In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

Perfect Gifts For The Foodie On Your Holiday Shopping List (2014 edition).

If you’re struggling to find the perfect gift this holiday season for the person on your shopping list who you would consider a “foodie”, I’ve got you covered. Usually I’m lucky if I get a Christmas card on Christmas morning… (Santa always hating on ah brother). Even as a kid I was much happier with a slice of black cake and a tall glass of sorrel, counting down the hours to what mom was preparing in the kitchen for the day. For my holiday shopping list this year, I’ll go though some of the things I added to my kitchen and knowledge over the last 365 days, which I feel would make excellent gifts.

Note: These are not listed in any particular order.



books for foodies

I’m old school so you’ll find that I still collect physical books (I work all day on the computer so the last thing I want to do is read a book on a digital device) . When I first started collecting books (food related) I stuck to recipe books, but over the years my collection has grown to cover much more of the culinary world.  Here are my picks for 2014:

Setting The Table, The Transforming Power Of Hospitality in Business Danny Meyer

* Tastes Like Home Cynthia Nelson

* From Scratch, Inside The Food Network Allen Salkin

* Ferran, The Inside Story Of El Bulli And The Man Who Reinvented Food Colman Andrews

* Sweet Hands, Island Cooking From Trinidad and Tobago Ramin Ganeshram

* Molecular Gastronomy, Exploring The Science Of Flavor Herve This

Any of these titles will make for an excellent Christmas gift for the foodie you know who likes to read and I’m sure you can also get digital versions on (if you want to save a tree)  and wherever else you usually purchase books.


Otterbox Agility System




My new best friend in the kitchen. The Otterbox Agility System for my iPad Mini gets as much use as my favourite pot or knife. The Agility System with the wall mount (seen in the package above) allows me to take my favorite recipe website, youtube video or notes on the recipe I’m preparing to share with you, in the kitchen. The Agility Wall Mount  and Dock allows me to use my iPad Mini hands free and though you don’t see it, it’s in the background when I shoot videos.

OtterBox-LogoAlong with the Agility Wall Mount and Dock, I recommend getting the Portfolio – The Agility Portfolio is a full-coverage tablet case that converts into a stand. It folds around your entire tablet protecting it and its sensitive touchscreen. The iPad mini with Retina display Portfolio converts into a multi-position stand for landscape and portrait typing and viewing angles.

For more info on what I believe is the best gift for the techie (in the kitchen) please visit  In the coming days I’ll do a video review of the complete Otterbox Agility System for the iPad Mini, so stay tuned for that.


Chai Tea?


chai tea


I must confess that I’m a Chai tea (latte) addict, so I just had to put this on my list. Typically I pay about $5 a cup for a decent Chai latte at the bucks… that can add up very fast when you have a weakness for the rich, spicy, creamy.. warms your soul cup of tea. So when I found these David Rio Chai blends at “HomeSense” (you can order it online as well) I was in heaven. I think they go for about $7 a container, but they make between 10 and 16 cups (depends how rich you want it) and all you have to do is add your favorite milk and hit the buttons on the microwave. I find that after blasting the mixture in the microwave, if you whisk it a bit you’ll get a lovely creamy finish.


Blendtec Designer 725


blentec Designer 725


The Blendtec Designer makes my list for 2014 the following reasons:

-Illuminated, capacitive touch interface
-Preprogrammed cycles: Smoothie, Salsa, Ice Cream, Whole Juice, Hot Soup, Clean
– 100-speed capacitive touch slider
– easy to clean – no sharp blades
– 8-year warranty
* Blend Rewards – Get rewards for using your blender! The Designer 725 tracks your blends, then displays reward codes at certain milestones. Redeem the code online for recipe books, gift cards, kitchen utensils, jar discounts, and more. Yea, imagine getting FREE stuff just for using your blender? My old (reliable.. in the image above) blender never did that and cleaning it was always dangerous with the sharp blades.

I would recommend also getting the Twister Jar – The Twister™ jar is designed to blend your thickest recipes, such as nut butters, hummus, baby food, dips, thick shakes, dressings and more!

For more info on the Blendtec Designer 725, Twister Jar and other personal and professional type blenders check out

Look for some wicked recipes featuring Blendtec Designer 725 in January – think healthy smoothies with a lovely Caribbean twist! Just in time for all of you who will be doing the New Years resolution to live healthier for 2015.


I do hope this 2014 shopping list for foodies is helpful as we brave the crowds (and idiots fighting for parking) at the mall and I would encourage you to save yourself the stress and give online shopping a chance. At the end of the day spend what you can afford and don’t get stuck with that dreaded credit card bill come January. Other options would be a good chef’s knife, pots (a wok would be an excellent gift), even something as simple an apron would rock. Be sure to put some thought into what you get and whatever you end up getting will be appreciated.

Make it a wonderful holidays!


BTW I won’t hate it if you sent me a gift this holiday season (smile – had to add that).. mail cards etc to:
Att: Chris De La Rosa
2-558 Upper Gage Ave
Suite 225
Hamilton, Ontario
L8V 4J6  Canada

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