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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March Madness Watch Party Essentials Round 2

basketball fans

March Madness 2014 is at its midpoint and the action has been fantastic!  As the Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight and Final Four draw near, it is time to game plan on what to serve or bring to your next party.  Whether you are hosting or visiting a March Madness watch party, you know having great tasting snack foods is essential.  Here is where Figi’s come in; let our 70 years of experience helping people celebrate special events and holidays make you an MVP.  Even if you are not into March Madness yourself, chances are, you have a friend or relative that is; surprise them with one our snack gifts delivered.  

In our first March Madness Watch Party Essentials post, we scouted some great snack ideas from Figi’s.  Today’s post will add additional snack ideas and a recipe for you to try.  Also feel free to vote in our championship poll below; who do you think will win it all this year…Arizona, Michigan State, Louisville…or another team?

Savory Sixteen Meat Cheese Sampler from FigisSavory Sixteen Meat and Cheese Assortment: Get the crackers ready!  Snack-sized cuts of assorted favorite Wisconsin cheese and sausages combine for a delicious lineup for your party. We have included Summer, Mettwurst, Steakhouse, Pizza, and Garlic flavored sausages with Wisconsin Cheeses including Cheddar, Colby, Brick, Onion, Bacon, and Salami flavored.  Please check out our other Cheese and Meat assortments here.

Chocolate Covered Pretzels from FigisChocolate Covered Pretzels: We haven’t had many sweets in our snack recommendations thus far, so here’s tried and true veteran you can count on to satisfy a sweet tooth.  We take salted golden pretzel twists and sweeten the deal by coating them in milk chocolate and white creme coatings. Half of these yummy treats are then coated with colorful candy sprinkles.  Figi’s has two chocolate covered gift sizes available to help with any sized gathering. Check out more wonderful Chocolate Covered Gifts from Figi’s here.

Bagel Chips and Cheese Spreads from FigisBagel Chips & Creamy Country® Cheese Spreads: We have teamed up our famous best-selling Figi’s Creamy Country® Cheese Spreads with toasted bagel chips for the ultimate snack!  You and your watch party guests will savor light and crispy New York Style® Traditional Bagel Chips topped with our Creamy Country® Cheese Spread trio of  Cheddar, Cheddar with Bacon, and Nacho Jalapeno flavors. Our cheese spreads are also great for dipping veggies, spreading on sandwiches and crackers and so much more!

Tempting Twosomes from FigisTempting Twosomes Meat and Cheese Assortment:  Figi’s has put together another great combination for your March Madness watch party! We’ve included two of our savory Smokehouse Beef Sausages with two of our finest Wisconsin Cheese: Cheddar and Colby.  But that’s not all – we added two of our delicious Kave Kure® Cheese Logs.  Our Swiss log is coated with with almonds and our Cheddar log is coated with pecans and almonds.

Chocolate Nut Teasers from FigisChocolate Nut Teasers Snack Mix:  Here is another sweet and savory best-selling snack mix from Figi’s.  This gift includes everyone’s favorite nuts – made even better by being enrobed in rich chocolate!  Check out this starting roster: Milk Chocolate Peanuts, Mocha Almonds, Cashews, Pecans, Dark Chocolate Almonds, plus Milk and Dark Chocolate ‘All Nut’ Mix.  Just open this tin and let the snacking begin!

And there you have it: more great snack ideas for watching the rest of March Madness 2014 or sending to your favorite fans.  For other great snack ideas, be sure to view our entire assortment of snack gifts here.

As promised, here is a quick and easy recipe I found from Marzetti. Give it a try and let us know how you liked it in the comments field below.  Do you have a game time recipe you would like to share with our readers? Please do so in the comments field below.

grilled potato skins

Recipe: Grilled Potatoes with Tomatoes and Scallions

Grilled Potato Skins with Tomatoes and Scallions
Grilled Potato Skins with Tomatoes and Scallions

Ingredients:
Marzetti Classic Ranch Dressing
Large raw potatoes
Shredded Cheddar cheese
Chopped tomatoes
Chopped scallions
Chopped parsley
Preparation:
Bake several large potatoes until they are tender when pierced with a knife. Allow them to cool. Cut the potatoes in half and scoop out most of the cooked potato (save this for another use). Cut each potato half into 4 pieces. Arrange the potato wedges on a tray. Fill each piece with shredded cheddar cheese. Prepare a grill pan or a grill to medium heat. Brush the pan or the grill grates with oil. Transfer the wedges to the pan and grill until the cheese melts and the bottom of the potatoes are marked. Remove from grill and top with chopped tomatoes, scallions and parsley. Drizzle a generous amount of Marzetti Classic Ranch Dressing over the potato wedges and serve.

