11 December, 2006

Gifts of Food

Let’s face it, sometimes the only gift that's appropriate to send at Christmas, or that we want to send at Christmas, is a gift of food. But how many of you are tired of that same 'ol Harry & David Tower of Treats? Or the tin of popcorn? Let me see those hands, people. Raise them high in the air. And wave 'em like you just don't care. Heyyyyyyy, Hooooooooooooo, Heyyyyyyyyyyyy, Hoooooooooo!

I mean it's nice and all and don't think the Monogram's aren't all vying for the cheese flavored popcorn, but seriously. There are just too many other options out there right now that would really show your loved ones you went that extra mile and found some additional food gifts that are even worthy of Martha.

So real quick this morning before I head out on yet another excursion to JoAnn's with the mini monograms, I'm going to throw out a few new ideas for food gifts to send this holiday season. These companies have such unique and fabulous products and presentation, that it will really tell your recipient(s) that you went the extra mile and really thought about them and sent them something unique but delicious at the same time.

The Cajun Turkey Company is known for lots of mouth watering foods, but one thing they are MOST famous for is their Tur-Duc-Hen. That's right. They take a hen and stuff it in a duck and then stuff THAT inside a turkey. I watched the owner pull this masterpiece together and truly, it was amazing. So you can order up the whole "Bobby Deen Dinner" special complete with Tur-Duc-Hen and stuffing, crabmeat au gratin, BBQ shrimp and pistolettes with your choice of stuffing. And yes I do mean THE Bobby Dean, cutie offspring of my girl, Paula. Ok just typing that makes me feel overstuffed myself like I need to go put on my elasticized yoga pants so hop on over there and check out all your various options of unique Cajun style dishes and deserts that you can order up and delivered in time for Christmas dinner.

You just have to know an Italian bakery in NY City with a name like Venieros has GOT to be good right? Well I do anyway and since I'm a full blooded Italian, just take my word for it. So hop on over there and order up any one of their Italian holiday specialties like the Stuffoli or Pizza Rustica, or check out other classic melt-in-your mouth pastries such as the Sfogliatelle, marzipan gift box, or even a generous biscotti tray (personally, I'll take my mom's homemade ones, but I'm sure these are delicious too)

To send the "ultimate Southern Confection" then you might want to check out Tennessee T-Cakes. Legend has it these t-cakes go all the way back to the Civil War. Available in Original, Key Lime, Luscious Lemon, and Chocolate Truffle, these would be a thoughtful and delicious epicurious treat for even the pickiest of people.

Brownies are all American and even non-chocolate lovers such as me can't resist indulging in a moist brownie. Throw in a tall glass of milk and fugghetabout it. But Mary Louise Butters Brownies are truly unique. Talk about flavors! Send someone the mint julep or the Aphrodite to let them know you went out of the way to find a great tasting memorable gift of food for them. Also new to try is the Ruby Port or Peace brownie, perfectly fitting for the holiday season, I think. Order one of their gift baskets or create your own combining a nice selection of tasty treats.

Don't even try to tell me you don't like a Silk Pie because I won't believe you. And the Alaskan Silk Pies from Alaska Silk Pie Co. Are the REAL deal. I mean, if the Deen brothers say so then it must be true, now? As a side note, how cute are those boys? Really?! Anyway, these pies look absolutely divine. A true treat to send and receive that really make a statement in appearance and taste. Go check it out and see all the amazing flavors and pies yourself on their site. You won't be sorry and your recipient will be glad you did too.

I have fond memories of going to Boychuk's Deli when I was a little girl and getting a salt bagel with crème cheese, a ginormous deli pickle and a crème soda. What IS it about good crème soda? Yep, it's hard to find, that's for sure. But lucky for us we can pop on over to Sprecher Brewery and order up 12 packs of fabulous root beer, ginger ale, crème soda, and orange soda. I LOVE this gift idea!!! However, the Sandra Dee in me also feels the need to tell you that you can also send the gift of premium brewed beer as well so something else to keep in the back of your mind for those beer aficionado’s on your gift giving list.

I know I’ve mentioned this company before, but I am a really big fan of Nostalgic Candy Company. And if you’re looking for a fun gift that will take its recipient on a fun little skip down memory lane, then I really love the idea of the Christmas Drum with 50 pieces of nostalgic candy. This is also a great food gift for those hard-to-buy for because they have everything people on your list and the presentation in the drum is a certified good thing according to monogram momma.

Another oldie but goodie is Omaha Steaks. I can really vouch for the quality and taste of their steaks and products and have really been happy with everything we’ve ever received from them. You can pick out various gift packages or even chose to send a meal. This is particularly nice if you know someone is going to be on their own (or maybe working?) on Christmas Eve.

But after you’ve livened up your taste buds at Omaha steaks, then you must check out A La Zing. It’s a similar concept to Omaha steaks, but its more meal oriented and they have a larger variety of meal-type food gifts. Again, I think this is a very thoughtful gift to send along to someone you know perhaps can’t travel home for the holidays, or perhaps a family where both parents are working outside of the home and who’s holidays are twice as hectic trying to get everything pulled together for their family.

Now, if you want to send something sweet, then Eminger Berries has just what you are looking for. Their luxury desert stuffed strawberries are world renown. I mean seriously. Who wouldn’t like to receive a New York Cheesecake stuffed INSIDE an actual chocolate covered strawberry?

