Support a Soldier Overseas and Figi’s APO FPO Gifts

Figi's Patriotic Cookie TinFor a limited time, Figi’s is offering a special promotion on our Patriotic Cookie Tin. Through June 26th, 2014, you can order one tin for just $19.99 and a second one for just $9.99 (plus shipping); the second tin will be sent to a soldier overseas.  This unique opportunity is made possible through a partnership with “Support Our Troops” and you can learn more about their wonderful work here.  In case you’re wondering, our Patriotic Cookie Tin is filled with the following cookie varieties: Chocolate Chip, English Toffee, Cranberry White Chocolate, Oatmeal Raisin, Fudge, Almond, Jelly Star, and Sugar – all in a tin that celebrates America!  Again, there’s just a few weeks left to participate in this special promotion, so act fast and thank you for your support.

Figi's Patriotic Cookie Offer

Did you know? Figi’s offers many great gifts that can ship APO FPO? In fact, our summer catalog makes it easy to find these gifts; just look for the special “star symbol” as shown below.

APO FPO Symbol

If your shopping figis.com for APO FPO gifts, you can find them under our “Holidays and Occasions Gifts” category as shown below; click here to see our current APO FPO gifts assortment. It’s loaded with delicious gifts for your solider including: taffy, beef sticks, pistachios, cashews, cookies, candies, cakes…we even have some cool t-shirts available!

Figis.com APO FPO Category

Finally, here’s our special salute to veterans and active duty service men and women in the Figi’s family…thank you one and all!

Figi's tribute to veterans and active duty friends and family

If you have a shout out to soldier or veteran, use the comments field below or connect with us socially on our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ pages.  As always, thanks for reading Gourmet Market!

 

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Graduation Gifts for 2014 High School and College Graduates

Graduation Ceremony

Graduation season is fast upon us! I can still recall the pride…and sadness I felt watching my daughter graduate from high school last year.  I was so very proud of her and yet, I was awash in memories of her life racing through my mind; I kept wondering “where did 18 years go!?” I imagine many of you have similar experiences, or will, as you prepare for 2014 graduations.  Not only do you have the ceremony to prepare for, perhaps you’re hosting or attending a graduation party?  By now, parents of graduates would have booked a hall or pavilion, created and mailed RSVPs, contracted for food and beverages and purchased decorations.  While Figi’s doesn’t specialize in most of those graduation party necessities, we can help with graduation gifts and food gifts for your celebration.

So, whether your student is receiving a high school diploma, GED, Bachelor’s Degree or Master’s Degree – we’re both honored and excited to help you celebrate your graduate’s accomplishments with special graduation gifts from Figi’s! Here are a few of our favorite gift ideas for the young men and women getting ready to throw their graduation caps in the air this year.

Graduation Memorabilia

Graduation Memorabilia GiftsSpecial memorabilia are a great way to capture a moment in time; a significant milestone – like graduation – can be captured and remembered for years to come. More than simple souvenirs or trinkets, personalized memorabilia serve as treasure keepsakes that spark warm memories and emotions born from the successful completion of the graduate’s great achievement. These are the kinds of keepsakes which last a lifetime!

Personalized Graduation Gifts

Personalized Graduation Gifts | Figi'sA great graduation gift should express your pride in the graduate; both in who they are and in how far they have come to reach this point. You see, it takes great deal of dedication to complete a 4 year degree. Through it all, graduates are often changed by their efforts – shaped by time & toil into someone who is ready to take on life’s new opportunities.

With that in mind, one of our favorite ways to commemorate such a special time is with our personalized wood pen set. Personalized graduation gifts offer a means to tailor your gift to the personality of the graduate, and the pen itself serves as a symbolic reminder to always continue pursuing their education.

Graduation Gift Baskets

Graduation Gift Baskets | Figi'sPerhaps the best gift a graduate can receive is the celebration itself! Whether your graduation party is a grand affair with extended family, friends, gifts & food…or a more intimate gathering of close family and friends, a graduation gift basket filled with delicious snacks, treats, & finger foods is an easy way to get any party started right. Try a hearty snack selection of Wisconsin cheeses & meats, or bring something sweet to share, such as our famous petit fours from Figi’s!

Do you know someone who has or is getting ready to graduate but you’re not sure what to get them? Share with us on Facebook or Google+ and we’ll help you find the perfect gift!

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Cheese Blog Series: Everything’s Better with Cheddar!

Aged Cheddar Cheese from Figi'sWelcome to the first installment of the Figi’s Cheese Blog Series! In this series, you’ll learn about the flavor, versatility and history of different types of cheeses; we’ll also give you cheese pairing options, answer common cheese questions and give a few recipes along the way.  Our series begins with cheddar.

Foodies, and those for whom eating is a more casual affair, agree: cheese makes many dishes more delicious.  Of all cheese options out there, cheddar is arguably the ‘cheese of choice’ for the largest number of people.  It’s easy to see why: cheddar offers flavor variety; from mild to rich and sharp.  Add cheddar cheese to a bland dish, and voilà!  Loads of taste!  Add cheddar cheese to an already flavorful dish, salad or sandwich to enhance other ingredients.

