So are you getting back into a routine after the first round of holidays? This is the time of year when things get crazy where I work, so I don't have as much time to spend on my hobbies. For a change of pace, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite Iowa discoveries over the past year. These would make great gifts and stocking stuffers for those hard-to-shop-for friends, co-workers and family members.
Farmers Best Gourmet Popcorn, grown in Rockwell City, Iowa: I was fortunate to meet the family that grows Farmers Best Gourmet Popcorn, and they generously gave me a free sample so I can discover what makes their popcorn a "premium" product. Farmers Best popcorn is tender, white popcorn that doesn't have the tough hulls that the brand-name popcorns have. You can find Farmers Best popcorn in 1-pound bags, or in microwaveable bags, at several Hy-Vee and Fareway stores across Iowa. Or order online at www.farmersbestpopcorn.com.
Spring Valley Honey Farms lip balm, from Perry Iowa: I love these little honey-flavored lip balms so much! I carry one in my purse and one in my make-up drawer so I'm never far from them. They're a must for the dry winters, and I prefer these honey lip balms to the Burt's Bees products. In the summer, you can buy these at the Iowa Honey Producers booth at the Iowa State Fair. Or order online at www.springvalleyhoneyfarms.com. (Don't forget to buy some Iowa honey on the site, too.)
Beaverdale Confections gourmet marshmallows, from Des Moines, Iowa: I discovered these marshmallows at the World Food Festival in Des Moines this fall, and it was love at first bite! These soft marshmallows come in a variety of yummy flavors (the marshmallows pictured above are coconut and caramel flavored). I'm planning to buy these for holiday gifts this year, and a few extra for myself! They would be perfect with hot chocolate. Visit the candy store in Beaverdale, or order online at http://www.beaverdaleconfections.com/.
Do you plan to shop local for the holidays? Do you have a favorite local product that would be perfect for gift-giving? I would love to hear about it.