Stupidly Simple Gift Selection 2010

I BOUGHT JASON A CHRISTMAS SWEATER YESTERDAY. I didn’t set out to get one, but the opportunity to make him look ridiculous presented itself and I couldn’t resist.

In the spirit of last minute gift shopping, I present to you my Stupidly Simple Gift Guide. (See my Reading Wish List too.) Nearly everything here can be ordered online, so you needn’t leave your apartment for anything. Plus, I’m hosting a Real Simple magazine giveaway because you deserve gifts as well. See what you win and read the rules after the gift guide…

1. CHAMBRE DE SUCRE {fancy sugar}
I don’t add sugar to my tea or coffee, but your sugar addict of a friend might. These handmade sugars are beautifully packaged and imported from Japan. They’re the perfect complement to a gift of coffee beans or box of Kusmi Tea. FIND THEM online.

2. BREW-IN-MUG {no fuss mug + infuser}
I prefer tea brewed from loose leaves over teabags, but loose leaves are a hassle when you’re not brewing a whole pot. With this mug, you essentially brew a mini pot for one. It’s understated, easy to clean, and, truly, the vessel of choice for smart tea drinkers. It comes in many colors; mine is red. FIND IT at Sur La Table.

3. LIDDABIT SWEETS {chocolate + candy}
Liddabit‘s candy creations are masterminded by two culinary school friends who make their concoctions out of a Brooklyn kitchen with a small army of sweets makers. I just learned how to make caramel sauce this year (watch the video), but Liddabit lollipops, candy bars, brittle, and more are made with local and seasonal ingredients for a sweet snack that’s hard to recreate at home. FIND THEM online and in stores.

4. FOODZIE.COM TASTING BOX {surprise food package}
After seeing photos of these tasting boxes on Foodspotting, I wanted them for myself. Each box contains hand-selected food samples from Foodzie producers who are hand-picked themselves for producing superior products with care. If you love an item in the tasting box, you can visit to order the full-size version at a discount. FIND IT online.

5. CULINARY INSTITUTE OF AMERICA BOOTCAMP {learn to cook in 5 days or less}
In the fall, I was invited to experience culinary boot camp for two days at the Culinary Institute of America. While it kicked me in the ass, I picked up some chopping skills and learned to make burrata! In addition to boasting graduates like Anthony Bourdain, the institute offers a wide range of courses for those who wish to expand their kitchen skills without committing to longterm training. Ranging from two to five days, boot camps ran the gamut from PastryMexican Cuisine to Flavors of Wine Country. Plus, there’s no denying that scenic Dutchess County, where CIA is located, is the prettiest setting for a food-centred weekend getaway. They also have locations in St. Helena, CA and San Antonio, TX. LEARN MORE on their website or call (800) 888 7850

6. TELL TALE SOCIETY {treats from a soon to open San Fran shop}
To prepare for their Spring 2011 store opening, Tell Tale Preserve Company is inviting food lovers to join Tell Tale Society to receive monthly deliveries filled with “seasonally influenced preserves, confections, cookies and cakes, both sweet and savory” to get a taste of what’s to come. Take a peek at the December bag. Given shipping costs, it’s pricey, but the presentation and artisanal goodies will win over anybody. FIND IT online.

7. GROVE BAMBOO {iPhone 4 case}
People gravitate toward Jason’s Grove Bamboo iPhone 4 case like moths to a flame, so I’d be remiss to not recommend it for the iPhone nut in your life. Jason becomes a pseudo celebrity when he takes his phone out at brunch (for Foodspotting purposes, obviously) and when he plays Angry Birds on the train. Everyone asks: Where’d you get that? The case is slim and lightweight, so it’s not clunky like most plastic cases can be. The best part? You can customize the etching to show off your own artwork or favorite quote. FIND IT online.

And now… for you! Enter my Real Simple gift bag giveaway and ten randomly chosen winners will receive:

Stationery from ABCD Design
Sugar gifts from Chambre De Sucre
Assorted caramels from Liddabit Sweets
Real Simple 869 New Uses For Old Things book
Real Simple Best Recipes: Easy, Delicious Meals book
Essie “Real Simple” nail polish
Pottery Barn frame and more…

The rules are simple: 1. Live in the States and 2. Tell me which Stupidly Simple Snacks is your favorite and what other snacks – or guests! – you’d like to see. Leave your comment in the comment box below. Ten winners will be chosen at random and announced on December 17. Good luck and happy holidays! amy • december 10, 2010

Amy Blogs Christmas Reading Wish List
(video) Holiday Reverse S’mores & 2010 in Retrospect

Photos from, in order: Chambre De Sucre / Puritea Lounge / Liddabit Sweets / Valentina Vitols on / me / Tell Tale Preserve Company / Grove

December 10, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Holiday, specials for abc readers.


