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Feature

December 4, 2020
What Infatuation Writers Are Gifting (& Getting) This Holiday Season
The food-related gifts our team members are obsessing over.

A lot of things happen in the Team Infatuation Slack. We edit stories, abuse the /giphy function, share restaurant news, celebrate birthdays, and make a lot of recommendations to each other. As a highly opinionated group of people, if there’s an item someone on the team is looking for, there’s a good chance someone else has the perfect rec for it.

In that spirit, and also the holiday one, here’s a rundown of the gifts we’re planning to give and the ones we’d like to receive this year. We’ve kept things focused to food and the things surrounding it because, well, that’s where we have the most opinions. Or, at least, where our opinions really count.

We’re recommending these products because we actually want them. Equipment you buy through our links may earn us a commission.

A Cute Egg Cup

There’s nothing more delightful than designated egg cups for soft boiled eggs. Might I suggest this kind of terrifying one with legs from Etsy?

-Arden Shore, Senior Editor

Get an egg cup ($49) →

A Cookbook To Help You Escape

One of the coolest things about living in LA (besides running into Hemsworths at Trader Joe’s) is that Mexico is only a two hour drive away. Obviously there’s no driving across the border this year, but fortunately, the chef at Fauna - my favorite restaurant in the Valle De Guadalupe in Baja wine country - released a cookbook. The book is informative and beautiful, and has recipes for everything from Fauna’s grilled rabbit with chiles (which I have not attempted) to Ensenada-style fish tacos (which I have).

-Brett Keating, LA Staff Writer

Get Baja California ($27.69) →

A Blender That's Better Than The Others

Like many people living in NYC, my kitchen setup consists of two frying pans I rarely use. But if anyone could convince me to spend money on a kitchen appliance, it would be my grandmother. According to her, a good blender is essential for a bunch of easy recipes and will essentially pay for itself after just a few months. I decided to take her word for it, and as you may have predicted, I wholeheartedly agree. From breakfast smoothies and salsa verde to homemade ice cream and mango margaritas, I use this thing every single day.

-Nikko Duren, NYC Editorial Assistant

Get a Ninja blender ($119.99)→

A Donabe That Will Make You Want To Cook Again

I have had this tab open in my browser for the past however-many months, fantasizing about all of the dinners I will make (with help from @mrsdonabe) as soon as I own one of these beautiful and supremely useful donabes.

-Katherine Lewin, Editorial Director

Get a donabe ($130) →

A Vermont-Inspired Whiskey Glass

Do I need a topographically accurate carving of a New England mountain at the bottom of my whiskey glass? No, but it’s the best way to have scotch on the rocks without having to worry about dilution.

-Joel Ang, Boston Staff Writer

Get a whiskey glass ($48) →

A Capri Sun Hoodie

I always keep an eye out for the latest drop from Publicspace.xyz, a vaporwave-inspired brand from LA-based fashion designer Eric Wu. A lot of his clothes involve repurposed logos from popular food brands, like the Capri Sun Hoodie or their JigglyPuff x Tsingtao “Singtao” tshirt. I personally have a turquoise sweater that says “Recycle” but using the San Pellegrino logo which makes me feel cool and Italian at the same time. Everything is super high-quality, eco-friendly, and ethically made in the US.

-Carlo Mantuano, Staff Editor

Get a hoodie ($59.50) →

A Hand Soap You’ll Look Forward To Using

Between all the cooking I’ve been doing this year and, you know, following CDC guidance, I’ve gone through more than my fair share of hand soap since March. This is a very grown-up option that I’m now planning on giving to all my friends. It smells like a California forest after rain, comes in good-looking refillable glass bottles, and won’t dry your hands out on the 15th wash of the day.

-Jess Basser Sanders, Editorial Operations Manager

Get some hand soap ($35) →

A Larb Shortcut

This one’s for my fellow cooking-inept kin. Omsom has created a variety of at-home starter kits, ranging from Vietnamese lemongrass BBQ to fiery Thai larb - a traditional, minced meat salad that with their help can be made in under 30 minutes. They provide you with all of the spices, aromatics, sauces, and seasonings, so all you need is a pan, an open flame, and a bit of free time, and you’ll be making restaurant-level food before you can say “I regret not taking home ec in high school.”

