It’s the day before Christmas Eve and it’s time to panic if you haven’t completed your holiday shopping. Never fear: in lieu of copious libations to ease the panic, here are a few last minute gift suggestions that will make you look like a hero.
For the celebrity chef fan:
Pick up a copy of Michael Symon’s 5 in 5 cookbook and one of the knives from his new line. The 5 in 5 cookbook is filled with great recipes that a novice to seasoned home-cook can create. The Michael Symon Cutlery line is German made with high carbon steel. They have a nice weight and are easy to work with. If you can’t find it locally, order one and put the order form in a nice envelope or box.
Everyone loves that adorable Aussie import Curtis Stone, and after dining at Maude this year I can vouch for his culinary skills. Buy all of his cookbooks, they are filled with great recipes and organized in a user friendly way. This is a great collection of cookbooks for the just engaged couple and anyone who loves cooking. Pair it with a set of Curtis Stone forged-aluminum frying pans from HSN and you may find your significant other offering to make breakfast. (Sous Chef loves these pans so much I think he looks for reasons to cook in them.) Order a set today, and wrap your order form – who doesn’t like presents to keep trickling in after the holidays?
For the wine enthusiast:
Skip the gifts and plan a wine trip. For true enjoyment and pampering, book a room at Senza Hotel in Napa. It is owned by the Halls (HALL Wines) and I think it is hard to beat the experience. The rooms are large and inviting, each with a private patio or balcony, fireplace, and large soaking tub. Each morning you are greeted with a lovely breakfast spread of pastries and egg dishes from Bouchon Bakery. In the evening there are nightly wine tastings. Plus the property has a full service spa and pool. The location is terrific, being centrally located just a few minutes from Yountville or the Napa downtown area. Complete the itinerary with a few special tastings, like the Ultimate Cab tasting at HALL Wines, and certainly book a table at The French Laundry (start dialing now or try your luck on Open Table).
For the adult who needs a little less seriousness in their life:
M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E! You heard me correctly: book a trip to Disneyland and celebrate the 60th Anniversary in style. And adults without kids, don’t despair. Here is a simple trick to survive and have fun at the “Happiest Place on Earth” – book a room at one of the Disneyland hotels and use that “Magic Hour” that starts one hour before the gates open to the general public. Oh, and don’t forget the Park Hopper Pass because the accessibility to an alcoholic beverage at California Adventure Land after braving the strollers and scooters in Disneyland is not to be underrated. I recommend staying at The Grand California Hotel and making dining reservations at Carthay Circle and Napa Rose. Just because you are doing a theme park doesn’t mean your dining should suffer.