Sunday, 7 December 2014

Irish Christmas Gift Guide 2014



This year my Christmas gift guide is all about Irish food & products. I chose to share a few books I personally own and some lovely things I've seen in shops and/or the internet.

1. Little Hill Small Chopping Board (www.irishdesignshop.com), €18

This gorgeous little Irish made chopping board can be used for chopping or as a stylish cheese board.

2. Homecooked by Donal Skehan & Feast Magazine (www.donalskehan.com or bookshops), €25 and €5.95)

I like Donal's book as the recipes are always easy to make and his food photography is stunning. It's a great book for every day cooking and there is even some French inspired recipes like boeuf bourguignon or crème brûlée in it.

Feast Magazine is my favourite Irish food magazine. Published quarterly, it was created by Donal and edited by Ross Golden Bannon. Donal features Irish producers from all around the country and then creates recipes using their products for an Irish Feast.

3. Walk In My Shoes Calendar (http://www.walkinmyshoes.ie), €12
Something to offer those who can't resist the chef whites, this is a calendar of Ireland's top chefs wearing their chef jacket and shoes, no trousers! The calendar include seasonal recipes and by buying it you're supporting vulnerable young Irish people with mental health difficulties.

4. Sláinte (www.newisland.ie or bookshops), €19.99
This is the ultimate guide to Irish craft beer and cider and a must have for all the beer lovers out there. Caroline Hennessy and Kristin Jensen have written this comprehensive book, which includes everything you need to know about Irish craft beer and cider. The book also covers beer and food pairing and includes some great recipes too.

5. Irish teatime Box (www.bigredkitchen.ie), €17.95
If an expat friend or family member is home for Christmas I think an Irish teatime box would be great for him/her to bring back to their adopted country. The box includes a selection of Big Red Kitchen jam and/or marmalade (to your choice), Big Red Kitchen's soda bread mix and a pack of Barry's Tea.

6. Fork Earrings by A Little Idea, (www.alittleidea.com)
Ali is a designer based in Dublin and she makes the most beautiful jewellery featuring miniature teacups, plates and mini cutlery. I love the little fork earrings and she has lots of different things in her Etsy shop, all reasonably priced. You can also find her products at some markets around Dublin.

7. Homemade by Clodagh McKenna, (www.clodaghmckenna.com or bookshops), €23
A revised version of the fantastic Homemade cookbook by Clodagh McKenna was released this year. It comprises of three main sections: food for everyday, food for family and friends and then how to throw a great dinner party. Besides her recipes, Clodagh gives lots of useful little tips.

8. Square Coasters (www.slated.ie), €24
Those little coasters are great to protect your table tops with style, you could even use them as butter dishes like you see in fancy restaurants. Slated also sells cheeseboards, platters, cake stands and much more on their website.

9.Gubbeen, (Dubray Books), €30
For anyone who would like to get an insight into the workings of a real Irish farm in West Cork, this is the book. Read about Giana Ferguson's life with her family where they make cheese, smoke meat and grow their own fruits and vegetables. The book includes some family recipes too.

10. Go-On Tea cosy (Avoca), €49.95
For the tea lovers, this tea cosy is actually knitted by actress Pauline McLynne (who played Mrs Doyle in the tv show Father Ted). They're great quality and available in different colours. Ah go on!

11. Grow, Cook, Eat (GYI International), €25
Perfect or anyone out there with an unused garden, Grow, Cook, Eat by Micheal Kelly from GIY International is a month-by-month guide to growing your own food. It is also filled with recipes from well-known food personalities such as Darina Allen, Donal Skehan, Trish Deseine and many more. All the proceeds will be used to fund the GROW HQ a grow/cooking centre which will open in Waterford in 2015.

12. Irish Farmhouse Cheese Hamper (Sheridans), €35
I love Irish cheese so of course I had to throw some on this list. This Irish farmhouse cheese hamper includes a section of Hegarty’s Traditional Farm Cheddar 250g, Matured Cashel Blue 250g, A semi-soft Durrus Og 225g from West Cork and an Organic Camembert 150g, a pack of  Irish Brown Bread Crackers and Chutney for Cheese.

13. Blogging for Beginners Workshop by moi
This is my moment of shameless self-promotion. I'll be running a blogging for beginners workshop on Saturday 31st of January in Brooks hotel. If you know of anyone who would like that for Christmas you can purchase a ticket here, drop me an email and I'll send a gift voucher to give on Christmas day.

I hope you'll find some inspiration in this list, I also wrote an article on where to buy Chrismtas presents for foodies here.

Happy Christmas shopping!


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