I'm not really much of a shopper - online purchasing excluded, of course - and I'm definitely not keen on shopping malls, busy parking lots or massive crowds. So, when it comes to holiday shopping, I prefer to stick to as few stores as possible and purchase worthwhile, quality items. For me, this often means I venture out to my local Chapters/Indigo stores.
Those who know me well know it's my favourite store. In fact, almost once a week the boys and I head there after school for hot chocolates from Starbucks, and to browse magazines, look at books, and pick up new reading supplies. I'm such a frequent visitor that if I go during the day when the kids are at school, one of the long-time cashiers almost always says to me "No boys with you today?" I love it.
I also love holiday gift guides, and instead of mentioning the same products that might be on the must-buy list of every food blogger going, I thought I would keep my suggestions to one store. One Canadian store, that is. If you have a home cook on your list, or are a home cook and don't know what to ask for this year, I think you might appreciate some of the above suggestions.
I recently had the good fortune to connect with someone representing Indigo. When she heard about my gift guides (there will be 3 in total - one for the party enthusiast on December 10th and one for kids/tweens on December 17) she kindly offered to give away two books to one lucky reader. Please see below the links for details and happy shopping!
1. Wooden Apple Timer ($12.50): This rustic timer will make a sweet addition to any kitchen.
2. Luscious Pear Jam Jar ($29.50): For those who love to preserve, this gorgeous jam jar is ideal for sharing, and showing off, pretty homemade goods.
3. My Berlin Kitchen ($28.50): I adored this food memoir, and if you haven't read it I think you might too.
4. Big Black Book of Recipes ($30): Despite the fact that I blog about recipes, I also keep stacks of handwritten ones in a book to pass along to my children someday.
5. Canvas Text Bread Basket ($14.50): What a pretty way to serve fresh cut bread at your next dinner party.
6. Red Sierra Fondue Set ($79.50): Recently, I've seen four magazine articles dedicated to cheesy fondues. I think they're trying to make a comeback - again.
7. Stripe Bowl ($10): I would have no problem eating my morning oatmeal out of this pretty striped bowl.
8. Barefoot Contessa Foolproof ($40): You can never go wrong with Ina. Every recipe is well tested and tasty, and her books are worth collecting.
9. The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook ($35): I'm almost ready to declare this the best cookbook that came across my desk this year.
10. Classic "All Out Of" Pad ($7.50): I have this and use it every week. It looks pretty on the fridge and allows me to check off the items I run out of as I finish them off.
11. Large Farmhouse Cutting Board ($26.50): I would use this to serve cheeses and pretty bite-sized desserts. It's too pretty for chopping on it.
12. Mulling Spices ($10): I adore the smell of mulled wine (and don't mind drinking it either) and think this would make a lovely hostess gift.
13. Homemade Cookie Stamp ($16.50): In my opinion, I've saved the best for last. This "homemade" cookie stamp is too adorable for words.
Update: Congratulations to Johanna! You are the lucky winner!
Now for the giveaway! Chapters/Indigo has kindly offered to send one reader the following books:
A Country Cook's Kitchen by Alison Walker
Now Eat This! Italian by Rocco Dispirito
In order to enter, please leave a comment telling me which item from my gift guide would most likely make your wish list this year.
Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way for this post and the preferences and picks shared are strictly personal.