Plato Putas is all about spreading the holiday cheer, especially when it’s related to food. We’re asking some of the most beloved chefs and food lovers about the best gifts to give…and get.

Best Gourmet Food Item to Give
I usually love to give homemade gifts (I do work for Martha Stewart, after all). Last year I made delicious homemade granola and packaged it with a pair of cozy PJ pants. This year I made lovely Gingerbread Caramels. When pressed for time, I like to give cocktail garnishes from Sable & Rosenfeld. I love the Tipsy Olives and Tipsy Cherries to garnish my cocktails and I think these are something that no one thinks to buy for themselves.

Best Cookbook to Give
I am absolutely in LOVE with The Craft of Baking by Karen DeMasco, and I don’t even like to bake! I have had the book for about a month and I have already made four recipes from it (I even made one, twice!). It’s a great book to give as a gift because I think so many people love to bake, even those who aren’t inclined to cook at all. The recipes are very well written and easy to understand. They all use seasonal, yet fairly accessible ingredients. She also gives great tips for creating your own flavors using the recipes in the book.

Best Kitchen Gadget to Give
I often find that most “gadgets” just end up taking up space in a drawer somewhere. I think for the kitchen, the only thing you need to cook well are some nice knives, a good set of pots, a microplane grater, and two (not one) silpats for baking. However, most of my friends who love to cook already have those items.

For the person who has everything, I give creative cocktail napkins. I like to pick up a couple different sets to give as hostess gifts throughout the holiday season. Some of my favorites are Caspari, for classic napkins, and Milk Wright or Anne Taintor for funny, whimsical napkins. For someone really special, you can place them in a Mariposa Napkin Holder which is a must-have for the hostess on your list.

On My Wish List
I would absolutely LOVE to have a Demy! It’s a electronic recipe storage system that syncs with your computer and sits on your counter for easy access to all your recipes. You can load recipes from your favorite website or type in family favorites and keep them FOREVER on your Demy. Currently, I have been keeping my laptop on my counter and the Z button on the keyboard now sticks due to a caramel-making incident.

For those who are looking to get me a little something (Secret Santa, I’m talking to you!) in a lower price range, I can easily be won over with a box of Sprinkles Cupcakes. The only downfall to Sprinkles is that they don’t ship and their only locations are Beverly Hills, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, and Newport Beach. However, if you tell them you need your cupcakes “packed to travel” they will pack them especially for you and they stay moist for DAYS! So have your friends and family pick up a dozen if they are coming to town from any of these cities, or, have them make a trip to the post office and send them to you in the mail (to all my pals in LA….hint, hint).

Meghan Coyne currently lives in the Hell’s Kitchen section of New York City and works as the recipe writer for The Martha Stewart Show. When she isn’t cooking or writing recipes, she loves skiing and the beach (not necessarily at the same time) and hosting parties in her preppy pink and green one-bedroom apartment.

* The opinions above do not necessarily reflect those of MSLO Productions, Inc

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