Summer Tomato Holiday Wish List 2015

by | Dec 15, 2015
Photo by qousqous

Photo by qousqous

Happy holidays fellow foodists!

For me, holiday shopping is one of those things that sends me hyperventilating into a paper bag. I feel like no matter how much time I spend trying to find the perfect gift, it always just falls flat. It stresses me out so much that I don’t even like receiving gifts, since they just make me feel bad about my own failed purchases. Ugh.

What I’m great at though is knowing what I like. After all these years there are actually very few things that I regularly use to keep myself healthy, so I feel confident about all these gift ideas if you’re shopping for the foodist in your life. Better yet? You don’t have to fight the crowds to get them.

Best of luck and have a lovely holiday season.



Summer Tomato Holiday Wish List 2015

Foodist Kitchen gift membership $99

By far the most important skill I’ve developed in getting healthy is being able to cook at home regularly, and for me that meant learning to whip something up without a recipe. If you know anyone who struggles to find their way around the kitchen but really wants to learn, my program Foodist Kitchen is the perfect gift.

Foodist Kitchen helps you learn to cook without recipes in 30 days by teaching you essential kitchen habits and universal cooking principles, as well as basic cooking techniques. The goal is to help you develop intuition and confidence in the kitchen, that ultimately saves you time, money and takes the stress out of feeding yourself. It’s perfect for college students, newly weds, or anyone who feels intimidated and frustrated by cooking at home.

Learn more about Foodist Kitchen

Foodist shirts and gear $20-40

I always forget to tell people that there are amazing foodist t-shirts and sweatshirts available for men and women. I wear mine constantly, and especially love the extra soft sweatshirts (I have them in both navy and black). I recommend the tri-blend shirts, but there’s an organic cotton version available if you prefer. And definitely check out the baby onesies. Adorbs.

Fitbit One $79

I’ve been wearing my Fitbit since 2010 and I have no plan to ever stop. As a female I always opt for the clip-on Fitbit One version, because my wrists are so small. The Fitbit Flex is great too though (same price) if you don’t mind the bracelet. One benefit of the Flex is that Fitbit has recently partnered with great brands like Tory Burch to create some much cuter bracelet options, so the appearance of the wristbands is more refined and feminine if you prefer to go that route.

At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter how you track your activity, so long as you do it consistently. Personally I’ve tried nearly every fitness tracker on the market and Fitbit is consistently the most accurate and gets my recommendation.

Fitbit Aria digital scale $110

If you’re using any of the Fitbit activity trackers and are in the market for a good digital scale, the Aria is a no-brainer. It seamlessly integrates into your app, so you can keep track of your steps, floors, food and body weight all in the same place.

Powerbeats 2 Bluetooth headphones $149

I love working out, but I can’t pretend to like the Maroon 5 they seem to play all day long at my gym. Besides, I’m obsessed with audiobooks and podcasts and would much rather spend my workouts listening to what I want. But if you’ve spent much time at the gym with headphones in, you know how essential it is that they’re wireless. That jolt you feel when the wire gets hooked on the rowing machine and rips the earbuds out of your ears is the worst.

For years I’ve been experimenting with different wireless headphones and it is not easy to find a pair that actually stays in your ears through an entire sweaty workout, let alone sounds good while I’m blasting Eminem and George Michael (don’t judge). I was skeptical, but these Powerbeats headphones are by far the best I’ve found. Hat tip to Matt Mullenweg for the recommendation earlier this year.

Le Creuset grill pan $99

One of the biggest adjustments Kevin and I have had to make in moving to NYC is giving up our outdoor grill. We used to grill weekly, but our new apartment doesn’t accommodate outdoor grilling. I thought I could live without the grill, but I missed it constantly. Frustrated, I finally decided to give this grill pan a chance to see if I could replicate the effect.

While the substitution isn’t perfect (namely I do most of the grilling now instead of KevKev), I’m surprised at how well this pan allows me to recreate the grilling effect indoors. I did a bunch of research on pans and decided on this one based on the width, depth, and space between the ribs. It’s perfect. Excellent grill marks. Easy to clean. I imagine I’ll be using this bad boy for many years to come.