  1. Connie replied:

    My favorite SSS episode is the wine cocktail one with Joe Campanale! Not only was there eye candy, but very useful info to concoct drinks for my first grown-up dinner party.

    In the future, I would love to see an episode on crepes (sweet or savory).

  2. Amy replied:

    Hi, Connie! I love the wine cocktail episode too. I’ll see what I can do in terms of crepes in the new year. Thank you for being the FIRST here 🙂

  3. ashley k replied:

    i loved the ice cream lollipops episode!! those looked amazing and very (stupidly) simple.
    i would love to see an episode with the guys at Baked!

  4. Cassie replied:

    My favorite SSS episode is the sweet potato fries episode! I had always wanted to know how to make them but assumed they’d be wayyy too difficult. This proves not. 😀

    I would love to see an episode with other quick, easy desserts like mochi (easily made in the microwave, rather than with a steamer!)

  5. Leonard replied:

    Great recommendations Amy ! At times like this I wish I lived in the States.

  6. Alexis replied:

    I love, love, love the banana shake. I’ve made it so many times, and I may or may not be addicted!

    I’d love to see some frozen (more) frozen treats. I’m a big fan of frozen, chocolate covered bananas and would love some more ideas related to this!

  7. Leonard replied:

    Oh and I like the Pizza Bruschetta episode. That’s because I love both pizza and bruschetta.

  8. Wendy replied:

    My favorites are the Cucumber Cream Cheese Sandwich (<3 cream cheese) and the Spicy Hot Chocolate. 😀

    I agree with Connie, crepes look good. 🙂

  9. Susan replied:

    I love the Caramel Sauce !

  10. Cynthia Tay replied:

    I loved the Wine Cocktails with Joe Campanale! They were simple and yummy. The three different drinks that were featured were all fun, yet different!

  11. Pattie replied:

    Loved the sweet potato fries!

  12. Hali replied:

    My favorite would probably be the sweet potato fries because that’s how I found you and your awesomeness, but also because fries are the best form carbs can come in. A close second would be the frozen grapes though, because that’s…STUPIDLY simple :] You should make pancakes. Or better yet, scallion pancakes!

  13. Ai replied:

    I loved the crispy kale! I would love to see Chex mix or s’mores! 🙂

  14. nicole replied:

    without a doubt the wine cocktails…already gave a few of em a try actually 🙂

  15. Floey replied:

    I loved your sweet potato fries episode! Maybe you could do some SSSnacks with cereal– like honey bunches of oats; might be interesting 🙂

  16. Jason replied:

    favorite SSS video is definitely the deviled eggs one 🙂

  17. Nicholas replied:

    Agreed on the deviled eggs episode. If only because I’m out to prove that it is wholly possible to blow a hard boiled egg through two holes broken strategically at either end.

  18. kenny c replied:

    I loved the deviled eggs episode!! I would love to see u make more stupidly simple cocktails! Thanks!!

  19. Anne replied:

    I looooove the sweet potato fries (and the sexy underwear model guest, hehe) so good!
    I think you should try your hand at some flavored roasted nut mixes 🙂 Mmmm

  20. karol replied:

    PB&B episode! i’ve been eating pb+x sandwiches almost every day since you reminded me how delicious that combo is. it’d be great if you could do an episode with Danielle Konya of Vegan Treats.

  21. Kevin replied:

    I LOVE your Spicy Hot Chocolate episode. The thing is I can’t get my hands at some of the chocolate at the local grocery store because it’s always sold out. It’s getting pretty cold where I live xD.

    I think you should try making some chocolate cupcakes with mint icing, but those sound confusing to make O_o.

  22. Jackie replied:

    I have an addiction to Frito Pie. Mmmm mmm mmm. I liked the above idea of crepes! They are such a versatile snack and you could list different fillings to try maybe?

