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It’s not too late! There are still gifts you can get in time for Christmas. And honestly these items are so awesome you should just order them for yourself, any time of year. An extra bonus:  all of these items come from local small business that are great to support.

Pasta & Sauce Kits from Centrolina

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Centrolina has a gorgeous mercato, from which you can pick up items like cheese, wine and chocolates. Something even more special this holiday season is Chef Amy Brandwein’s holiday packages, which can be picked up at the restaurant in City Center or mailed anywhere you need it to go. Choose from delicious panettone, holiday cookies or, my favorite, a fresh made pasta kit. Chef is famous for her handmade pastas and for good reason – they are delicious. The kit includes three pounds of different kinds of pasta, including spinach fettucine, chestnut pappardelle and whole wheat chitarra, three different kinds of homemade sauces, and parmesan cheese. The pastas are so perfectly made they only require a couple of minutes of cooking and they come out chewy and buttery soft. I would love to get this gift every month!

Jelly from The Preservation Society

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Located in Flint Hill, Virginia, the Preservation Society specializes in making pepper jelly, honey, jams, and fig spread, all perfect for spread on toast or presenting on a cheese board. I am impartial to the sweet and spicy pepper jelly which has just the right consistency and flavor. All of their products use natural ingredients and come in glass or BPA-free plastic containers.

Cocktails from the Quarantine Cocktail Club

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Walter Raubeson is a local mixologist who created the Quarantine Cocktail Club to help us all survive the pandemic. Each week he mixes up a variety of cocktails and will deliver them directly to your home in the D.C. area! This is a great gift for local friends and families. Anyone living in Silver Spring or Takoma Park gets free delivery; for those outside of that area the minimum is $52. Choose from a menu of beverages, offered in two serving or large format eight serving portions, like the Autumn in New York, made with apple brandy and rye, or the fiore, made with gin, Campari and orange liquor.

Chutney from The Virginia Chutney Company

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A local family business, the Virginia Chutney Company makes and sells different varieties of chutney. From tart cranberry chutney to spicy plum chutney, this company has a flavor for everyone’s palate. Great for serving with cheese and bread, you can order individual chutneys or a gift pack if you want to create a sampling.

The Dining Traveler Guide to Puerto Rico

The Dining Traveler Guide to Puerto Rico is a photographic guide to Puerto Rico. Local food and travel writer Jessica van Dop DeJesus enlisted documentary photographer Italo Morales to go on a month’s long journey across Puerto Rico to showcase the food and culture of Puerto Rico. The book is my favorite coffee table book! You can order it from the Dining Traveler website, and if you live in the DC area you can arrange for delivery or pick-up.

Gift Card for Virtual Exercise Classes at Elite Bodies

If your foodie friends are anything like me, they want to be burning extra calories all year round for all of the gluttony that takes place in their lives on a daily basis! Located in Silver Spring, Elite Bodies offers virtual, outdoor and indoor small group classes depending your preference. Contact the owner Jeff Ansah through the website for gift cards!

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Bonus ed. note – You can also check out Downtown Holiday Market for some super-cute food-themed totes, tea towels, stationery, masks ‘n more from The Neighborgoods!

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