What kinds of cheddar are there?  There are many varieties of cheddar available; here is a breakdown for you:

  • Fresh unpressed (cheese curds): Unripened curds, straight out of the vat, have become very popular – especially in our home state of Wisconsin. We especially like them battered and deep-fried!  Cheese curds are a healthy snack…when not deep-fried :) and they nicely compliment fruit and veggie trays.
  • Mild: This cheddar is soft and mild in flavor as it ripens for a short time; typically for three months.
  • Medium: This cheddar is more firm in texture and tastes a bit like hazelnuts.  It typically ripens for four to nine months.
  • Sharp: This cheddar has a firmer, dryer and more granular texture.  This cheddar ripens for nine months to two years and as its name indicates…tastes ‘sharp.’  Some would say this cheddar is slightly sour or bitter in taste.
  • Extra Sharp: Because this cheddar ripens from two to ten years, it has a strong ‘sharp’ flavor.  The older the cheddar, the more crumbly and more difficult to slice it becomes.

Why is some cheddar cheese white and other cheddar cheese yellow?  Some think a cheddar’s color indicates it’s flavor (sharpness).  Color has no bearing on a cheddar’s flavor.  All cheese typically is white or off-white; the orange or yellow coloration found in cheddar is the result of…well, I found a good article on that topic for you here.

Cheddar GorgeWhere did cheddar cheese come from?  England – specifically, the Cheddar Gorge!  Sounds ‘made up’ but that’s the truth.  Farmers in Somerset, England began making a distinctive cheese in the 12th century.  Cheddar cheese was stored in the caves of the Cheddar Gorge (shown above – photo Wikipedia), as the caves kept the cheese at just the right temperature and moisture level for aging.  Pretty interesting!  I learned that back then, cheddar’s flavor was tainted by an undesirable bacteria that developed because milk could not be refrigerated.

Then, in 1857, a guy named Joseph Harding standardized a process to suppress the growth of this undesirable bacteria.  Mr. Harding’s process became known as “cheddaring.”  In short, cheddaring gets rid of flavor harming bacteria and keeps the desirable bacteria that give cheddar its distinct flavor.    

The ‘Big Cheese’ gets all the cheddarKing Henry IIHistory tells us in the year 1170, King Henry II of England (photo superstock.com) purchased 10,240 pounds of cheddar cheese at a farthing (a quarter of a penny) a pound.  King Henry II declared cheddar to be the best cheese in all of Britain.  Henry II’s son, Prince John, reigned from 1199 and 1216; he continued to buy cheddar for royal banquets.  A few hundred years later during the time of King Charles I, parliamentary records show that all cheddar cheese was purchased before it was made, and in fact, was not available outside of the king’s court.

Nowadays, you don’t have to be royalty to enjoy cheddar – thankfully! Cheddar cheese is made and distributed around the globe.  Some of the very best is made right here in Wisconsin and can be found at Figi’s!  So enjoy your cheddar cheese – it’s fit for royalty!  Shop all of our excellent cheese gifts here.

How long can I keep cheddar cheese in the refrigerator?  Here’s a short, informative article about storing cheddar cheese to maximize its shelf life here.

Can I Freeze Cheddar Cheese? It depends on the cheese and who you ask. Learn more here.

Wine and Cheese PairingSuggested Cheddar Pairings:

Wine: Red Zinfandel, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Reisling, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon.

Food: Apples, grapes, cherries, pears, nuts, dark breads, whole grain crackers.

Beer: Ciders & Fruit Beers, Stout, Bock, Pale Ale, Brown Ale, Porter.

I found a really nice resource for pairing cheese with food and beverages at the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board’s website hereSimply select your cheese variety to match up with complimentary wine, spirits and food!

Wisconsin Cheese Pairing Guide

Is it safe to eat moldy cheddar cheese? It depends on a few factors such as block cheese vs. shredded and the size of the cheddar block. Learn more about this from the Mayo Clinic here.

Be sure to check out our Classic Aged Cheddar and our Mix ‘n Match Cheese & Sausage where you can put together your own cheese and sausage tray – including our delicious cheddar. Our 4-way Cheese Horn is a great way to enjoy cheddar with other cheese varieties for a unique, bold taste on sandwiches or crackers.  Finally, if you would like a spreadable Wisconsin cheddar, try Figi’s Signature Kave Kure Cheese or Creamy Country Cheese Spreads and Logs!  Our spreads will be available for purchase again in September.

Mix n Match Cheese and Sausage from Figi'sClassic Aged Cheddar Cheese from Figi's4-way Cheese Horn from Figi's

 

Country Cheeses SpreadsCreamy Country Cheese Logs

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed our exposé on cheddar.  Our second installment will look at another popular cheese who’s identity we’ll keep secret until the appointed time.  We’ll throw in a recipe or two as well.  Thanks again for reading Gourmet Market.  Don’t forget – you can stay connected with us on our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ pages.

Please use the comments field below to share any cheese pairing or cheese recipes ideas you have; we’d love to read them!

