Monday, December 11, 2006

Okay, on to the holidays!

Last week I spent the week selling stuff. This week, I'll be buying stuff. I thought since I haven't cooked in a bit, I'll share with you some of the places I'm shopping for foods for the holidays and gifts. Next week, I promise, there'll be cooking here!

We'll start off with sweets then move to savories. I usually bake up a storm during the holidays unless I am so buried in work. This year is different. I'll be baking, but there are still some sweet and savory items our family loves, but cannot produce ourselves. What I'm buying and where:

D'Italia has all of the wonderful Perugina products! We must have Bacis. Every one has a little note of love included with the kiss. Who can resist an Italian kiss? D'Italia also carries other fine foods and gifts for the holidays.

Next we must have See's. This candy has been on our table for 50 years. I cannot remember a holiday where there wasn't a box of these wonderful confections. I know my sister loves Godiva, but I'm still a See's girl. The raspberry cream is so tart and wonderfully paired with a good semisweet dark chocolate. The variety we're able to choose online enables us to get everyone's favorites. No set asides at our place!

Those are the sweets must haves that we cannot make ourselves. No on to savories.

Okay, I don't mail order these, they're just around the corner from me. But they must be mentioned. Winchester Cheese Farm was one of Saveur Magazine California's top 100 in 2005. I love their Goudas. Their longest aged is my favorite. It is nice and hard and "grate-able". It is pungent and tart. I love it on a good ceasar salad grated or thinly sliced. Make Winchester Cheeses the center of a holiday platter!

Bristol Farms is one of my favorite places to shop. For those of us lucky enough to live in SoCal, they truly are the crown jewel of the grocery industry here. They do gift baskets for those of you far away. Good news surrounding Bristol now is that they've just opened their first store in San Diego (I was there Saturday, it is beautiful) and the San Francisco store just opened for all of you in NorCal. Go there it's a must! Soon they'll be in Palm Desert. I'll be shopping there all the time! Temecula can't be far away! The selcetion of meats, fine produce, and cheeses are what draw me in.

For those of you far away. Their catering menu is my well kept secret. When I am stumped coming up with a great menu for a gathering, ther have been many times, when this little menu has helped me see beyond the average. Take a look! You might just be able to surprise a few of your old standbys.

For those of you looking to brighten your table? You can't go wrong with Fishs Eddy. The selection of designers is fab! There are old standards and new hip designs! Go take a look and breather some life into that table of yours!

Okay, that should get you started. Take a look, and if I've missed a favorite of yours, let me know. I'll add it to the list!