Fashion+Lifestyle 2015 Holiday Gift Guide

Although you have already bought most of your gifts, it’s never too late to add yt another unique gift for that very special family member or romantic partner. Below you will find some prime examples of gifts that will put a smile on their faces. Happy holidays.

GIFTS FOR THE HOME

A scent is a time capsule. It can invoke our most intimate memories and dreams, and open doors to distant worlds. Curated by an architect specializing in Historic Preservation, Arquiste is a fragrance collection that transports the wearer to evocative moments in history. Meticulously researched using authentic sources and crafted with only the rarest of ingredients, each fragrance, especially the holiday candles, restores the olfactive experience of a particular time and place, allowing both women and men to unlock personal revelations and experience history in a most intimate way.

First, Dark Galleon takes you to the hull of a merchant ship docked in Nagasaki in September of 1620. Surrounded by the dark waters in the pitch-black night, the ship’s precious cargo of rare spices, exotic incense, and rich leather thicken the air with their heady scent. Developed with Nicole Mancini and Rodrigo Flores-Roux, the scent evokes the legendary ship that inspired the new Nanban Eau de Parfum. The woody and leathery scent of the candle features notes of fiery Persian saffron and the finest Spanish leather, balanced with tropical sandalwood, precious Frankincense, and dark cade.

Then, exquisite Art Deco Velvet brings the splendor of The Architect’s Club’s, inspired by the original Mayfair location to life, capturing the feel of the Art Deco movement in 1930. The scent of gin martinis mingle with fine vanilla and blond tobacco smoke, evoking the elegant imprint of the cozy wood-paneled interior of The Fumoir bar at Claridge’s Hotel in London. Developed with Nicole Mancini and Yann Vasnier, the fragrance opens with notes of juniper berry oil, revealing a heart of blond tobacco, vanilla absolute and oakwood. Rich amber finishes the fragrance with a warm, lingering scent.

Finally, journey to the Royal Convent of Jesus Maria with Mexican Baroque. Deep in the heart of Mexico City in 1695, a group of nuns gathers together in the kitchen to concoct a cherished recipe. Blending together rich chocolate and spices in earthenware pots, the Sisters brew hot cocoa rich enough to unleash a sensuous rapture. Developed with Nicole Mancini, Rodrigo Flores-Roux and Yann Vasnier, Mexican Baroque captures the scents that fill the kitchen, blending cocoa absolute, Mexican vanilla, and smoked chilies together with cedar wood and red clay. Each 8.9 oz. / 251 g. candle costs $85 and is available at http://arquiste.com/

NEST FRAGRANCES is well-known for creating exceptional, authentic scents for the home year-round, but the holiday season is a particularly special time for the fragrance house: Over the years, the brand has created extraordinary and memorable home fragrance collections for the holidays like the aptly named HOLIDAY, BIRCHWOOD PINE, and now, HEARTH. Since 2008, the iconic HOLIDAY COLLECTION makes the season sparkle with its blend of traditional and comforting sweet and spicy notes, including pomegranate, Mandarin orange, pine and cinnamon. In 2012, the BIRCHWOOD PINE COLLECTION debuted, bringing indoors the invigorating scent of a majestic winter forest with notes of white pine, fir balsam and birchwood. HEARTH spins a different tale: It captures the aroma of a wintertime fire by combining rich oud wood with frankincense and hints of smoky embers.

Hearth Home Fragrance by NEST

Hearth Home Fragrance by NEST

Available in three sizes, each HEARTH SCENTED CANDLE is housed in an attractive glass vessel in a rich shade of chocolate-brown and decorated with alternating frosted and festive gold stripes. The HEARTH Reed Diffuser bottle features the same decoration but with clear glass and chocolate-brown-colored solution. NEST Fragrances candles are made with a premium, highly-refined wax formula for maximum scent throw – ideal for entertaining during the holidays. The HEARTH Collection includes (all prices SRP) a Classic Candle, 8.1 Oz. (230 g) for $38; Reed Diffuser, 5.9 Fl. Oz. (175 mL), for $42; 3-Wick Candle, 21.2 Oz. (601 g), for $58; and Votive Candle, 2 Oz. (57 g), for $14.

Hearth Home Fragrance by NEST

Hearth Home Fragrance by NEST

The HEARTH COLLECTION is available for purchase now at the following luxury specialty department stores (brick-and-mortar and online): Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s; and www.NESTFragrances.com.