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Figi’s Fresh Flavors for Spring Pt. 2

Spring is here cartoonWelcome back to Gourmet Market’s look at some wonderful spring gifts from Figi’s.  If you missed Fresh Flavors for Spring Part 1, you can read it here.

Nuts and Snacks Gifts: With the weather improving, you’ll see more people dropping by for a visit – both expected and unexpected.  Be ready with some delicious and ready-to-eat snacks from Figi’s!  Our snacks are also perfect for when you just a need a quick handful of something yummy to hold you or the kids over until mealtime. Whatever the reason, nuts and snacks gifts from Figi’s are a favorite you can depend on.  Here are a couple of spring favorites we highly recommend:

SSweet Cravings Snack Tins from Figi'sweet Cravings Snack Tins: With this snack gift, the more you buy, the more you save; which is great, because there are so many great snack varieties to choose from in this gift! Everything from candy corn to bridge mix – it’s all good!  So go ahead – mix and match these fun and flavorful varieties.  Buy some for you and give some away as gifts!

Delicious Dried Fruit from Figi'sDelicious Dried Fruit:  Delicious snack sized varieties of dried kiwi, papaya, pineapple, banana and apricot are a tasty treat anytime! This is another buy more – save more gift from Figi’s; they’re ideal for personal consumption and for gift giving!  Click here to see all Figi’s nuts and snack gifts.

Mother’s Day Gifts: Hmmm…what would mom like for Mother’s Day? We’ve all been there!  The answer generally is found in ‘anything from you sent with love and care’ and Figi’s can help you accomplish that with ease!  Chances are, Figi’s has just the gift mom would love, sent from you. We have a wide variety of special gifts you can’t find anywhere else!  With Mother’s Day just around the corner, get the ‘moms’ in your life a special Mother’s Day gift basket delivered from Figi’s.  We have the perfect gift to share your thanks and appreciation with the ladies that have sacrificed so much for you and your family.  Here are three customer favorites personally selected for you.

Happy Mothers Day Petits Fours from Figi'sMother’s Day Petits Fours: Delicate layers of rich chocolate and yellow cake with luscious apricot, lemon, and chocolate buttercreme fillings, all coated with sweet white creme and chocolate icing.  In a word: yum! Our hand decorated petits fours will spell out your heartfelt “Happy Mother’s Day!” wish sweetly!

Mom's Coffee and Sweets Basket from Figi's Mom’s Coffee and Sweets Gift Basket: A Mother’s Day best-seller, this gift basket is loaded with sweets your mom will love – in the perfect amount for a coffee break; the mug and coffee are included!  The inclosed card and pin capture you sentiments perfectly (see below).  Our entire Mother’s Day gifts collection can be found here.

Mom's Card

ersonalized Sunshine Basket from Figi'sPersonalized Sunshine Gift Basket: Gift baskets make for great gift options because they often contain a mix of food gift choices; plus, many of our gift baskets include a personalized ribbon for an extra touch of class.  Our Sunshine Basket is filled with comforts that will nourish the body and cheer the soul: flower cookies, camomile tea, white clover honey, two fabric sunflowers, a green mug, soups, cheese, crackers and more!  Shop all of our remaining gift baskets here.

In honor of Mother’s Day – Figi’s Staff:

Linda B. with Mom – Figi’s Creative, Linda R. with Grandchildren – Figi’s Data Services, Linda S. with Granddaughter – Figi’s Copywriter and Mary F. with Grandchildren – Figi’s Analyst.

Linda BLinda RLinda S

Mary F

Graduation Gifts Graduation season is also coming up quickly.  Honor your graduate’s milestone with a graduation gift from Figi’s.  Figi’s personalized graduation gifts serve as lasting keepsakes; mementos of the day the your graduate will look back on for years to come.  We also have delicious graduation party food gifts including cakes, cupcakes, desserts, and snacks.  Check off your party list now, and get the celebration started! 

Personalized Graduation Throw from Figi'sPersonalized Graduation Throw:  Nothing says you care like a personalized gift from Figi’s.  One of our favorites is this unique throw; it’s the perfect keepsake your graduate will treasure for years to come! This is a soft 100% cotton throw that’s machine washable.  It measures 46″ x 60″ and is made in the USA.  You can personalize your graduate’s name and school name, up to 3 lines, 24 characters and spaces per line.

Graduates Keepsake Owl from Figi'sGraduate’s Keepsake Owl:  Another unique gift for graduates, this wise old owl is a beautiful glass memento of graduation day. It comes in a white satin fabric wrapped box with golden accents and reads, “Now graduation day has come, that degree belongs to you. Hope success will follow you, in everything you do.”  Shop all Figi’s graduation gifts here

Thanks again for reading Gourmet Market. Don’t forget – you can stay connected with us on our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ pages.

Please use the comments field below to share any spring gifting or recipes you have; we’d love to read them!

