5 Reasons Why Gift Baskets Make the Perfect Mother’s Day Present

How do you thank your mom for all that she does? How do you acknowledge all the love she has for you and show her all the love you have for her? Hopefully, you can find ways to show your appreciation the whole year through. But on Mother’s Day, we try to communicate all of those feelings in one perfect gift and on a single day. Not a simple task.

Traditionally, people send flowers to their mothers. This makes sense as Mother’s Day is during the springtime! There are many colorful and fragrant flowers to choose from that mark the beginning of the season such as hyacinths, daffodils, tulips, and lilacs. Roses are always suitable, especially in hues of pink, yellow, or orange. But how do you make it special? Be sure you send her favorite flowers. And add a heartfelt note that tells her how much she means to you.

Mothers Day Gift Basket

The best gift is always time with YOU. Taking Mom to a champagne brunch on this special day is a time-honored custom. Deliver your gift in person if you can. The point is to spend time with your mom. It will be memorable for her, and you’ll be happy you did!

We at Manhattan Fruitier are proponents of the Mother’s Day gift basket and are sharing the five reasons why we think this is the best gift idea for Mom this year:

#1. You can give Mom more of her favorite things

Sometimes it’s hard to decide what to give your mom for Mother’s Day. You know she likes daffodils and milk chocolate and green tea and Red Sox tickets. If you send a gourmet gift basket, you don’t have to choose because you can send them all! Nothing is more special than giving your mom her favorite things. It shows her how much you understand her. And the more of her favorite treats you can include, the more you can enhance her delight.

#2, You can give Mom a wide variety of goodies

Flowers, chocolate, and brunch at a nice restaurant may be traditional, but when you give a gift basket, you don’t need to be limited. In a Mother’s Day gift basket, you can include a variety of items – related or not related at all. The number and type of goodies only depends on your imagination (and the size of the gift basket).

You may want to include something sweet to eat, something for her to wear, something for her to read, something for her to use, something for her to do, something for her to look at, something for her to listen to on her special day.

Example gift basket idea: chocolate-covered strawberries, her favorite perfume, the latest best selling biography, a Starbucks gift card, a coupon for a massage, flowers, and a link to a new podcast. Indulge all of her senses!

#3. You can create the perfect gift around a theme just for Mom

Some Mother’s Day gift baskets work best when the items are all connected around a central theme. Maybe your mom has a garden she loves to tend. Consider getting a garden caddy and fill it with some new tools or new garden gloves or seeds for flowers or vegetables she likes.

Perhaps she loves short stories. You can go to your local bookstore and find the best new short story collections and a few of the classics. Different components in a gift basket round out the pleasure! Your Mom will appreciate your thoughtfulness.


#4. You can make the gift more personal

Last year, my daughter gave me a purple Fjallraven Kanken mini knapsack for the gym and inside she put some pink and black weight-lifting gloves for me. I had mentioned that my gym bag was old and ripped and that the palms of my hands sometimes tingled while working with weights.

That unique Mother’s Day gift was obviously very specific to me and it made me feel special. We also went to brunch at our favorite local restaurant and spent the afternoon together so I got both the expected and the unexpected!! Personal gifts convey the time and effort that goes into them and show that you took the extra step.

#5. You can make your celebration of Mom last longer

Flowers wilt and brunches only last a few hours, but a gift basket filled with her favorite treats or some new items for her to try will make a lasting impression. It will take Mom a while to get through it all so she will remember your thoughtfulness and that will extend the sweet sentiment of Mother’s Day.

We hope your mom enjoys her unique Mother’s Day Gift. Happy Mother’s Day to all the great moms out there!

15 Creative Ways to Say ‘Thank You’

Saying “Thank You” is not only a polite gesture, but it is really the basis of our civility. When you combine the words “Thank You” with a gift, then you are really communicating your appreciation and sincerity. It’s taking the extra step that will make the recipient feel extra special.

Creative Thank You Gifts

Whether you want to thank a neighbor: “Thank you for watering my plants while I was away,” or an employee: “Thank you for helping out with the sales presentation”, or a friend: “I couldn’t have gotten through my break up without you!”, or a business partner: “Thank you for landing the biggest account we’ve ever had!!”, a thank you gift will carry a satisfaction that the words alone can’t convey.

Match the Gift to the Reason

The type of thank you gift you send should be in balance with the reason: does the accomplishment deserve a HUGE thank you? Or would a small one be more appropriate to the occasion? Gifts that say ‘Thank You’ in a big way are usually more expensive. They can also be an “event” or “experience” instead of an object. If the person is a friend, consider sharing an experience together!

Conversely, gifts that say ‘Thank You’ in a small way are usually less expensive. But even a token gift imbues the sentiment with more meaning than a note alone. It shows that you made an extra effort. Not to mention that small gifts are often very charming and unique.

The point is that you want to try to keep the gesture in line with the favor: neither too small for a big deed, nor too big for a small act.

Match the Gift to the Person

Thank you gifts are appropriate in both the personal and business context. After deciding whether the gift should be petite or grand, the next decision relates to who the gift is going to.

