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November, 2016 |

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Ultimate Food and Cooking Holiday Gift Guide 2016

Vermont’s Runamok Maple smokes, infuses and barrel ages pure organic maple syrup in wondrous new ways.

As part of my annual series of Holiday Gift Guides, I tackle one of my favorite subjects, food. But unlike most magazine gift lists you will see, I have personally purchased, borrowed or tested every one of the items on this list to give you quality assuredness. Please check out my other themed 2016 gift guides for Golfers, for Cyclists, and for Skiing Snowboarding. Also check out last year’s food gift guide as you’ll find many things are still worth considering.

Vermont Maple Syrup Re-Invented: Here in the Green Mountain State where I live, we are justly proud of our famous maple syrup, the best in the world, and over the years I have carried countless bottles as gifts around the globe. But one producer is pushing the envelope: Runamok Maple has introduced an extensive collection of smoked, infused, and barrel-aged takes on pure Vermont maple syrup. Its products are so distinctive that Oprah Winfrey selected a mixed gift box as one of her “favorite things of 2016.” Runamok produces organic maple syrup from 81,000 trees on the northwest slopes of Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s highest peak. Their traditional syrup is known as “Sugarmaker’s Cut,” but the distinctive choices that set the company apart are the nine unique varieties, including Bourbon Barrel-Aged, Rye Whiskey Barrel-Aged, Rum Barrel-Aged, Pecan Wood Smoked, Makrut Lime-Leaf Infused, Hibiscus Flower Infused, Elderberry Infused, Cinnamon + Vanilla Infused, and Cardamom Infused. In our house, Cinnamon + Vanilla has been the biggest hit for weekend breakfasts. But these products go way beyond pancakes and waffles, according to co-owner Eric Sorkin. “We are changing the way people look at and use maple syrup. We’ve made it our mission to craft great tasting, small batch production syrups that are suited to everything from cooking and baking to mixing with spirits… families, home cooks, mixologists, and culinary professionals, all of whom have found our unique flavors to be a distinctively sweet addition to both their favorite recipes and everyday lives.” The barrel-aged syrups are made by pouring syrup into recently emptied bourbon, rye, or rum barrels and letting it age (for as long as a year.) The smoked syrup uses pecan wood, for just the right hint of smoke without being overpowering. The infused syrups are created by adding carefully curated herbs or spices to heated syrup. Individual bottles start at $17, and custom gift mixes are available: Oprah’s favorite ($70) includes a trio of Bourbon Barrel, Hibiscus Flower, and Cinnamon+Vanilla.

Most of the world’s extra virgin olive oil is produced in the late fall, and very little of the fresh new 2016 harvest is available yet – this is a happy and delicious exception!

Real, Fresh EVOO: I’m a huge fan of extra virgin olive oil, the healthiest and most delicious oil you can buy, and I highly encourage its use and consumption – but there’s a catch. EVOO is notoriously hard to shop for, and the marketplace is fraught with fake, low quality and stale versions, all hard for consumers to distinguish between. Age of olive oil on store shelves is a big problem, because even oils that were once good and properly labeled can be sold long past their useful life. The holiday season is an especially difficult time to buy the best EVOO, because almost none of the recent late fall European harvest (Italy, Spain, Greece, France) is on our shores yet, meaning much of the oil in the store – even gourmet stores – is around a year old, and for olive oil that is old, nearing the end of its ideal life. A handful of specialty retailers like Oliviers Co, (O Co.) fly in some early releases to meet holiday demand, but most oil comes by slow boat. The number one rule of EVOO is fresher is always better, and at this time of year, even the Southern hemisphere oils (Australia, Chile, South Africa) pressed in the spring are 6-months past perfection, and in any case, they are hard to find. In past gift guides, I have recommended an excellent but pricey quarterly subscription service, the Fresh Pressed Olive Oil Club, and I stand by that, but it is sizable gift investment, If you want to wow someone with EVOO at a much lower price point, a handy solution is California Olive Ranch’s new Limited Reserve Extra Virgin Olive Oil, the first release of the 2016 harvest from America’s leading high quality producer (olive oil is made just one a year, in fall in the Northern hemisphere). The epitome of freshness, this seasonally available limited edition product is back just in time for the holidays, and went on presale November 15, for shipping in early December. California Olive Ranch uses cutting edge technology, its own groves, and neighboring farmers, to drastically cut the time from picking to crushing olives, arguably the most important quality consideration in the industry. The Limited Reserve is as close to “branch to bottle” as olive oil can be, modeled after Italy’s “Olio Nuovo” (new oil) early harvest tradition. This oil is intentionally bottled with tiny bits of olive fruit suspended in the oil, like orange juice with pulp, delivering extra rich flavor, and as a result it is best enjoyed within nine months of harvest, half the shelf life of other high quality oils. Ultimately the best way to select EVOO is to taste it, and I visited California Olive Ranch during harvest last month and tasted many of their products, including just pressed 2016 oil, and they are an excellent company, but this is their finest product. Bottling began this month, and the oil has a dark green hue and delicious taste, and a 500ml bottle is just $20 (online). If you prefer Mediterranean oils, you can find some new releases, but make sure to look for a “pressed om” or “harvested” date of 2016 – ignore “bottled on” or “use by” dates which give no guarantee of freshness.

