When it comes to holiday gift-giving, Santa has some serious advantages. He doesn’t need to include the gift receipt, isn’t invited to social events at the boss’ house that necessitate a hostess gift, and above all, he already knows exactly what’s on everyone’s list. For those of us without the Santa-factor, holiday shopping can be trickier, which is why I’m excited to be sharing today’s “Fives” post, along with a fantastic foodie-themed holiday giveaway.

5 Creative Edible Gift IdeasI try to be thoughtful and intentional with my gifts, but some situations are just plain complicated. What do you give your notoriously picky mother-in-law, the 12-year-old cousin who’s more interested in his iPhone than interaction with actual humans, or the friend who already has it all?

When in doubt, I go edible. Not only is the gift of food (or, ahem, booze) always welcome, it can be just as thoughtful as a carefully selected piece of jewelry. Have a friend with notorious sweet tooth? Please see item #1. Carnivorous boyfriend? Reference #3.

Here are five edible gifts that would be welcome under the tree, followed by a giveaway of some of my all-time favorite additions to any holiday party spread—including the Downton Abbey parties of one I host for myself.

1. Cookie Mixes or Quick Breads in Jars: Have a friend that loves to bake? Adjust your (or your friend’s) favorite cookie recipe to fit in a 1-quart mason jar, then attach the recipe directions. I’m biased, but I heart this Triple Chip Oatmeal Cookie Mix. It’s endlessly customizable and can be made gluten free too. Have a friend who loves baked goods, but not the actual “baking” part? Try this Chocolate Chip Banana Bread in a Jar. Banana bread is baked right inside of a mason jar, which then serves as the super-cute packaging. I imagine this would work well with any quick bread recipe. Spiked Orange Date Bread would be especially festive.

2. Assortment of Spices or Extracts: Perfect for anyone who enjoys cooking or baking. Penzeys has fun ideas for putting together baskets with different themes, or you can create your own.

3. Bacon of the Month Club: I’m tempted to splurge on this for Ben, with the hope and assumption that he will share. Bacon diehards can add bacon lip balm to their order for a bargain price of $2.95.

4. Apple Cinnamon Infused Bourbon: I fully intend to gift this to myself and use it to stir up Old Fashioneds, liven up my Bourbon Buttermilk Pie, and make 5 o’clock an even better time of day.

5. Movie Night Gift Pack: This version from Dean & Deluca is as ridiculously over-the-top as you could go, but I can image putting something similar together myself at a lower price tag.


Now for the giveaway! Whenever friends or family come over, I can’t help but pull out a few munchies “just in case” anyone needs a snack. Though I enjoy trying new products, I always come back to these three. I love they way they taste, buy them regularly, and am excited to have them included as today’s giveaway prize:

  • Sartori Cheese: Sartori’s signature BellaVitano Cheese is a total crowd-pleaser, comes in more than a dozen flavors, and is almost always the first to disappear on any cheese plate. The winner will receive a selection of Sartori cheese, packaged in a lovely gift crate.

Sartori Cheese Giveaway

For a sneak peek inside the Sartori factory, including a shot of me rubbing coffee on the outside of the Espresso Bellavitano, check out this post from my tour with Wisconsin Cheese.

  • Maille Mustard and Cornichons: Living in France turned me into a wee bit of a mustard snob, and I heart Maille. Each mustard variety has so much flavor, and I’m completely hooked on the cornichons (baby pickles) too. I can eat a quarter of a jar while standing in front of my refrigerator, which makes me think we’re going to need to dedicate an entire side of our storage room to pickles if/when I’m pregnant. The giveaway winner will receive a selection of Maille mustards (including the new Honey Dijon with Balsamic Vinegar, yum), and a jar of those addictive cornichons.

Maille Giveaway

  • Bonne Maman Preserves: I just love Bonne Maman. Their preserves are made with only real fruit and natural ingredients, so the flavor is true and intense. I mix mine into yogurt, liven up my oatmeal, and for a party, add a generous dollop to the cheese plate. The winner will receive a selection of preserves, perfect for smearing on holiday rolls or including with an appetizer plate.

Bonne Maman Giveaway

To enter the giveaway: Use the widget below. Please be patient, as it may take a few moments to load.

Thank you to each of the participating companies for providing the prizes to the giveaway winners.