Curb the Christmas Stress with Grazing and Gift Ideas from Houston’s One-Stop Holiday Shop

Curb the Christmas Stress with Grazing and Gift Ideas from Houston’s One-Stop Holiday Shop

Central Market cheese boards

IS YOUR HEAD starting to spin with thoughts of all the planning, prepping and cooking holiday meals? It’s that time of year when Central Market can easily become an essential part of your shopping. You only need to go to one market — plus, it’s a fun shopping adventure, and you can even buy gifts!

Founded by Charles Butt, the owner of Texas-based H-E-B Grocery Co., the first Central Market opened in 1994 in Austin and now there are branches across America. Butt’s vision was to make Central Market a destination for high-quality and specialty food like cheeses, coffees, chocolates and condiments from all over the globe; house-baked bread; prime meat and seafood; terrific wines and prepared foods. Even its floral department is awe-inspiring.

Central Market recently hosted a Holiday Spectacular where many of the foodie gifts, desserts, wines, cooked seafood and beef, and chef-made meals were on display to prove that the stress of holiday cooking can be alleviated. Expect seven different chef-prepared meal options and a complete holiday feast for up to 14 guests.

Braised short-rib meal

Cast-iron skillet by Fredericksburg Co.

Calyan Wax soy evergreen eucalyptus candle

Bûche de noël

Artajo olive oils

A few meals to consider include the All-Natural Oven-Roasted Traditional Turkey Meal with cornbread dressing, green beans with toasted almonds, whipped Yukon potatoes, turkey gravy, and cranberry sauce (serves six to eight). The Herb-Encrusted Beef Tenderloin Meal comes complete with herb au jus, jalapeño pecan dressing, green beans with toasted almonds, and whipped Yukon potatoes (serves six to eight). There’s a spiral ham option, turkey breast, as well as a vegetarian meal.

Prepared side dishes are available to go with your main meal like Italian sausage bread stuffing, apple, walnut and coastal cheddar salad, oven roasted vegetables, herb-roasted delicata squash, roasted Brussels sprouts, and macaroni and cheese. The fresh meat market carries indulgences including USDA Prime Natural Angus Beef standing rib roast; natural Prime Angus Beef Chateaubriand; Heritage Duroc French rack of pork and the Heritage Duroc pork crown roast.

Appetizers are many, with select cheese trays available from the artisan cheese department. And don’t forget dessert from the in-house bakery! Take home fresh pies baked in a flaky pie shell in nine flavors: four season, traditional apple, traditional cherry, pumpkin chiffon, pumpkin cream cheese, traditional pecan, bourbon pecan, and chocolate pecan. Spread holiday cheer with chocolate bûche de noël, pumpkin bread, stout gingerbread, and brioche pull-apart dinner rolls. Holiday Meals ordering will close at 6pm on Dec. 22 – visit this link to order and note designated pick-up dates and times.

Sophisticated foodie and hostess gifts we spied at the holiday showcase ranged from seasonal candles — think eucalyptus and pumpkin spice — to Haku Mizunara Whiskey Barrel aged Shoyu and lovely Flamigni half panettone, the ultimate Italian holiday sweet bread dotted with fruit and tied up with a red bow. For the olive oil aficionado, the Artajo Olive Oil gift set includes six varieties to savor and cook with.

Another unexpected find is the Fredericksburg Cast Iron Co. cast iron skillet. Made in Fredericksburg, Texas, this heavy-duty beauty has a glass-smooth polished interior not found in other cast iron cookware. Each skillet is seasoned by hand, creating a non-stick cooking experience. The envy of every cook!

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