dofol1285 (dofol1285) wrote in cooking_is_art,

Tips For Creating A Homemade Gourmet Gift Basket

A gift basket filled with gourmet food items can be a practical gift as well as delicious. And, if you make it yourself, you can personalize it with gifts of the recipient's favorite foods. Gourmet foods are special foods and a wonderful way to celebrate a holiday or special occasion.

Selecting the Basket:
When selecting an empty basket for your food gifts, choose a size that is appropriate for the number of people for whom you are making the gift. For example, you can make a small gourmet basket for an individual or for a couple, or a larger one for a group of people or for an entire family. If you already have a nearly new basket you would like to use, simply give it a quick refresher by swishing it in hot, soapy water, rinsing it with clear water to remove any fragrance from the soap, and allow the basket to thoroughly air dry.

Preparing the Basket:
The most attractive gift basket looks overflowing. Before arranging the food items in the basket, place plenty of filler materials in the basket so that the gifts show above the basket. If your basket is on the deep side, place a piece of foam in the bottom first. Shredded brown paper or newspaper as well as purchased colorful shred or straw are all attractive fillers. If you have empty spaces after you have placed all the gift items, place small bunches of the shredded materials in these spaces.

Choosing the Contents:
A variety of gourmet meats such as pepperoni, salami, and a small canned ham are regularly used in gourmet food gift baskets. You may also want to include canned seafood products like crabmeat, clams, and sardines. It's a nice touch to add a dry mix for making a dip using the canned seafood. As assortment of cheese wedges, cheese spreads, gourmet crackers, bread sticks along with a small cheese board with a cheese knife or spreader are readily available and easy to place in the gift basket. Green and black olives, spicy mustard, pickled onions, roasted peppers, and appetizers in jars are nice accompaniments to the meats and cheeses. Include something sweet for dessert, such as cookies, chocolate covered mints, or anything with chocolate.

Top off your contents with a selection of beverages: a bottle of wine or non-alcoholic sparkling cider as well as gourmet coffee and herbal tea. If you plan to include a bottle of wine or sparkling cider in your gift basket, choose an empty basket with a sturdy handle so you can anchor the bottle by tying the neck of the bottle to the basket handle using twine or cord.

Decorative Touches:
Add small bunches of fresh red or green grapes at the last minute so they remain fresh.
Scatter colorful Hershey's Kisses amongst the gifts.
Add a fruit, wine, or chocolate scented candle. (Note: Some non-food fragrances might seep into the food.)
If desired, place your finished gourmet gift basket in a cello bag. Close the bag at the top with curly ribbon with plenty of ribbon so it cascades down the front of the gift basket. You can tie silk flowers or a satin bow in with the ribbon.
Don't forget to include a gift card.

About the Author: Janet Vogel is the owner of Homemade Gift Basket Ideas where you can find more information about Homemade Gourmet Gift Baskets as well as over 50 other gift basket themes.

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