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Figi’s Fresh Flavors for Spring Pt. 1

first-robin-spring-cartoonAs spring slowly emerges from hibernation, we’d like to remind everyone Figi’s has a great selection of spring-themed and Mother’s Day gifts and gift baskets to help you with all your spring celebration needs.  Now is the time to order these gifts (and many other Figi’s favorites) as they are temperature-sensitive and will be going on ‘summer vacation’ from mid-May until September.  If you’d like to see our entire selection of ‘last-chance’ gifts, click here.  There you will find our special category of gifts only available for a few more weeks; it’s loaded with your favorite Wisconsin cheese, fudge, petits fours, meat gifts and more!  Get your Figi’s favorites while you still can…

Bakery Gifts:  Many of our Easter and Mother’s Day best-selling gifts are found in our bakery category.  Our entire assortment of fresh and delicious bakery gifts is found here.  Our bakery category has cakes and cookies galore – plus Figi’s favorites like fruitcake, baklava and whoopie pies!  Figi’s bakery gifts are perfect for church socials, brunches, graduation parties – you name it!  Let’s take a closer look at some springtime bakery favorites: Springtime Petits Fours from Figi's

Spring Petits Fours:  If you’re not familiar with petits fours (French for ‘little ovens’), they’re individual, miniature cakes made with alternating layers of yummy cake and buttercreme filling – all coated in tasty icing.  Our spring variety are beautifully hand-decorated and are sure to put a smile on your loved-one’s face.  Buttercreme flavors include spring favorites like key-lime, lemon and orange.

SSpringtime Cookie Variety from Figi'spring Cookie Variety:  A perfect brunch treat or snack any time a craving strikes.  These bright and beautiful home-style sugar cookies are all dressed up for spring!  Our cookie variety includes special icing and sparkling sprinkles; they’re a prefect compliment to your favorite coffee or tea.

 

Speaking of springtime, are you up for some spring trivia?  Put your spring knowledge to the test with this fun set of questions and answers from Yahoo here.

 

Happy Birthday Candle Petits Fours from Figi'sHappy Birthday Candle Petits Fours:  Our final bakery recommendation covers spring birthdays.  Figi’s has some very popular birthday gifts to help you give someone special a warm birthday greeting this spring.  Yes, you really can your cake and eat it, too!  The birthday candle and confetti accents on these petits fours make for a very festive – and tasty – gift experience.

Chocolate Gifts:  I find chocolate gifts enjoyable any time of year, spring included.  Figi’s is famous for its toffee, fudge, Chocolate Covered Potato Chips (yes – that’s not a typo – chocolate covered potato chips are AWESOME!), cherry cordials and so much more!  But again, we gently remind our readers to order our chocolate gifts today – they can’t take the summer heat and will soon be unavailable until September!  For our complete collection of chocolate covered gifts, please click here.

Caramel Pecan Clusters from Figi'sCaramel Pecan Clusters:  We take irresistible, big chunks of crisp pecans; enrobe them in smooth, buttery copper kettle caramel; and dip them in velvety smooth chocolate!  Available in scrumptious milk chocolate or deep dark chocolate, their quality and taste make chocolate lovers’ dreams come true!

English Butter Toffee from Figi's - CopyEnglish Butter Toffee: Indulge in Figi’s award-winning pure butter toffee!  Each buttery nugget is mixed with almonds, double dipped in creamy chocolate and topped with toasted almond bits. Choose from either milk or dark chocolate – or both!  Here’s what a Figi’s customer had to say: I have ordered toffee from other places but Figi’s toffee is by far the best tasting. I will continue to make this one of my holiday favorites…  We couldn’t have said it any better!

Gourmet Dipped Celebration Strawberries from Figi'sGourmet Dipped Celebration Strawberries:  Our chocolate covered gifts sell very well throughout the fall, winter and spring; this is especially true of our gourmet strawberries!  These ripe and juicy jumbo strawberries are available in six and twelve counts.  Both varieties are coated with deluxe white creme coating, icing drizzle and confetti candy sprinkles!  They’re very festive…and very yummy! Other chocolate covered fruit includes Chocolate Dipped Apricots; a new gift for us this spring, as well as Chocolate Covered Cherries.

Well, that should be enough to get you inspired…if not hungry:)  In part 2, we will look at some more great gifts for spring, including gifts for Mother’s Day and GraduationThanks again for reading Gourmet Market.  Don’t forget – you can stay connected with us on our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ pages.

Please use the comments field below to share any spring gifting or recipes ideas you have; we’d love to read them!

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Tips for Hosting Easter Brunch – Part 2

brunch table

Welcome to part 2 of our Easter brunch blog series.  If you missed part one’s tips and featured products, you can access it here.  In part 2, we’ll finish our Easter brunch tips and provide you with three brunch recipes from Martha Stewart Living.  As mentioned in part 1, Easter is just a few short days away and we’ve got a few more tips to help you plan your Easter Brunch.  We covered the importance of planning ahead and how ordering Easter brunch and dinner items from Figi’s can help save you time and stress.  You can shop our entire Easter brunch assortment here.  And with that, here are a few helpful tips to help your Easter brunch run smoothly.