HOLIDAY 2015 GIFTS FOR THE HOME COOK

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Lost Creek Mushroom Farm log kits

Guaranteed to grow shiitakes, Lost Creek Mushroom Farm log kits pop out organic, gourmet mushrooms about every two months for 3-5 years, with bigger and better harvests as they reach their prime. The logs will grow inside like plants and outside in shade. They require soaking in non-chlorinated water every two weeks. “Shocking” them in ice water triggers the mushrooms to grow, and harvest follows 6-10 days later.

Kits come in a range of prices from $18 to $90. Each kit includes one or more hardwood logs such as oak or gum, instructions, and a recipe booklet. Kits with two logs, such as the Ma & Pa Kit with two 10″ logs and the Best Buy with two 14″ logs and soaking trays, can provide a harvest every month by alternating the producing log. The Shiitake Sampler Cookbook with 51 shiitake recipes can be added to any kit for $8.95. Prices include shipping. Logs over 9 inches are guaranteed to grow shiitakes.

Lost Creek Mushroom Log. Photo Credit: David Hs

Lost Creek Mushroom farm Log Kit. Photo Credit: David Hs

Lost Creek Mushroom Farm donates a portion of sales to Mushrooms in Ghana Project, a program of Mushrooms for Well Being Foundation. The project is building a spawn (mushroom seed material) laboratory, enabling more mushroom farmers to grow more mushrooms in West Africa.

Gourmia(TM), a designer and manufacturer of innovative countertop kitchen appliances, has revolutionized cooking prep with its electronic Power Dicer Slicer Plus (model GMS100) that not only slices, shreds, grates, and chops, but also dices. It is the first – and only – household electronic mandoline to include dicing capability and it completely eliminates the need to ever manually do any of these functions ever again, giving you more time outside of the kitchen.

With multiple color-coded, interchangeable stainless-steel blades, the Gourmia Power Dicer Slicer Plus makes prep work easy. It quickly and effortlessly cuts potatoes into French fries, dices vegetables, grates cheese, shreds cabbage for coleslaw, and slices apples for pies. Unlike competitors’ products, the Power Dicer Slicer Plus does away with messy ragged pieces and serves up perfect, uniformly cut pieces every time. Cutting blades include: large dice, fine dice, coarse shred, fine shred, thin slice, and thick slice.

The only household electronic mandoline that not only slices, shreds, grates, and chops, but also dices - the Gourmia Power Dicer Slicer Plus. (PRNewsFoto/Gourmia)

The only household electronic mandoline that not only slices, shreds, grates, and chops, but also dices – the Gourmia Power Dicer Slicer Plus. (PRNewsFoto/Gourmia)

The quality constructed Power Dicer Slicer Plus features single-button operation for ease of use. It is easy to assemble and clean. A direct-serve feeding spout allows contents to be effortlessly transferred or served from its 9-cup container. The machine’s fresh look and sleek design blend in with virtually any kitchen decor. Rubber suction cups on the bottom of the unit prevent it from dancing across countertops while the motor is on. When not being used, all of the items neatly fit inside the container, providing self-contained, space-saving storage. The Gourmia Power Dicer Slicer Plus is available now through www.Amazon.com for $59.99. (Check Amazon for special holiday pricing and it is eligible for Amazon Prime free two day shipping.)

Bauli seasonal cakes. (PRNewsFoto/Bauli)

Bauli seasonal cakes. (PRNewsFoto/Bauli)

Give a holiday sweet treat with Bauli‘s oven baked and ready-to-eat Mini Pandoro and Panettone. The traditional Italian brand is best known for their Pandoro and Panettone holiday cakes, which are Christmas and New Year’s Eve staples available during the holiday season. Due to their popularity, Bauli launched MINI versions of the products – perfect for gift baskets, stocking stuffers and enjoying on-the-go! You can even use them to make the Bauli Pandoro Christmas Tree Cake, a fun activity to do with the kids this Christmas (See recipe below). Rooted in Verona, Italy, all Bauli products are baked in a REAL oven to ensure superior taste and quality. The individually wrapped Mini Pandoro and Panettone are made with love and naturally leavened dough, making them THE quintessential holiday hostess gift this season…even better when paired with a bottle of wine or prosecco! (Mini Pandoro $1.99; Mini Panettone $1.99)

