It's a day that has become synonymous with chocolate, flowers and cards. Cupid aims his arrow... And hopefully it doesn't miss! It's a day of love and a day of romance. In the mid 1700's it was customary to give your love a small token and a handwritten letter. By the mid 1900's with the advancement of "modern" printing technology handwritten notes were to be replaced with pre-printed cards. We now refer to this day as a Hallmark holiday, restaurants are booked solid, so are babysitters. (My daughter is available is anyone's still in need!) We seem to have moved beyond the small trinket and the simple box of chocolates. It seems more about consumerism than love, these days. But in the spirit of supporting our economy I've decided to join in on the fun too. I've created my own list from small to high end items for those romantic food and drink enthusiasts out there. Following are some fun, entertaining and luxurious items to delight your Valentine. Once gifted, they will keep giving back!
I fell in love with the SMEG family of products when I was first introduced to them at last year's Architectural Digest Home Design Show. This Italian brand is revered for its retro, streamlined appearance. Each piece is looks like a work of art - a throwback to a bygone era. (My grandmother had a an old Sunbeam in the 1960s with similar lines.) Give this beautiful gift to your Valentine and it very well could be the gift that keeps on giving! This stand mixer is available at West Elm and at SMEG USA in other beautiful retro colors. And do be sure to check out the other wonderful large and small appliances they have to offer!
Who doesn't like pizza? I can't think of one anyone! Now you can make your own gourmet pizza at home with Breville's Countertop Pizza Maker. I always thought Breville was an Italian company. (It sounds like it would be, doesn't it?) But it's Australian. I had no idea that Australian's knew how to make pizza, but apparently they do. My 15 year old son got this red pizza maker for Christmas. He loves to cook and he loves his gadgets making this a perfect gift! It may not be brick oven, but it comes awfully close! The machine boasts top and bottom heating elements which heats the stone to 660°F allowing you to get the same slightly charred crust typical of brick oven pizza. The Pizza Maker has settings for thin and thick crusts and a viewing window allows you to monitor cooking progress without the need of opening the top lid - although ours did steam up some and we did want to check the bottom of the crust from time to time. We thoroughly enjoy our machine... the only drawback is that it only makes one at a time! The pizza maker is available at Williams-Sonoma.
A gift for the chocolate and cheese lover. Whats Valentine's Day without chocolate? This year, think outside the proverbial box of chocolates! Fondue machines are fun, easy to use and easy to clean. They're great at family dinners and when entertaining guests. This version by Sur La Table is now on sale and available for a steal! Hop on over to their website now!
I adore oysters - raw, grilled, fried... on their own, with a mignonette, cocktail sauce and horseradish, or a simple squeeze of lemon. I live on the East Coast, and oysters where oysters are available year round I never tire of them. Sur La Table offers their exclusive Cast Iron Oyster for perfectly grilled oysters, a smoky summer favorite, cooked on your grill or stovetop. Pan features 12 depressions perfect for holding oysters on the half-shell or fully shucked and can be preheated to speed cooking time. (When cooking shucked oysters, lightly oil depressions.) For their recipe click here.
A monogrammed chef's coat with black piping. For the home cook who sometimes makes a mess... for the home cook who doesn't have much kitchen space... for the home cook who has most everything else. These coats (men's too) are available at WUE Shop.
I have this thing for napkins. I really haven't any explanation as to why. I like all sorts - elegant, chic, whimsical, checkered, striped, and those with fun designs. We're back to the oysters... again. Maybe I'm longing for summer... Maybe I just need an oyster fix! Whichever the reason I'm simply mad about these festive cocktail napkins from Katie Kime. To see these and other items in her collection, click here.
I was first introduced to August Morgan a few years ago and immediately fell madly in love with their fun, whimsical, cheeky bright cocktail napkins. In the dead of winter I channel yet another summertime theme... But there are so many from which to choose. Founded by Kate Hersch, August Morgan started as an obsession with vintage needle point pillows. Kate's products are a marriage of of irreverence and with elegance, resulting in a delightful line of hand-embroidered linen cocktail napkins, perfect for any and every occasion. For more visit the August Morgan website.
Cocktails and whimsy, what a perfect pairing! Created by Kim Seybert, these darling hand beaded coasters will are pure delight and add a festive mood to any space and occasion. Kim's fresh perspective mixes a refined fashion sensibility and a love of rich color and texture. Those who love to entertain are drawn to Kim Seybert's designs; perfect for dinner on a yacht or stretched out on the grass with a favorite picnic basket. Kims products are available at Barney's New York, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and her website.
Some food and cocktail lovers have a love for all things food related including books, and note cards. These wonderful whimsical cards may just revive the lost art of letter writing. How wonderful it is when something arrives in the mailbox that's not a bill or some sort of marketing gimmick. So, let's raise a glass to these pretty printed cocktail cards. The set of 8 cards and kraft envelopes features one of each cocktail: Bloody Mary, Hot Toddy, Margarita, Gin & Tonic, Dark & Stormy, Dirty Martini, Old Fashioned, and French 75. Available from Food52.
Food52 brings also brings us these wonderful and whimsical copper and silver shot glasses. Long revered as the symbol for hospitality, your guests will truly feel welcome. You'll win over your Valentine or your guests. They'll liven up any counter or bar cart with a hit of razzle dazzle. To order visit their website.
The Vanderbilt Box is the ultimate luxury gift. The Italian-made rosewood veneer case opens to reveal three thoughtfully designed compartments and a drawer, including over a dozen accoutrements for crafting and serving your favorite cocktails. Finished with an individually numbered metal plaque, the slim box comes with refined bar accessories from Ralph Lauren Home, from a lead crystal ice bucket to a mixology book with a crocodile-embossed leather cover. Produced in a limited-edition series of 100, the Vanderbilt box is the ultimate luxury for entertaining whether you're in a penthouse suite or at a country estate. Available from Ralph Lauren Home.
The handsome Huntley Bar Tools offer a sophisticated yet rustic look to complete your bar. Crafted by skilled artisans in Thailand, the set combines cast pewter handles with gleaming stainless steel heads and includes an ice scoop, jigger, cocktail knife and bottle opener and are patterned after majestic stag horns which perfectly suits someone entertaining at a weekend cabin in the mountains. This too is available at Ralph Lauren Home.