Live Well
December 2015

The List-Maker’s Gift List for Foodies

I am a list-maker. It’s how I cope when I get anxious or stressed. I make endless lists of what I have to do, what I would like to do if I have extra time, who I have to purchase gifts for, who I have purchased gifts for, and so on and so forth…So, in the spirit of the fast-approaching holidays, I thought I would share a gift list for the foodies in your life.

  1. I always like to give my foodie friends some food-related books or cookbooks. Here are some books that I recommend:

    Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes
    to Heal and Protect Your Brain – for Life

    by David Perlmutter, MD

    My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes that
    Saved my Life

    by Ruth Reichl

    by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully

    Soda Politics: Taking on Big Soda
    by Marion Nestle

    The Third Plate: Field Notes on the
    Future of Food

    by Dan Barber

  2. Another gift I like to give my foodie friends is a selection of classic foodie movies, such as:

    Babette’s Feast
    by Gabriel Axel

    Big Night
    by Stanley Tucci and Campbell Scott

    Eat, Drink, Man, Woman
    by Ang Lee

    Jiro Dreams of Sushi
    by David Gelb

    Like Water for Chocolate
    by Alfonso Arau

  3. A Small Bag of Homemade Organic Chocolate Truffles or Swiss Almond Chocolate Cookies.

    Here is a super-simple recipe for chocolate truffles, that makes a perfect gift for foodies and non-foodies alike. Both recipes are available here on the site, in the COOK section.

    Makes about 30 medium truffles

    8 oz. organic heavy cream
    10 oz. organic bittersweet chocolate, chopped
    1 1/2 oz. organic butter, cut into small pieces
    1 1/2 oz. brandy, whisky or other liqueur (optional)
    Organic cocoa powder
    Organic pistachios, chopped
    Organic unsweetened, shredded coconut (optional)
    1. In a saucepan, bring cream to a boil. Remove from heat and add chopped chocolate. Stir until melted.
    2. Stir in butter until melted, then stir in liqueur (if using).
    3. Strain mixture into a bowl and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate overnight.
    4. Using a spoon or melon-baller, scrape mixture into 30 medium-sized balls and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
    5. Sift cocoa onto a plate. Roll truffles in cocoa and round them into small balls. Repeat process with chopped pistachios or shredded coconut (if using).
  4. Send an original gift from one of many artisanal food purveyors. Some of my favorites are:
    Anything from the wide selection of indie food products

    Farm to People –

    Good Karmal Caramels –

    Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams –

    Poco Dolce Chocolates –

  5. Here are 5 Food-Themed Holiday Gift Ideas that Give Back:

    City Harvest Cookbook and Chocolate Bar. City Harvest is a New York based organization that strives to feed the 1.4million people who face hunger each year. Check out their website at Proceeds of the City Harvest Cookbook (available on or and the City Harvest Chocolate Bar (available at different retailers in NYC) will help fund the important work that City Harvest does.

    Environmental Working Group Gift Box. The Environmental Working Group does extensive research to help protect human health and the environment. Learn more about their work at A donation of $140 will help support EWG’s work and you will get their Holiday Gift Box.

    Heritage Foods USA Products or Gift Certificates. Heritage Foods USA ( is a farm-to-table online butcher dedicated to supporting farmers raising livestock with old-school genetics on pasture. Purchasing products from Heritage Foods ensures that heritage breeds of livestock and genetic diversity can continue to exist.

    Get a 3-Month Bread Subscription or some Holiday Treats from Hot Bread Kitchen. Hot Bread Kitchen ( is a Brooklyn-based organization that creates jobs for low-income immigrant women in the culinary industry in New York.

    Purchase a gift from For each purchase from Donate Fruit, an equal amount of fruit will be donated to a food bank.




San Francisco

As many of you know, one of my favorite hobbies is visiting farmers markets wherever I travel. I recently visited family and friends in San Francisco. See pictures HERE.