In Real Food, Fake Food, a NY Times Bestseller, I examine the many cases of American consumers being misled about the foods they are buying in stores or ordering at restaurants (2016, Algonquin Books)

Real Food, Fake Food: If extra virgin olive oil sounds hard to shop for (it is), try seafood, or natural meats, cheeses, wines, honey, or many other products with misleading labeling and and/or counterfeiting problems. This is my book, but I wouldn’t recommend it as a holiday gift if it didn’t stand out. It is still new, it has gotten rave reviews, was a Kirkus Reveiws Starred Pick (a publishing industry accolade), is a finalist for Best Books of 2016 (Goodreads), made the New York Times Bestseller list, and was selected as a holiday gift pick by Wine Spectator. Multi-Michelin star chef and TV personality Gordon Ramsay tweeted it as holiday gift pick, “Great gift from a great writer,” all the way from London. and the book has been extensively featured on TV (CBS This Morning, Inside Edition, ABC News, CNBC), by major news publications (Time, Wall Street Journal, Dallas Morning News, NY Post) and elsewhere in print (People, Outside, Men’s Health, Men’s Journal, Prevention, etc.). By explaining what makes many of the world’s great foods so good, and the many counterfeits, scams and imitators sold at retail and in restaurants, Real Food, Fake: Why You Don’t Know What You’re Eating What You Can Do About It appeals to both serious food lovers and to anyone who shops, cooks or eats ($16-$28).

Renowned Chef and Author Rick Moonen has launched his own knife company, Blades, and this is his complete essentials set for every kitchen task.

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Local chuck wagon team claims three awards in cook-off

    A local chuck wagon and cooking team claimed awards in three out of four categories in a recent chuck wagon cook-off event held in Fort Worth.
    That three-member cooking team – Terry Adcock, who owns the chuck wagon, and Scott Leonard, both of Lamesa, and James Parker of Lubbock – claimed first place in beans, second place in bread and third place in meat.
    Adcock, Leonard and Parker made up the cooking team for the Sulphur Draw chuck wagon during the cooking competition held at the 2016 Red Steagall Cowboy Gathering and Western Swing Festival.
    That event is held annually on the last weekend of October in the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District.
    All food entries had to be prepared in cast-iron skillets or pots over an open campfire or in Dutch ovens, reminiscent of the actual act of cooking from a chuck wagon for ranch hands in the past. The judges go to each chuck wagon camp, where they are served the meal in dishes around the campfire setting.
    “In addition to the quality and taste of the food that they are served,” Leonard said, “the judges also look inside the pots and skillets that have been used to prepare the meal.
    “They do that to see if you burned anything or if maybe some of the food turned out bad, which also is considered in the judging process.”
    He pointed out that the Fort Worth competition is a little different than most, since cook-off contests usually have blind judging where entries are submitted at a central location in styrofoam containers and judged on quality and taste only.
    The Sulphur Draw team’s winning entries in Fort Worth were pinto beans (first place in beans), yeast rolls (second place in bread) and Carne Guisada (third place in meat).
    The team also had an entry in the dessert category of pear bread pudding with Bourbon Sauce (whiskey butter sauce).


(See complete story in e-Edition online and in printed edition of Lamesa Press-Reporter on newsstands now.)

