Everyone loves to enjoy themselves food and drink wise over the holidays—it’s great to just indulge and not worry once per year for a few days! Here are some of my top picks both for holiday gifting and dining. You can tell my deep love for rich and unusual food and drinks from this quick and fun list!
MacKenzie Limited takes pride in bringing hand chosen high end foods from brands across the country (with some sweets actually created in French bakeries like their legendary chocolate molten individual size cakes that are part of their amazing three and four course meal packages). I fell in love with the Red Present Cake above the minute that I saw it on the MacKenzie Limited site and thought it was worthy of replacing my family’s Christmas tradition of serving Divine Delights Christmas Petit Fours shaped like presents (this longstanding petit four company went out of business in June). The Red Present Cake is covered with fresh vanilla fondant and inside is a deep chocolate cake with white buttercream. I am fantasizing about eating a piece of this right now! Order here for about $110: RED PRESENT CAKE. Another beautiful and classy addition to your holiday table would be the French Profiterole Cake. A masterpiece only the French could design, this is a cake like no other. A buttery shortbread base is topped with salted butter caramel, then individual profiteroles are filled with pastry cream—then more of the luscious vanilla pastry cream is piped in between. It’s a grand dessert that is sure to impress. I probably can sit and eat one of these by myself on 10 minutes! Order here for about $45: FRENCH PROFITEROLE CAKE.
When I first discovered eCreamery’s delicious homemade ice cream two years ago, I could not believe my taste buds. This company first got famous via being on Shark Tank where Mark Cuban declared that this was the best ice cream that he had ever eaten! (Sadly, they did not get financed by the Sharks but went on to great success right after their show aired anyway!) Right now the holiday collection of eight pints pictured above—called the Santa’s Stash Ultimate Collection—is on sale for $84.99! Here is the amazing flavor list:
- Butter Pecan: Butter Pecan Ice Cream with Praline Pecans
- Frosted Sugar Cookie: Sugar Cookie Ice Cream with Frosted Sugar Cookie Pieces & Sprinkles
- Peppermint Mocha: Chocolate Coffee Ice Cream with Cookie Crunch & Peppermint Pieces
- Gingerbread Cheesecake: Cream Cheese Frosting Ice Cream with Gingerbread Cookie Pieces
- White Chocolate Peppermint:White Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream with Peppermint Flakes and Chocolate Chunks
- Sea Salt Caramel Brownie: Sea Salt Caramel Ice Cream with Brownie Bites
- Chocolate Cake: Chocolate Cake Ice Cream with Brownie Bites & Fudge Swirls
- Praline Pecan: Double Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Praline Pecans & Caramel Swirls
I fell in love with all these flavors but the Gingerbread Cheese was a life changer and I think about it pretty much everyday! Order here: SANTA’S STASH ULTIMATE COLLECTION.
The Omaha Steak Private Reserve Gift Flight is a real deal at only $227.96 with free shipping! I do not have to tell you about the legend of this veteran high end meat company that puts together packages of meat, sides and desserts in numrous confirgurations that can please anyone’s palate! Their Private Reserve Meats are particularly flavorful and as a personal customer of the Private Reserve, I can tell you that these meats are as good or better than anything that I have found at the finer New York steakhouses. Here is what you get below (I am especially excited about the Ribeye Crown aka deckle which is always the most flavorful part of the prime rib!)
4 (5 oz.) Private Reserve Ribeye Crown Steaks
4 (12 oz.) Private Reserve Dry-Aged Pork Rib Chops
12 (6 oz.) Private Reserve Angus Burgers
4 (3.81 oz.) Individual Scalloped Potatoes
4 (4 oz.) Caramel Apple Tartlets
1 (3 oz. jar) Omaha Steaks Seasoning
Order here and have the best holiday meal ever (you can also pair this with other packages and individual items for deeper discounts): https://www.omahasteaks.com/product/Private-Reserve-Gift-Flight-72987.
It’s hard to get fabulous wines at low prices but I found a brand that’s “the bomb”! Meaning “the Great Courtship,” Le Grand Courtâge is an affordable French sparkling wine nuanced for the American consumer: a memorable name, a timeless but contemporary package, and a dry, crisp, yet fruit forward wine which is sure to impress. Paired with a retail price at under $7 for 187 ml and under $20 for 750 ml, Le Grand Courtâge is the perfect option for Christmas and New Year’s gathers, Valentine’s Day gifts, dinner pairings or cocktails. Their motto is “Live Joyously” and these two items with their baby bubbles will put smiles on you and your holiday dinner guests’ faces! The first one that I love is Blanc De Blancs Brut which is a blend of chardonnay, chenin bland, columbard and ugni blanc grapes. This makes for a great pairing with savory hors d’oeurves, sushi, seafood and semi soft cheese. The second one that captured my heart is the Brut Rose which features the varietals of chardonnay, ugni blanc and gamay grapes, which is smooth and seductive. This pairs well with Spicy Asian dishes, risotto, prosciutto, seafood, Brie and strawberry shortcake. Both wines only have a residual sugar of 12 g/liter and 11.5 per cent alcohol. For more info or to order, go to legrandcourtage.com.
Batch & Box is a gourmet cookie company delivering thoughtful and personalized gifting experiences and would be a great addition to an upcoming holiday gifting feature. Using premium materials, chic styling and holiday-themed embellishments, Batch & Box cookies arrive ready to impress.Each cookie is hand-rolled to achieve its signature height and painstaking time and effort goes into the baking process, whether it is freshly zesting citrus, frosting cookies individually by hand, or making the time to toast ingredients like nuts and coconut for a richer flavor. Only Gourmet ingredients are used including fresh fruit, real butter and premium chocolate. Types of cookies include classic sugar cookies with frosting, snickerdoodles with pockets of cinnamon chips and a double dark chocolate cookie with peanut butter chips. You have an option of recording a personalized message that goes with each box as well. Order the Pick Your Own Dozen box for $54 here: https://www.batchandbox.com/products/pick-your-own-dozen.
