December 10th, 2013
01:30 AM ET
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Chances are that if you're a carbon-based, two-legged life form, some people in your sphere eat food. More than one of them probably likes it enough to read, talk, blog or take pictures of it in a manner that borders on obsessive.

Receiving any or all of these items for the holidays will bring them great joy.

- Gifts for eating -

Spirited sauces
A little kiss of whiskey makes any dish better. Locally-sourced ingredients and small-batch craftsmanship turn it into a masterpiece. This "Kentuckyaki," barrel-aged Worcestershire, and Bluegrass soy sauce gift box may just ruin the lucky recipient for non-bourbon-barrel-aged condiments for the rest of time, but at least you know what you're giving them next year. And the year after that.
Bourbon Barrel Foods ($25)

Marshmallow wonderland
Plastic bags of jet-puffed pillows are fine and dandy, but once you've floated on a flavor cloud of sugar cookie, peppermint, bourbon and honey marshmallows, you'll forever be chasing that high. They're crafted with cane sugar and a whole lot of love by Jenn and Nathan Clark (a couple who are really into 'mallow-making) and this Christmas gift set will seriously up anyone's cocoa dunking and s'mores making game.
Wondermade ($27 for four boxes)
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Filed under: Christmas • Gifts • HolidayShopping • Kwanzaa


December 5th, 2013
01:30 PM ET
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The Feast of Seven Fishes, or the Festa dei Sette Pesci, is the traditional dinner that many southern Italian and Italian-American families will sit down to this Christmas Eve. (It is also one of the few appropriate times to pluralize fish as fishes.)

The significance of the number seven reels in many different theories: Some families say it's for the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church, others say it's for the seven hills of Rome, and still others say it represents the days of creation or stands as a reminder of the seven deadly sins. Other families' traditions even allow for 10 or even 14 different aquatic dishes.

And just as the numeric explanations are allowed loose translations, so are the types of seafood served. The true meaning isn't in the number or kind you choose, but with whom you decide to share your feast.

This Christmas Eve, Alex Guarnaschelli, chef of Butter in New York City and Food Network star, encourages you to serve the humble sardine atop lightly fried cauliflower, an ode to her mother's Sicilian roots.

Fresh sardines - not the pungent, little canned guys - are delicious, inexpensive and sustainable, three wise choices for this holiday season.

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Filed under: Christmas • Christmas • Holiday • Holidays • Italian • Make • Recipes • Step-by-Step


Wines that give back
November 28th, 2013
12:30 PM ET
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Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.

Every year there are endless wine columns about what to pair with a holiday meal. They take three main forms: What to pair with turkey; what to pair with everything else, since turkey has no taste; and “This year, be off-the-wall and try X,” X being anything from Beaujolais to Riesling to Maine blueberry wine.

Enough is enough. This holiday season, here’s an idea. Don’t worry about pairing a specific wine with your meal. Instead, since the holidays are all about giving thanks (at least that’s the idea, right?), why not extend that sentiment a little and pour a wine that’s about giving back?

There are a growing number of charity-friendly wines out there, and here are a few that would be particularly good with a special holiday dinner - or really, with any meal at all.
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Filed under: Christmas • Content Partner • Food and Wine • Holiday • Holidays • Sip • Thanksgiving • Thanksgiving • Wine


Holiday how-tos: recipes for gingerbread, peppermint bark, cocktails and more
December 25th, 2012
09:15 AM ET
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Just in case you still have eggnog to spike or plums to sugar before the gang arrives, consider us Santa's little helpers.

We're sharing our time-tested Christmas tips and recipes, as well as plenty from chefs, hospitality experts, celebrities, hosts and home cooks we love. Our goal – sending you into Christmas with a jolly smile on your face, and seeing you emerge on December 26 with your sanity intact.

Here are a few helpful holiday posts that may make your holiday bright.
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Filed under: Chilled Out and Cheery • Christmas • Christmas • Feature • Holiday • Holidays • Homemade Gifts • How To • Recipes • Step-by-Step • Techniques & Tips


December 24th, 2012
01:30 PM ET
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In Iceland, Christmas is observed the evening of December 24. The day before that, there is a pre-Christmas tradition that some daring folks observe: Eating rotten fish.

One day a year, folks get together and eat putrid skate, accompanied by bread, potatoes and little else.

Throughout the country, wives, husbands and even entire apartment buildings forbid the practice. Few restaurants cook it.

“They say that if you cook it in a house, then you will have to paint the house afterward - or move to another house to get rid of the smell,” said iReporter Halldor Sigurdsson.
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Filed under: 100 Places to Eat • Bite • Buzz • Christmas • Holidays • iReport • Think • Travel • Video


It's the most wonderful time for a beer
December 24th, 2012
09:00 AM ET
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Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.

Few issues in the world are truly black-and-white. Cats, for instance. Some people think they’re nice pets; some people think they’re furry little narcissists who’d happily dine on your face if there were ever a complete collapse of civilization due to a nuclear apocalypse. Ditto Elvis (meaning some people love his music, some think it’s awful. ...Not that he’d dine on your face. Though, honestly, if it were a zombie-based apocalypse, I suppose he might.)

But one thing that can be divided into simple, black-and-white categories is winter and holiday beers. Basically, there are the ones that taste like something your grandmother would bake, and the ones that don’t.

Not that I’m trying to tick off the grandmothers of the world. I don’t want a legion of rolling pin-wielding grannies chasing me down Fifth Avenue, bent on my demise. However, I do think that a beer should, at least in some way, taste like a beer instead of, say, a fruitcake.

Other people may not be as riled up by this topic as me. I accept that. Since it’s almost Christmas and there’s still time to buy a case of tasty winter ale, I don’t want the beer drinkers of the world to come back home with something that tastes like a fermented brown sugar-cinnamon Pop-Tart. So here are six that are actually very good:
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Filed under: Beer • Christmas • Christmas • Content Partner • Food and Wine • Holiday • Holidays • Sip


Spotted dick, clootie dumpling and other reasons to put beef fat in your holiday desserts
December 21st, 2012
03:00 PM ET
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Linnie Rawlinson is the Special Projects Editor in CNN's London bureau.

As the temperature falls and the leaves start to crackle under foot, British minds turn towards comfort food – and there’s nothing more comforting than a traditional suet pudding.

Suet, as in, beef fat?

In a dessert?

Why yes, actually.

And do you know what? It’s really rather good.
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Filed under: 100 Places to Eat • British • Christmas • Christmas • Holiday • Holidays • Travel


Wine gifts for the frantic
December 17th, 2012
02:00 PM ET
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Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.

As Christmas approaches, we’re now at the start of the mad scramble that those among us who are disorganized endure every year. Sure, people we know - elderly mall-going aunts, hyper-organized mothers, friends with way too much time on their hands - have already finished their gift shopping, but those people are annoying. And, they probably got you a sweater anyway.

So, for the lackadaisical, type-B, fun people of the world, how about a few wine gift suggestions? After all, we may be a disorganized bunch, but we do know how to improve a party.
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Filed under: Christmas • Content Partner • Food and Wine • Hanukkah • Holidays • Sip • Wine


More holiday gifts for the food lover in your life
December 14th, 2012
03:30 PM ET
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Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.

If you go to xmasclock.com, you can watch the seconds tick away until Christmas. Not to stress anyone out who still has holiday shopping left to do, but I’m watching the minutes fly by.

If you’re still shopping for gifts for food lovers, you’re in luck - especially if that person is an aspiring mixologist, a wanna-be hipster or a black and white cookie fanatic.
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