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Gift ideas for the foodie in your life



When your Christmas list includes cooks, eaters, and food lovers, the shopping is easy and fun. Here are a few gift ideas and sources for presents that will be a hit. Be careful as you’re reading, though, you may see something you just have to have for yourself. Try to hold back and put it on your wish list, or you could always just forward this column to Santa.

Handmade Spurtle

No home should be without a spurtle. This ancient Scottish cooking tool is meant for stirring porridge (oatmeal), but is handy for stirring hearty soups or boiling pasta. Dating from the 15th century, it’s a useful tool in a modern kitchen. Mine stays on the counter in a handy crock of essential tools alongside my collection of spoons and spatulas.

We saw woodturner Derek Andrews of Seafoam Woodturning demonstrating spurtle turning at a wool farm market in River John, Nova Scotia. I had to have one, and at only $13 CDN it’s a hand-crafted bargain. Order yours at Seafoam Woodturning. It comes with “The Spurtle Times,” covering spurtle facts and lore, for a unique and practical stocking stuffer or hostess gift.

New England cookbook

“The New England Kitchen” is a fresh look at New England cooking by James Seawall and Erin Byers Murray. Seawall, a successful Boston area chef and restaurant owner (Linage, The Island Creek Oyster Bar, and Row 34), has deep family roots in New England. He likes nothing better than cooking with the regional bounty, building new recipes on an historical foundation, and taking advantage of new sources for top notch ingredients.

This book will take you on a culinary tour of Red Sox country. It’s packed with recipes ranging from simple to challenging — pot roast on one page and roasted duck leg confit on the next — with clear instructions and often a photo. It satisfies the need for everyday New England comfort food and the occasional challenge that will keep your skills up. The chocolate pudding, for one, was yummy.

Savory writing

“The Best Food Writing of 2016” edited by Holly Hughes. This annual anthology is a perennial on my Christmas list. Hughes has collected the cream of the crop from magazines, blogs, and web publications, doing the hard work for us and picking out the best. Keep the book handy and dip in for five or ten pages whenever you have the time. The writing is excellent and covers a wide range of styles and topics. Great for any food lover!

While I’m thinking about books, I have to bring up two I’ve already discussed at length this year but don’t hesitate to recommend again: “New England Pie, History Under a Crust” by Robert Cox is an entertaining seasonal guide to an iconic food from our region. Cox’s eloquent stories kept me between the crusts to the end; “Robbing the Bees” by Holley Bishop is a fascinating look into the buzzing world of beekeeping and honey production. If you like to peek behind the scenes, like I do, this book will give you the insider’s view.

Cooking gear

Our area’s most complete store for cooking equipment, The Cook’s Nook, has moved from Connecticut Avenue to the former home of Wilton Hardware at 39 Wilton Ave. (Route 7). The familiar warren of small rooms and multiple levels has been replaced by well-lit long aisles of great gear. The friendly staff, often family members, has encyclopedic knowledge of cooking gear and the geography of the store. Whether poking around, making discoveries, picking up a few gifts, or adding to your own Christmas list, time here is always well spent.

Check out the wall of whisks, the stack of strainers, piles of pots and pans, colorful Le Creuset cookware, everything for the home pizza maker and even a cookie cutter in the shape of our state. They’ll have what you need, but if they don’t, they’ll get it. And best of all, the staff knows their business and is eager to help!

Something sharp

We’re lucky to have the Wusthof knife factory outlet store here in Norwalk at 333 Wilson Ave. Knife buyers make the pilgrimage from all over the metro area to get these professional quality knives at deep discounts. Any cook on your list would like a new bread knife, a set of steak knives, carving set, or a complete starter knife set in a wooden counter block. The deals get even better Dec., 8, 9, and 10 at their holiday sale.

Something fishy

For a gift that keeps on giving, sign up for the Community Supported Fishery at Alaskans Own. A box of pristine Alaska seafood, flash frozen right on the dock will be sent monthly. Just like a CSA, they’ll send the top of the catch as the seasons change. In addition to giving delicious fish, you’ll know you’re supporting small boat fishermen and their way of life.

Something cheesy

Take a cheese class together with your favorite eating buddy. The Cheese School at Fairfield Cheese offers a series of classes about once a month. Covering topics like: Cheese 101; Regional Cheeses (Spain or Italy, for instance); and Cheese Pairings (beer, wine, or chocolate), the classes are fun and informative. Sign up for a class and put the syllabus under the tree. Any cheese lover will be thrilled.

