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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Gourmet Gifts Galore

Plan and host your holiday parties with ease. These products will make a great impression on your guests and also make lovely hostess gifts!

Mrs. Prindable’s, the people behind Affy Tapple and the creator of the original gourmet caramel apple, turn ordinary apples into works of edible art. What makes these apples so different? The jumbo creation measures up at 1.5 pounds, 4.5 inches tall and serves 8 to 10 people. Not only is the product available online, but during the holidays, consumers can find them in the following retailers: Saks, Bloomingdales and Neiman Marcus. Holiday-specific items will be featured on the Web site starting later this month. How about them apples? Take a look around ... www.mrsprindables.com

Numi Organic Tea. Numi, LLC, is a leader in the natural & specialty tea category. Brother and sister founders Ahmed and Reem Rahim founded the company in 1999, which is known for premium full leaf teas, herbal teasans and an innovative line of Flowering Teas. Numi’s whole leaf teas are never treated with artificial flavors, colorings or oils common to the market resulting in a pure clean taste. Numi is committed to global consciousness and sustainability in its packaging and business practices. Numi Organic Tea is available in natural & specialty grocery stores across the U.S. View Numi here!

Homemade Gourmet. For those with time to plan out a weekly menu, but not a lot of time to prepare each meal, Homemade Gourmet’s "4 meals in 4 minutes™" collection is the solution. Cooks learn to prepare meals and are given the basic ingredients to prepare dishes such as; Sunday Roast Chicken, Garlic Lemon Chicken, Garlic Basil Chicken, or Southwest Chicken. Other meats or vegetables can be substituted for the chicken as well. Fifty-six different entrees can be prepared from the mixes and recipes featured in this particular collection, each in just four minutes. These pre-prepared meals can be kept in the freezer providing choices for dinner instead of last minute decisions Not only does Homemade Gourmet help bring the family back to the table, but the meals also help balance a budget. With Americans experiencing rising costs for daily living, family budgets are being scrutinized, including food choices. Twenty to forty dollar takeout, fast food and restaurant meals are becoming less viable alternatives to the home-cooked meal. The products offered on www.homemadegourmet.com enable busy families to create a multitude of nutritious meals in the comfort of their own homes.

Experience Chocolate. Chocolate is a favorite for the holidays, and what better gift than gourmet chocolates from around the world? Boston based Experience: Chocolate, LLC has created boxed "Tasting Experiences™" using a variety of gourmet chocolate tasting squares. Our Chocolate "Tasting Experiences™" are perfect for a chocolate-themed holiday party and make great gifts for chocoholics! The collections consider the origin of the cocoa beans, cocoa content and manufacturing process and are designed to satisfy the desire of an experienced gourmet or pique the interest of a casual taster. One such box, "Chocolate for the Vine™," comes with suggestions for pairing each chocolate with wine. Following are gift ideas for chocolate lovers from Experience: Chocolate, LLC:

"Tasting Experiences" Chocolate Connoisseur Collections - With names like "Sweet Serenity™," "Pure Rapture™" and "Euphoric Indulgence™"—you know these gourmet chocolate collections will deliver the ultimate chocolate tasting experience. Chocolate tasting squares are selected based on the origin of the cocoa beans, cocoa content and manufacturing process to provide exceptional tasting experiences. Each box includes a guide on how to host your own chocolate tasting. Choose a gift from among these collections www.experiencechocolate.com

Chocolate for the Vine™ – Our tasters' pairing guide will help you marry these fine chocolates with your favorite wine.

Sweet Serenity™ – Milk chocolate from around the world with a focus on taste and smoothness.

Pure Rapture™ – Varietal, single-origin or estate-grown chocolate from the world's foremost growing regions.

Euphoric Indulgence™ – Featuring some of the world's best semi-sweet and bittersweet dark chocolate bars.

Gift Basket -- Why give the same old fruit and nut arrangement? Say it with Chocolate! Now you can give someone the gift of an exceptional chocolate experience with all the goodies in our Gift Basket. Our baskets include your choice of our Sweet Serenity™ milk chocolate Tasting Experience™ box, Euphoric Indulgence™ dark chocolate Tasting Experience™ box, or Chocolate for the Vine™ Tasting Experience™ box, plus chocolate covered cocoa nibs, Mexican drinking chocolate, and other goodies.

The prices for the chocolate collections start at $24.99 and vary according to the collection. The gift basket is on sale for $49.95. Prices of specific collections can be found here!

Il Buco Restaurant is known for its authentic Mediterranean cuisine celebrating the natural power of prime ingredients used with love, simplicity and honesty. Founders Donna Lennard and Alberto Avalle have worked closely with artisan producers in Avalle's native Italy to bring you il Buco Alimentare, based upon the three fundamental ingredients of the Mediterranean kitchen, the three conservants that enabled the Italian culture to flourish through the ages. View their site here!

Tastefully Simple is simple and tasty! From main dishes to desserts, they offer a wide variety of gourmet foods and gifts for every day and every occasion. Best of all, their products can be enjoyed right out of the package or prepared within minutes! They offer a wide selection of convenient, easy-to-prepare gourmet foods designed to help people spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying the rest of their lives. Products are sold by independent Tastefully Simple consultants primarily at home taste-testing parties nationwide. Click here to view their site.

Swiss Colony has been delighting moms all across the country with delicious food gifts by mail for more than 80 years. And who doesn’t like to get food in the mail during the holidays? The Swiss Colony recently announced its new 2008 holiday product lineup. Not only does The Swiss Colony have some playfully delicious Christmas gift selections, they also have a fabulous line of Thanksgiving treats. We had the pleasure of trying the Turkey Truffles and they were excellent! Our guests could not stop complimenting on them! Wow your holiday guests! Check it out here!

Introducing Katherine Anne Confections:

Katherine has been making decadent confections ever since her childhood on a Wisconsin farm. Her mother taught her how to use fresh cream from the family’s Jersey cows to create batches of old-fashioned caramels. During the holidays, her father sold “Katharine’s Karamels” at work for 25 cents each. Over the years her passion for creating artisanal confections grew, and she perfected three classic caramel flavors and six exquisite truffle varieties.

Quality and sustainability are important. These handmade confections are made using

only the finest ingredients, such as Guittard chocolate, heavy cream, and locally produced wildflower honey. Their distinctive round boxes are hand-crafted for us by artisans who use a long grass instead of tree products, creating a paper that is not only beautiful but sustainable as well.

Katherine Anne Confections can be found in Whole Foods throughout Chicago; Pastoral Artisan; Lush Wines and Spirits; Eno Wine; and various independent coffee shops. Through katherine-anne.com, clients may place retail orders for corporate gifts, weddings, and chocolate tastings. Custom packaging is available for bridal favors.

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