Readers Poll: Who Will Win March Madness 2014?

 

As always, thanks for reading Gourmet Market. Connect with Figi’s on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ to learn more about our products, service and promotions.

 

 

 

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Take it Personally: Personalized Easter Gifts Part 1

Personalized Easter Baskets from Figi'sEaster is a wonderful time to give or send someone special a personalized Easter basket or gift from Figi’s and we have many wonderful gifts to chose from! But before we explore specific gifts, let’s review why choosing a personalized gift from Figi’s is a great idea. For starters, kids and grand kids love to see their own name on a special gift given by you.  Personalization gives your gift a little something ‘extra special’ because it makes your Easter gift unique and memorable; when your little one sees the gift you sent with her name on it, she’ll remember YOU sent it. Personalized gifts show you took extra time and effort to do something very special.  In addition, personalized gifts from Figi’s are fun and affordable; in fact several best-sellers have discounts for buying in pairs. Finally, personalized gifts are identifiable; it’s harder (though not impossible) for kids to argue ownership over something that clearly has the owner’s name on it :)

Figi’s has many adorable personalized gifts you can treat your kids and grand kids with this Easter; trust us when we say putting a child’s name on a special gift from you will mean so much to them!  Let’s take a closer look at a few of our most popular and new personalized Easter gifts:

Personalized Cuddle Bunny Floor Pillow from Figi'sPersonalized Cuddle Bunny Floor Pillows:  Imagine your little one’s excitement when he or she sees their name on these cute and cuddly Easter bunny themed body pillows!  These pillows are perfect for napping, snuggling, TV time, trips to grandma’s house…you name it!  Last year, a Figi’s customer said of this gift: Excellent! So cute!! Love my son’s name on this item. Looks better in person than the picture…so adorable.

Personalized Floppy-Eared Bunnies from Figi'sPersonalized Floppy-Eared Bunnies: Looking for something cute and cuddly, but smaller than the pillow shown above? No problem: check out these Easter best-sellers!  Figi’s has helped thousands of parents and grandparents deliver Easter smiles with these adorable personalized bunnies.  Our girl version wears a pretty party dress; the boy version dons overalls – both versions are embroidered with the special name you specify. Plus, if you buy a pair of bunnies, you receive a special discount.

Personalized Easter Treat Pails from Figi'sPersonalized Easter Treat Pails:  Okay, those are both great ideas, but does Figi’s have something personalized and edible?  Yes we do!  In fact this next gift combines “cute and cuddly” with yummy Easter candy to make an ideal fun surprise for your little ones. Other Easter gifts “pail” in comparison (sorry…I couldn’t help myself).  These best selling personalized Easter baskets for kids have cool star sunglasses; a play shovel and pail; plush ducks (complete with their own cute sunglasses!); jelly sugar rabbits and chicks; a dark chocolate marshmallow egg and more! This Easter gift also has special pricing when you buy a  pair of pails.

Personalized Bunny Tins from Figi'sPersonalized Bunny Tins:  Another wonderful combination in a personalized Easter basket for kids, this gift has a reusable Easter tin with your child’s name on the lid; a cute mini plush bunny; and a self-inking stamper.  Assorted candy includes: a Pez® candy dispenser; Easter jelly beans; yummy marshmallow eggs; and other assorted chocolates!  This is another great Figi’s Easter gift with special discount pricing when you buy a pair of tins.

Personalized Dinosaur Fun Bag from Figi'sPersonalized Princess Fun Bag:  Here’s something unique and extra-special for your ‘little princess.’  This Easter basket for kids has just about everything a princess could need (pumpkin carriage and glass slippers not included).  This princess fun kit includes a pretty tiara; a pearl-like necklace; strawberry cream and key lime taffy; taffy pops; strawberry flavored popcorn; Jelly Belly® Disney® Princess jelly beans; and a giant princess crown cookie!  Also included is a castle stationary case to hold assorted stickers, a small notebook and crayons – all in a pretty pink canvas bag with your princess’s name embroidered in white. She’ll have a “ball” with this gift! (sorry…) This is a new gift for us and already has this nice review from a Figi’s customer: ‘I purchased this product, along with others for my granddaughter’s birthday. Having it personalized for her meant everything to her. She was thrilled with the gifts and gave me much satisfaction in seeing her excitement. I would definitely recommend this to all.