Cooking gifts are always welcome for the food fan in your life, and, if you’re lucky, you may get to share in a delicious experience.

Frank Whitman’s Not Bread Alone column runs every Thursday in The Hour. Frank can be reached at

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Gallery of Trees all about the 3 Rs: Recycle, restore, repurpose


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Rusty old wrenches placed end to end. A stack of books. A triangular pile of corkscrews. And twigs, trimmed to finger-length, dusted in white and pieced together in the shape of a small tree.

All are among the more than a dozen creative Christmas trees that can be seen in the front window of the NOT DOT Shop, 127 Main St., Geneseo.

The collection makes up the first “Gallery of Trees,” which was recently unveiled by the artistic, member-owned co-op.

“The shop has a lot of creative people. I never thought I was one of those, so this was fun for me,” said Sharon West, who contributed three trees – the wrenches, a ladder tree and a larger twig tree.

The first-time project was inspired by the shop’s acronym – No One Thing Does One Thing – and a suggestion from Marcia Podhorecki, who opened the co-op in 2010.

In keeping with the shop’s recycle-restore-repurpose mindset, the Gallery of Trees features trees made of recyclable materials or recycled and repurposed items.

“The more we save from the landfill, the more we can save,” said West. “After we decided on this idea, then we thought, ‘How do we make it like a gallery.’ ”

In past years, NOT DOT had decorated the window gallery with holiday themes, including “The Night Before Christmas.” Those windows, however, all showcased merchandise.

This year’s endeavor showcases the members’ artistic talents.

“It’s just like everything at NOT DOT. It just came from an idea,” said Charleen Crump-Nesbitt, the co-op’s newest member. “One person might mention an idea and we all just blue sky it and it works.”

The trees are visible from the downtown co-op’s large front window, and guests may venture inside for a closer look. There, they’ll find more than a dozen tree-shaped creations hanging from the ceiling, scattered around tabletops and leaning against the wall. Several do stand on their own.

The trees range in size from small table-top trees made of twigs, pine cones or corks, to others about 6 feet tall, including the ladder tree, a hydrangea tree and one decorated with straw stars.

Other themes include a clothes hanger tree, feather tree, a kitchen tree that uses kitchen utensils and seasonal cupcake liners, a neck-tie tree, a lathe tree and a pallet tree.

Some of the trees are for sale.

Also featured is a NOT DOT Shop Artisan tree – a tower of different-sized shelves that takes the shape of a tree – that displays many hand-crafted items made by members of NOT DOT Shop.

Maxi Wacholder, one of the shop’s artisans, contributed a tree that features a variety of colorful jewelry pieces.

“I usually do antiques and collectibles, so it was fun to explore taking stuff and putting it all together,” she said.

Wacholder used pieces she had acquired through years of making hats, fingerless gloves and headbands, among other accessories. They were arranged on a screen that came from an antique shop.

West’s wrench tree features tools – some open-ended, some close-ended, about 40 in all – that ranged from an inch or more in diameter to 5/16-inch wrenches at the top of the tree. The wrenches are stamped “steel forged” and have manufacturer’s names such as Craftsman and Ford.

“I looked for what I had a lot of,” said West, who secured the wrenches to an old screen sifter that had once belonged to her grandmother.

And no tree would be complete with a topper. Her’s was a star made of silver nails.

West’s ladder tree was one of the more involved creations. The idea began to take shape after she found the wooden ladder left at the curb. She asked if it was available and it was given to her for free.

“So I took it as a sign,” she said.

West further found inspiration after “searching “trees” and “wooden ladder” on the Internet. The final work is covered in garland, white lights and countless bulbous ornaments – some a reflective brass color, others a more subdued gray or silver silk color.

“There were no restrictions, no stipulation for the creations. We could do whatever we wanted,” West said. “The trees came from just kind of whatever popped in our head.”

Podhorecki created the clothes hanger tree, stretching and bending hangers to create a tree with branches spreading wide. The entire piece was painted green.

Sharon Leary of Geneseo recalled a time spent living in Germany with a young family years ago. At Christmastime they had no decorations for a tree so they learned to make straw stars – a tradition in Germany and Scandinavian countries.

