$19.99; Williams Sonoma; chefn.com
This compact hand-powered food processor allows you to chop large pieces of food from onions and garlic to baby food, fruits and nuts. You control how fine the chop by the number of pulls on the cord – no plug-in power needed. The handle and pull cord store neatly on top of the lid. The bowl, blade and lid are dishwasher safe.
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Rabbit Velvet champagne set
$30; Crate&Barrel; rabbitwine.com
If you’re like some of us who are intimidated by the thought of opening a bottle of bubbly, here’s a set that will instill confidence. It includes pliers designed to secure the cork, and should there be any leftover, a sealer that allows it to stay fresh and effervescent for days. The zinc finish of the pliers and sealer is even called “champagne.”
Vincente Delicacies’ pistachio crema
$13.89 for a 6.3 ounce container; Corti Bros. (5810 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento); vincentedelicacies.com
Corti Bros, one of Sacramento’s most reliable shopping destinations for the holidays, has a new line of nut butters, nougat candies and brittles from Vincente Delicacies of Sicily. The queen of the offerings is pistachio crema. Thick, luscious and rich, it’s made from green Bronte pistachios. “They’re the rarest pistachios in the world because the trees are alternate-bearing and the nuts are harvested only in odd-numbered years,” said store director Rick Mindermann, who suggests using it as a dessert topping.
Lays West Coast Truffle Fries potato chips
$3.29 for 7.75-ounce bag; Nugget and other retailers; www.fritolay.com
This unusual chip flavor was the California finalist in the Lays “Do Us a Flavor” contest. Though it was beaten out by Biscuits and Gravy, who can really argue with adding duck fat and truffles to thin-sliced fried potatoes?
Free; Waterbar (399 The Embarcadero, San Francisco); waterbarsf.com
Instead of a gingerbread house, San Francisco’s Waterbar has created a gingerbread palace. It’s a salute to the city’s landmark Palace of Fine Arts, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Made by Angela Salvatore, Waterbar’s executive pastry chef, it will remain on display through Dec. 31.
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