BAULI PANDORO CHRISTMAS TREE CAKE

BAULI PANDORO CHRISTMAS TREE CAKE

BAULI PANDORO CHRISTMAS TREE CAKE

Ingredients:

4 each Bauli pandoro, cut into cubes

4 cups whipped cream

2 cups maraschino cherries

2 cups Hazelnut chocolate spread

Mint, for garnish

Powdered sugar, for garnish

METHOD:

Lay out pieces of pandoro in a round fashion and fill the circle with more pandoro. Spread a layer of whipped cream and drizzle with hazelnut spread. Lay another layer of pandoro, but this time smaller then the circle before. Continue this process until all pandoro, cream, and hazelnut spread have been used. On the outside edges of the circles, place cherries in a neat pattern. Place mints practically around tree and dust with powdered sugar.

Kitchenware Gift Ideas from KitchenAid are sure to please. Since the launch of its own, non-licensed kitchenware collection in 2013, KitchenAid has been offering high-performance cookware, cast iron, bakeware and kettles designed for everyone from beginner cooks to experienced chefs. And just in time for the holidays, the brand is expanding the collection to include a new cutlery line. Further information about the products detailed below can be found at www.KitchenAid.com/Kitchenware.

COOKWARE, CAST IRON & KETTLES

KitchenAid currently offers eight cookware lines, including a 3-Ply Copper Clad Collection. Not only does its copper exterior add a timeless look to the kitchen, but the 3-layer design of copper, aluminum and interior stainless steel provide optimal heating and durability for cooking. The cookware is conducive to gas, electric and high efficiency induction cooking methods, and is oven safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Individual pieces are available beginning at $99.99; a 10-piece set, retailing for $699.99, includes an 8″ skillet; 10″ skillet; 1.5-Qt. saucepan with lid; 3-Qt. saucepan with lid; 3.5-Qt. sauté pan with lid; and an 8-Qt. stockpot with lid.

KitchenAid Tri-Ply Cookware is made with a 3-layer design of copper, aluminum and stainless steel for optimal heating and durability.

KitchenAid Tri-Ply Cookware is made with a 3-layer design of copper, aluminum and stainless steel for optimal heating and durability.

Cold days call for comfort foods like grilled cheese and toasted sandwiches, and the KitchenAid® Grill Pan With Panini Press helps deliver delicious results. The 10” x 10” grill pan is designed with raised ridges across the entire surface. Its heavy duty, heat-retaining cast iron design cooks food at high heat and with a crispy finish, similar to results achieved using an outdoor grill. The panini press insert features raised ridges underneath for creating grill marks on both sides of steaks, chicken breasts and other foods. The grill pan and panini press, part of the Professional Cast Iron line, will be available in Empire Red and Onyx Black at a suggested retail price of $199.99.

The KitchenAid® Tea Kettle Collection continues to offer its 2-Qt. models. The kettles feature classic KitchenAid design aesthetic with either an inviting, open C handle, or an elegant, full-sweeping arch handle, in polished stainless steel with comfort grip. Both are induction capable and dishwasher safe, with porcelain exteriors available in a variety of classic and contemporary colors. Available now, the suggested retail price for the C handle kettle is $49.99; suggested retail price for the sweeping arch handle kettle is $89.99.

CUTLERY & BAKEWARE

KitchenAid 11-piece  Cutlery Set.

KitchenAid 11-piece Cutlery Set.

KitchenAid unveiled two new cutlery sets earlier this year: a 7-piece set and an 11-piece set. The German stainless steel knives undergo a precise ice-hardening treatment to strengthen corrosion resistance and flexibility, resulting in steel blades with long lasting sharpness and better protection against rust. The 7-piece set includes shears, diamond coated knife sharpener, 8” chef knife, 8” bread knife, 5.5” serrated utility knife, 3.5” paring knife and zinc die cast knife block. The 11-piece set includes the same items plus an 8” slicer knife, 7” santoku knife, 6” utility knife and 3” paring peeler. The knives have black handles, and knife blocks are available in Candy Apple Red, Frosted Pearl White, Onyx Black and Sugar Pearl Silver. Suggested retail prices are $799.99 for the 7-piece set and $1,199.99 for the 11-piece set, and will be available this month on www.Amazon.com, and on www.KitchenAid.com. Continue reading