Holiday Shopping List

One by one, the Christmas songs march over the radio, infiltrating until they have command of all stations.

I seek refuge in the trenches of holiday denial. Thoughts peek into my mind about sending gifts to my family back East, but I lull them sleep with plans for mailing them some holiday bread. One by one the gifts disappear, and I sit at my desk unaware while the cats make boats out of cold, empty bread pans.

By Christmas eve, quality gifts are an endangered species, ravished by the hunting procrastinator. Sadly, my ghost of Christmas past walks me through the department store with a list of names and an empty cart.  How easily I fool myself with intention! The rumpled scarves made in China, and scathed boxes of plastic toys seem soul-less. In the end, I throw something into the cart, and tell myself “it’s the thought that counts” while trying hard not to think about the real meaning of the words.

This year I am doing things differently, and with a little help from my local (and not so local) friends, I have put together a one-stop shopping list. Here is a list of some of my favorite businesses, and the fantastic gifts that they have to offer!


give the gift of art! Nothing says “I am paying attention to you” than the gift of a well-chosen piece of artwork. Not paying attention? Give a gift certificate instead (many of these artists offer gift certificates). Click on the artists name to link to their site.

Catherine Stenhjem beautiful wood cut-outs

Catherine Stenhjem paint on wood cut-outs

Christina Habibi abstract originals

You have not lived until you have lived with a Habibi.

"Ponyride" Christina Habibi

Amy McPartlin pet portraiture

"Jackson" Amy McPartlin


For many of us, the holidays are a time when food rules go out the window, where we loosen our belts to allow some room in our waistlines for tradition and the comfort of cookies. What about those, however, who can’t cheat with impunity? What about the people with food allergies and intolerances? Check out these two sites!

Autism Cottage mail-order allergen free cookies and cakes

Gluten-free, casein-free pecan sandies

The Bare food Chef allergen free meals delivered to your home (Twin Cities, MN)

Affairs of Living 2011 gluten, rice, dairy, casein, eggs, soy, corn, tree-nuts, peanuts, tomato, potato, citrus, shellfish, and cane sugar free recipe calendar

Inspired by a friend who was battling cancer, sisters Jessica and Stephanie recently launched the HopeFULL company. Their product is a frozen meal-pop kit as well as delicious original recipes from the sisters and poetic writings from yours truly 🙂 The kit is a perfect gift for a family friend who is undergoing chemotherapy, as frozen meals are easier on the palate. As it turns out, frozen hopeFULLS are an awesome snack for kids (and Christina’s and Emily’s), and they make a great post-run recovery treat!


HopeFULL gift pack $39.99


This stuff is AMAZING, which should come as no surprise. Bee products have  anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties, and they are incredible for the skin! The lotion bars are an essential for anyone planning to play outdoors this winter. Worker B products make a fantastic gift for your Minnesota friends!

Worker B

Worker B Scented lotion $15


Catherine Nicole Jewelry

Okay, so Catherine Nicole is not from Minnesota, but she is offering free shipping for anything over $100 and her jewelry is really cool. She is on teetering on the edge of national fame, so buy her jewelry before it is too late and the prices become insane!!

Catherine Nicole earrings $88

Eversharp knives give the gift of Wusthof.. at a discounted price

If you live in the win cities and have not yet been to Eversharp, you are missing out!! This place is amazing, and run by true experts!

Need I say more?

That’s all for now! Check back for more links as the holiday approaches.

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Welcome to Noble Plate!

Hi. I am Emily.

At the risk of seeming greedy, I have to confess that this is the start of my third blog.

Here’s why.

90 salads in 90 days was my first blog project. Nearly three years ago, on a whim and backed by the strong breeze of facebook encouragement, I committed to creating an original salad recipe daily for 90 days. Each daily salad was served with a side dish of creative writing and a photo. I had so much fun making salads, that I completed a second season this past summer.

All 180 salads can be viewed by clicking on this link: 90 salads in 90 days

When salad season ended, I began to miss the daily ritual. I missed the writing, the exciting world of food photography, the intimacy with readers, the vegetables. Leafy reader is my second blog. It is how I stayed connected through the winter. On this site you will find plenty of soup recipes (we had a ritual of “soup on Sunday”), as well dinner recipes (a spin-off of 90 salads called “28 days of dinner at home”).

Leafy reader can be viewed here: leafy reader

Noble Plate is the umbrella site for all my future blogging. I don’t anticipate a third season of 90 salads, but I do hope to grow this site with equal dedication. I will be serving up recipes simmered in science, seasoned with spirit, and saturated in memories.

Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for stopping in to the Noble Plate!

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