I’m not really into the gift giving scene around the holiday season. It’s not that I don’t want to give gifts, but rather how gift giving seems to affect other people this time of year. It seems to be the number one source of holiday stress for most people I talk to — buying the right gift, buying enough gifts, having enough money to buy gifts, having time to ship and give them.
So other than a handful for close friends and a single gift for a family member chosen in a drawing, that about wraps it up for us.
But one thing I have not lost my holiday spirit for are stocking stuffers! The little thoughtful things that show up in your stocking. Or at least they used to in ours.
They’ve changed focus for me over the years, but looking back they’ve always been food and drink related. These days I find myself starting to identify items around October — oooh, that would make a great stocking stuffer!
If you are looking for ideas for how to stuff a few stockings, it’s probably not too late to pick up these items. Or have them shipped overnight.
Owl’s Brew Radler. Their tea-based drink mixers are a fun addition to cocktails so I was excited to see the brand expand to beer. These creative drinks blend teas, herbs, fruits and spices with different varieties of beer. Ready to chill and drink at your convenience.
Tioga-Sequoia All the Mornings Maple Breakfast Stout. This beer was just released this past weekend and we were instant fans. It’s a drinkable stout that is full of maple flavor without being overly sweet. It has brunch written all over it.
Sierra Nevada Cascade Hop Salt. I picked this up when we visited the brewery in May. Infused with flakes of hops, it has a nice floral flavor that is great for finishing dishes.
Limerock Orchards Walnut Oil. We stopped at the orchards while visiting Paso Robles in October. They use their dry farmed walnuts to make some delicious culinary treats like this walnut oil as well as walnut butter.
Sisters Gourmet Baker’s Dozen Cookie Mix. Those really pretty layered cookie mixes from days past have gone gourmet. These perfectly layered jars come in four flavors. I’ll be making my batch tonight!
Hot Sauce Nation by Denver Nicks. A fun and informative read for anyone who loves food, the book covers the past and present of the art of hot sauce.
Cayucos Hot Sauce. Speaking of hot sauce, this is our current favorite. We eat it on our favorite shrimp tacos at Ruddell’s Smokehouse in Cayucos. We picked up a bottle on our last visit, but you can order it online.