Category Archives: Food Gifts

Gourmet Gift Baskets for Mother’s Day and a Giveaway!

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I received a nice surprise on my doorstep the other day–a beautiful gift basket from GourmetGiftBaskets.com. It was carefully packaged in a box and arrived in perfect condition with a festive bow wrapped around the basket. You have a chance to win this gourmet basket of goodies, too (a $99.00 value)–see the end of the post for details! If you’re not familiar with GourmetGiftBaskets.com, it’s a family-owned business that is one of the fastest-growing online gift companies in the U.S. They’ve been featured on Food Network and in many magazines like Bon Appétite, Gourmet, and Food & Wine.

Mother’s Day is next weekend and if you’re needing a last-minute gift for mom, you’ll find lots of special Mother’s Day Gift baskets to choose from–one of these gourmet baskets would make a wonderful gift for her! Here are some of the different baskets you can choose from:

MothersDayGourmetGiftsI wanted to point out that in the golf gift basket, the golf bag holding the gourmet goodies is actually a cooler that mom can use on the golf course–how great is that? There are even more gifts and goodies at the website–including a special Mother’s Day Cake and Cookie Cake–with a variety of price ranges to fit your budget. Click here to see the full selection. The gift basket I received was the Bountiful Harvest Fruit Gift Basket which included fresh fruit, Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Artisan Crackers, Caramel Fruit and Snack Dip, Peanut Brittle, several kinds of Gourmet Cookies, Peanut Crunch, Roasted Peanuts, Snack Mix, some chocolate candies, and Gourmet Popcorn.

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What a wonderful combination of goodies! Who wouldn’t love to receive a gift like this? Well, now is your chance to win the same kind of basket that I received from GourmetGiftBaskets.com–they will send your basket directly to you!

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 9.10.38 PMTHE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. Congratulations to commentor #22, Kendra, on winning the giveaway!

If you’d like to enter the giveaway to win the Bountiful Harvest Fruit Gift Basket, leave a comment on this blog post between now and Monday evening, May 4 at 8 p.m. (CST). The random drawing will be made from the comments on this post only! The winner will be chosen randomly via Random.org and announced later on Monday evening, May 4. Winner will be notified via email (if winner does not respond within 24 hours, I will do another drawing). Giveaway is limited to readers in the Continental U.S.

First entry: Leave a comment on this post letting me know what your favorite Mother’s Day gift basket is from the Gourmet Gifts Baskets collection.

Bonus entry: If you are a new or existing follower or subscriber, you can leave one extra comment telling me the way (or ways) you are following.

Note: If your comment doesn’t show up right away, don’t worry–it just means I haven’t had the chance to click on it to approve it before it becomes visible!

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Easter Trail Mix

Easter Trail Mix @ NancyCAs I’ve mentioned before, something that’s hard for me to resist when I see the long aisle of Easter candy at the store are those malted milk speckled eggs–malt balls covered with a candy coating. I eat way too many of them! One year, I told myself I would not buy any of those eggs unless I used them in a recipe. So I came up with this Easter Trail Mix—a blend of chocolatey sweets mixed in with some healthy ingredients. The mini speckeled eggs and pastel M&M’s give the mix plenty of chocolatey taste and spring color, and the Continue reading

Gift Wrap Ideas for Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day is just a few days away…if you still need ideas for ways to wrap or package your Valentine gifts, treats, or candy, here are some fresh ideas!

Above, Valentine Present Toppers from Julep look really easy to make–see instructions and downloadable heart shapes here.

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Lots of great downloadable Valentine labels for jars, gift bags, and other containers are available here at World Label.

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Speaking of jars, here’s a pretty way to dress up a jar and put a gift inside…like a food gift or candle. From The Pleated Poppy.

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Also at World Label, special treat labels and stickers for coffee or hot cocoa cups, chocolate bars, and goody bags. See instructions and downloadable designs here.

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Check out these Candy Huggers…a fun way for kids to give Valentine Candy! See downloads and instructions here at Lia Griffith.