-Kat Hong, LA Staff Writer

Get a larb starter kit ($12) →

A Cold Brew Maker

I’m that person who drinks iced coffee year-round. Even if it’s 32 degrees outside and my fingers have turned into icicles. Now that I’m working from home, I’ve found it’s critically important to have a good cold brew maker that won’t take up a ton of space in the fridge. My current pitcher has a big stupid handle that gets in the way of more important things like wine and cake, so I plan to replace it with this sleek little number from Blue Bottle.

-Aimee Rizzo, Seattle Staff Writer

Get a cold brew bottle ($35) →

A Cookbook Full Of Grandmothers

My bedside table is stacked with cookbooks - they’re my favorite thing to read before I go to sleep. Instead of the vertigo I’d get from doomscrolling in the dark, cookbooks bring me comfort and teach me new things - and the best ones can make me feel like I’m traveling somewhere new as I read. In Bibi’s Kitchen, from Hawa Hassan and Julia Turshen, seems like one such cookbook - it celebrates the stories and recipes from grandmothers across eight African nations. I have a feeling this one is going to be making trips from my bedside table to the kitchen over and over again.

-Katherine Lewin, Editorial Director

Get In Bibi’s Kitchen ($35) →

A Matcha Set

This sweet little matcha set comes with a beautiful ceramic tea bowl, a wooden scooper, and a whisk - a definite upgrade from my current setup, which involves a metal spoon and lots of spillage. It doesn’t come with matcha, though, so if you’re looking for recommendations, my go-to is from Junbi.

-Julia Chen, San Francisco Editorial Assistant

Get a better matcha setup ($59) →

A Kitchen Appliance You Didn't Know You Needed

Over the summer, I rented an Airbnb in Palm Springs which had all the makings of a good time - pool, outdoor grill, and a giant Ina Garten-style martini glass. But the thing that really took things to another level was the electric citrus juicer that looked like it was pulled out of an 80’s infomercial. I juiced a Costco amount of limes and lemons, made a weekend’s worth of cocktails, and recreated Ina’s early quarantine IG post. By the time we had to leave, I’d developed an unhealthy attachment to my trusty juicer and wouldn’t stop talking about it. Luckily, the hint was taken, I got one as a birthday present, and my home bartending has gotten exponentially easier.

-Anikah Shaokat, Editorial Operations Coordinator

Get an electric juicer ($18.53) →

A Necklace You'll Want To Eat

The rest of the Infatuation staff can attest to the fact I obsessively wear food-shaped earrings. But since I haven’t been sporting many ear accoutrements during the pandemic (who has?), my number one Hanukkah wish-list item is this black & white cookie chain necklace from a NY-based designer. It’s small enough that I won’t have to take it off or think about it. More importantly, black and white cookies are delicious. The same designer makes shrimp-shaped studs, which are also currently sitting in my cart.

-Hannah Albertine, NYC Staff Writer

Get a necklace ($75) →

A Way To Mix Up Your Morning Coffee

I’ve always been an advocate for making coffee at home, but nine months into quarantine I’m looking to mix up my daily Long Black with the kind of thing I would have impulse ordered in a cafe in the before times. So, I’m asking for this Kopi Tarik kit from Kopitiam in NYC. It’s got everything you need to make the Southeast Asian coffee, including a video stepping you through the whole thing.

-Jess Basser Sanders, Editorial Operations Manager

Get a Kopi Tarik kit ($80) →

A Lamp That Doesn't Look Like A Lamp

The future is here because we can now make lamps out of bread. I love these. They’re made in Japan and, yes, out of real bread!

-Ryan Pfeffer, Miami Editor

Get a bread lamp ($54-$151) →

A Lot Of Hot Sauce

My husband was given this hot sauce subscription one year by a client, and he became obsessed. He loves these hot sauces more than me, and now an entire section of our fridge is dedicated to keeping them safe and comfortable. But that’s OK, because marriage is about compromise.