BKR 1L water bottle $45

I’m obsessed with these water bottles and use them daily. They’re expensive, but of all the zillion water bottles I have in my pantry they are the ones I keep returning to. Why? They’re glass, so I’m not worried about BPA or any other scary chemicals leaching into my water. They’re dishwasher safe and easy to clean. They’re a good width, so don’t tip over next to my bed while I’m fumbling for a drink at night. And last but not least, the silicone sleeve they sit in comes in stunningly beautiful colors. I have two large ones and one small, but the large ones get the most use.

Zojirushi rice cooker $392

If you had told me six months ago that I would be featuring a rice cooker on my annual holiday wish list I would have called you crazy. Especially one that’s this freaking expensive. But there comes a time in everyone’s life when you need to admit you were wrong.

I always thought rice cookers were overrated and I was confident that I could make rice just as delicious (and with fewer errors) using my super simple stovetop rice method. For most rice cookers, I still believe this is the case. But earlier this year Kevin went on a bit of a Japanese cooking kick and decided to splurge on this induction heating pressure rice cooker. I was moderately offended, but was happy to see him pursuing his own cooking project so didn’t stop him.

Holy crap is this thing amazing. As good I could get my rice to turn out on the stovetop before, it was never as good as the stuff at the best Japanese restaurants. I thought they just had secret Japanese grandmother tricks that made perfect rice every time. While I still don’t know their secret, I can now replicate that sticky, chewy, perfectly textured rice at home and it is divine. I’m officially hooked.

A few bonuses I didn’t expect: 1) I can prep the rice the night before and set a timer so that I have steaming delicious rice to make onigiri first thing in the morning. This makes me deeply happy. 2) It has a “stay warm” function so I can ALSO have onigiri for lunch or dinner (yes, I’m obsessed). 3) It has a bunch of different settings, one of which is for a type of rice called gaba rice that I had never heard of before. It is a form of germinated brown rice that has a slightly different flavor and nutrient profile than typical brown rice. I really enjoy it, and use it whenever I’m in the mood for a more unusual grain.

Clearly this is a splurge purchase, but if you know someone who loves rice and you REALLY love that person, this is a slam dunk gift.

These are my obsessions this year and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. If you’ve discovered any amazing foodist products this year, please let us know in the comments below (but please don’t promote your own products).

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7 Responses to “Summer Tomato Holiday Wish List 2015”

  1. Smith Martin says:

    Great list .I am glad to visit your blog and read such a interesting article .Keep sharing 🙂

  2. Tracy K. says:

    My scale is really old and inconsistent with the output, so I’ve been considering buying a new one. The Fitbit Aria scale sounds like a good option!

  3. Kathy says:

    I would love to use the Rice Cooker. I live at high altitude, 8000ft, and saw on Zojirushi FAQ’s that it is not recommended for use over 5000ft. I e-mailed Zojirushi to get more clarification. The response was that I should make my rice in a pot on a stove. Though I appreciated that honest approach, I though I’d ask if anyone has had any experience using this Rice Cooker at high altitudes. Are there adjustments that I could make that would allow me to use this rice cooker at 8000ft? Thanks.

  4. Mike says:

    “I feel like no matter how much time I spend trying to find the perfect gift, it always just falls flat. It stresses me out so much that I don’t even like receiving gifts, since they just make me feel bad about my own failed purchases. Ugh.”

    This, yes. My wife and I have recently started getting rid of the overabundance of toys, clothes, and other “crap” via a local online “yard sale” site on Facebook. Nearly all of it was received as gifts. Way too much of it was barely used. We’ve finally figured out to simply share lists of things we actually want (with specific colors/sizes noted). Takes the surprise out of it, but ups the satisfaction and utility.

    Thanks for you gift suggestions. My wife wants a fitbit, but I was unsure of which one to choose. Done. She also recently broke her glass waterbottle, so she’ll get a BKR!

  5. Tanya says:

    Very cool list! It’s getting a bit close to the wire, but I have to recommend the amazing spice blends, biscuits, spiced popcorn, and chocolate from La Boite in NYC:

    They have mail order (natch), and a store that’s open for limited hours 3 days a week, BUT I realized last time I visited EATALY (NYC) that all of the Eataly-branded spices in the produce section on the right of the entrance are La Boite!! I promise I am not a paid sponsor in any way, just a huge fan. See if you can get Shabazi No. 38 (my favorite blend!).

    In any case, Eataly’s cheese is also very good, but you have to pick and choose to find the values (look for scamorza, smoked or not it is freaking delicious). And for true value for money on cheese, come up to Zabar’s, the best!!

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