Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Gourmet Gifts }{ Book Review and Giveaway

It's been a while since I've done a book review and a giveaway, but I'm glad I waited. This book was very much worth the wait.

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.

Perfect Timing

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.

Unique 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.

Nice Features

  • 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....
Of course, beautiful photos of some of the items don't hurt anything either. I wish there were more, but I also understand that it would be just too much, especially since the book is packed to the brim with information and there are so many projects.

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.


  1. Hi sweet friend...I have missed you....this book looks amazing! And so does this cantaloupe yummy goodness. xoxo Hugs to you. xoxo Thanks for the chance to win it...happy dance

  2. You should have your own show... a la Martha Stewart! I really love the stuff you create. Cantaloupe and lime... never thought of combining the two, but now you have me wanting to get some to make this drink! :)

  3. Sounds like an amazing book and just in time for the gift-giving season. We're doing more hand-made this year so I'm signing up for the giveaway. :)

    Thanks for your sweet comment on My Blog.