine! Here’s another aphrodisiac that doesn’t need much explanation. I don’t really think you can go wrong with wine. If you can, plan a wine tour or local wine tasting. If you can’t, there are a lot of wine clubs out there that will make great gifts. I’m currently trying out Club W and so far, so good!

Sometimes, I Bake

Last year, my friend Lindsay and I won our office holiday bake-off under the creativity category. Pretty sweet little reindeer cookies, if you ask me.

This is how the cookies looked at the recipe website…

 

This is how our cookies turned out. Not that bad, considering I owned an android camera at the time.

reindeer cookies

2012 Winners in the creative category – Cristina Nogueras ©

This year, when my office announced we would be having another bake-off to celebrate National Dessert Day (which by the way, it’s a thing) I knew I had to retain my title as the creative cook. My coworker Lina and I decided to team up and get creative.

Mind you, this comes from the girl that knows how to cook, however, limits herself to the same five basic recipes. I have big ideas in my head, but they always somehow end up as some variation of chicken, rice and beans.

I knew flavor was not going to be my strength, so we went for creativity. Thanks to the wonder that is Pinterest and the many amazing and creative human beings out  there, I found a twist-off to my favorite childhood dessert: Tierrita Dulce.

photo


Rest in Bliss Vanilla Pudding – Photo & Edits Cristina Nogueras ©

I took some creative license rights and decided to call our creation: Rest in Bliss. I know, I’m no artist, but I’m really humbly proud of the results.

Plus, guess what?

WE WON!

Yes, that’s right, this girl over here is the current two-strike undefeated baking champion! (May I say we did not even have to technically bake anything?)

What’s the recipe for success? We literally followed the instructions on the Jell-O vanilla pudding box and added food coloring. Then we crushed a bag of cream-less Oreos and added layers of Oreos to the bottom and top of the cups. I know, rocket science. We added gummy worms to give it the Halloween look and Lina went all out with the frosting drawings in the vanilla wafer cookies.

Besides bragging rights and high-fives (which are always welcomed), we also received a nice bottle of Aviation Gin! Thinking of going classy and trying out some nice cocktails soon.

Desserts & cocktails? Not bad, right?

aviation

Cristina Nogueras ©