‘Tis the season for holiday cheer and thankfulness!  I am SO thankful to all of you who have followed along with Big Apple Nosh this past year!  In celebration of the season, I’ve compiled a short list of items I would love to give and receive.  The list includes many of the most treasured/delicious/useful food and cooking items that I’ve enjoyed in 2011.   At the very end, I’ll be giving away one of these coveted items, so be sure to keep reading!

1.  Your “I don’t actually use my kitchen, but I want it to look pretty” friend:


Nest 8 Bowls – (I don’t currently own these)

I first saw this bowl set live at the MoMA Design Store here in NYC, and let me tell you – they are as cute and clever in person.  Now for practical purposes, I’m usually a proponent of stainless steel bowls for baking (they are sturdier and are easier to rid of grease if you’re making meringues or something equally finicky).  However, I must admit these bowls would dress up my kitchen counter way better than a stainless steel bowl would!  They are “bowls for show,” one might say.

2.  Your “I actually DO use my kitchen and want something practical, thankyouverymuch” friend:

OXO Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl Set – (I own these)

I love these bowls and use them for everything. With a durable stainless steel interior that you can get squeaky clean and won’t retain odors, as well as a rubberized non-skid bottom, these bowls can take a beating (literally – I use these for beating eggs).  The set comes with 1.5 quart, 3 quart and 5 quart bowls – perfect for cooking and baking needs. And you can just pop ’em in the dishwasher when you’re done with them. Easy peasy! These are my workhorse bowls.

3. Your Cheese-Lovin’ Friend (aka me, ha!)


Artisanal Cheese of the Month Subscription – (I had this and it was wonderful!)

A question I’m often asked is – “If you had to have one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?”  Healthy and practicality reasons aside (and really, one food for the rest of your life? Who’s being practical here?) my answer is always “Cheese!”  Cheese is by far my favorite food in the world – the variety of textures, flavors and aromas means that you’ll never get bored.  This year my sister @cheezeplease  purchased me a 3-month subscription to Artisanal’s Cheese of the Month Club for my birthday, and it was such an awesome present! .  If you love getting stuff in the mail that’s not bills, and you love cheese – this present is for you.  And for me. Mmmmm…

4.  The friend who appreciates the finer foods in life…

A Marx Foods Gift Certificate – (their quality is unmatched!)

I was first introduced to Marx Foods when I participated in their Mushroom Challenge last year, and I’ve been a huge fan ever since.  Having had a chance to sample not only mushrooms but also spices, rare ingredients and much more, I can say that their quality is unparalleled and they have an AMAZING selection of fine foods.  Whether you’re looking for game meats, seafood, truffles, edible flowers or exotic fruits, Marx Foods has got it all.  And what’s more – they are super cool and down-to-earth people.  I’ve got some dried mushrooms and chilies sitting on my countertop right now that Marx Foods sent over, just because I got to know them so well over the past year and they thought I’d have fun cooking with them.  Definitely check out this family-run business!

5.  Your “I like user-friendly tools” friend:

Set of 4 Flexible Chopping Mats – (I have these)

So these aren’t as fancy looking as the wood and bamboo cutting boards I have, but they are super practical, fare well in the dishwasher, and are only $6 for 4!  Best of all, after chopping carrots, veggies, what-have-you – you can just fold up these flexible boards to make for easy transfer to a bowl or cooking pot.  I’m a fan.

…and last but not least, I’ve been using this product every day for the past year and I LOVE it.

6. For your bubbly friend…

SodaStream Home Soda Maker – (I have one and loooove it!)

I know this makes me sound super unhealthy, but I find plain flat water insanely boring.  However, I LOVE carbonated water.  I received the SodaStream as a present and literally use it to turn flat water into seltzer every. single. day!   It is seriously amazing. Once you carbonate your water, you can add flavoring, fruit juices or just drink it straight up.  My SodaStream has a permanent spot on my limited NYC counter-top space!

And now YOU can try the SodaStream for yourself! Yes, SodaStream has provided me a Fountain Jet Soda Starter Set to give away! The lucky winner will receive:

Do you want one for yourself? (Or, ermm, to give to a friend…yeah. 😉 ).  Make sure you enter below!

(As always, readers – you must actually answer the question provided in the “Leave a comment” instructions or your entries won’t count! :))