Food baskets can make the perfect gift for any occasion. Whether you need something for a birthday, Christmas or just to show someone you are thinking of them, a basket containing foods the recipient enjoys is sure to be appreciated. Whether you purchase a ready made basket or create your own, there are a few rules to follow to ensure your gift strikes just the right chord with the recipient.
Keep the occasion in mind. For the holidays, general purpose food baskets containing cookies, dessert mixes and other holiday fare are a simple choice that usually is well appreciated. For birthdays and personal celebrations, tailor the gift basket to better fit the recipient. Give gourmet popcorn and theatre-size candy boxes to a movie buff. Put together a basket filled with ready to eat meals for a busy new mom. If your recipient loves to bake, consider a basket containing fancy baking chocolates and other luxury baking ingredients.
Package food baskets appropriately. You don't want to give an ugly present, even if the contents are purely utilitarian foods. Select good condition baskets that are large enough to hold all the food items securely. If a basket seems boring, package the food in a different container, such as a new baking pan or a fancy serving dish. A cake baking basket looks good in a fancy cake pan and the basket container is just as useful as the items it contains.
Use only shelf-stable food in the baskets. Avoid items that require freezing or refrigeration in most cases. The only exception is when giving prepared meals to new parents or those who have experienced a death, illness or other life changing situation where ready-made meal food baskets are appreciated. Always make sure foods are in sealed packages or wrap homemade goods securely so they don't spoil or become stale. Individually wrapped items also look more appetizing.
Order or assemble your basket contents in advance. If you are ordering a ready-made basket, do so several weeks in advance of when you are giving it. Last minute orders may not arrive on time, which can be a bummer for both you and the recipient. If you are putting together your own baskets, assemble as many ingredients as possible before the big day. This way you aren't caught without a vital item, plus you can shop for the best price and quality on all the food baskets items.
Not all items in food baskets need to be food. Include a few themed extras that will outlast the food and provide ongoing use to your recipient. A movie rental membership in a popcorn basket, for example, or a fancy whisk and spatulas in a baking basket. Wine and cheese baskets are more useful with a bottle opener, glasses and cheese board, while a hot cocoa basket looks cute with a some adorable mugs to serve the mix in. Don't overdo it with the additions, the food should still be the main focus of the food baskets.
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