Personalized Dinosaur Fun Bag from Figi'sPersonalized Dinosaur Fun Bag: Chances are, your little guy loves dinosaurs. If so, imagine the excitement this personalized Easter gift will bring him!  This cute new gift from Figi’s has everything a little paleontologist could use on an expedition: a dinosaur sticker book; a dinosaur case of crayons; a dinosaur shaped sugar cookie; some green apple flavored popcorn; Laffy Taffy®; Dinosaur Gummi Kabobs; Tootsie Roll® Pops; Mike & Ike® Original Fruit; and assorted mini dinosaurs!  All of this fun comes in a green fun bag with your little one’s name embroidered in white. It’s a “dino-mite” gift! (better?)

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 and other gifts, please click here. To learn more about Figi’s Easter Basket Delivery, click here.

Thanks for reading Gourmet Market. We’ll be back soon with “Take it Personally: Personalized Easter Gifts Part 2″ and  more fun spring holiday and gift giving topics.

More Personalized Easter Baskets from Figi's

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March Madness Watch Party Essentials Round 1

March Madness 2014 is here! Many people (myself included) look forward to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament each year.  The games are generally exciting and spirited. It’s hard not to get caught up in all the excitement, especially if you’ve engaged in some friendly competition with friends and co-workers through a bracket challenge.

March Madness and snacking go hand in glove.  Are you hosting or attending a March Madness watch party? If so, then you know having an array of snack foods at guests’ fingertips is a must and we’re here to help.  Even if you aren’t into March Madness yourself, chances are, you have a friend or relative that is; surprise them with one of these snack gifts delivered.  With that, here are some game-winning  snack foods from Figi’s that will make you an MVP with friends and family.

Double Wisconsin Variety Meat and Cheese Gift Box From Figi'sDouble Wisconsin Variety: This gift has it all! Snack-sized cuts of Wisconsin cheese, sausages, mixed nuts and jumbo cashews!  Plus, we threw in two delicious chocolate bars to quell your sweet-tooth.  Team up Double Wisconsin Variety with your favorite crackers. We’ve included Cheddar, Colby Jack, Salami flavored and Vegetable flavored cheese varieties.  Our Smokehouse Sausage varieties include  Beef Summer Sausage, Steakhouse Blend Sausage, Garlic Beef Sausage, Beerwurst Sausage, and Pizza Sausage.

Hot and Spicy Cajun Snack Mix from Figi'sHot & Spicy Cajun Mix: Here’s a snack mix that’s definitely as ‘hot’ as the tournament action itself!  Figi’s crunchy Cajun Snack Mix has the perfect amount of zip to make your taste buds tingle.  It’s a zesty mix of Virginia Peanuts, Almonds, shelled Sunflower Seeds, Soynuts, Pepitas, Hot & Spicy Peanuts, and Cajun Corn Sticks.

Country Cheeses SpreadsCreamy Country® Cheese Spreads: You can’t go wrong with Figi’s Creamy Country® Cheese Spreads; it’s no wonder these spreads are our best-selling gifts!  We have all the best flavors out there and they’re perfect for sandwiches, crackers, bagel chips, pitas, wraps, pretzels and more! Choose from our ‘sweet sixteen’ ounce or ‘elite eight’ ounce sizes of Port Wine, Cool Ranch, Cheddar, French Onion, Swiss and Almond and other flavors – the more you buy, the more you save!

Delightful Dozen Meat and Cheese Gift Box from Figi'sDelightful Dozen and Half Dozen Cheese and Meat Gift Box:  Figi’s has put together a great combination for your party – delicious snack sized cuts of sausage, Wisconsin cheese and spreadable cheese logs are all included in this all-star lineup. You’ll get robust Summer, Mettwurst, Garlic and Cheddar Jalapeno Sausages, along with Cheddar, Colby, Brick, and Edam Cheeses.  And don’t forget the nut rolled Kave Kure® Cheddar, Port Wine, Swiss, and Smoky Cheese Logs; perfect for veggies, crackers, wraps and more!

Nostalgic Popcorn Gift Tin from Figi'sNostalgic Popcorn Tin: What can be easier to snack on than popcorn from Figi’s?! Not much. Just pop the top and let the snacking begin!  This game-winning snack tin includes plump, firm, and full of flavor popcorn varieties in a fun, retro tin.  Popcorn varieties include Butter Flavored, Wisconsin Double Cheddar, and Copper Kettle Caramel Popcorn in the 3-way tin. Figi’s 6-way  tin has Kettlecorn, Wisconsin White Cheddar and Double Cheddar, Copper Kettle Caramel, Vanilla, and Caramel Corn with pecans and almonds!

