Julie Andrews’ favorite things might be raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…but you better believe MY favorite things are EDIBLE. HA!

The holidays are in full swing, baby! And if reading that spins you into a full 5-alarm panic over everything you need to do, clean, cook, bake and wrap between now and New Year’s Day…don’t worry. I got you. And I’m dropping in to tell you all about a few of my very favorite things for gifting (and receiving…wink, wink)!

These are a few of my favorite things (sing it with me, now!) at the Italian Market.

Proscuitto Riserva at Dibruno’s along with their cashews with Hawaiian black sea salt. Feeling like you can’t decide because there’s so much goodness packed into that magnificent cheese cave? No one is ever going to turn down a gift certificate from this iconic, gourmet gem.

DiBruno’s Owner Emilio with Ann

DiBruno’s Owner Emilio with Ann (first female manager at Italian market location!). Here to help you with anything you need!

Cardena’s has fabulous pre-packaged holiday presents – including balsamic vinegars, extra virgin olive oil, honey, salt and cocktail mixers…they make a great presentation, their products are a great quality, and are sure to go a long way to make a great impression with the lucky recipients!

Cardena's gift set


Grassia’s Italian Market Spice Co. – shopping for that one friend or quirky aunt who’s a little spicy? Check out the rare spices at this seasoned joint–like Mombasa from Africa or the Berber blend.  They also have a good selection salt free season blends and if you’re baking this year, there’s beautiful, rich vanilla beans and a slew of pure extracts like anise for pizzelles.

Looking for some new cookie recipes to try out your new spices? I got you! Another idea…print one of these out on cute stationery and attach with a ribbon to your spice gift!

So many cookies. So little time.

Fudge Crinkle Cookies
Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies
Cousin Hilma’s Rum Balls

Fante’s – honestly, I’d take almost anything from Fante’s under my tree or in my stocking. This kitchenwares store has EVERYTHING for the home chef…whether they’re a beginner in the kitchen or at the top of their knife skills game. I love their cheese boards as a hostess gift. Have their initials engraved in them for a super special personalized touch.

A basket full of sweet treats from Anthony’s Chocolate House with coffee, chocolate and teas will never go wrong – plus they ship if you need to send holiday cheer in the mail to loved ones!!!

A Gift certificate to any of the fabulous restaurants like Villa di Roma and Monsu is a dream for the foodie in your life.

And THESE are a few of my favorite things if you’re in Chestnut Hill!

Chocolates Made by ME – Peanut Bark and Truffles that are to DIE for – Mary Ellen’s chocolates are so beautiful, each one is like a little work of are. One of my favorites is the Mexican Spicy chocolate one with stunning autumn colors that look like an impressionist painting. Color me impressed! Gift someone these and I promise, they’ll love you forever.

Gift certificates to any of the amazing restaurants including Mica, McNally’s, Chestnut Hill Brewing Company, Paris Bistro and El Poquito – just pick a flavor that matches your giftee and you’re good to go!

Barry’s Buns doesn’t just do buns! In the month of December Barry breaks out a Winter Wonderland Cake and so much more. Grab a Chocolate Chip Pound Cake and bring it to all your holiday gatherings – I promise you will be the hit of the party!

Barry's Buns

HI Barry!

Poppy’s Cafe – Nitro coffee for the coffee lover in your life.

The Spice Rack has small batch spices plus a wonderful selection of vinegars and olive oils from California.

Bredenbeck’s has been a Philly tradition since 1889, and they know how to do the holidays RIGHT. Check out their fun cake creations!

Bredenbeck's cakes

Fun cakes created by Bredenbeck’s

Books:  My dear friend, Dom Condo, just published a cookbook called A Little of This and Some of That –it’s always a pleasure working with Dom – he’s a great cook, with GREAT recipes and with such good stories. If you’ve got a reader, cook or blogger on your list, they’ll be sure to love it!

A Little of This and Some of That

What a cutie! DOM! Thank you for mentioning me in your book! Brought a tear to my eye. I feel so honored!

If you can’t make it out to shop–Taste 4 Travel Gift Certificates have everything you want in a great gift…unique, FUN, and delicious (plus, you can purchase them in your cozy jammies and slippers from your couch)…and they make the perfect holiday presents for anyone– recipients can sample ALL of the things on my favorite things list on one of my culinary tours.

Two cuties on my Chestnut Hill Tour in front of Bredenbeck’s!

Two cuties on my Chestnut Hill Tour in front of Bredenbeck’s!

You can experience “The Miracle on 13th Street” with me during the holidays by joining me for one of my fabulous and festive dinner tours through the season…gather the people who matter to you most and let’s celebrate the joy this season can bring! I only host private tours…so you won’t be thrown in with a group of strangers…this is an exclusive dining and tour experience!

Chef Jacquie's Miracle on 13 Street

And that is something to be holly, jolly about.

Love to you and yours this holiday season!



P.S. Dates are going fast for my holiday dinner extravaganza tours, so be sure to check out the calendar right here!