2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Andy Lien


1. Ruth Hunt Candies Cream Candy and The Cocoa Co. Hot Cocoa

Smooth and sweet, these delectables are new to my palate and sure to become mainstays. When I was little, I thought Divinity was the most exquisite of light, white holiday confections. I was wrong. Cream Candy from Kentucky is what angels make for the discerning…and Patric at Mona Williams imports it to Minnesota for our pleasure. I recommend both the regular version and the dark chocolate-dipped lovelies.
Mona Williams
Cream Candy ($17) and Cocoa ($20)


2. Minnesota Beatle Project Vol. 5
The last in the series of CDs produced by Vega Productions to raise money for music education in Minnesota by way of local artists singing Beatles songs, the series goes out with a bang.  Our favorites are covered by Actual Wolf, Zoo Animal, Carroll, Gary Burger (of the Monks), The Suburbs, Sonny Knight & The Lakers, Chris Bierden of Polica, Meme, Dosh, Greycoats, The Okee Dokee Brothers, The Cactus Blossoms, and the Denfield High School Jazz Band. Adam Turman artistically depicts Minnesota icons as the Fab Four, making the CD even more of a keepsake. The release date is December 3.
Available at Target, local independent stores, and online.


3. Pottery by Caufield Clay Works
I live in an artist community and regularly drool over the works of my neighbors, none so much as the art by Kevin Caufield of Caufield Clay Works. When I first saw this beautiful piece a few years ago, I knew I had to have it. Its melted, broken glass center sparkles like an agate and makes my whole loft prettier with its presence. Kevin also specializes in custom dinnerware and woodfired pottery that includes drinking vessels, bowls, sushi sets, vases, teapots, and so much more.
Prices vary.
On Facebook: Caufield Clay Works


4. Variety of Gift Ribbons
I love wrapped presents. Note the past tense, there. Of course, when I have to actually do the wrapping, I like to make the whole operation (and end results) fun and attractive. This six-pack of ribbons from Target helps me dress up my gifts at a reasonable price.


5. Stun Guns for Juggling
No. I don’t want weapons for Christmas, I’m a dove…a pacifist, if you will. But, I do love seeing me some comedy that features three guys–Reynaldo, Bald Guy, and Other One–doing death-defying (and relatively ridiculous) stunts like juggling active stun guns between two of them while the third balances on a metal ladder in the middle. It never gets old. Make sure you get your tickets to the holiday show by The Danger Committee at the Brave New Workshop this season and see that  (and so much more) for yourself.
A Stocking Full of Awesome III: You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out
Nov 29th, 2013 – Jan 4th, 2014


6. Holiday and Heritage Blends by Christopher Mohs
I find the coolest people in the best places. Christopher Mohs and I started following each other on Instagram because we’re both food enthusiasts. Then I found out that he’s a  Minnesota native and carving out a name in the foodie world of New York City, first with his book Great Eats! In A New York Minute, Or Two as well as this entire line of spices and products which is inspired heavily by Minnesotan and Scandinavian flavors along with a variety of other global influences.  Pictured here: Holiday Spice Artisan Blend (Sweet), The Woods Artisan Blend (Savoury), Tuscan Sun Artisan Blend (Savoury), Crumble Spice Artisan Blend (Sweet), Nordic Fields Artisan Blend (Savoury), Artisan Scent Candles (Crumble Spice, Sandalwood, Pear Spice Cake), and Holiday Spice Cider Steeping Bags.

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