Smokehouse Meat Sticks and MoreSmokehouse Beef Sticks:  Your journey to the tourney should include these Figi’s best-sellers.  Our moist and flavorful smoked meat sticks are made in the best smokehouse tradition – seasoned just the way you like ‘em.  They’re a great value with our Buy More and Save pricing – treat the whole team! Choose from Beef, Pepperoni, Hot & Spicy and Honey Ham.

California PistachiosCalifornia Pistachios:  Our final March Madness Party snack idea is California Pistachios from Figi’s. Our best selection of huge natural California Pistachios are rich and nutty; carefully roasted and lightly salted, they have that slightly sweet Pistachio taste snack-lovers will appreciate.

Everyone’s a winner with Wisconsin cheese, sausage and snacks from Figi’s. Check out our complete roster of snack gifts here. Our lineup of cheese and meat gifts can be found here.  Have fun this March Madness; here’s hoping your bracket isn’t busted after day one!

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Fun St. Patrick’s Day Trivia and Gifts – Part 2

St. Patrick's Day Parade

Welcome back to our review of St. Patrick’s Day trivia. In Part 1, we shared interesting trivia about Saint Patrick and assorted fun traditions carried out around the United States.  In Part 1, I also promised to share the translation of “Éirinn Go Brách.” Without further ado; that phrase translates to “Ireland Forever” and is used to express Irish nationalism.  Here are a few more Irish sayings you can try out while celebrating with family and friends; as far as correct pronunciation is concerned…you’re on your own :)

Gráim thú means “I Love You.” Sláinte means “To your Good Health” or “Cheers.”  Beannachtaí na Fáile Pádraig is a St. Patrick’s Day blessing. Dia dhuit means “Hello” and literally means “God be with you.”  Ní fhaca mé le fada thú menas “Long time, no see.”  And finally, Go n-éirí an t-ádh leat translates as “Good luck”  (literally, May luck rise with you).

While you can try to impress your friends with those Irish phrases, it may be less difficult (and embarrassing) to try out this trivia…

  • Many Irish names have an O’ prefix; the O’ prefix means “grandson of.”  Mac and Mc are also common and mean “son.”

LeprechaunSo what is a leprechaun anyway? A leprechaun is a little shoemaker, typically ill-tempered and wealthy.  They like to store away their treasure trove of coins in a pot at the end of a rainbow.  It’s said that if you catch a leprechaun, it must grant you three wishes in exchange for its freedom. (photo courtesy spiderwick.wikia.com)

  • If you don’t wear green on St. Patrick’s Day, you open your self up to get pinched. You might want to be careful with that one now days…
  • It’s said that in Ireland, there is one pub for every 350 people; all pubs in Ireland are generally open every day except Good Friday and Christmas Day.

Kissing the Blarney StoneI always thought you kissed the Blarney Stone for good luck. Turns out, you kiss the Blarney Stone to make you less shy and more talkative; to become more eloquent. To learn more about this tradition and how hard it is to actually kiss the Blarney Stone, click here. (photo courtesy blarneycastle.ie)

  • The first St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the New World took place in Boston circa 1737; the first official parade in New York City took place in 1762; it’s the world’s largest and oldest St. Patrick’s Day parade. (main parade image courtesy news.nationalgeographic.com)

Connemara marble jewelryIreland is famous for its green-tinted Connemara marble (used in jewelry making, building facades, flooring and more) and beautiful Waterford Crystal. The Waterford factory melts over 750 tons of lead crystal per year.  Waterford produces over 45,000 high-end crystal pieces per year. (photo courtesy etsy.com)

  • For more St. Patrick’s Day fun facts, visit History.com here.

There’s still time to get some fun St. Patrick’s Day Gifts from Figi’s…but not much time! See them, and other great Holiday gifts, here.

Figi's St. Patrick's Day GiftsWe hope you’ve enjoyed our short tour through St. Patrick’s Day trivia and tradition. We’ll be back soon with more Easter facts and trivia, along with other fun topics, coming later this spring. Thanks again for reading Gourmetmarket.com; please let us know what you think about our blog in the comment field below. If you have some topic ideas, be sure to share them with us as well.

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The Nine Million Dollar Egg

Happy Easter from Figi'sA title like ‘The Nine Million Dollar Egg’ is sure to get some attention! We’ll get to nine million dollar egg in a bit, but by way of introduction, this post is all about Easter. Granted, Easter is still a bit of a ‘hop down the bunny trail,’ but since it is my favorite holiday, I like to start celebrating early. I’ll have other posts about this very special holiday in the coming weeks and I hope you enjoy the first installment centered around some fun and interesting Easter trivia.

