Miss A Columnist

Brandy Voirin is a modern day fashionista who exercises her multitasking muscle on a daily basis. Brandy's a community volunteer extraordinaire” helping in the state of Texas, Boston, New Jersey, & New York. She's an avid traveler, mom, and can be spotted at runway shows, & charity events in Dallas & New York. She hosted Fashion's Night Out for Southlake Town Square which was picked by Vogue magazine as one of the 8 top places for FNO in Texas. Having sampled fashion and beauty delights from all over the world; this savvy traveler documents her adventurous life through her inspirational blog Bites of Style, where she informs readers on shopping and food tips; along with blogging about her life in fashion.

Charitable And Stylish Culinary Holiday Gifts 2012

When looking for a food-inspired gift this holiday season the choices can be overwhelming. Should you buy a cook book, a bottle of rum, or an appliance? Well the Miss A Food Team is here to help. We have tried and tested some of the best products out there to help you find the best fit for the foodie in your life. Young or old these food inspired gifts are sure to impress any hostess or friend.

For  Recipe Lovers 

Ten Dollar Dinners: 140 Recipes and Tips to Elevate Simple, Fresh Meals Any Night of the Week (Clarkson Potter/Publishers) Melissa makes good on her unwavering $10 promise of dinner for four. In addition to its 11 chapters filled with fresh recipes and mouthwatering photographs, Ten Dollar Dinners features handy tools and information like guidelines for a robust pantry and clever mix-and-match cost-coding system for countless menu options. Whether trying a clear-the-pantry week, keeping flavor enhancers like bacon or fresh ginger in the freezer, stretching expensive ingredients alongside inexpensive ones, or finding creative uses for leftovers.

Price: $15.99 Amazon

Food Network Host Melissa D'Arabian Author of Ten Dollar Dinners Cookbook

Food Network Host Melissa D’Arabian Author of Ten Dollar Dinners Cookbook (Photo Credit: Food Network)

 The Daily Cookie: 365 Tempting Treats For The Sweetest Year Of Your Life: This book is a bakers dream. This cookiepedia served up with lighthearted historical and celebratory anecdotes, quotes and trivia designed to inspire the baker in you 365 days a year. With The Daily Cookie, there’s no need to wait for an occasion to bake a batch of cookies. Every day is cause to celebrate, whether it’s Elvis’s birthday (Peanut Browned Butter Banana-Bacon Cookies), Day of the Ninja (Chocolate “Ninjabread” Cookies), or Squirrel Appreciation Day (Caramel Nut Bars). While the occasions are sometimes a little offbeat, the recipes are seriously good, with tried-and-true instructions and tips for getting the best results. Best of all, each of the 365 recipes features a full-color photograph of the finished cookie.

PRICE: $16.99 Amazon

The Daily Cookie 365 Tempting Treats for the Sweetest Year Of Your Life

The Daily Cookie 365 Tempting Treats for the Sweetest Year Of Your Life (Photo Credit: Anderson Mc-Meel Universal)


Tips Cooks Love is a food lovers dream. Part reference book, part recipe guide, part food trivia handbook, this book by Rick Rodgers is a perfect book for your favorite foodie. Small, paperback-sized and organized in a way that makes sense and helps to make information easy to find. We found ourselves settling into the book with a glass of wine.  Sprinkled with recipes and tips on how to make things better, like how to deep fry, fantastic conversion charts, how to braise a piece of meat without drying it out and other luscious bits that you’ll be hankering to try in the kitchen. Our favorite recipe was the Mile-High Apple Pie — be prepared for lots of happy smiles at the table.
PRICE: $10.99 Amazon
Tips Cooks Love

Tips Cooks Love (Photo Credit: Andrews Mc-Meel Publishing)

Tasty Gifts

Lucas Candies– The Lucas family has been making chocolates since 1896. Lucas Chocolates offer a variety of decant gift ideas, at an affordable price to suit any chocolate lovers needs. Our favorite gift is “The Lucas Classic Bag” which includes a variety of chocolate covered oreos, milk chocolate covered nutter butters; milk chocolate PMS Bar with potato chip bits and rich peanut butter and much more for $16.50.

Another favorite is the Ornamental Holiday Bag for $18. You have a choice of cheerleading, football, Christmas tree, candy house, Christmas mouse, or Christmas door.  The bag also contains chocolate covered oreos, a graham cracker and a milk chocolate gob.

PRICE: $1.50 to $40

Ornament Christmas Gift Bag

Ornament Christmas Gift Bag (Photo Credit: Lucas Candies)

Lucas Candies Classic Bag Filled with Delicious Chocolate

Lucas Candies Classic Bag Filled with Delicious Chocolate ( Photo Credit: Lucas Candies)


Indulge by Mersene Distinctive Gift Baskets

Giving a thoughtful gift creates emotions and memories that transcend the moment and can last a lifetime. Indulge by Mersene know’s that finding that perfect gift can be difficult so she meticulously craft unique creations to celebrate the large and small moments in life. These baskets are uniquely tailored to your individual needs with  specialty products from the finest bazaars from around the world. We received the Meditterian Basket  which consisted of Mirella Homemade Pasta from Italy, Bella Cucina Pepper Pesto, Geaux New Orleans Sugared Pecans, imported olive oil and Bamboo Tongs all in a Twig Basket. You could tell the basket was made with love by the specialty crafted ingredients. This basket is perfect for hostess gifts & corporate gifts, but really came in handy when making dinner the day after Thanksgiving.