Bushwick Kitchen offers a variety of gourmet condiments and ingredients for every dining occasion. Perfect for charcuterie boards and a variety of beverages and dishes (from breakfast to dessert), they offer culinary gift sets for all palates. Whether you have a spicy or sweet gift recipient, Bushwick Kitchen has you covered. These are gift sets that Celebrity Chef Bobby Flay called “…crazy good and a great gift!” My favorite is the Weak Knees Siracha Set which features all three of Bushwick Kitchen’s Srirachas (Gochujang, Super Spicy and Curry) in one click bottle. This comes beautifully packaged with a BK dish towel and a unique QR code linking you to a collection of recipes. These 10.5 Oz Sirachas are great on so many things including roasted cauliflower, chicken stew, sweet potato fries, meatballs, curry chicken drumsticks, hummus and buffalo wings. Order here for $54: https://bushwickkitchen.com/products/weak-knees-sriracha-gift-set.
The Original Rabbit Corkscrew has been reinvented to be even better! It pulls out a cork in 3 seconds flat and then automatically releases the cork. Its user-friendly ergonomic design opens any size wine bottle. All gears are made of hardened metal and the Original Rabbit corkscrews have been tested for 20,000 pulls by an independent laboratory. All Rabbit corkscrews include a 10-year warranty. This Rabbit corkscrew comes in a clear presentation case and includes a foil cutter and extra spiral. Fabulous features include:
- Pulls & ejects cork in seconds
- Foil cutter and extra spiral included
- Works on all bottle sizes and cork types
- Comes in a clear presentation case
- 10 year warranty
- Enriches your entertaining experience by inspiring the Three C’s: confidence, celebration and community. Your wine experience will become a whole lot easier when you can open wine bottles so effortlessly! Order here in black or silver for $55: https://www.rabbitwine.com/products/the-rabbit-corkscrew.
For a very long time, the legendary Robert “Kool” Bell wanted to have his own brand of bubbly and he sought out Grand Cru Vineyards run by owners that have been selling for generations. A couple of years ago, the New Jersey-based musical legend decided to work with Paul Berthelot, a Multi-Vintage Grand Cru producer since 1884. The two main products are the classic Le Kool Grand Cru signature champagne and the Le Kool Cuvée Rose champagne and you cannot go wrong with either this holiday season—either as gifts or at your holiday table/New Year’s Eve celebration. These are luxury products priced at about $84-$100 per bottle. There is a stunning pink limited edition First Lady Rose that I must put in my collection—it is a real work of art! (Wait until you see the design!) For more info and to order, go to this link: https://shop.lekoolshop.com.
I have been enjoying the homemade goodness of Chocolat Moderne (based in Chelsea at 27 West 20th Street) for three years now! I have to say that the quality cannot be beat if what you love is artistic chocolate made in small batches. Chocolat Moderne recently celebrated their 20th anniversary and to commemorate this milestone they created the Art To Eat Collection, a wonderful and whimsical 12-piece milk and dark chocolate collection with unique fillings that you will never find anywhere else. I cannot think of another company that has a filling of caramel with grapefruit juice, can you? Here is the complete listing of what you get in each box:
1. Les Nymphes ~ Lychee Jam and Ganache
2. The Lover ~ Passion Fruit Cardamom Caramel
3. Baklava ~ Spiced Walnut Almond Praline, Cinnamon, Clove, Nutmeg and Caramel
4. Smoked Sea Salt ~ Sea Salt Caramel with Coarse Flakes of Smoked Sea Salt
5. La Dolce Grapefruit ~ Caramel with Fresh Grapefruit Juice
6. Banoffee Pie ~ Multi-layered Bonbon with Salted Caramel, Toffee and White
7. Baby ~ Crimson Red White Chocolate Heart with Dark Ganache laced with Hudson Whiskey NY Bourbon
8. Champagne Chic ~ Dark Ganache blended with Nonino lo Chardonnay Grappa
9. Madame ‘X’tasy ~ Espresso Sea Salt Caramel
10. Wild Strawberry Balsamic Cordial ~ Candied Strawberry in Strawberry Balsamic Syrup
11. Shiso Lime ~ Dark Madagascan Ganache with Shiso Infusion and Pure Lime Oil
12. Parlez Pistache ~ Pistachio White Chocolate Praliné
Order the 12-piece Art To Eat Anniversary Collection here for $51 but also be sure to check out Chocolat Moderne’s wonderful Champagne Collection which is the perfect chocolate assortment to go with your bubbly on New Year’s Eve: ART TO EAT ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION.
Tasty and delicious… Wiley Wallaby’s Classic Red Licorice is the perfect choice for stuffing a Christmas stocking belonging to a licorice aficionado or handing out on Valentine’s Day! This nostalgic red licorice is thick, chunky and super-soft, making it unforgettable! Wiley Wallaby’s red licorice is the classic flavor followed naturally by the black….but don’t forget to check out their other great “fun” flavors like watermelon and cinnamon (which has a serious “red hot” kick)! Wiley Wallaby Licorice is fat free, vegan, and does not contain artificial colors and flavors. You can buy a 10 ounce bag for $12.99 on Amazon and at mass merchandise stores! See the whole line here: https://wileywallaby.com/.