Several of the stars Leary was adding to her tree on Friday afternoon were laced with a strand of red-colored straw.

“It never ceases to amaze me,” Leary, who primarily works in porcelain arts, said as she surveyed the window’s other trees. “The artists here are always making you up your game.”

Crump-Nesbitt created the hydrangea tree using flowers gathered from several gardens – all taken with permission.

“I have used hydrangeas in my own tree at home for Christmas as a special feature. I always thought it would be fun to do something more with them,” she said. “Then came this project and I thought it would be fun to do a whole tree.”

The idea for the Gallery of Trees was first presented in early November, with a deadline set for the weekend before Thanksgiving.

During Thanksgiving week, craft paper covered the window as trees were brought in or constructed on sight. The paper was removed Friday morning.

“I love this window,” Wacholder said. “It’s a combination of all of our talents and everything NOT DOT is about.”

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Steals and Deals: Cookbooks, kitchen cooker, Bliss products and more

Jill’s Steals and Deals contains great deals offered by retailers to TODAY viewers.

Please click on the following website links to be directed to the offers from the companies we featured, and be sure to read the details. Conditions and restrictions may apply. If you have any specific questions about these details, please contact with the retailers making the offers.

More video

Neither Jill Martin, Hip2Save nor TODAY profits from these recommendations or from sales — we’re just looking to help you find the very best deals. The exclusive deals to TODAY viewers will last about 24 hours, but check the specific retailers’ sites for specific terms and conditions. Prices below do not include any fees or shipping or handling.

Follow TODAY on Facebook so you don’t miss any of these amazing offers!

Due to an overwhelming response, some of these products’ sites may experience technical difficulties. Each company is working on resolving their technical issues. Check back here for more information on other ways to purchase them.


Penguin Random House

Penguin Random House Cookbook Sets

Retail price: $67-$70

Discount price: $21

Percent discount: Up to 70 percent off!

Discount code: TODAYBOOKS

(To purchase the cookbook set, click on one of the two links above. Enter the discount code on the landing page and click enter. From there, you’ll be able to order your items at the discounted price.)

Penguin Random House is offering their cookbook sets from bestselling cookbook authors at a deep discount to TODAY viewers.

Give 9 fall cookbook sets from bestselling cookbook authors as gifts this holiday season!

These cookbook sets feature some of the hottest and most renowned chefs and cookbook authors — from Ina Garten to Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis and more!

Choose from a wide assortment of Italian, French, Southern, as well as, quick and easy comfort food favorites, healthy and decadent.

Penguin Random House says their product will arrive within two weeks at an estimated shipping cost of $6.95. All sales are final. For more information and to buy the $67-70 product for $21, click here.

Have a question about the product? Contact


Cru Dinnerware

CRU by Darbie Angell 5-Piece Place Setting

Retail price: $138.99-$149

Discount price: $45

Percent discount: Up to 70 percent off!


(To purchase the dinnerware, click on one of the two links above. Enter the discount code on the landing page and click enter. From there, you’ll be able to order your items at the discounted price.)

CRU by Darbie Angel is offering their dinnerware at a deep discount to TODAY viewers.

This 5-piece place setting is available in 2 different patterns: The Athena 24K Gold Collection and the Madison’s April in NY Collection.

The Athena Collection features an intricate trim and scrolling vines in sparkling 24K gold and the Madison Collection features a hand painted lush cherry blossom design.

Each set includes:

  • 1 Dinner Plate 10 1/2″
  • 1 Salad Plate 8 1/8″
  • 1 Rim Soup 9 3/8″
  • 1 Cup 5 Ounces
  • 1 Saucer 5 5/8″

All pieces are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.

CRU by Darbie Angell says their product will arrive within two weeks at an estimated shipping cost of $14.95. All sales are final. For more information and to buy the $138.99-$149 product for $45, click here.

Have a question about the product? Contact



Marquis by Waterford Set of Three Snowflake Ornaments

Retail price: $99

Discount price: $29.99

Percent discount: 70 percent off!

Discount code: TODAYCRYSTAL

(To purchase the ornaments, click on one of the two links above. Enter the discount code on the landing page and click enter. From there, you’ll be able to order your items at the discounted price.)

Waterford is offering their snowflake ornaments at a deep discount to TODAY viewers.

Deck the halls with dazzling Marquis by Waterford!