No matter the particulars, we believe that the secret to sending a great Thank You gift is to try to match the gift to the person you are thanking. The more you know about the interests and tastes of your gift recipient, the more spot on your creative thank you gift will be.

Creative Ways to Say Thank You to Employees or Business Associates

You may not know much about the personal tastes of your employees or business associates. So sending a gift that would be suitable for most people is probably the best bet in this circumstance. You don’t want to try to guess what will please someone whose tastes you don’t know!

Creative Ways to Say Thank You to Friends

Giving a thank you gift to a friend is easier in some ways because you know more about the particular tastes and preferences of a friend. What foods do they like? What do they like to do? What might be missing from their home? Is there something they’ve been talking about trying or buying?

Here are 15 unique gift ideas to say “Thank You”.

#1. Local Honey

Local Honey Thank YouThe idea of sending a jar of honey is not only sweet, but it’s downright cool. There are beehives and beekeepers everywhere these days, commercial and private, and in cities too! There are even several successful beehive businesses here in Manhattan.
If you want to see them, you’ll have to look up – hives are usually set up and tended on rooftops. Bees are making honey from local flowers so each area will produce a distinct flavor, even between different neighborhoods! This thoughtful gift doesn’t have to be expensive (at least not for a single jar), but is still interesting and should please most people.

If you want to go bigger, you can also choose to create “flights” where you can combine honey made from different areas into a single gift. A creative way to say ‘Thank You’ to both friends and employees or business associates. Some of our favorite local NYC apiaries that sell online include, Andrew’s Honey, Bee Raw, Let It Be Honey, and Catskill Provisions.

#2. Thank You Fruit Basket
A fresh fruit basket, especially when it is high-quality and beautifully presented, is always a welcome thank you gift. After all, everyone likes seasonal fruits! This particular gift also features a set of three hand iced “Thank You” cookies that say “Grazie”, “Merci” & “Thank You” so your sentiment is emphasized.Manhattan Fruitier Thank You Gift Basket

A healthy gift with a little sweet should please anyone. And with three sizes to choose from this gift basket would be appropriate for saying Thank You for small and large favors alike.

#3. Terrarium
Terrariums have had a big resurgence in popularity in the last several years. These unique gifts are the perfect way to say thank you to a friend or a colleague. Terrariums come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Oftentimes you can design your own when you order online so you can best match the gift to your recipient. Another fun idea is to take a class in terrarium making — a perfect activity to do with a friend you want to thank.

We love all the build-it-yourself choices available at Sprout Home, based in Brooklyn and Chicago. And while Greenery NYC (a botanical design firm) doesn’t make terrariums per se, we thought their gift offerings for desktop plants were unusual and elegant, making this a great way to say thank you to an employee or business associate.

#4. Candles
Like terrariums, candles have experienced a similar wave of revitalization. A candle is a creative thank you gift, particularly for a personal thank you. There are so many different kinds of candles that you can really get inspired about matching the candle to your gift recipient. There are candles that celebrate the forest, ocean, flowers, spices . . . you name it! There are also beautiful unscented candles. You can have fun choosing a unique candle for an “enlightened” thank you.

Take a look at the Paris-based Diptyque where you can select your own personal trio of small candles. Kobo’s pure soy candles has an enormous and inventive collection to select from including such original scents as Mandarin Breeze, Cashmere Valley, Fresh Cut Grass and D’Anjou Lychee.

Andrej Urem Candle

Our very favorite candles are made by hand by Andrej Urem (as shown). He makes the most luxurious, unscented, sculptural candles we have ever seen.

#5. Ice Cream
What is more fun than receiving ice cream at your doorstep?! This gift is such an unexpected treat that your recipient is sure to feel extra special. In large or small packages, ice cream is a truly entertaining way to say ‘thank you’ to employees, business colleagues, or friends. When delivered to the workplace, it provides a perfect excuse to take a break and scoop out some cool pleasure all around. Your thank you gift (and you!) will be remembered.

We are especially fond of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream and have never tried a flavor we didn’t like. You can choose from exotic flavors such as brambleberry crisp, juniper & lemon curd, and wildberry lavender to classic flavors such as milk chocolate, vanilla bean and sweet cream. Jeni’s also offers a seasonal subscription plan when you want to say ‘thank you’ again, and again and again!

#6. Photography Books
Coffee table books always a make an elegant presentation, whether for the home or for the office. If you know the person very well, you can find the picture book perfectly suited to their likes, from Classic Cars from Around the World to Classic Vogue Magazine Covers.

When not sure of your recipient’s tastes, we recommend sending a photography book as a creative way to say ‘thank you’. Nature photography is interesting to everyone. We love National Geographic’s Visions of Earth – Beauty Majesty Wonder which you can find on Amazon. We are especially enamored of the contemplative work of Diane Cook and Len Jenshel. Their book Hotspots on the American Volcanic Landscape, Aquarium, and their most recent book (which you can pre-order) Wise Trees can all be found on Amazon.com.

