The Practical Gift Guide for People Who Say They Don't Need Anything!

The Practical Gift Guide for People Who Say They Don't Need Anything!

You know those people who say, "I don't need anything!"   We all know them.   And, quite honestly, they are probably right.  These people have accumulated a lot of things over the years, and they probably do not need a thing, but that doesn't mean they don't have wants. So, after testing some culinary products gifted to me and hours of mulling over the internet, I've put together a stellar gift guide that can be used for neighbors, dog walkers, teachers, and of course, that person who has everything.  These gifts could stand alone, or you could add two products together to create a theme. 

Top Row Left:  All She Wrote Notes-Mary Square One Thing Everyday Ceramic Mug sold online and in-person at Little Details Boutique, a local boutique located in Garner, NC.  All She Wrote Notes is an NC business founded by Maghon Taylor, who sparked her love for calligraphy into a great business. Mary Square is also an NC-based lifestyle company located in Apex, NC. 

Top Row Middle: Dark and Dreamy Hot Chocolate Mix.  People of all ages love hot chocolate, and this hot chocolate mix can be for anyone on your list. This silver-decorated holiday tin can be made with water, milk, or a non-dairy alternative. The hot chocolate mix is made without sodium or hydrogenated fats and is gluten-free. Each tin makes 11 cups. It's only 60 calories per serving. The mixture would go great with the mug above, as well as a more significant gift. 

Cup of Dark and Dreamy Epicure Hot Cocoa with Peppermint

Top Row Right: Zip and Go Reusable Snack Bags in Three Sizes  This gift screams practical and eco-friendly. These bags are great for snacks on the go, lunch boxes, or storing leftovers. Easy to clean and dishwasher safe.  If you wanted, you could Poppy Handcrafted Popcorn made in Asheville, NC with it. This stuff is fantastic. It comes in lots of different flavors. 

Eco-Friendly Resusable Snack Bags in Three Sizes by Epicure
Popcorn made in Asheville, NC by Poppy Handcrafted Popcorn

Middle Row Left:  Carolina Brewery Sauces.  Carolina Brewery in Hillsborough, NC, is known for great beer, but they also make some darn good sauces. I am a big fan of the Sriracha Steak Sauce and its Eastern BBQ Sauce. The Sriracha Steak  Sauce is addicting, and I've started putting it on everything and in soups.  I love it.  

Carolina Brewery Sriracha Steak Sauce and Carolina Brewery Amber Ale

Middle Row Middle: Guacamole Dip Mix Seasoning by Epicure. This is one of my absolute favorite seasoning mixes. I've been using it for about a year, and it makes delicious guacamole. I also season eggs, veggies, cottage cheese, and tomatoes with it.  At under $10, it is an excellent gift for anyone who will love it if they like guacamole.  Pair it with an appetizer bowl for a more significant gift.  This gluten-free dip mix is all-natural and good for you. 

Guacamole in a white bowl. Seasoning by Epicure

Middle Row Right: Poco Picante Salsa Mix by Epicure.  We all know chips and salsa make a great meal, and this salsa can be on your table in fifteen minutes.  All you need is this seasoning, a can of tomatoes, and a splash of lime.  This salsa mix can also be used in tops of recipes. 

chips, salsa and guacamole. Mixes by Epicure

Bottom Row Left: Villeroy and Boch New Wave Square Dip Bowl.  Who says a bowl has to be round? My own personal china is Villeroy and Boch, and I love these square new wave dip bowls, priced at just $12 each.  They are classic but yet modern. Pair it with any dip seasoning mix for a great gift. 

dips in Villeroy and Boch china

Bottom Row Middle: Mulling Spices by Epicure Nothing says happy holidays like mulling spices. These mulling spices work with apple juice, wine, or cranberry juice.  It's a taste of the holidays with aromatic cloves, star anise, and real orange peel.  North Carolina is known for its Moravian bakery in Winston-Salem.  Pair these mulling spices with some Dewey's Moravian-style cookies for an authentic holiday gift. 

Mulled Apple Cider and Moravian Cookies. Seasoning by Epicure

Morvavian cookies from NC

Bottom Row Right:  Mountain Chai Tea from Asheville Tea Company.  From farm to teacup, this is one of the best tea blends I've tasted.  If you have a tea lover in your life, then you will love Asheville Tea Company Tea.  You can't go wrong with any blend. 

