Here's my list of favorite discoveries of 2012, food and non food items. If you're a last minute shopper, there's some great products that I have personally tested. They have the alli411 stamp of approval. If you're like me and have already done your holiday shopping, think of these as potential gifts to yourself.
Chocolate Lovers Gift: Crio Bru Brewed Cocoa
My favorite foodie item of the year is Crio Bru, roasted and ground cocoa beans that are brewed like coffee (I brew mine in a french press).
Crio Bru comes in a variety of flavors. I'm addicted to Cavalla (notes of coconut and cinnamon) and Vega Real (natural hints of red berries and dark spice ). I was drinking about 3+ cups a day until I realized that it has caffeine. So now I savor a cup a day. Added bonuses to this amazing drink: it's (supposedly) good for you, there's only 10 calories per 6 oz. cup and it curbs the appetite.
Sweet Gift: Republic of Jam
This is a gem I discovered in Oregon with Ette. As far as jams go, they're tops. My faves: Smoked Tomato Jam with Fennel and Strawberry Pasilla were tops.
Pineapple Clove and Rhubarb Lime. I use them with my Soda Stream
(if you don't already have one of these, you must get one.)
Healthy Gift: Crazy Sexy Kitchen
Kris Carr has made eating healthy sexy. Kris Carr is inspiring to watch (see her videos on her website) and actually got me hooked on vegetable juices. Her book with Whole Foods Chef Chad Sarno has great info and recipes. Reading the book has inspired me to be healthier. I haven't tried the recipes yet. When I do, I'm going to try the Chickpea Crepe with Mushrooms and Artichokes and the Crazy Sexy Goddess Smoothie.
Gifts for Men: Two Dudes One Pan
For those guys on your list, or girls for that matter, Two Dudes: One Pan from Jon Shook and Vinnie Detolo, the dudes behind Animal and Son of a Gun, has great recipes in it. I ate dinner at Son Of A Gun a couple weeks ago. Two Lobster Rolls (about 3 bites in each of them) with a beer was serious comfort food. I'll certainly go back soon... maybe, even tonight. Resos can be a nightmare. The bar or communal table is the way to go.
My favorite book of the year was this quirky one I found in while vacationing in Madrid this September. Jonas Jonasson writes about a centenarian and his outlandish adventures. It's a light and uplifting read.
This is my dream luggage. It has changed the way I travel. I can literally push a heavy bag of luggage with 2 fingers. It is that easy.
Their website is high tech, yet not that user friendly. I preferred buying mine in the showroom. It is also easy to check out the luggage here http://www.luggagepros.com.
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