Gourmet Gifts by Dinah Corley is a book that bakers, crafters, and everyone on their gift list will love, I'm sure of it. How much better can it get than putting together baking delicious treats, making pretty little packages for them, and giving them away as gifts? *swoon* Well, at least for me this makes the perfect combination. Below are just some of the reasons I'm enjoying this book so much.
I don't know what it is about the Fall and Winter seasons, but the kitchen becomes my main spot in the house for the colder months of the year. I love to bake treats, cook hearty soups, and fill the house with the smells of this time of year. So when I received an invitation to review Dinah's book, I jumped at the opportunity. If you haven't had a chance to check her blog, I would do so sometime soon. Her projects look as amazing as they taste. And since we're coming up on a major season of giving gifts, this book truly comes at the perfect time, for it is filled with ideas to give as edible gifts.
I grew up with a cultural tradition of giving (and receiving) baskets overflowing with meats, cheeses, drinks, jams, panetones, and other delicious fares during the holiday season. You'd particularly exchange these baskets with those you wanted to remember but who weren't family. It was a more formal, one-size fits-all gift giving. This book reminds me of this tradition, but with a more personal touch and a more unique gift as a result.
- the sections cover smaller gifts, luxury items, budget-friendly, and even care-packages to send away! (I think my best friend who lives a few states away will be getting a surprise in the mail soon)
- Each item comes with information on the time it takes to prepare and make (active prep and total), how expensive it is, how easy or challenging, and the storage and packaging information.
- There's lots of room for creativity in the packaging section especially. She gives suggestions, but you're only bound by the type of storage the item needs. Oh the possibilities....
Here's one project I tried this weekend - Cantaloupe Agua Fresca. It's a refreshing drink made on cantaloupes and lime, packaged in glass bottles. I happened to have a bunch of pretty glass bottles with corks waiting for a project, but believe me it was a difficult choice to make. There are so many projects I've bookmarked to try.
It was a success. I had most of the ingredients ready, as well as materials I could use for the packaging. It took me a bit longer than the time listed in the book since I triple filtered the drink, but in the end it was worth it. It's delicious! And it looked so cute in the bottles that N. kept begging me to drink them right away. I had to convince her to give me at least enough time to take photos.
Now that the photos are taken, the drinks are all gone. Yep, all three bottles we made. Gone. In one day.
To keep this post from becoming its own book, I'm putting the rules and details in a separate post. Head on out to this post for a chance to win Gourmet Gifts.