Get By With a Little Help from Your Friends:  dividing up Easter brunch and dinner responsibilities between you and your friends and family attending is another great idea.  As the host, perhaps you handle a main dish, preparing the table settings and perhaps the coffee.  Other guests can be invited to bring side dishes and desserts.  Maybe someone brings everyone’s favorite hot or cold drinks from the corner coffee shop.  There are lots of ways to spread the fun!  This tip can be a tremendous time saver and stress reducer.  The trick here is to know what guests are bringing in order to avoid duplication and know what will need to be assembled, reheated, baked  or refrigerated at your brunch.  Be sure to accept any offers to help with the clean up as well.

Setting up in Advance:  brunches take place in the morning.  The morning of your brunch is not the time to frantically prepare your home, table settings, your meal, etc.  An easy way to avoid this is to do the house cleaning, decorating and set your table and other dining areas the night before your Easter brunch.  If you’ve planned ahead properly, you’ll already know how many guests are coming and what they’re bringing; setting your table and decorations in advance is a great way to reduce the stress of hosting Easter brunch.  Also identify and prep as much of your Easter brunch or dinner foods and beverages the night before as possible.  Many dishes, beverages and desserts can be prepared in advanced and kept refrigerated.  If you’ve ordered items from Figi’s, it’s as simple as following the heating and serving instructions for you ham, pastries and side dishes.

Decor and table setting:  for some egg-citing Easter brunch inspiration, check out our Easter Brunch Pinterest Board here.  You’ll find table decoration ideas, beverage and brunch food inspiration and more!

Easter Brunch Recipes:

menning mimosaMenning Mimosa (makes 1 cocktail)
Ingredients
• 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
• 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 2 tablespoons orange flavored liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
• Prosecco, chilled
• Fresh mint leaf

Directions
Step 1: In a Champagne flute, mix together orange juice, lemon juice, and liqueur. Fill with Prosecco. Garnish with mint leaf and serve immediately.

Frittata with Ham and SpinichFrittata with Ham and Spinach (serves 6)
Ingredients
• 6 large eggs
• 1/4 cup ricotta
• 1/2 cup chopped ham
• 1 teaspoon coarse salt
• 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
• 1 teaspoon olive oil
• 1 cup baby spinach

Directions
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, whisk eggs, ricotta, and chopped ham; season with coarse salt and ground pepper. In a medium ovenproof nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over medium. Add baby spinach; cook until wilted. Stir in egg mixture and cook until edge sets, 1 minute. Transfer skillet to oven. Cook frittata until center is set, 15 minutes. Invert frittata onto a plate to serve.

oven brownsOven Browns:
Recipe reprinted with permission from Maria Helm Sinskey, copyright 2012.
prep: 20 mins, total time: 1 hour 40 mins, servings: 8

Ingredients
• Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
• 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces (8 cups)
• 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
• 1 yellow onion, finely diced (1 cup)
• Garnish: 1 to 2 rosemary sprigs
Directions
Step 1: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook potatoes until just tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain. Let potatoes dry 10 minutes, then spread in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet.
Step 2: Drizzle potatoes with oil, and dot with butter. Taste a potato for seasoning. Add more salt if necessary, and season with pepper.
Step 3: Roast potatoes until beginning to turn golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Distribute onion evenly over potatoes. Reduce heat to 400 degrees, and roast until potatoes are golden and onions are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Garnish with rosemary.

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Tips for Hosting Easter Brunch – Part 1

Brunch TableWow – it’s mid-April and Easter is just a few days away!  For most of us, a very long winter is finally abating, and it’s as though Easter has sneaked up on us.  It’s time to plan your Easter Brunch and we have some tips, products and recipes to help.  We all know hosting a meal for friends and family can be rewarding; it can also be a lot of work and stressful if you procrastinate or try to take everything on yourself.  Here are a few helpful tips to help your Easter brunch run smoothly.

Plan Ahead:  planning Easter brunch (or Easter dinner for that matter) – ahead of time – will go a long way in helping your event run smoothly, with far less stress.  Lock down your meal time, your attendance list, helpers and responsibilities, meal and beverage menu and decorations as early as you can.

Order from Figi’s:  part of planning ahead includes planning and buying brunch items in advance.  Make it easier on yourself by keeping things simple: Figi’s offers a great selection delicious Easter brunch items items, ready to be served.  We have ham delivery, side dishes, desserts and pastries; plus, a wonderful selection of Easter candy, Easter baskets and Easter bakery gifts.  All of these gifts are already prepared for you – ready to serve; side dishes and hams can be heated, per the directions and serving instructions we’ve included, making prep time quick and easy!   To help you with planning your Easter brunch, we’ve showcased some of our favorite Easter brunch items below.  You can shop our entire Easter brunch assortment here.

Don’t procrastinate:  Figi’s has many great brunch and dinner selections, however, we do sell out of many items the closer we get to Easter, so don’t wait.  Order today for the best selection.  Also, do not procrastinate on purchasing decorations, beverages or items you’re making from scratch.  You don’t want to go to the grocery store a day or two in advance only to find out the items you need are sold out.