  23. daisy replied:

    I loved the easy short bread cookies! I would love to see more British tea sandwich ideas!

  24. daisy replied:

    I love horchata! an easy way to make would be awesome!

  25. renn replied:

    hi amy!

    i’ve got to say my most favorite has to be the sweet potato fries. Why? because to this day I still use your recipe, and, frankly, I don’t think I would have figured out such a simple way to make them if I hadn’t watched your video, honestly; it’s so simple and quick and doesn’t require a lot of ingredients, but yet you can choose the spices to make them even better.

    i think for a next simple snack you should do a hot nutella drink, instead of a hot chocolate. a little twist to a very popular winter/cold drink. i know you’ve already done a chocolate drink, but nothing yet with nutella! or! you can try a nutella panini with bananas in it and a sprinkle of powder sugar on top. i made it once and it was quite popular, but haven’t had the chance to make it again. OR! how about grilled cheese and tomato soup? YUM!

  26. allison replied:

    my favorite video is the s’mores one. i’ve made those many times 🙂

  27. Joanna replied:

    Hi there!
    I would like to say I like all of the ‘stupidly’ simple snacks. The fact that I’m a freshman in college and I got tired of the food at school faster than I thought, the ingredients are affordable, and the results are delicious.
    The all time favorite ‘stupidly’ simple snack is the cucumber and cream cheese sandwich. It’s really good and the ingredients are in reach and light. I love to eat it with a cup of lemon iced tea.
    I would like to see more nut snacks, preferably walnuts or pecans.
    thanks for your stupidly simple snacks ;]

  28. Lisa Kunizaki replied:

    I LOVE your cocktail and easy to make bar episodes!

    I’d love to see some pies : )

  29. Maacah replied:

    I really liked the pizza bruschetta and I’m honestly surprised that you haven’t made some awesome “how to make a ham-and-cheese” sandwich 😀

  30. Kate replied:

    I really loved the deviled eggs SSS! I want to try to blow an egg out of it’s shell now :p

  31. scottreiner replied:

    best food experience of the year was lotus of siam in las vegas. best thai in the world, outside of thailand… with the aged german spatleses and ausleses to match!

  32. Brian replied:

    Hi Amy!

    Hope you are doing well. My favorite SSS episodes are Frito pie and Krispy Kale!


  33. Keri replied:

    Mmm, caramel sauce!! Would love to see some more veggie ideas to balance out my sweet indulgences…

  34. Lisa replied:

    My favorite SSS episode is an oldie but a goodie – the banana shake! After watching it, I was so inspired to try. Now I often make them to drink after working out.

    How about doing something like a parfait or trifle? I recently had an awesome pumpkin & gingerbread one during Thanksgiving.

  35. Tiffany replied:

    I think my favorite stupidly simple snacks video has been the reverse smores OR the banana shake or deviled eggs! I’d like to see Tim Tam Slams please. teeheeheee 🙂 jk, i have to agree with some of the others, crepes do sound delicious!

  36. Joan Andrews replied:

    my favorite episode is the Peanut Butter/Banana sandwich. love the powdered sugar touch!!

  37. Sonia replied:

    I loved the pumpkin pie milkshake episode! And I’ve been dying to try the candied cashews. I’d love to see crepes or maybe pad thai, which I’ve never been able to make properly.

  38. Emily replied:

    The caramel sauce was my favorite because Keavy is adorbs and caramel rocks my face off.

    You should make cake balls. Hell, WE should make them!

  39. Cindy Waffles replied:

    sweet potato fries ftw!

  40. Jon replied:

    I cannot choose a favorite. I love the the Reverse S’mores with Mari and the Deviled Eggs one. So hard to choose. I love the egg muffs. And the reverse s’mores are yummy and the Mari was a very nice guest.
    Keep up the great work!

  41. Summer Tetrault replied:

    I originally found you through your nifty sweet potato fries, but my favorite SSS food is the reverse s’mores with the crushed mint candies! I brought them as a snack to our local book clubs meet-up and they were a big hit. I wouldn’t mind showing you how to make my families “dog chow snack,” it isn’t for dogs but its super easy, tasty and seasonal. Since I live in Cali and it’s usually warm, I would like to see some “forgotten food” Recipe’s. A neighbor of mine was showing me forgotten cookies and they were awesome!

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