This three-piece ornament set twinkles in the light while each hang from a satin red ribbon

Each piece is incredibly lightweight, so there’s no need to worry about heavy glass weighing down your tree or wreath

They make beautiful stocking stuffers for everyone on your list.

Waterford says their product will arrive within two weeks at an estimated shipping cost of $7.95. All sales are final. For more information and to buy the $99 product for $29.99, click here.

Have a question about the product? Contact:



Think Kitchen Triple Crock Stoneware Cooker

Retail price: $316

Discount price: $69

Percent discount: 78 percent off!

Discount code: TODAYTRIPLE

(To purchase the cooker, click on one of the two links above. Enter the discount code on the landing page and click enter. From there, you’ll be able to order your items at the discounted price.)

Think Kitchen is offering their cooker at a deep discount to TODAY viewers.

The Think Kitchen Triple Crock Stoneware Cooker allows you to simultaneously cook 3 different foods at the same time at different temperatures.

It’s perfect for entertaining over the holidays to keep 3 of your dishes warm or hot when guests are serving themselves.

Each crock pot has a 1.5 quart (6 cups) capacity, they are oven save up to 536 degrees and each is removable and easy to clean.

The unit comes with lid holders for easy storage when serving.

Each crock pot comes with lid straps designed for portability and convenience.

The Think Kitchen Triple Crock Stoneware Cooker has a stainless finish with metal handles and tempered glass lids for easy viewing.

Think Kitchen says their product will arrive within one-two weeks at an estimated shipping cost of $9.95. All sales are final. For more information and to buy the $316 product for $69, click here.

Have a question about the product? Contact



bliss ‘scent’sational butter suds set

Retail price: $94

Discount price: $29

Percent discount: 70 percent off!

Discount code: TODAY16

(To purchase the set, click on one of the two links above. Enter the discount code on the landing page and click enter. From there, you’ll be able to order your items at the discounted price.)

bliss is offering their beauty set at a deep discount to TODAY viewers.

Straight from our spa services, this set contains two skin-loving, full-size, citrus-scented body butters and soapy suds tucked in our signature tote.

The set includes:

  • bliss paraben free lemon + sage body butter (6.7 oz): The scent that made us famous, the butter that is used in every bliss massage.
  • bliss lemon + sage soapy suds (16 oz): This citrus-scented liquid soap whips up a luxe lather that cleans and conditions for supremely soft skin. Use as a body wash to shake up your shower, or pour a bit into the bath for a more stimulating soak.
  • bliss paraben free blood orange + white pepper body butter (6.7 oz): The butter used in every bliss spa massage has energizing citrus scent blends bright blood orange and spicy white pepper top notes with nuances of coriander and white musk.
  • bliss blood orange + white pepper soapy suds (16 oz): This vibrantly scented liquid soap whips up a luxe lather that cleans and conditions for supremely soft skin.
  • All in a class bliss tote.

bliss says their product will arrive within two weeks at an estimated shipping cost of $10.95. All sales are final. For more information and to buy the $94 product for $29, click here.

Have a question about the product? Contact:



Godinger 9-Piece Barware Set and Non-Leaded Crystal Vase Bowl Sets

Retail price: $124-$140

Discount price: $42

Percent discount: Up to 70 percent off!

Discount code: TODAYBARWARE

(To purchase the barware, click on one of the two links above. Enter the discount code on the landing page and click enter. From there, you’ll be able to order your items at the discounted price.)

Godinger is offering their barware set at a deep discount to TODAY viewers.

The 9-piece stainless steel barware set is perfect for entertaining and holidays. It comes with:

  • 14” Bar Tray
  • Double Walled Ice Bucket
  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Ice Tongs
  • Bottle Opener
  • Double Jigger
  • Strainer
  • Lemon Peeler

Choose from antique gold or silver with black leatherette.

  • Century 12″ vase and 14″ bowl 2-piece set.

Choose from clear or red.

Goldinger says their product will arrive within two weeks at an estimated shipping cost of $10.95 for the barware and $17.95 for the vase and bowl set. All sales are final. For more information and to buy the $124-$140 product for $42, click here.

Have a question about the product? Contact


Stationery Studio

Precious Metal Hand-Bordered Note Cards

Retail price: $125

Discount price: $37.50

Percent discount: 70 percent off!

