I’m sure most of you agree this has been a trying year. But I am not going to allow the holidays create any more stress in my life. To help you give tasty gifts this year, I’ve compiled a list of local restaurants, shops, and businesses offering thoughtful items to share with friends and family.
Chefs George and Katie Brown have been making these tasty treats since 2006. Their line of snacks has expanded from their sweet and spicy Killer Pecans to include pecans seasoned with cinnamon, smoky barbecue pecans, olive oil rosemary roasted pecans, and versatile Texas pecan oil. All made in small batches, and you can shop online, and they’ll send them for you. Here’s their stuff.
Local Restaurant Gift Card
Support your local restaurants by buying a gift card. Don’t let anyone call you lazy for doing this. We all have friends and neighbors who need a nudge to get out and try some of the city’s newest and finest establishments. Flora Street Café, Fearing’s, and Bullion all offer cards in various amounts.
White Rock Granola
Warning: This small batch granola made with Valrhona cocoa powder, crunchy almonds and pecans, and sweet agave nectar is highly addictive.
Cheese Making Kit
Cheese is always a great gift. The availability of locally made cheese has increased so much in the last ten years. Paula Lambert’s Mozzarella Company started the revolution, and her Christmas cheese is a regular sight at my house. But if you have a real cheese nerd on your list, check out the Mozzarella Cheesemaking Kit. Fun for the whole family.
When I visited Bullion for the first time, I was served a lovely tea. My stomach was full, but I drank the tea so I could bask in the glow of this restaurant a little longer. I asked about the tea and I was not surprised to learn it was sourced from Cultured Cup, one of Dallas’ most treasured food businesses. I now have Sunset Orange Rooibos in my pantry. The bright citrus of blood orange and gentle floral qualities with a hint of red and yellow safflower petals are blissful at a time when we all could use a few more serene moments.
Patina Green Home and Market
If you want to get away from mall madness, head to McKinney. The town square is full of locally owned shops. Even the most grouchy shoppers will fall victim to the spirit of the holidays. One of the best places to shop for your food lover is at Patina Green Home and Market. They offer homemade jams from local fruits, handmade pottery by local Dallas potter Natalie Cross, vintage spoons, handmade soap, and stone washed linen towel. I think I just typed my Christmas wish list.
Cane Rosso Rescue
This is a busy time of the year for families to adopt a dog or cat. What little (or big) kid doesn’t wish for a pet for Christmas? Pizza mogul Jay Jerrier’s Cane Rosso Rescue is 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds and building awareness for dogs in need of homes in Texas. The goal of Cane Rosso Rescue is to find homes for dogs that have been abandoned at shelters or whose owners can no longer care for them. This isn’t the only reputable adoption agency in Dallas, but it may be the only one that gives a variety of perks in the form of free pizza or a Cane Rosso Black Card that enables you to skip the lines at the popular pizza joint.
Dude, Sweet Chocolate
I take all of my out-of-town visitors to Dude, Sweet Chocolate. Katherine Clapner’s unique shop is probably my favorite food-gift store in town. Her chocolate items are not just quality products; they possess a sense of humor that makes you smile. Don’t take things too seriously, add a bottle of Break Up Potion, One Night Stand, Chubby Nuts, or Fruity Crack to your shopping list. This is stocking stuffer paradise.