Welcome to the Favorite Things Gift Guide! The best part about this gift guide is that it’s evergreen! All of these things on this list are timeless and a great gift any time of the year. The second best thing is that I get the honor of sharing my favorite things with you! I’ve included (phone) pics of my experiences so you can see how much fun they all are.
Each of these local brands sponsored their own presence in this gift guide. However, I reached out to each of them because they are truly my favorite products and people, and wouldn’t promote them in this way if they weren’t! Strap in, this is the most words I’ve written in awhile. Without further ado, Hillary’s Favorite Things of 2018!
Andolini’s has had a special place in our family’s heart for a long time. Justin and I used to have the tradition of making pizza for Valentine’s Day together, and going to Andolini’s on Cherry Street for our dating anniversary. It quickly evolved into eating pizza at Ando for both holidays. And pretty much every month in between. They’ve got some awesome spaces and eats, with STG Gelato and fresh pasta, Andolini’s Sliced (our fave is the NYC pizza by the slice!), and the new Metropolis in the Mother Road Market that is serving up Phillies, hot dogs, and of course, pizza and gelato.
Andolini’s holiday deal this year: Starting November 1, their Holiday Pizza Books are available for purchase – 10 pizzas sold in a certificate book for $99.
Justin Thompson Restaurant Group
We love Justin Thompson Restaurant Group. We went for our anniversary to Juniper and had a lovely prix fixe, and I hit up Tavolo for work lunch often. However, the best deal in the house is sitting at the bar at Prhyme on Mondays or Tuesdays with that half price bar menu. The french dip is maybe the best sandwich I’ve ever eaten in my life. Every year, I partake in their steal of a gift card deal they have during the holidays. This year, they’re doing for every $100 in gift cards purchased, you receive an additional $20 gift card. (In years past, it has been a voucher, but this year the extra money is just on a card, so it won’t expire and you can use every cent!) Chef Justin Thompson has also just published a cookbook, available November 8, called Trial and Error. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!
JTR Holiday Deals: $20 gift card for every $100 in gift card purchases (online or in-person). Justin’s new cookbook here.
Redrock Canyon Grill
I don’t often go “down south,” but always gladly make an exception for this gem of Oklahoma called Redrock. This has become a celebratory location for us and our med school friends, and this patio has hosted us in all seasons. If you’re ballin’ on a budget, the chicken is amazing, but if you wanna go all out, you also can’t go wrong with the filet! They are also PERFECT for holiday parties and groups, in case there are a couple dishes you want some help with, and you can pick them up to-go! Some of the most popular to-go choices for Thanksgiving and Christmas are the mashed potatoes (easy to see why), carrots, cornbread and key lime pie.
Gifts & Entertainment
We spend a lot of money and time at Glacier, not going to lie. I wanted to creep on our Mint to see how much but Justin said that would be an awakening we didn’t want and we should just keep living in blissful chocolate denial. We have taken a class (Bar Making 101) and imbibed delicious chocolate cocktails at the new Bean to Bar location. I use their chocolate for making chocolate gifts for my family and friends (see Peppermint Bark and Pecan Turtles). I haven’t quite yet convinced Alex to give me a job, but Bill offered Justin one when we went to Bar Making, so maybe that’s my foot in the door! They can also ship chocolate all over the country, so it’s a great way to give a loved one not in town a little taste of Tulsa. I sent some to my mom for Mother’s Day last year and she declared she wants no other presents from us except chocolate and she wasn’t going to share them. A class would be a great experience to give, or you can never go wrong with a box of handcrafted chocolates. It’s also a great place to go for a date!
Pearl Brewery Tours
This summer, we went on one of the inaugural tours for Pearl Brewery Tours, and since then, it’s been booming! It’s been fun to hear about people going on the tours in big groups, little groups, for special events, or just a bit of weekend fun. There seem to be new breweries popping up all the time, so we need to go again to hit up some new spots! A tour is a great gift for a significant other to do together, or you could even get together with a bunch of all of your friends. Tyler will take great care of you, provide excellent company (jokes not guaranteed), and hook you up with some great local tastes. Tickets include two samples at each location visited and transportation for the 4-hour experience.
Farm Fresh Produce
Prairie Creek Farms
If you follow my Instagram stories, you know I already love shouting out PCF all the time. Everyone likes meat for the holidays, right? Any order you might make with big brands of meat won’t include hand delivery service from the farmer and the quality that pastured local animals can bring. Chicken, pork and beef products are the name of their game. We haven’t had a single bad thing yet, and so far our top faves are the cheddar jalapeno brats, bacon and breakfast sausage (see links for recipes made with them!). They’re my people. And they let you order meat online. What more could you want?
Local Farm OK
Local Farm OK is an awesome subscription service where you can get fresh local produce delivered to your door weekly – It’s like the farmers market is coming to you! I wrote about them in this post. There are a few different options for the types of produce you can get in your weekly or biweekly bag, and then you can also log on before delivery every week and add on any additional things! For example, you can add Prairie Creek Farms meat, milk, coffee or cheese. You can complete your entire shopping for the week via the online offerings they have!
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The Joule is a sous vide water circulator, made by ChefSteps. I have followed ChefSteps a long time, and they’re the ones that taught me how to make the Emoji Egg. I got a Joule last year for Christmas, I believe, and it’s been a really fun tool. So far we’ve mostly made beef (steaks) in it, and they’re incredible! I have also made some sous vide egg bites that are copycats of the Starbucks ones. They’re SO good. I need to put them on here! If you don’t have experience with a circulator, they’re less scary than they sound! I don’t own a vacuum sealer but that may be next in the SV journey.
My friend Amy gave this to me as part of a wedding shower gift and hold me I needed it (similar here). I always thought single use tools were kind of lame, but then I used this. Not only is it amazing, but you definitely need one if you use large amounts of garlic like we do!
I hope you can find something on this list for everyone on YOUR list this holiday season. Come back for ideas when you need any other holiday gifts. I’ll be recirculating this list for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. There’s truly an experience for everyone on this list!