Discount code: TODAYSTUDIO

(To purchase the note cards, click on one of the two links above. Enter the discount code on the landing page and click enter. From there, you’ll be able to order your items at the discounted price.)

Stationery Studio is offering their note cards at a deep discount to TODAY viewers.

Gift the look of luxe gold, brilliant silver, stately copper or edgy titanium this season. Our precious metal hand-bordered note cards will make your holiday gifting shine bright.

You’ll get a set of 50 personalized white flat note cards (6.25″ x 4.5″) hand-bordered with metallic ink and unlined envelopes.

Choose from 4 border colors, typestyle, raised ink personalization color.

Note cards arrive packaged in an elegant gift box.

Stationery Studio says their product will arrive guaranteed before Christmas at an estimated shipping cost of $9.95. All sales are final. For more information and to buy the $125 product for $37.50, click here.

Have a question about the product? Contact


*Important Editor’s Note*

If you have any specific questions about the details, the products’ websites or inventory, please check with the retailers making the offers. You can find their contact information on the sites — this is your best bet.

If you have a comment for TODAY, submit it here. Please note that TODAY staffers are unable to respond to every email.

Looking for information about previous Jill’s Steals and Deals broadcasts? Find contact information for the retailers here.

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Jan Hoyman Studio invites community to annual holiday open studio at new space

Rosaura Ortiz and Josh Madsen

Jan Hoyman Studio is having a Holiday Open Studio at the new space, 323 N. Main St., Ukiah on Saturday, Dec. 3, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Ever since 1979, friends, neighbors and newcomers have been gathering for the annual gala Holiday Open Studio on the first Saturday of December. Each September, Hoyman and her team launch an intense work schedule to produce three times their usual inventory to assemble their wares to delight the community at this festive holiday gathering.

Presently there are 12 Jan Hoyman pottery patterns that hold a special presence in numerous homes and businesses around Mendocino County and beyond that have emerged over the years to include the recent “Quail” pattern by apprentice Ann Kasten.

In addition to the ongoing patterns, there will be unique whimsical and holiday designs on special items for this Holiday Open Studio, including the “Holly” theme that evolves differently each year.

Also this year, past apprentice Jess Thompson, who now teaches ceramics at Mendocino College, will be featuring her limited edition plates and cups with her “Angel” patterns.

This holiday season Hoyman is especially proud of her re-visioned and spacious retail store (formerly Graces Clothing Store) that fronts her working studio. The vividly colored dinnerware and specialty pieces are assembled artistically amid the newly designed wood casings.

Now utilizing the entire building again takes Hoyman full circle back to 1980 when the enterprise was called Earthenware Potters. In 1990, the business made the move to make dinnerware requiring a differed kind of clay. This period involved concentrating on design, shipping the pottery to high-end galleries around the country, and being featured in such magazines as Architectural Digest, House Garden, and Sunset.

In 2007, Graces moved into the front space, where the pottery was displayed until this past September when Hoyman re-established the entire building.

Jan Hoyman, an award winning ceramics artist and the sole owner of Jan Hoyman Studio, is dedicated to her internship program, that she launched in 2000 and has had 10 interns to date. Besides teaching the necessary studio skills such as making slabs, glazing, and decorating, it has been important to Jan to instill good job skills and successful life navigation.

“I enjoy the ongoing relationship of my team,” says Hoyman, “and I feel that my creativity is enriched by the workers around me. It has also taught me to be more flexible and the value of details from their viewpoint.”

Josh Madsen has been learning and working with Hoyman for 18 years, and Rosaura Ortiz began 15 years ago in a Workability Program, a state sponsored program for high school students.

Ortiz says, “My high school pottery teacher, Mr. Mattsson, planted the idea in me about making pottery for a profession, and my career counselor helped set up the internship. I loved it right away, and I still enjoy every minute.”

Hoyman reflects, “Josh and Rosaura have been with me for such a long time, that they have become foundational to our work as they have grown and found their own creative niches.”

Over the years, Jan has focused more on her ever expanding local clientele. She says, “The Ukiah Valley is where I feel comfortable and this is reflected in my work. I like that my pottery strikes a chord in the community, and I feel like I want to give back and to share the joy in being recognized.” Indeed, Jan Hoyman ceramics appear to be donated at most community events.

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