The 12 Days of Foodie Christmas, Day 5

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me……the gift of shopping!  Let’s face it who doesn’t need a little something for the kitchen or home?!  My absolute favourite stocking stuffer last year was a gnocchi board.  I know, I know…..I said need, but honestly it is one of the best kitchen gadgets I have ever received.  I must confess however,  it came wrapped with a tag labelled “Love Mango and Lulu” and well……they’re my cats.  They know me so well that they knew  I needed the gnocchi board to make my life complete.

At least every few weeks in the winter I bring it out and roll ricotta garlic scape gnocchi dough and make an amazing garlic, butter and sage sauce.  I can almost smell the aroma cooking in my kitchen….wait the topic is Christmas.  It does however remind me of a day we once spent, with food writer Lynn Ogryzlo http://www.ontariotable.com on a road trip discovering the bounty of Niagara.  She taught our group how to make this recipe http://www.niagarathisweek.com/news-story/3283766-gnocchi-tough-to-say-but-easy-to-love/ and I now lovingly make it during garlic scape season and freeze it for emergencies.  I believe a holiday induced comfort food emergency is only around the corner and I am so happy to know I’ll be okay.  A trip to L’Escoffier Kitchen Emporium http://www.lescoffierkitchenemporium.com on Llyod Street in St Catharines is where you will find this handy little tool. This store is part kitchen boutique and part restaurant supply.  A great new stocking stuffer for this year are small resealable packages of  sea salts. These salts are from a Toronto based company Just A Pinch http://www.justapinch.ca  L’Escoffier carries labels such as Le Creuset, Emile Henry, All-Clad and Fox Run and they also professionally sharpen knives on site.

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Heading back down St. Paul Street, just a short drive or bike ride away is Simply White  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Simply-White/117565538300853  at 5 James Street. This shop is visually stunning with tasteful and eclectic offerings for even the most difficult to buy for foodie on your list.  Bren the Proprietor, has an impressively large display of Sophie Conran dishes from Portmeirion.  Ask a few questions and you will find out how versatile these dishes are and that Simply White is able to offer a special warranty.  This special little extra makes me feel confident in my choice to make them my new dishes at home.   Hurricane lanterns for your table with seasonal inserts are another personal favourite of mine this year and I must say it looked fabulous on our NCT display table last weekend at the Pelham Outdoor Holiday Market.

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Heading down James Street and just next to Market Square is a brand new addition to downtown St. Catharines, D’Lish  Tasteful Gifting https://www.facebook.com/pages/DLish-tasteful-gifting/1419957754902697 is at 79A King Street.  In this store foodie gifts abound.  I was able to persuade my true love to spring for a decadent tin of chai hot chocolate and some blue cheese fig shortbread from Provisions while we stopped by to chat to owner Maina about her new adventure.  There are lots of things to see and taste, and it would be difficult to leave without buying just a little something for your bestie or yourself. I love that downtown St Catharines has more and more to offer every day!

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