Chocolate EggsWhat is the most popular Easter candy? Chocolate Eggs. You just can’t miss with this combination of classic candy and the most popular Easter symbol. Whether malted, solid chocolate, caramel filled, foil-wrapped, or with crisp rice, chocolate eggs are hard to beat!

Child and Chocolate BunnyHow do most people eat their chocolate bunnies? Most people choose ‘ears first’ – 76% of the population agrees the ears are the best part! In reality, does it really matter – chocolate feet first or chocolate ears first: it’s all the same delicious chocolate, right? If you’re interested in chocolate bunnies, Figi’s has a few varieties available – including a five pounder! You can check them all out here.

Jelly BeansHow many jellybeans are purchased at Easter time? Would you believe…16 BILLION?! If all were lined up end to end, they would circle the globe three times. Figi’s also carries a selection of jelly beans, perfect for Easter or any time! Cold Stone Creamery® and Jelly Belly® varieties can be found here.

Hot Cross BunsWhat English baked good is a traditional Good Friday treat, thought to ward off fires, shipwrecks, and keep rats out of the corn? Hot cross buns. I have to admit it; I never heard that one before. People believed that hot cross buns baked on Good Friday would never go moldy, and so they kept them from one Good Friday to the next.

Easter EggsWhy are eggs an Easter symbol? Eggs have been a symbol of life and rebirth since ancient times. Ancient cultures of Egypt, Persia, Gaul, Rome, and Greece all used this symbol. This tradition made its way into Easter; a holiday that celebrates rebirth.

Egg Rolling at the White HouseWhen did the most famous Easter celebration – Easter Egg Rolling on the White House lawn – begin?  President Andrew Johnson’s family originally rolled eggs at the White House. Over time, children in Washington D.C began participating in the activity on the Capitol grounds. However, this practice was very hard on the Capitol’s landscaping. As a result, Congress outlawed the practice in 1878. President Rutherford B. Hayes kindly opened up the White House lawn to any child who wished to roll an egg, and the tradition continues to this day.

Easter LillyWhat prompted growers in the US to start producing Easter lilies? Japan was the main supplier of Easter lilies until 1941 when our supply was cut off because of World War II. Lilly hobbyists in America decided to turn their hobby into a business; and the industry is still booming! The Easter lily is the fourth most popular potted plant. 

The WinterEggAnd last but not least…which decorated eggs are the world’s most valuable?  In the 1880s, Peter Carl Faberge was commissioned by Czar Alexander III to create decorated eggs for the Czarina Maria Feorodovna. Fifty-seven of these treasures were hand crafted, and are now worth millions each. The “Winter Egg” sold for, get this – $9,579,500 in 2002!

Personalized Peanut Butter Egg from Figi'sThe best part about starting your Easter celebration early is that you have longer to indulge in all of those awesome Easter treats! Here are a few of my favorites: Personalized Peanut Butter Eggs (if they’re your favorite too, you might like our Peanut Butter Pie or Easter Bunny Bites!)

Cold Stone Creamery Jelly Beans from Figi'sCold Stone Creamery® Ice Cream Parlor Mix Jelly Belly® Beans are delightful, so much better than traditional jellybeans. Enjoy Chocolate Devotion®, Our Strawberry Blonde®, Birthday Cake Remix™, Apple Pie A La Cold Stone®, and Mint Mint Chocolate Chocolate Chip®, all in a fun ice cream cone gift tin.

Happy Easter Petits Fours from Figi'sOf course, most of all, I love Happy Easter Petits Fours! These cute, creamy and absolutely irresistible chick petits fours join in the fun of wishing loved ones a “Happy Easter!” We also have a new Petits Fours gift for Easter; you can check out the new Gourmet Easter Petits Fours here.

Easter Basket's From Figi'sWe also have a fine assortment of Easter Baskets to choose from.

Let Figi’s help you find the Easter treats to perk you up and chase away those winter blues. To view our entire Easter Gifts selection, including baskets, chocolate bunnies, egg candies and more, click here

If you love Easter as much as I do, be sure to visit our Easter Gifts and Crafts Pinterest Board. There, you’ll find lots of recipes, egg dying techniques, crafts and much more! 

If you have any special memories of Easter or traditions you’d like to share, please use the comments field below. Thanks again for reading Gourmetmarket.com; we’ll be with you again soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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