What Lies Beneath
These scrumptious truffled truffles are made with chocolate and the other kind of truffles-the kind that are related to mushrooms and grow underground. The flavor combination is subtle, sweet and delicious. A 4.9-ounce box of five truffles costs $18 at Señor Murphy (Santa Fe Place, 471-8899).
Toast and Boast
Tired of bringing nice wine to your in-laws' house and then being forced to drink it out of jelly jars? Slip a few Riedel stems (or "O" series tumblers) under the tree and you'll be sipping pretty by New Year's Eve. From $10 to $33 each at Liquor Barn (2885 Cerrillos Road, 471-3960).
This vintage-style dish towel tote is big enough to hold even a hungry family's farmers market haul. And it's educational! State landmarks pictured on it include Carlsbad Caverns, White Sands and the "Oldest Outbuilding." And it's only $10 at the Palace of the Governors gift shop (105 W. Palace Ave., 988-3454).
Sweeten the Sour
Margarita aficionados already know that the lime green lime ***image5***squeezer is the easiest and most efficient way to extract the maximum juice from even the tiniest lime. Just slice the fruit in half, put it in cut side down and squeeeeze! Dishwasher safe and purty, too. Only $13.95 at Gift 'n' Gourmet (55 Old Santa Fe Trail, 982-5953).
Everything tastes great when pulled from the oven with these adorable piggy potholders. These hand-screened potholders are made by artist Joan McDonald in her Dixon studio and come in dozens of designs (like the T-Rex clutching a beer). Priced at $10 each at La Montañita Co-op (913 W. Alameda St., 984-2852).
Fire 'Em Up
Renowned northern New Mexico potter Felipe Ortega and Tijeras-based Brian Grossnickle make these sparkly micaceous cooking pots that glitter and shine while cooking your beans. The unglazed pots are lead-free, watertight and can be used directly ***image8***over an open flame. Grossnickle's pots cost $75 per quart; Ortega's cost $100 per quart. In various shapes and sizes at Pasqual's Gallery (121 Don Gaspar, 983-9340).
Send your significant other to cooking classes at the Santa Fe School of Cooking (116 W. San Francisco St., 983-4511). Buy a gift card in any amount, include a schedule and let your culinary student pick his or her own course load. Classes start at $40.
Slice through that holiday table tension with this wood and turquoise inlaid carving set. The blanket pattern is shown (with cocobolo, cordia and olive wood), but other materials (like mother of pearl, jet and lapis) and patterns are available. The set costs $160 at Santa Fe Stoneworks (3790 Cerrillos Road, 471-3953).
Starting with Ingredients, a massive, comprehensive new cookbook, is a must-have for the weekend kitchen warrior. Author Aliza Green takes on everything from almonds to zucchini in this 1,024-page tome, and succeeds in making even ugli fruit seem tame. Available for $39.95 at Collected Works (208 W. San Francisco St., 988-4226).
Black and White
Class up someone's dinner act with a gleaming set of antique salt and pepper shakers. This set of Asian shakers will set you back $488, but other sets start as low as $20. Get them engraved and the recipient can tell everyone they were her great-grandmother's. From Things Finer, inside the La Fonda Hotel (100 E. San Francisco St., 983-5552).