Ho….. Ho…. Hooooooo. *kicks kid down slide* — It’s that time, y’all! In true Southern Fatty style, a bit late to the game, I am sharing some of my favorite picks for your holiday gifts. If you all are anything like myself, you probably haven’t shopping anyway, right? Thank you, Amazon Prime.
Here are some of my favorite things, along with where you can grab them last minute.
Click on any of the items in the picture
above to find out more about each product.
PS — None of these suggestions are paid endorsements or sponsored content. Some items are from brands that I have partnered with in the past, but all of my suggested gift items are on this list purely because I truly enjoy and positively recommend.
For the home cook/baker.
- The Loch Ness Laddle is just too cute. How could you not want to cook more with something like that?
- I saw raving reviews for the Instant Pot Multi Cooker. This thing is a pressure cooker/crockpot/extra burner all in one and is just amazing. You’ll definately see more recipes using this coming up on the blog in the near future. Pulled pork (click for our traditional recipe) in like an hour, y’all. Seriously.
- Breville Smart Oven. I picked one of these up about 6 months ago and it is a beast. I often use it over my full-sized conventional oven. It’s my top choice for pastries and reheating, since it boasts convection mode.
- My Marble Pastry Board is something I initially bought for pastry making, but ended up using almost every day. This was on my list last year, and will probably stay for good. I keep it on one side of my counter for a lot of my prep work. These also make for excellent photo backdrops for you other food bloggers out there.
- Ahhhh the classic KitchenAid Mixer. You seriously can’t go wrong with this as a gift (for yourself, even). These things are hardcore machines. I would say this may be one of the best gifts for a young adult moving into the work world, or even for a seasoned baker.
- I tend to collect cookbooks, but don’t tend to usually use them. When Amanda Freitag was here in town last year, she gave me a copy of her most recent cookbook, The Chef Next Door. It’s an absolutely gorgeous (styled by the fantastic Barrett Washburne), seriously practical cookbook that I have found myself using time after time.
- Chop, chop! If you don’t have a great knife in the kitchen, you might as well eat out. Seriously. A quality Chef’s knife is your absolute best friend. Two that I find myself using often at my own home are from Victorinox ($35 – Rosewood) and Zwilling J.A. Henckels ($100 – Pro Stainless).
For the photographer.
Aside from the blog here, I work as a food photographer based in the Nashville area. One of the most common emails I get from readers is for photography equipment suggestions. There are plenty of great gifts to share with new photographers, pros, and even for that person that just wants to step up their Instagram game a bit.
- The best thing I ever did for my photography learning experience was upgrade the lens on my dSLR camera. I started, like most, with an entry level Canon camera that was fantastic to learn the basics on with great results. The lenses that come with those kits are fine, but certainly restrict the quality of photos and box you in a bit with what you are learning to shoot. For someone that has an interchangeable lens camera, a quality 50mm lens is the best thing you can have for them under the tree. For $100, you can put a Canon 50mm 1.8 lens in their stocking. For a bit more, you can upgrade to the Canon 50mm 1.4 lens. It will have a better build (less plastic) and amazing image quality. This is the best lens to learn photography with. 50mm is basically what the human eye defaults to, so it gives you a chance to focus on framing, settings, etc. when learning to shoot.
- Another question I often get is, “What camera did you use to shoot this?”. I’ve had several camera models in the past few years. Starting with a Canon XT, and now a shiny new 5D Mark IV. If you are looking for a great entry level camera, I would strongly suggest getting a Canon Rebel Series camera. Look at the T5i or T6i models. These are relatively inexpensive, but will provide a fantastic base to learn from. The features and abilities are perfectly suited for 99% of hobby photographers. You can often find these as Refurbs through Canon. I’ve never had a bad experience with their refurbished items. They arrive looking brand new with a full warranty. I would strongly suggest buying these as “body only” and adding on that 50mm 1.8 $100 lens that I talked about above instead of wasting the extra money on a “kit” with a much less effective 18-55mm lens.
