The Hippo


May 25, 2020








Treats for the foodie on your list
Stocking-stuffers, cookbooks, coffee and more


For the foodie, aspiring chef or even a hostess, check out these recommendations from local retailers this holiday season. 

Diane Beauregard, owner of Things Are Cooking (74 N. Main St., Concord, 225-8377, and its sister store, Board & Baskets (10 Benning St., W. Lebanon, 298-5813,, has all your gadgets and stocking stuffers for the kitchen. 
CQ Coffee Roasters (30 Harvey Road, Bedford, 836-6228, had a few tips for coffee-lovers (who are really, really in love with coffee), and Sean Johnson of the Toadstool Bookstore in Milford (586 Nashua St., Milford, 673-1734, recommended the top three best-selling new cookbooks for the holidays.
Gadgets galore
The new personal Vitamix S30 ($399.99) comes with a 20-ounce double-walled container ideal for on-the-go use. Like the larger version, the S30 can puree, blend, and even make hot soup from raw produce, like tomatoes.
Spiralizers and Spirellis are also trending kitchen gadgets. The Paderno Spiralizer cuts produce into spirals or noodles and can be a push shredder or a core peeler, whereas the Spirelli does the same but handheld and on a smaller scale.
“It’s a healthier way of eating and it’s a huge, huge craze this fall,” Beauregard said. “It’s a new product, and I can’t believe how much of those we sell. … Everybody wants one.”
Wellness Mats ($119.95 and up) make standing at the kitchen counter or cooking over the stove more comfortable. Beauregard added that the Wellness Mat brand also has a seven-year warranty and is made in the United States.
“A lot of these things are made in the U.S.,” she said.
Of course, there will always be the classic gifts that would please any chef, including waffle makers and cast-iron Dutch ovens. KitchenAid mixers and attachments are popular every Christmas, Beauregard said, noting that Things Are Cooking has new colors, including new shades of greens, red and blues.
Foodie stocking stuffers
Beauregard recommends cooking mixes, jellies, sauces and seasonings for a hostess or Yankee Swap gift.
“This time of year we just sell right through them,” she said. “People want them for hostess gifts, stocking stuffers, Yankee Swap gifts.”
For anyone on your list who enjoys a cold beverage, check out Corkcicle products for wine and beer bottles. To use, just freeze the wand and stick it into the bottle to chill your white wine. Ice spheres are also great for cocktails.
“People like to have a big ice cube in their cocktail so it’s not diluting whatever they’re drinking,” Beauregard said.
A merry caffeinated Christmas
Check out these gifts, whether it’s to put on your own wish list or to give to the coffee-lover in your family. Beauregard recommends the new Nespresso VertuoLine system (retail $299 and up) for its ability to instantly  brew both coffee and espresso.
“This is a whole new ballgame for the coffee maker industries where it can do espresso and a full cup of coffee in the same machine,” she said.
CQ Coffee Roasters has a few recommendations for the “coffee nerd,” like its Ultimate Coffee Nerd Present ($95), which includes four coffees and a vacuum pot, or a Coffee Chemex Gift Set ($75), which also includes four 8-ounce coffees. There’s also a Monthly Coffee Subscription (from $53 to $212), which highlights a different single-origin coffee each month. CQ Coffee Roasters will pick out a coffee, roast it and send for three months, six months or a year subscription.
Give a cookbook
The Milford Toadstool’s Sean Johnson recommended the following three cookbooks this holiday season:
• Every two years, Ina Garten (aka the Barefoot Contessa) comes out with a cookbook just in time for the holidays. Her newest cookbook, Make It Ahead, features recipes like Summer Rosé Sangria, Ultimate Make-Ahead Roast Turkey, and French Chicken Pot Pies among others perfect for those who like to plan ahead (or who would like to learn how to plan better).
• For the locavore or Food Network fan on your list, check out Mario Batali’s newest cookbook, America — Farm to Table: Simple, Delicious Recipes Celebrating Local Farmers. The title explains it all — Batali asked chefs from all across the country who their favorite farmers were, which results in a “cookbook” filled with stories and recipes using local produce (like fava beans and lamb from Washington state and corn from Washington, D.C.). 
• Another popular cookbook is Prune by Gabrielle Hamilton. It’s her cookbook debut with recipes from her New York City restaurant of the same name. Hamilton wrote the bestselling memoir Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef. 
As seen in the December 11, 2014 issue of the Hippo.

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