Indulge by Mersene Distingive Gift Baskets

Indulge by Mersene Distingive Gift Baskets (Photo Credit: Indulge by Mersene)

24 Railroad Place
Westport, CT or online at shopmersene.com

PRICE: $45- $150

 For The Cooks 

Trish Biddle Aprons- Trish is best known for her beautiful paintings, but among her other creative auspices is creating delicious fare for her family and friends. Trish welcomes you into her kitchen, but you don’t have to wear vintage Chanel or classic Halston to be fabulous like her figure in “Steak Au Poivre” or “Fabulous Taste.” However, you can wear one of Trish’s handmade aprons and be just as fabulous.

PRICE: $89

Trish Biddle Apron

Trish Biddle Apron (Photo Credit: Trish Biddle)

KitchenAid Tilt-Head Raspberry 5 Quart Stand Mixer — Cooks around the world have purchase these stylish pink products as a colorful way to show they care. During 2012 KitchenAid is proud to donate $450,000 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, in connection with the pink Cook for the Cure events. The Raspberry Tilt-Head Stand Mixer with premium metallic finish and complimented by an elegant 5 quart glass bowl with handle, pouring spout and measurement markings. This product will look like a jewel on your countertop, while the 325-watt motor ensures the performance you expect from KitchenAid.

komen mixer kitchen aid

KitchenAid Artisan Design Series 5 Quart Tilt-Head Mixer (Photo Credit: KitchenAid)

WHERE: KitchenAid.com

PRICE: $349.99

For Drinkers

Kusmi Tea What better holiday present to give your friends and family than the gift of wellness? Kusmi Tea, a renowned brand for its fashionable labels and trendsetting sippers (a few of its famous fans include Lady Gaga and Orlando Bloom), offers a number of high-quality blends that will delight any tea lover. There’s also great gift sets from the Kusmi Wellness Teas package (a mix of their wellness tea line, 24 hand-sewn muslin tea bags, $23.95), Kusmi Tea Essentials (a mix of the best selling blends, 24 muslin tea bags; $21.95) and Gift Set with Infuser (five mini-tins categorized in five different categories—Russian Blends, Afternoon Teas, One Moments, Green Teas and The Brunches—complete with a tea mesh infuser);

A few of their holiday gift items include:

My Detox (a.k.a. the best-seller and Lady Gag’s favorite): a blend of mate, premium green tea and lemongrass flavored with lemon;

PRICE: $21.95 for 24 enveloped tea bags

Christmas Tea: a blend of orange, almond, vanilla and spices

PRICE: $16.95 for the 4.4oz tin

Kusmi Tea Tin

Kusmi Tea Tin (Photo Credit: Kusmi Tea)


Kahlúa Gingerbread 

Kahlúa Gingerbread combines distinctive notes of gingerbread, nutmeg and subtle cinnamon and clove with the rich flavors of Kahlúa, which is made from 100 percent Arabica coffee beans and sugarcane spirit, grown side by side in the mountains of Veracruz. Whether served neat, on the rocks, or mixed into cocktails and coffee drinks, Kahlúa Gingerbread is sure to warm you for the holiday season.

Big Impact: Kahlúa has teamed up with OneWarm Coat to help keep people warm this holiday season. One Warm Coat is a charitable organization that helps support coat drives across the U.S. and Kahlúa is giving them a boost this holiday season  with its “Share theWarmth” campaign.

Each person who visits Kahlua’s Facebook page and clicks the “Share theWarmth” button on the page will trigger a $1 donation from Kahlúa to One Warm Coat, with a maximum goal of up to $100,000. Funds will be used by One Warm Coat to help support their efforts in the promotion of local coatdrives and in giving back to communities across the country.

PRICE: $17.99

KAHLUA Gingerbread Bottle ( Photo Credit: KAHLUA)


John DeKuyper & Sons Crave Chocolate Mint Liquer – If you are a peppermint lover or chocolate lover the Crave Chocolate Mint Liquer is just for you. It starts with sweet chocolate and vanilas that introduce peppermint  to the palate then it ends on subtle peppermint note. Whether treating yourself to a decadent cocktail or looking to create a memorable experience at your next holiday party, each distinctive flavor delivers the rich taste of chocolate paired with a unique flavor for an enticing way to satisfy your cravings. This liquor is perfect in coffee and chocolate martini’s and we love that this sophisticated brands high commitment to flavor excellence and high quality ingredients means (no artificial flavors or high fructose corn syrup).

PRICE: $14.99

Crave Chocolate Mint Liqueur

Crave Chocolate Mint Liqueur (Photo Credit: Crave Chocolate Liqueur)

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