It is almost holiday season and we are gearing up for finding the perfect holiday gifts for your favorite foodie. With Chanukah coming so early this year on the night of Thanksgiving, I decided to start my gift-giving suggestions a month ahead of time.

CUISINART ELECTRONIC YOGURT MAKER WITH AUTOMATIC COOLING is the perfect gift for foodies and those who like to cook from scratch. I was in Europe recently and the yogurt tastes so much better there. I tried this Cuisinart yogurt maker and was so happy to find the richer consistency. I found a yogurt starter at Whole Foods Market but they are also available on line. I love the ease of the unit. I mixed my milk (I used 1%), dried milk, and yogurt started with a whisk, poured it into the unit, pressed the amount of time, and it began fermenting. I went to sleep and in the morning, I had perfectly chilled yogurt in a container I could easily store in the refrigerator. No gelatin, no additives, no sugars, just plain pure yogurt. The nifty thing about this unit is that it ferments and then chills all in one unit without any other steps. You also can store the yogurt in the container without sterilizing jars.

Now that the holidays are upon us, it is time to get our bartending tools in order. MICROPLANE’S BARTENDER’S GARNISH TOOL is a great gadget that is a multipurpose wonder. It zests citrus fruit, it makes beautiful lemon and orange curls for drinks, and it also triples as a bottle opener. This is a great tool to give to your favorite cocktail aficionado.

For holiday baking there is a new wonderful product called QUIRKY NIBBLE CAKE PAN. Now you can taste your holiday concoctions without ruining the presentation. This cleverly designed cake pan has an attached silicone cup for sampling your baked goods. Simply pour a bit of extra batter into the cup, bake for 8-10 minutes, and try your cake without damaging the final product.

PLATE TOPPER is the new environmentally sound way to store all your Thanksgiving and other holiday leftovers. And, if you make your holiday cookies, just plop one of the big plate toppers on top of your serving dish and it will seal it up and keep it fresh. No more rummaging through cabinets for mismatched sets of plastic ware. I like the 10-inch size, which fits over a dinner plate. There is also a 7.5-inch mini-size which fits neatly over a salad plate. Plate Toppers are microwave, freezer, and dishwasher safe, and they are BPA free.

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