Give the Gift of…

[Editor’s note: Ann is the guest author of today’s Andy’s Corner]

If you Google “Give the gift of…”, the most interesting answers appear. You could choose from the following online sites which complete the sentence for you:

Give the gift of…

The one thing that didn’t come up is one I want to recommend: give the gift of….FOOD. Being a food blogger, I’d love if you’d make a batch of ….whatever…to gift this holiday season – or anytime someone needs a “lifter upper.” But, if you’re short on time (and long on cash), you have to help you out. Consider these possibilities (all with free shipping)

Key Lime Pie
From Cootie Brown’s in Johnson City, Tennessee


ONE loaf of Stollen Bread from Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery in Napa


Wild Shrimp & Cognac w/Creole Cream Cheese Grits from Commander’s Palace, New Orleans

In looking over the Goldbelly offerings I can’t help but think that many of their food gifts would be relatively easy to make. Maybe they wouldn’t be quite as gorgeous, but I’ll bet they would be just as delicious, if not more so. You could make and gift a recipe from BigLittleMeals…


This year I’m gifting these easy-to-make biscotti. The recipe comes by way of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and friends there with Italian heritage. For years we were fortunate enough to receive a box of them each holiday season, and this year – after some emailing back and forth – we got the recipe to share with you. The gift that keeps on giving.

Orange-Almond Biscotti

Orange-Almond Biscotti

  • Servings: around 3 dozen small biscotti
  • Print

Thanks to Theresa and Joe in Hattiesburg, MS for helping me get this recipe, which Theresa’s family made and sold at farmers’ markets for years.

  • 2 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp Diamond kosher salt
  • 4 T (1/4 c) butter, softened
  • 1 c sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1 c whole almonds, roasted and chopped coarse (or substitute roasted hazelnuts)
  • 2 T zest from an orange or 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 tsp anise seed (optional)

Preheat to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or simply grease the pan with butter.

Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl.

Cream butter and sugar together until smooth, about 2 mins with mixer at medium speed or in a food processor. Beat in eggs one at a time, then vanilla and almond. Stir in toasted and chopped almonds and zest (and anise seeds if you’re using them). Add flour mixture and stir until just incorporated.

Turn dough out onto a very lightly floured surface and form into a ball (flouring your hands helps prevent sticking). Halve dough and turn each portion onto the cookie sheet. Using floured hands, shape each portion of dough into a 13″ long x 2″ wide log, placing the two logs about 3 inches apart on the cookie sheet.

Bake until loaves are golden and just beginning to crack on top, about 30-35 mins.

Cool the loaves for 10 mins; lower oven to 325°. Cut each loaf diagonally into about 1/2″ inch slices with a serrated knife. Lay the slices flat, about 2/3 inch apart, on the cookie sheet and return them to oven. Bake until crisp and golden brown – about 15 -20 mins. Transfer biscotti to wire rack and cool completely.

Recipe brought to you by and Andy and Ann.

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