Gift Baskets To Send, What's In A Gift Basket?

classic-fruit-baskets What are gift baskets? A gift basket is typically a gift that is delivered to the recipient at their home or workplace.

There are different varieties of gift baskets, some which have fruit only, some with gourmet food such as tea, coffee, crackers, sausage, candy, jam and various assortments of gourmet foods.

Some gift baskets contain a selection of both fruit and gourmet food. Gift baskets can have themes such as Christmas, baby shower, get well, housewarming, Easter, thank you, birthday, Father's Day, Mother's Day and all occasions.
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Four Easy Choices for a Hassle-Free Picnic

picnic-basket-gourmet-food-LLEasy suggestions for a picnic any time of the year. The beauty of this list is that there is no planning required. Just take this article with you to the store and grab the items off the shelf. When you are at the store, you may find another item on the same shelf that you like better. Go ahead and grab it! Think of these ideas as jump-starters for picnic success.

These foods have been chosen carefully because they are inexpensive and do not require refrigeration. This is the perfect solution for a long car ride to your picnic destination. The only other items required are: a cooler with ice (for the drinks), plastic silverware, plates, cups, and napkins.

The first food is the appetizer of crackers and spreadable cheese. You can find an assortment of tasty, nonperishable cheeses in cans or jars at your grocery store. If you have packed a plastic knife, the cheese is easy to spread, but a fork or knife will also do the trick.

The second food is an entrée that does not require refrigeration. You can pack a loaf of bread, a bunch of fresh bananas, and a jar of peanut butter. For a yummy sandwich, spread one or two pieces of bread with peanut butter. Then add a layer of sliced banana pieces (like pepperonis on a pizza) in the middle. Some people might even prefer the added touch of a layer of mayonnaise on this sandwich.

The third food is a tray of fresh cut vegetables and a non-perishable container of French onion dip. If you are serving avid snackers, grab two or three containers of dip and a couple of bags of potato chips. French onion dip tastes great with potato chips. If you are anticipating guests with lactose intolerance, be sure to also grab a container of bean dip.

The dessert idea is simply selecting your favorite assortment of cookies (such as peanut butter or sugar cookies) from the dry goods aisle or the bakery. Cookies are popular among many eaters, and most cookies do not require refrigeration.

These recommended foods should be easy to pick up in one quick trip to the grocery store. You can go on a spontaneous picnic and forget the trouble of meal planning. Don’t forget to pick up your favorite beverages to round out the meal. Enjoy your hassle-free picnic with easy cleanup and only dry food containers to bring home.

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Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Cookies

gift-baskets-delivered-to-you-doorWhile there are many desserts to be savored and enjoyed, the simple cookie remains one of the most popular, and most delicious, treats at any gathering. Whether as a quick snack or an everyday treat, it is hard to beat cookies for taste, variety and ease of baking.

One of the things that people like about cookies, of course, is the vast variety of cookies available. From plain old sugar cookies to delectable delights like white chocolate macadamia nut, cookies come in a stunning variety of shapes, sizes and flavors. There are even filled cookies, and varieties that include popular candies, truly providing a variety for every taste. From thin and crispy shortbread cookies to the thickest and most decadent double chocolate chip, it is no wonder cookies are so enduringly popular.

The history of the cookie is a fascinating one, and one that many cooks and cookie lovers are unaware of. The morsels we know today as cookies can trace their origin back to at least the 7th century A.D. These snack sized treats are thought to have originated in ancient Persia, the country we know today as Iran.

As one would expect, these treats quickly gained popularity, and by the end of the 14th century A.D. these delicious morsels had reached as far as Paris and beyond. The cookie continued to grow in influence, and soon this delicious dessert could be found in virtually every corner of the world. And today of course cookies are available virtually everywhere, from the humblest mud hut to the most elaborate mansion. Wherever the raw ingredients, namely flour, sugar and butter, can be found, there is likely to be cookie baking somewhere.

In the modern world, of course, cookies are found in a variety of settings, and these morsels are always a hit at any party or get together. One of the best things about the lowly cookie is the amazing variety of ways in which it can be dressed for any occasion. There are birthday cookies, baby shower cookies and even elaborately designed wedding cookies. No matter what the occasion, chances are there is a cookie ready to fill that niche.

