1. Two cookbooks I’m incredibly excited for this year: Four & Twenty Blackbirds and Bountiful. Four & Twenty Blackbirds is a bakery only a hop and a skip from my apartment, which resulted in an appearance by their salted caramel apple pie on my Thanksgiving table. They often put a little twist on a classic, like a chocolate julep (chocolate + mint + bourbon) or a brown butter pumpkin, all with their signature killer pie crust. Bountiful is the first cookbook from power food blog White on Rice Couple and focuses on simple, seasonal foods grown in their garden. I love cookbooks that present recipes that don’t overcomplicate things—I’m much more likely to try them out myself if they don’t intimidate me!
2. Fatty Sunday’s chocolate-covered pretzels make the perfect stocking stuffers!
3. A growler. Growler filling stations are growing in number and help you sample local brews in addition to lowering the number of bottles that end up in your recycling bin.
4. A panini maker. This little device is the savior of my household on days when we are feeling tired and don’t want to put together a big meal. Before we got our panini maker, we were spending way too much money on takeout, but now if we’re feeling lazy, we just slap together a delicious panini in seconds and dinner is served!
5. A silicone spatula. My most-used tool in the kitchen. You can never have enough!