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Our Classic Holiday Wish List

December 01, 2016
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Sometimes you need the tried and true—not the shiny new thing with all the frills. Get back to basics with these classy and classic holiday gift ideas:

1. Queen Creek Olive Mill Trio (Delicate to Robust)
Just olive oil, no fancy flavorings—but from three olive varietals/blends to please every palate and for every cooking situation.

2. Black Mesa Ranch Butter Almond Toffee
The original, made with just cane sugar, almonds, Belgian chocolate, butter. We won’t blame you if you also throw in some truffles or the new goat-milk caramel sauce (cajeta).

3. A Regional Cookbook
We’re looking at the new Simply Southwest by Jane Butel—traditional recipes, no flashy photos or strange ingredients. Or revisit one of the classics such as Barb Fenzl’s Seasonal Southwest Cooking.

4. A CSA Membership
From a real farm located right here. (No, bananas do not grow commercially in Arizona.),,,

5. Local Wine and Beer
There are too many Arizona producers we enjoy to single out just a few. Visit a local brewery or FnB’s new wine bar to discover your favorites and then order from Arcadia Premium (they deliver!).,

6. Essence Bakery Macarons
We’re partial to the original caramel cream and French chocolate, but all those other flavors are so pretty. And the mini ones are perfectly sized for when you can only handle one more bite.

7. Tickets to Devour
Despite the burgeoning bounty of food festivals, this March event is still one of the best. Splurge on VIP tickets (buy them now) and avoid the crowds.

8. Reservations at Binkley’s in Midtown
OK, this one has been remastered, but Chef Binkley is always a classic. We hope that by the time you read this the eponymous restaurant will have re-opened to rave reviews.

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