I'm feeling a little bah humbug here (perhaps because it's barely mid November?) and just backspaced over my holiday rant. In the interest of not bringing you down, consider yourself spared. Would you please me come up with a list of chowy gifts? Food stuffs. Restaurant or market certificates (bah!) Gift certificates for food stuffs...
In the past we've liked:
France 44 gift certificates
Hells Kitchen peanut butter and bison bread
Golden Fig gift certificates
What else? Anything local or from any place in the metro area, please. Something delicious.
We love Golden Fig, too, but we've gone to that well too many times, I"m afraid. You know you're in a gift exchange rut when you're giving certificates and receiving gift certicates for the same establishment. (Part of the holiday rant I deleted).
Are there any particular food items there that are new and interesting that you recommend? (I"ll admit, I haven't been in about a year as G.F. is a nightmare if you're a parent with an excitable toddler...)
GC's for any of the places that have good cooking classes - Cooks of Crocus Hills, Kitchen Window, Kitchen in the Market, etc). Always fun for a foodie.
Heartland Farm Direct Market. Don't know if they have gift certificates (but I bet a restaurant cert will work in the market). Good jams/jelles/preserves/conserves, pickled things, sauces, salsas, chutneys, etc.
Surdyk's. Who doesn't like booze and cheese? Plus truffle butter, duck confit, olives, oils, preserves, chocolates, etc.
Another suggestion would be seeking out Oregon Truffles online. They aren't as good as the real McCoy's (still very good), but they are one millionth the price.
Does Patisserie 46 or Rustica do gift cards?
Osseo meat market used to do excellent beef jerky. I haven't had it for years. It's probably a haul for you, but Mackenthuns in St. Boni does a bunch of different jerkys that are great, too.
Not local, but I am recently addicted and completely crazy for the Barry Callebaut semi-sweet chocolate chips from King Arthur. They redefine chocolate chips as you think you know them. Disclaimer: we are a never-without-chewy-chocolate-chip-cookies-in-the-freezer household. I think the three pound bag makes a great gift for anyone who bakes. I also love that I can stash them for last minute gifting. KA has 20% off everything right now, too.