Select Figi’s Signature Easter Brunch Gifts:

Figi's Award Winning Spiral HamAward Winning Applewood Smoked Spiral Sliced Ham:  this ham is one of Figi’s most popular gifts and it’s perfect for your Easter traditions.  This is a boneless, spiral cut, ham from the multi sofi Award winners, Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Meats.  It’s a tender and juicy honey glazed ham that’s both tasty and convenient because it’s fully cooked!  The spiral slices are ready to serve or warm in the oven per our heating and serving suggestions which are included.  Make it easy on yourself: let Figi’s handle your ham delivery needs this Easter.

Apple Spice Coffee Cake from Figi'sApple Spice Coffee Cake: as one Figi’s customer put it, “The texture of this cake is more like a wonderful pudding and the spice blend is just right. I “highly” recommend this for anyone who likes apples.” We could not have said it better; this new gift is sure to be a hit at your Easter brunch table!

Almond Custard Coffee Cake from Figi'sAlmond Custard Coffee Cake:  another entry to satisfy your sweet tooth, we’ve crossed pastry rolls with coffee cake for something magnificent!  Delicious flaky danish pastry dough is layered with rich and creamy almond custard and topped off with almond slivers and sweet icing. It’s ideal for Easter brunch, breakfast or dessert!

Smokehouse Brunch Meat from FigisSmokehouse Brunch Meats:  back to the savory side of brunch we go!  This gift is a mouthwatering variety sliced bacon, smoked sausage links, maple and original flavored Canadian bacon and finally, Applewood smoked sausages.  Just imagine the aroma this brunch gift will tantalize your guests with!

Brunch Bread Trio from Figi'sBrunch Bread Trio:  three great tastes, together!  You’re sure to enjoy this assortment of pineapple carrot, blackberry rhubarb and pumpkin walnut breads.  Our pumpkin walnut loaf is topped with an amaretto drizzle glaze; our pineapple carrot loaf  has a pineapple drizzle glaze; and our blackberry  rhubarb has a cinnamon and streusel topping!

Please stay tuned for part 2 of “Tips for Hosting Easter Brunch” where we’ll give a couple more hosting tips and three, yes three, Easter brunch recipes…including a unique spin on Mimosa.  After all, what’s Easter brunch without Mimosa?  Thanks again for reading Gourmet Market.  Don’t forget – you can stay connected with us on our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ pages.

Please use the comments field below to share any Easter brunch tips and recipes you have; we’d love to read them!

 

 

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Say ‘thanks!’ to an Administrative Professional

Administrative Professionals DayApril 23rd is Administrative Professionals Day – an official holiday to celebrate the hard work and dedication of the over 4 million secretaries and administrative assistants in the United States (Source: U.S. Department of Labor, 2010).  There’s no better way to ‘thanks!’  to the professionals in your office or place of business than with a gift basket or other tasty gifts, from Figi’s!  Here are a few great gift basket ideas for recognizing your coworkers, friends, relatives or neighbors in honor of Administrative Professionals Day:

Bountiful Harvest Basket Gift Basket from Figi'sBountiful Harvest Gift Basket:  we have loaded this gift basket with a rich selection of our very best sweet and savory treats: decadent chocolate fudge; a Figi’s milk chocolate coin; dark chocolate Lindt balls; peanut caramel clusters; chocolate truffle cookies; hearty summer sausage; creamy Brie flavored and Edam cheese.  This is an elegant gift basket presentation that really makes a statement!

Personalized Sunshine BasketPersonalized Sunshine Basket:  show that special someone they’re a ‘ray of sunshine’ at the office with our Sunshine Basket!  It’s filled with comforts that will nourish the body and cheer the soul.  Personalize this gift’s gold satin ribbon with your special ‘thank you!’ message for a truly unique gift you can’t find anywhere else!  This gift basket includes crunchy sweet flower cookies; soothing Camomile tea; white clover honey; green mug; delicious crispy Seed Celebration crackers; aromatic tomato basil and cheesy potato soup mixes; creamy cheese spreads; honey cheddar snack mix and butterscotch candies!

 Royal Touch GiftTin from Figi'sRoyal Touch Gift Basket:  this rich and elegant gift tin is brimming with luxurious treats your administrative professional or secretary will love!  Give them the ‘royal treatment’ with chocolate drenched bridge mix; milk chocolate brownie bites; caramel pecan clusters; decadent raspberry chocolate bars; crisp milk chocolate covered pretzels; golden chocolate coins and a nougat nut log for a truly exquisite gift!

Chocolate Brunch Gift Basket from Figi'sChocolate Brunch Gift Basket:  here’s a fantastic brunch gift basket loaded with delicious chocolate delights!  This gift basket includes chocolate Madeleines; four chocolate muffins; caramel pecan pancake mix; chocolate French vanilla cocoa mix; Cocoa Amore chocolate supreme mix; Mocha Java coffee; chocolate butter button cookies; strawberry syrup, and two ceramic mugs.  This gift has just about everything your coworker needs to start the day right!