- If you are feeling really generous, the more seasoned photographer has probably mentioned this camera several times. The Canon 5D Mark IV is the latest in the Pro series of Canon dSLR full-frame models. Prior to this, I kept using my Canon 6D because it had basically the same image resolution as the previous 5D Mark III body, with WiFi, GPS, and some of the best low light focusing and image results out there. NOW… The 5D Mark IV is my primary pick. I kept my old 6D as a backup camera, but this Mark IV unit is just amazing. What it also is, is expensive as hell. It’s truly an investment, but one I’ve not regretted a single time. This isn’t a hobby buy, but if you are serious about looking into a top-notch camera suggestion, this has my full endorsement.
Care for a drink?
It wouldn’t feel right unless I included some of my favorite cocktail gadgets and mixes in the list. Here are a few of my favs. I’ll drink to that!
- Eli Mason Cocktail Mixers are made right here in Nashville. They’re received National acclaim and praise from some major outlets for very good reason. I originally worked with Eli Mason to develop a recipe a long, long time ago. It ended up being one of the most viewed on the site. Go ahead and order some of this stuff for yourself, too. That Amaretto Southern is going to change your life.
- I love unique glassware. One of my secrets to finding good photo props for work and the blog posts here is to force myself to get up on a weekend and go venture into the world of estate sales in the Nashville area. It’s fun to see different parts of town and maybe find some unique antiques to feature. It’s also fun to be nosey in other peoples houses… But, still. These Double Walled Cocktail Glasses have awarded me so many compliments form friends visiting my place. They are fun and make for a pretty sweet Old Fashioned cup.
- Since one mixer obviously isn’t enough, I thought I would include one of my favorite winter mixes as well. I’m a coffee-all-day-every-day kinda guy, and if you aren’t putting a little bit of grandma’s juice in it, you are doing it all wrong. Jackson Morgan Southern Whiskey Cream is a brand that I have worked with (also local TN based!) and can’t sing enough praises about. They are great people that make a great product. It’s great on ice, in coffee, or tossed with caramel popcorn like I made here.
Whosits and whatsits galore.
- Goo Goo Clusters! A Nashville favorite, these chocolate candy clusters are the bomb dot com. If you want a sweet taste of Nash, this is it.
- The best addition to my kitchen that wasn’t intended to eat was the Dyson Absolute. I had a V6 cordless and recently upgraded to the Dyson V8 Absolute to have a bit longer run time. It’s completely cordless with a charging base and packs serious power. I’ve raved about these in the past, as they make cleaning up spilled flour, cat food, powdered sugar (ugh!), and even edible glitter from the floor and counters flawlessly. I use this on my entire house, with the newer model lasting 40 minutes on a charge. This may be my favorite home appliance ever.
- iPhone charging case from Mophie. — UGH! It seems like my phone’s battery never lasts like it should. Or that I’m at an event or a photo shoot for a full day and don’t want or have the ability to deal with plugging it in to recover. I swear by this Battery Charging Case so much that I even bought a backup to keep in my car. It provides an entire full charge to my phone.
- Meow. My two cats are obsessed with these Hemp Catnip Toy Bags. All organic, safe materials. It’s Christmas for them too, right?
- Paddywax, Paddywax. Give a friend a candle. I just recently found out that these were made right here in Nashville. Fresh, clean scents with top quality soy wax base. They seem to last forever. If you know someone that loves candles, this is the gift for them.
- If you aren’t dancing and singing in the kitchen when you are making our Blackberry Bourbon Cupcakes, you aren’t doing it right at all. A bit for the cook, a bit for the cake. I use the bluetooth speaker in my kitchen every day. It’s linked right up to the Spotify on my phone.
- My most recent big kid toy is a DJI Phantom Drone. I became interested in aviation a long, long time ago. I’ve flown small planes for a while and even recently got to take a spin around town (click for Instagram image) in a big ol’ dirigible with one of my favorite sipping qwirky concoctions, Hendrick’s Gin. They even gave me a flask for the flight. — If you love flying around, photography, and being a big kid again, a drone is an awesome gift to receive. I’ve (carefully) flown this thing for hours and hours now, and absolutely love every minute of it. Now, to figure out how to record a blog post entire by drone… #NerdMode
If you read through all of this, I should go ahead and buy you one of each. Unfortunately, I’ll be outside eating cookies lowered into my mouth by drone, so I can’t spare the time for that. — Happy Holidays!
Did I miss something that you think everyone should have under their tree?
Let us all know in the comments below.