Blends of Tea from Asheville Tea Company

This year, the Mountain Chai blend is a new blend, and honestly, it is heaven in a cup. I drink this tea with a little bit of honey and milk. 

Mountain Chai Tea Blend from Asheville Tea Company with clear pot with loose tea leaves

Roasted Garlic and Anchovies Make NC Chef's Teddy Diggs Fall Radicchio Salad Recipe a Winner

Updated: August 13, 2024

When North Carolina Chef Teddy Diggs, owner of Coronato Pizza in Carrboro, gave me his recipe for radicchio salad with his homemade Caesar salad to make at home, I had no idea I would become such a big fan of anchovies.

Anchovies are the fish that make most people go, "Ewww!" But, the little fish has some significant health benefits. In fact, I was curious if I had eaten anchovies before buying them for this recipe.

Radicchio Salad with Anchovy and Roasted Garlic Dressing

Chef Diggs, whose accolades go from cooking at the White House to studying under Chefs in Italy to working in high-end hotels, has brought Roman-style pizza to the South. He doesn't serve pizza with anchovies on the menu, but his fall salad, dressed with roasted garlic and anchovy dressing, will make you an anchovy lover, too. I promise.

Chef Teddy Diggs of Coronoto Pizza

When I made the salad, I used romaine lettuce because I could not find radicchio in August. Chef Diggs told me that romaine or even tender kale would be suitable home substitutes because, for the home chef,  radicchio is only sometimes in your grocery store. In addition, the bitterness of the lettuce complements the saltiness and boldness of the anchovies and roasted garlic in the dressing.

Roasted Garlic and Anchovy Make an Italian Caesar Dressing. This salad is with romaine lettuce

Roasting the garlic is also crucial to giving this salad dressing recipe with anchovies another dimension of flavor. He told me that many Caesar dressings use garlic, typically fresh garlic cloves. He believes roasting the garlic enhances the taste of this homemade Caesar dressing even more.

Chef Diggs likes to use anchovies from Italy's Amalfi Coast packed in oil. You can use salted anchovies, but they must be rinsed for about twenty minutes before blending them into the dressing. I went to Whole Foods Prime to buy my anchovies. I could not find any from Italy, so I put some from Spain in my cart, but in the end, when they arrived home, my anchovies were substituted for Reese's flat fillets of anchovies imported from Morocco. They worked, and I loved the classic Caesar dressing with the anchovies. Typically, Chef Diggs recommends the Delfino brand for his salad. 

anchovy fillets by Reese

Delfino Anchovy fillets from Amalfi Coast

This salad serves four, but I must admit that I ate the entire salad for lunch. It was that good. I want to make it again with the radicchio for fall, or better yet, I may just go to Carrboro to Coronato Pizza instead.

radicchio salad with delfino anchovy fillets

Coronato Pizza's Fall Radicchio Salad with Roasted Garlic and Anchovy Dressing (The Better Caesar Dressing)

● 2 heads of roasted garlic
● 6 filet oil-packed anchovy or 4 salted anchovies rinsed and soaked in water
● 1/8 cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, plus more for garnishing
● 1 egg yolks
● 1 1⁄2 cups blended oil (80 % olive oil/ 20% canola oil)
● 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
● 2 tablespoons lemon juice
● 1⁄4 cup water
● Kosher salt as needed
● 12 to 14 ounces radicchio (5 red-leaf endives, 3 long Treviso or 1 large round radicchio di Chioggia, or a
mixture), cored and cut into 1/2-inch-wide slivers, washed and dried
● Extra virgin olive oil, black pepper, and 1⁄2 lemon as needed for dressing the salad
Note: I substituted Romaine for Radicchio. Tender Kate is also a substitute.

For the dressing:
Combine all roasted garlic cloves, anchovies, Parmigiano cheese, egg yolk, vinegar, and lemon juice in a food processor and blend until smooth. While the food processor is running, drizzle in the oil. The mixture will begin to emulsify and thicken. Use the water to adjust the consistency of the dressing as desired. Season with salt. Reserve the dressing until use.

For the salad:
Place the cleaned radicchio in a mixing bowl and spoon about a 1⁄2 cup of the dressing over the lettuce. Crack fresh black pepper over the bowl, drizzle in about 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and half of a lemon juice, or about 2 tablespoons. Mix ingredients together thoroughly.
Plate the dressed salad evenly between 5 plates and finish with finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

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