Sparkling Celebration Gift BasketSparkling Celebration Gift Basket:  our next gourmet gift basket has plenty to share!  Bottles of bubbly sparkling apple-cranberry and pomegranate beverages; sharp Cheddar cheese; Merlot Cheddar cheese spread; Los Olivos Wine & Cheese Biscuits; spicy crostini; onion taralli; and balsamic herb vinaigrette.  Our distinctive willow gift basket even includes napkins!

And that’s just a handful of the many terrific gift baskets we offer; if you’d like to see all of our great gift basket ideas, they can be found here.  If you’re looking for other ideas besides gift baskets, no problem – we have you covered!  We have candies, cookies, cakes, plants, mugs and more here.  But order soon – April 23rd is right around the corner!

If you need help ordering, please give us a call at 1.866.855.0203, 7 days a week, 7 AM CT – 10 PM CT.  We would love to help you with your gift giving needs.

We’ll see you next time – thanks for reading Gourmet Market!

 

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Aw Nuts! April is National Pecan Month

Bourbon Pecan Pie from Figi's

April is National Pecan Month and we’re back to share some great gifts, recipes and fun trivia to honor this most delicious and versatile nut.  Figi’s has a ‘tree-mendous’ selection of pecan gifts and products to choose from: everything from pecan pies and pecan tortes; nuts and snacks; pecan cookies; caramel pecan clusters and much more!  I’m getting hungry as I type this; a cup of coffee and a slice of that pie pictured above sure would hit the spot right about now!  Let’s take a closer look at some great way to celebrate National Pecan Month; and don’t forget to check out the two yummy recipes included for you at the end of this post.

Did you knowpecans provide essential nutrients and are a good source of dietary fiber.  Pecans are rich in thiamin, vitamin E, copper, magnesium and oleic acid (helps lower ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol levels).

Bourbon Pecan Pie from Figi'sBourbon Pecan Pie:  pecan pie is one of my absolute favorite desserts and Figi’s has a terrific version of this classic available right now!  Our pie is topped with sweet and tender, yet crisp nuts in a rich praline filling.  Our pie has an extra deep, moist and flaky crust, filled with loads of luscious bourbon-enhanced filling and bountiful pecans.  Figi’s also has miniature versions of this pie (also available in sugar-free).  Our pecan pies and tortes can be found here.

Did you knowspeaking of pecan pie, Okmulgee, OK once hosted the annual “Downtown Okmulgee Pecan Festival.”  Reportedly, it was at this festival, the world’s largest pecan pie was created.  The pie weighed in around 35,000 pounds and was 40 feet in diameter!

Caramel Pecan Clusters from Figi'sCaramel Pecan Clusters:  a customer favorite year after year, this gift is made with big chunks of crisp pecans in smooth, buttery-rich copper kettle caramel, enrobed in smooth chocolate.  Our clusters are available in both milk chocolate and deep dark chocolate.  If you limit yourself to one cluster each day, you might make it through National Pecan Month with one tin :)

Did you know…pecan trees are ‘alternate-bearing’ (producing nuts every other year) and produce 25 to 45 pounds of nuts per tree in alternate years.  Researchers are working to develop a pecan tree that will produce a large crop of nuts annually.

Holiday Nut Mix from Figi'sHoliday Nut Mix:  this a terrific snack mix for any nut lover!  It includes jumbo roasted cashews and fresh roasted pecan halves.  These nuts are slowly roasted, lightly salted, and sealed fresh in tins that perfect for treating guests or sending a gift.  Pecans can be found in many other nuts and snacks gifts here.

Did you know…the U.S. produces roughly 90% of the world’s pecans, with an annual production of over 250 million pounds!

Personalized Go Nuts Gift BasketPersonalized Go Nuts Gift Basket:  here’s a great gift basket idea with a generous selection of delicious treats: our aforementioned caramel pecan clusters are included with nougat nut logs, cashew brittle, chocolate covered peanuts, peanut caramel clusters and more.  Everything is carefully arranged in a beautiful black willow basket, wrapped with personalized silky ribbon embossed with your personal message in attractive gold script!

Did you know…pecan trees are native to North America.  Native Americans widely consumed and traded pecans long before Europeans settled North America.

Recipes: There are so many ways to use pecans in recipes; it was hard to pick just two for you, but here goes…

Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookie BarsChocolate Chip-Pecan Cookie Bars

Feel free to swap walnuts or almonds for the pecans, or use half nuts and half dried cranberries for tart, chewy bars (recipe from foodandwine.com).

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pecans
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flower
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 350° and line the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.  Spread the pecans in a pie plate and toast for about 8 minutes, until golden. Chop the pecans and let cool.
  • In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, beat the butter and oil with the granulated sugar and brown sugar until creamy.  Beat in the egg and vanilla until smooth. In a small bowl, whisk the flour with the baking soda and salt; beat the dry ingredients into the mixer at low speed.  Add the chocolate chips and pecans; beat just until incorporated.
  • Transfer the dough to the prepared baking pan and press into an even layer.  Bake for about 20 minutes, until lightly browned and nearly set in the center. Let cool completely, then run a knife around the edges and invert the rectangle.  Peel off the paper and invert onto a cutting board.  Cut and serve.