Ok, so quite possibly my favorite little find this season for gifts of food or a gift you just want to order for yourself, is the homemade peppermint marshmallows from Back in the Day Bakery. Of course you know I’ve got to support the South and located in Savannah, Georgia, “Back in the Day Bakery” makes the fluffiest and most unique marshmallows around. You can order up a batch for and pair it with some hot chocolate and send it on it’s way for what I know will make anyone feel all warm and fuzzy this Holiday season.

Well I don't know about you, but I'm exhausted and HUNGRY after all that food talk. Everyone can thank monogram momma reader, Elizabeth D for making us all so hungry this morning too, who requested some new food gift ideas. ;-) So it's time I click the mini's in their car seats, put on those winter hats and head out the door. I've got lots on my list to do today but I'll still try to hop on a bit later. Have a great morning!


thepreppyprincess said...

I can vouch for Venieros! Great stuff. YUM.

Marsha said...

My sis and I are sending our dad a festive Omaha Steaks package for Christmas. So that he has something fun to open on Christmas Day, I wrapped a little cow figurine (from Michael's) in a gorgeous satin box and made lovely bow - the package looks very serious and beautiful so I think he'll be a little flummoxed to find a toy cow inside. The steaks are scheduled to arrive a couple days past Christmas.

I also give a lot from Dean and Deluca - they're catalog is like a pictoral essay on everything wonderful and delicious in the world.

a.c.h. said...

I really love Stone Ridge Orchard (www.stoneridgeorchard.com)--especially their apple-cranberry salsa and gourmet doggie treats! I'm sending a basket to my boyfriend's family with treats for everyone--including Puppy!

cape cod mermaid said...

Had to put the word in for Boston's famous North End Italian bakery that ships too, Mike's Pastry!

Monogram Momma said...

Excellent! Thanks for adding some other reccomended companies to the list, guys!!

Lisagh said...

I'm a little afraid of the Tur-Duc-Hen... intrigued, yet afraid.

Great list though! Heyyyyyyy, Hooooooooooooo, Heyyyyyyyyyyyy, Hoooooooooo! Right back at ya MM!

emma's pulse said...

I'm drooling. Not very ladylike!

Mel said...

The pignoli cookies from Veniero's should be illegal -- run, don't walk downtown to pick up a pound (or ten).

ElleBee said...

I'm all about good food gifts. If you're from the Windy City, you know that good hot dogs (yes, I said "good" and "hot dogs" in the same sentence) are from Chicago and have NO, I repeat, NO ketchup. The Chicago legend, Portillo's has an amazing website where you can order said hot dogs (and Italian Beef, if you desire) to be shipped anywhere in the USA. I sent some to my Dad in Ohio and they even came with the retro paper hats that the employees wear. I highly recommend them!

Anonymous said...

I recently ordered a Key Lime Pie from Alaska Silk Pie company. I had high hopes since I paid almost $50 (including shipping) for it. In addition, the Key Lime is supposedly their bestseller so I figured, how could I go wrong?

After following the directions and freezing it overnight, I opened it up today to find a TINY pie. They looked so much bigger on TV and on their website. In fact, their website says this will feed 12 to 16 people. WHAAAAT?! More like 6, maybe 7 people...and that's still small slices. Granted, a little of this pie goes a long way, but not as long a way as 12 to 16 people!

My husband and I and a couple of friends tried the pie this evening. The consensus is that while the key lime silk and the topping (consisting of white chocolate shavings) were quite good, we weren't "blown away". The bottom graham cracker crust was dry as a bone and way too thick. When we went to pierce the crust with a fork, pieces of it went flying! And for $50, I wanted more "silk" and less crust. I've had better Key Lime Pie from Tony Roma's and a bakery near my home.

A true disappointment. :(

Anonymous said...

This is the same "Anonymous" who posted above...

I felt I would be remiss if I did not post an update to my previous post. I'm sot sure who will see this, but since it's possible to find things so easily by Googling someone may eventually read this when they're looking for reviews on Alaska Silk Pies. I thought it only fair to post an update.

I decided to email the owner of the company and tell her of my displeasure with the product. I waited several days and when I didn't hear anything I sent a second email to another email address I had for the company. I finally got a response back; it turns out her office manager had been away (child was sick), and the owner was a bit behind on things between that and the holidays. I can completely relate, so no problem. At least she responded.

I related to her the problems with the very dry crust. She thinks I didn't keep the first pie out of the freezer/fridge long enough before serving and that is probably true. But after it was served there was one piece left over. That piece was kept out for several hours and the crust was still super dry when my husband and I shared it later. In any case, the owner said she'd send me another pie free of charge.

The second pie arrived two days after it was mailed and I froze it overnight as directed. Phyllis (the owner) enclosed a sweet hand-written card with it. I had some friends over the next evening and made sure I kept the pie out on the counter for a couple of hours before serving. This pie was MUCH better. Everything about it tasted better, although one person thought that crust was still a tad bit on the dry side. I thought it was fine. Even the silk tasted better and my hubby thought so too. The key to their pies is DEFINITELY the silk part. I'd love to know that secret recipe!

So Alaska Silk Pie Company scores an A+ for customer service! And their Key Lime Pie is awesome too. Honestly, I still think the pies are priced pretty high for what you get (they're very small) and the crust is a little too thick (although it appeared to be thinner on this second pie). But for a "once in a blue moon" indulgence, I say go for it - you only live once! :-)