There really is nothing quite as exciting as a really good gift basket. Some fresh fruit, some cookies, a little of this an a little of that. It’s a bit like the jackpot of the holiday gifts. A gift basket doesn’t have to be over the top to be fabulous but you want to avoid the generic ones. I recently found some really cute gift baskets at Macy’s with Stonewall Kitchen products, which I love, but sometimes you want to make your own. After a recent hosted visit to Brothers Marketplace in Weston, I knew I wanted to come here to make some gift baskets. Brothers had so many great locally made gifts to choose from and I could multi-task and feed the kids lunch or an after-school snack (depending on whether I went on a weekday or weekend) and get my groceries for the week too. Kim of Family Friendly Boston and I put together a few ideas.
‘Tis the season for citrus and these mandarin oranges are delicious. They have stems and leaves on too if you want a little rustic look. This basket has Tea Guys’ Peppermint, Chocolate Vanlla tea, Lake Champlain Salted Caramel dark chocolate Jubilees, and some Trappestine fudge.
Here we have Zoe’s Chocolate and nut tree in the back which makes an impressive center-piece for a dessert table or cheese tray. A nice little stack of The Vintage Tea and Cake Company scones are perfect for the host family’s breakfast the next morning. Then some sweets including chocolate coins from Lake Champlain chocolates, Bisou Sweet‘s Linzer Heart Cookies, Lark Fine Food‘s Russian Tea Cakes and CB Stuffer Caramel Peanut Butter Cup large enough to feed the whole block. Pick up some mini holiday lights from Target and make it glow.
Grab a bottle of wine, some beautiful local cheeses and condiments and throw your own party or bring it as a hostess gift. Brothers Marketplace in Weston has divided their cheese display into two sections. One case is all local New England cheeses and the other is all imported. Keep it local or mix it up. You decide. This tray includes some Mozzarella made in house, Grey Barn Eidolon, some greenhouse tomatoes, a bottle of 90+ Cellars wine, some Stonewall Kitchen crackers and my favourite Stir It Up Cuisine hot pepper jelly. Honey, mustards and fruit pastes also make great condiments. You can also add in some nuts or dried fruit.
This little gift box was put together with some Ackermann Maple Farms Vermont maple cream, Armeno coffee‘s cowboy coffee roasted in Northborough, Kayak Cookies‘ Salty Oats cookies from Barnstable on the Cape and some Kiff chocolate chip granola out of Sudbury.
The holidays aren’t all egg nog and Champagne. Pick up some chips and NOLA salsa, Brothers Marketplace also makes their own fresh salsa so if you don’t see it out just ask. Grab a couple of cans of Castle Island Brewing Company beer and local Mi Nina chips and you will make someone’s Christmas merry and bright!
Pick up some Tea Guys tea bags (they have so many fab flavours) or some fresh out of the refrigerator Evy Tea iced tea. Add in a loaf of Julie’s Z Breads, some of Bonnie’s Jams and a pack of Kiff’s Buttermilk Rusks and you may need to invite yourself over for tea after school.
Champagne is glorious, but even better is a little sweet something dipped into Champagne. Pick up some New Wave Delights Vanilla Meringue bark to add to this New Year’s Eve hostess gift and encourage guests to dip the meringue swiflty into and out of their Champagne flutes. The Meringue softens slightly and also leaves a little sweetness behind. Simply sweet mandarin oranges, and earthy roasted chestnuts round out the holidays perfectly. Open up a pomegranate and add a few jewel-toned seeds to your champagne or serve with a fruit platter. This beautiful Moët Chandon Champagne can be picked up right at Brothers Marketplace so you don’t have to do multiple stops for your holiday shopping.