Chopped Brussels Sprouts with Dried Cranberries, Pecans, Blue CheeseChopped Brussels Sprouts with Dried Cranberries, Pecans & Blue Cheese

Yield: Serves 4-6

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Chopped brussel sprouts with dried cranberries, toasted pecans, blue cheese and a simple apple cider Dijon dressing (recipe from two peas and their pod).

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound brussel sprouts
  • 1 cup roughly chopped pecans
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cinder vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese

Directions:

  • Rinse brussel sprouts and remove any damaged or dirty outer leaves.  Place on a cutting board and slice off the hard root end. Using a sharp knife, thinly slice the brussel sprouts.  When you’re done, use your fingers to gently separate the leaves so that the shredded sprouts resemble a very fine slaw.  Place in a large bowl and set aside.
  • To toast the pecans, place a medium frying pan on the stove top.  Turn on medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add a single layer of pecans. Stir frequently with a spatula until they start looking darker and you can smell the toasted nuts. Remove from heat and spread out on a plate to cool to room temperature.  Make sure you watch the pecans closely, they can burn pretty quickly and they will keep cooking after removing them from the pan.
  • While the pecans are cooling, make the dressing. In a small jar, add the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper.  Put a lid on the jar and shake until mixed well.
  • Add the toasted pecans, dried cranberries, and blue cheese to the chopped brussel sprouts.  Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until all of the ingredients are well coated. Serve immediately.  Note: you can also use a mandoline or food processor to chop the brussel sprouts.

If you try either of these recipes, share with us how they turned out.  Please also share any of your favorite pecan-based recipes with us. Use the comments field below or connect with us socially on our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ pages.  As always, thanks for reading Gourmet Market!Shelled Pecans

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Take it Personally: Personalized Easter Gifts Part 2

Personalized Easter Baskets from Figi'sHello and welcome back to our review of best selling and new personalized Easter baskets for kids from Figi’s. If you missed Personalized Easter Gifts Part 1, you can access it hereBefore we get to the gifts, I wanted to highlight another ‘egg-citing’ reason ordering personalized Easter baskets and gifts from Figi’s is a great idea: ordering is fast and easy!  You can call us at 1.866.855.0203, 7 days a week, 7 AM CT – 10 PM CT.  Or you can order any time online at www.figis.comEach personalized gift at figis.com has its personalization requirements listed; and its personalization option is pre-selected for you to make ordering a snap. Should you choose to not have personalization, simply uncheck the box.Ordering with Personalization from Figi's

How about  some personalized gifts that are completely edible – personalization included? Yeah, we can help you with that :)

Personalized Peanut Butter Egg from Figi'sPersonalized Peanut Butter Chocolate Egg:  this completely edible personalized Easter gift is designed for your peanut butter loving family members and friends.  Here’s a Figi’s customer review on this gift; again, we see how special it is to receive a personalized gift from Figi’s: I have purchased this item before and I was extremely pleased with the detail and attention that they put into personalizing it for my daughter. I will never forget how excited she was to see what the “Easter bunny” had left for her to enjoy.”

Personalized Chocolate Greeting from Figi'sPersonalized Chocolate Greeting:  up next is is another completely edible personalized Easter gift from Figi’s.  Framed in delicious Easter jelly beans, this sweet Easter greeting really makes a bold and tasty declaration!  The centerpiece of this fun gift is a special chocolate message from you!  We write your greeting in edible yellow icing on a yummy ‘Happy Easter’ chocolate plaque. 

Personalized Easter Bunny's Special Delivery from Figi'sPersonalized Easter Bunny’s Special Delivery:  back to to personalized Easter baskets for kids that are a mixture of hard goods and candy, this gift has stood the test of time. We also have a Christmas version which is very popular.  A personalized mailbox tin is loaded with candy favorites such as Easter chocolates, sour jelly bunnies and Easter jelly beans.  But that’s not all…your child or grand child also we receive a special letter from the Easter Bunny and a fun bunny bouncing ball!  

Personalized Easter Egg Goodies from Figi'sPersonalized Easter Egg Goodies:  last, but not least, we have another personalized Easter basket for kids with special pricing when you buy two.  This ‘eggs-tra’ special gift has a personalized, reusable fun box containing cottontail kisses taffy; speckled jelly beans; Sixlets®; gumballs; a strawberry marshmallow egg and more.

Personalized Easter gifts from Figi’s – perfect for kids, grand kids, nieces, nephews, neighbors…anyone on you Easter gift-giving list!  If you have any questions about these or other Figi’s gifts, please contact us; we’re happy to help you find the perfect gift.  To see our full assortment of personalized Easter gift baskets, please click here.

There is still time to order to ensure Easter delivery, but Easter will be here before you know it, so don’t wait.  We’re already seeing some Easter gift sell out.  For information regarding Easter basket delivery deadlines and mail order Easter gifts, click  here.

Thanks for reading Gourmet Market. We’ll be back soon with more fun spring holiday gift giving topics, product updates and trivia.

Personalized Easter Baskets from Figi's

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