And of course cookies come in a wide array of sizes and shapes as well. For birthdays, anniversaries and other special days, there are huge cookies the size of cakes, complete with personal messages for the recipients. For those in search of a smaller snack there are plenty of bite sized cookies, perfect for a quick snack or a great dessert.

There are even low carbohydrate cookies, sugar free cookies and low calorie cookies baked especially for those who are dieting or those with special dietary needs. These great cookies are a welcome addition to the market, allowing diabetics, dieters and others to enjoy all the taste of a great cookie with less of the guilt.

And of course cookies are no longer confined to the human world. The past few years has seen an explosion in the number of bakeries turning out delicious and nutritious cookies especially for our four legged friends. Dogs and even cats can now enjoy their own line of specially made cookies. These special cookies are made with pet friendly ingredients, and come in unique shapes designed to please even the most finicky Fido or Fluffy.

The history of the cookie is an interesting one, and it continues to be written and rewritten even today. So sit back, enjoy a glass of cold milk, and toast the lowly cookie in all its glory.

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More and more people are shopping on-line today than ever before

fc-chocolate-covered-strawberrysBelgian Chocolate Dipped Strawberries 12ct

Famous Chocolate Dipped Strawberries in our Classic Assortment of Dark, Milk, and White Chocolates embellished with stripes, Coconut, Almonds, and Chocolate Chip toppings.

More and more people are shopping on-line today than ever before. We’re looking for gifts for our kids, gifts for our family, and gifts for our friends. But is shopping on-line safe? Is our information secure? Is it convenient? For as many of those who are on-line shoppers (and I am a big on-line shopper myself), there are just as many, or more, who don’t or won’t shop on-line. They cite various reasons for their reluctance. Believe me, it can be scary to try new things. So, I have considered the reasons for their fear and apathy and have come up with what I believe are great reasons you gotta love on-line shopping.

1. Security Issues

Many people are worried about putting their personal information out into “cyberspace”. Personally, I feel safer on-line. Identity theft actually occurs more in the malls and department stores than on-line according to a recent report on CNN. They report that there are far more opportunities available in a mall.

The truth of the matter is that through the process of encryption, the internet is actually a safe place to shop. Encryption is like coding. The only one who knows what is being coded is the one with the key. Secure socket layers, or SSL, is the protocol that most browsers and web servers use to protect our personal information while it is being transmitted. Keys are created with each transaction and then discarded, with each new transaction producing a new, unique key. There are so many combinations possible with 128-bit, for example, that is has been likened to trying to find one particular grain of sand in the Sahara Desert. You can tell that you are using encryption when you see the padlock symbol on the toolbar. And you should see an “s” appear after the http in the address window.

2. Save Money

These days it is a lot easier to save money on the internet. Shipping and handling can get pretty pricey. However, today many of the stores you can shop at on-line. if you spend a certain amount of money. Many of the book clubs and stores are offering a low fee for S&H, too, when you purchase a specific dollar amount. The price of gas alone is well worth the cost of S&H. And, although the price of gas has come down some, it can still get pretty costly as you run from mall to mall in search of the newest, hottest, gotta have item.

3. Convenience

This one is a biggie for myself. Rather than fight the throng of mad shoppers, I can shop at home and buy, compare, research anything I want. You can find just about anything on-line, too, no matter how obscure. I also love the fact that I don’t have to beat the traffic to get my shopping done. I don’t have to run from store to store to store to try and purchase the items and gifts I know will please everyone on my holiday list. One stop gift shops are perfect in that you can shop for everyone on your list in one place and still get that special something for each person on your list.

4. Comparison Shopping

There are a number of sites on-line where you can comparison shop and get the best deal. The holidays are about giving. That doesn’t mean you should break the bank in order to do so. Look at sites like Froogle, Yahoo Shopping, or Price Grabber to buy at the best prices on-line or even in your area.

There you are. No more reasons not to avail yourself of the convenience and safety of shopping on-line. I hope I have been able to help you become more comfortable in cyber space. You should enjoy your holidays and shopping on-line gives you that extra time to spend with family and good friends. Happy Holidays and Great Wishes to all of you and yours!! Copyright 2005 Patricia Tomaskovic, owner of Ceiling Medallion. As an avid on-line shopper, Patricia is interested in helping others to become comfortable shopping on-line as well. Visit her websites today.

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