-Adrian Kane, Chicago Editor

Get a Fuego Box ($29.95) →

A Membership You'll Use

Friends of The Infatuation is both our in-house membership program and the perfect gift for someone who already has most everything. Membership includes access to Happy Hour Hotline, our text message service where bartenders will help you figure out how to make the perfect drink, perks and discounts from partners like Topo Chico and Parcelle Wine, exclusive content, virtual events and more.

-Team Infatuation

Get a FOTI membership ($89) →

A More Interesting Plate

Look at these cute little plates! Inspired by the women in the Tang Dynasty (approximately 618-907 in China), they come complete with cheeky expressions, rosy cheeks, and realistic nipples - a.k.a. exactly the kind of plate I want to be eating off of for every meal of the day.

-Kat Hong, LA Staff Writer

Get a plate ($65)→

A Not-Boring Kettle

I’m a sucker for all things Alessi, and I think their iconic kettle brightens up any kitchen with a playful but modern touch that says, why yes, I do make tea.

-Arden Shore, Senior Editor

Get a kettle ($131) →

An Almond Butter Sampler

I’ve eaten so much nut butter during quarantine that I’ve Googled “almond butter nutrition facts” multiple times, just to make sure it’s safe to consume that much of it. As a person who doesn’t eat eggs for breakfast (a story for another time), I’ve always been a fan of mashed up nuts, but my current consumption levels are all thanks to my discovery of Big Spoon Roasters. This North Carolina-based company makes the best almond butter I’ve ever had, and they even make a few special flavors - like Fiji Ginger - that really change my mornings for the better. I’ve become an evangelist for this company, and would be truly thrilled to either receive or give the gift of their almond butter sampler.

-Hillary Reinsberg, Editor-In-Chief

Get some almond butter ($40) →

A Way To Dress Up Your Dinner Table

These colorblocked glass candle holders are guaranteed to make dinner at home feel special, even if you’re eating grilled cheeses for the second time this week. Mine pretty much live on my dining room table, which is now also my desk, at all times - reminding me that no matter what happens while staring at my computer screen, there is always dinner to get excited about.

-Katherine Lewin, Editorial Director

Get some candlesticks ($55) →

A Science-y Cookbook

The Flavor Equation is one of the best cookbooks of 2020, and I’m not just saying that because I helped test some of the recipes. Writer Nik Sharma uses his background as a molecular biologist to break down the science of cooking for the home cook in a way that’s interesting rather than condescending. First, there’s some theory on the anatomy of flavor, before recipes that help put those principles into practice, broken up into sections like Brightness and Fieriness. Whether you can recite the periodic table with your eyes closed or you gave up on science in 10th grade, if you like to cook, this is a great new way to think about it.

-Anikah Shaokat, Editorial Operations Coordinator

Get The Flavor Equation ($35) →

A Nice Mug

The mug section of my kitchen has a very corporate junket vibe that I’d like to stop. So I have my eye on these mugs from Queens-based potter Helen Levi. There’s not a consulting firm logo in sight and they’re just the right amount of minimal without being boring. I’m into The Do Good Mug (50% of the proceeds go to Green Worker Cooperative) but until they’re back in stock I’m going to start with the Snow Drift pattern.

-Jess Basser Sanders, Editorial Operations Manager

Get a mug ($62) →

A Can Of Chips

There’s no better way to feel European than eating patatas fritas instead of potato chips. I’ve never bought this giant serving of crispy, perfectly-salted chips for anybody, but my parents have bought them for themselves many times and they’re the most wannabe European people I know. Plus, if you’re gonna order potato chips online, they should come in a massive tin.

-Carlo Mantuano, Staff Editor

Get some chips ($17) →

A Puzzle Because It's 2020

These tiny food puzzles come in tons of different shapes: affogato, cheese puffs, durian, a New York slice, shrimp, and more. They’re perfect for someone who loves any of those things. Plus, they’re extremely cute.

-Julia Chen, SF Editorial Assistant

Get a puzzle ($15) →

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