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Gourmet Gift Baskets

Oh, the joy of giving! Throughout the year, we’re given many opportunities to express our creativity and give personally selected gifts to the people we love. I enjoy creating themed gift collections, especially if I can include some of my homemade items. If you’ve read my Food Preservation with Simple Truth blog, you may remember that a basket of homemade jams and jellies was among my mom’s most cherished gifts. Gift baskets are not just reserved for the winter holidays. Be creative. Be resourceful. Be personable. Give thought about the recipient. 

Many gift baskets can relate to food. The theme, number of items, size and value are choices you will get to determine. A neighbor may find a soup bowl with a ready-to-make jar of lentil soup a great way to warm up from a blustery day. A “Grill Master” friend will delight with an assortment of Simple Truth spices and fresh Simple Truth herbs. Neatly arrange the items on a nice cutting board or serving platter to enhance the theme. Cover with clear or colored plastic wrap, tie together with a ribbon, and then add a personal note. You’ve just created a masterpiece!

Gift baskets don’t even need to be a traditional basket. Let your creativity roam. Select a container that accents the theme of the items. Some possible non-basket options might be a skillet, baking pan, cookie sheet, cutting board, large soup bowl, serving or mixing bowl, ice bucket, hat box, party top hat, flower pot or planter, cooler or lunch tote, tin pail, reusable shopping bag or even a picnic basket (for large items or a generously filled gift)!

Now to explore some Gourmet Foodie themes:

  • Bountiful Breakfast: Load an adjustable bed tray with an assortment of Simple Truth cereals, including Cranberry Apple Cinnamon, Organic Toasted O’s, Natural Old Fashioned Rolled Oats, Organic Natural Maple and Brown Sugar Instant Oatmeal. Be sure to include hot beverage options such as Simple Truth Organic Ground Coffee, Simple Truth Columbian Single Serve Coffee Pods and Simple Truth Organic Chamomile with Lemon Tea. A bottle of Simple Truth Organic 100% Apple Juice would be a great addition for cold beverage lovers.
  • Crazy for Cookies: Start with a cookie sheet or baking pan (for bar cookie recipes). Pile it with Simple Truth products, including the Organic Unbleached All-purpose Flour, Organic Sugar, Organic Light Brown Sugar, Organic Vanilla Extract and Organic Canola Oil Cooking Spray. Add a few favorite recipes that use Simple Truth Organic Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, dried cranberries, or the 101 Free Candy Coated Milk Chocolate Drops.
  • Back to Nature: Stuff a backpack with Sweet and/or Nutty Trail mix packages and some bottles of natural soda. The Simple Truth product line offers several nut and fruit combinations, raw seeds, roasted seeds, jerky, soy nuts, dried fruits, and a delicious assortment of protein and energy bars. Prefer some crunch? There are some natural root vegetable chips that are air-baked to save fat calories but retain great flavor. Of course, all that snacking will create a thirst. Simple Truth offers not only bottles of fruit juices but also varieties of Natural Sparkling Beverages, such as Cucumber Melon and Peach Pear flavors.
  • Taste of Italy: Fill a colander with a combination of pastas and sauces. Who could resist a fresh plate of Simple Truth Organic Angel Hair Pasta topped with Simple Truth Organic Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce? Garnish with some fresh Basil or grated Parmesan cheese. Include some bread sticks (maybe a bottle of wine), and the recipient has a complete meal, thanks to your creative generosity!
  • South of the Border Fiesta: Invert a sombrero, and then pack it with an assortment of salsas and dips. The Simple Truth Tortilla chips are 101 Free, and the four salsa choices are all organic. What a winning combination! Include as many as your budget permits.

These ideas are only the beginning. None of them require refrigeration. Just think of the possibilities with a cooler! You could create packages for a scrumptious salad bar, a fruit smoothie spectacular or dairyland delights.

There are really no wrong ways of putting together a gourmet gift basket if you consider who is receiving it. Be creative … be as original as the person for whom you are making it. They’re sure to love it and your thoughtfulness.

What theme or collection of food items would you enjoy receiving or giving

Karen Ilhardt

Karen’s role as Home Economist in the Kroger Customer Connect (C|c) is to answer customer questions and write about recipes, ingredient substitutions, and Food Safety.  She holds BS and MS degrees from The Ohio State University’s College of Home Economics with a specialty in Resource Management.  Karen also has teaching credentials from Miami University (of Ohio) and Wright State University. 

After having been a food teacher for 20 years she transferred to the corporate world in 2011.  Farming and crafting have always been a part of her life.  Karen values being part of our food production and preparation processes PLUS  being able to share those experiences with others.  The Simple Truth Brand embraces the wholesome nature of the foods we select and consume which makes a perfect choice for Karen’s lifestyle.

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