Hope these ideas give you some inspiration for Valentine’s Day! 🙂

Linked to Thursday Favorite Things at Katherine’s Corner.

Egg Nog Mini Loaves

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Egg Nog is one of those foods that signal the beginning of the holiday season. I first noticed it this year in the grocery store about three weeks before Thanksgiving. I usually buy a few cartons during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays and pretty much always have some left over after Christmas. Which is great, because it gives me an excuse to bake some egg nog goodies! Like these Egg Nog Mini Loaves, for example.

After having lots of super-sweet holiday treats, I was wanting something just a little sweet, and these little loaves turned out to be just the thing! They’re moist, slightly sweet, and have a mild egg nog flavor, so even those who aren’t crazy about egg nog may like them. These mini loaves rise really nicely, too (Note: I also tried making this recipe as a 9 x 5″ loaf, but since it sunk a little in the middle, I think it works best for mini loaves, and probably muffins, too).

If you’d like to sweeten these loaves up a little more, sprinkle on a dusting of powdered sugar after they’ve cooled or add an egg nog glaze on top (try the glaze that I used on these Egg Nog Muffins).

EGG NOG MINI LOAVES by NancyC

Makes three 5 x 3″ mini loaves

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup egg nog
  • 1/3 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons rum extract
  • Optional: Egg Nog Glaze

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour three 5 x 3″ mini loaf pans; set aside.

In large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

In medium bowl, beat eggs, egg nog, yogurt, sugar, butter, and vanilla and rum extracts, blending well. Add this mixture to dry ingredients, stirring just enough to moisten.

Pour into prepared mini loaf pans. Bake at 350˚F for 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (I baked mine for 32 minutes).

Cool loaves for 10 minutes in pans, then remove to wire rack to cool completely. If desired, glaze with Egg Nog Glaze (click here for the recipe–I’ve used it before on some egg nog muffins).

As the holidays wind down, these Egg Nog Mini Loaves are the perfect treat with some coffee or tea. Hope you had an enjoyable holiday and wishing you a safe, healthy, and happy New Year!

Cranberry Pecan Pumpkin Muffins

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After baking quite a few mini loaves for the holidays, I thought I’d try some muffins! I really like these muffins because they have dried cranberries, golden raisins, chopped pecans, and lots of spices–they just seem perfect for this time of year! You can top them with cream cheese icing if you want, but I like them plain if I’m having them in the morning–they’re sweet enough on their own. These are perfect for a holiday breakfast, brunch, or snack and this recipe makes 32 moist, delicious muffins–so you’ll have plenty to eat, share, and use in your goody packages! 🙂

CRANBERRY PECAN PUMPKIN MUFFINS by NancyC, adapted from MyRecipes

Makes 32 muffins

  • 3/4 cup  (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup golden raisins
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Optional: Cream Cheese Icing (see recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line muffin cups with paper liners; set aside

In large bowl, cream butter and sugar until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition.

In medium bowl, combine flour and next 6 ingredients (baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg). Add chopped pecans, dried cranberries, and golden raisins to flour mixture, tossing to coat. Then add the flour mixture to butter/sugar/egg mixture alternately with the pumpkin puree, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Stir in vanilla.

Spoon batter into lined muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full. Bake at 350˚F for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in muffin pans on wire rack for 5 minutes; remove from pans and let cool completely.

If desired, frost with cream cheese icing. These muffins are so tasty, you don’t really need icing on them. But here’s the recipe if you want to try it…

CREAM CHEESE ICING

  • 1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Half & Half (light cream)

Blend cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until creamy; gradually add powdered sugar, mixing until smooth. Add Half & Half, 1 Tablespoon at a time, mixing until it has a spreadable consistency (the icing will be thick–add more Half & Half if you’d like a thinner consistency).

It’s hard to believe Christmas is coming up so quickly! Are you getting everything done that you’re needing to?