Saturday, December 19, 2009

Holiday Gift Ideas

Here are some food gift ideas to give your foodie friends. These work well for those work people you just don't know what to get.

Buy little mason jars, clean/sterilize them and fill with my pesto or tapenade. Tie a little bow or ribbon around the jar.

Homemade baked cookies are always good. I like snickerdoodles.

This year I am also making some white chocolate bark to give to lots of people. Wrap in some holiday plastic wrap or baggies and tie with a bow. Or if you have any of those holiday tins you can put them in there.

White Chocolate Bark
1 pound good quality white chocolate
1/2 cup craisins
1/2 cup pistachios, roughly chopped

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Create a double boiler by placing a glass bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn't touch the water. Add the chocolate and stir until melted and smooth. Be sure to not overheat or the chocolate will seize.

Add the pistachios and craisins and mix well. Pour the mixture onto the baking sheet and spread out evenly, about 1/4 inch thick, with an offset spatula (those are the ones used for frosting a cake, but you could use a butter knife or rubber spatula if you don't have an offset one). Tap the pan firmly a couple of times onto the counter to settle the chocolate.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to set before breaking into pieces. Wrap or package to your liking and your gift is all set.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Old Bay Holiday Gift Contest

My friends at Old Bay Seasoning contacted me again about a great new contest in honor of the Holi-Bays. They're running it through Facebook for all of their fans. I have posted the details below. Good Luck!

Celebrate the Holi-Bays Contest:
  • November 19th through December 25th, OLD BAY wants to hear from its Facebook fans* on how they use their favorite spice blend during the holidays - it could be whipping up an OLD BAY recipe, sprinkling it on a holiday favorite, using it as a holiday decoration or giving it as a gift.
  • To enter the contest, post a photo on the fan page (www.facebook.com/oldbay) showing how you zest up your holidays using OLD BAY – (Entries are limited to one photo posting per week).
  • Each post will be voted on by the amount of “likes” it receives from fellow Facebook fan members.
  • The photo post with the most “likes” will receive an “Ultimate Holi-Bay Gift Basket” ($140 value) that includes a $25 gift card, a steamer pot and fryer, tons of OLD BAY products, 5 sample packs of OLD BAY for you to share with friends and family, as well as some items for the ultimate OLD BAY fan – branded t-shirts, cups, temporary tattoos, and an inner tube for sledding (or relaxing in the water for those who live in warm weather all year round)!
  • One winner will be announced each week, starting the week of November 30th.
    All gift baskets will be mailed out upon receiving each winner’s address information.*You must be a Facebook member and fan of OLD BAY’s Facebook page to enter contest

Throughout the contest, OLD BAY will also be offering its fans great tips on how they can make it a Happy Holi-Bay and zesty New Year! Here are just a few of the recipes we think would be great for holiday gatherings:

Hot Crab Dip - http://oldbay.com/Recipes/Crab/Appetizers/Hot-Crab-Dip.aspx
OLD BAY Crab Cakes - http://oldbay.com/Recipes/Crab/Main-Course/OLD-BAY-Crab-Cakes.aspx
OLD BAY Steamed Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce - http://oldbay.com/Recipes/Shrimp/Main-Course/OLD-BAY-Steamed-Shrimp-with-Cocktail-Sauce.aspx

* I definitely want to try out the hot crab dip. Would be great with some yummy crackers.