#7. Polaroid Camera
Staying on the theme of photography, another creative way to say ‘thank you’ for helping is to send a gift of a retro instant Polaroid camera! This gift will bring a smile and hours of amusement to anyone you need to thank. The Polaroid Instant Snap Touch Digital Camera comes in a variety of playful colors!

#8. Cooking Classes/Demonstrations with Celebrity Chefs
If you need to send a big thank you, or have a large group of people you want to thank, a fun idea is to arrange for a private cooking class or cooking demonstration that usually precedes a fabulous meal together!

These events can be pricey, but can often be just the perfect thank you gift. The Institute of Culinary Education, the James Beard Foundation, Sur La Table, and My Cooking Party in NYC offer private and corporate events and demonstrations. Check out your area for local culinary events.

#9. Mortar and Pestle
Even if your recipient isn’t a big cook, the gift of a beautiful but simple and useful mortar and pestle is a lovely way to say thank you. You can buy them in a variety of materials including, classic marble, copper, modern stainless steel, and wood.

Add makings for guacamole (avocados, limes, garlic, tomatoes, etc) if you can hand deliver your thank you gift for an extra touch.

#10. Water Carafe and Glass
A lovely bedside water carafe is another unique way to say thank you to a friend. Few people have this convenience and it makes a very thoughtful gift. We like the very simple and classic nightstand carafe by Birch Lane. CB2 offers a very inexpensive line of attractive carafe and glass sets, as well as a collection of colorful carafes and tumblers

#11. Decanters
Similar to the bedside water carafe, but more cosmopolitan, is a wine or spirits decanter. Ideally suited for a corporate thank you since it can be used for any type of libation, as well as for a friend, this gift can range from the affordable to the extravagant to match the reason for the thank you.

I found this website really helpful when deciding what shape and what size decanter to get.

Reidel has a good selection of handmade decanters (more expensive for big thank you gifts) from the simple to the elaborate. My favorite decanter is simple, elegant and totally affordable from Uncommon Goods. Check out Crate & Barrel for decanters for spirits in a range of prices.

#12. “Cool” Ice Cubes
These are not your mother’s ice cubes! With renewed excitement about creating classic cocktails, the humble ice cube has gained new status.

Re-usable ice cubes are great for drinks when you want the chill, but not the extra water. Use for iced tea and iced coffee, white wine or whiskey.

Brookstone offers very cool re-usable stainless steel ice cubes. You can even get them personalized at Etsy! Black reusable ice cubes are very sleek and modern. Teroforma has black soapstone “whiskey” stones. If you don’t like the idea of re-usable ice cubes, look for trays that make ice cubes in fun shapes such as shells, fish, flowers and hearts. We like the stars from Lekue.

#13. Bluetooth portable speakers
Portable speakers make a thoughtful Thank You gift for friends, employees or business associates alike. Everyone likes music of some sort! There are many social occasions where ear buds are just not appropriate. Bluetooth portable speakers are easy to carry around with you. Share your music at a party, in the office, or at the beach. You can find a range of shapes and sizes and colors and price points based on power.

#14. Finds from a Fancy Stationary Store

Notepads and note cards do not have to be a cliché token gift. There are many elegant iterations that are classic or unique, but all of which will say ‘Thank You’ in a beautiful and remembered way.

Sesame LetterPress uses old-fashioned hand operated letterpress machines to make whimsical designs on note cards, note pads, notebooks, calendars and coasters. We especially love their sweet little calendars that you pin to a corkboard.

Dempsey + Carroll have been creating bespoke engraved stationary since 1878. You can design personalized note cards, pads or stationary, or you can peruse their delightful Spring collection of stationary desk sets with as many different options as there are personalities — perfect for a business thank you gift when you want to spend a little money.

#15. Cheese & Savory Gift Baskets

Food, and cheese in particular, is a gift that everyone loves. High-quality farmstead cheeses make an extra special thank you gift for friends or employees. When combined with sweet and savory accoutrements, cheese baskets make the perfect gift!

Pair fig paste, spicy plum chutney, fresh fruit, and nuts to compliment the sharp, nutty, buttery, grassy, or earthy flavors of sheep, cow or goat cheese. You can even add a bottle of wine for the finishing touch.

Here’s a final secret about thank you gifts: sending a unique, creative thank you gift can make you, the sender, feel good too!

Why the Gift Basket is the New ‘Thank You’ Note

Sending a “Thank You” note is a great thing. No doubt. We wish that more people took the time to put a pen to paper and write a thank you note, even a short one. A hand written thank you note is qualitatively better than an email and hands down better than just verbal thanks.

Even better than a thank you note is a thoughtful Thank You gift that will both surprise and delight the person you want to thank. So if you want to raise the bar and say ‘Thank You’ in the most memorable way possible, consider sending a gift basket with your thank you note.

Personalizing Your Thank You Gift Basket
The best gifts, thank you gifts included, are matched to the recipient’s particular interests and tastes, and also to how well you know them. The more you know about the recipient, the more specific the gift you can send. The goal is to send a gift that will be sure to please. The gift basket thank you note should also be tailored to the relationship you have with that person and to the specific reason for the thank you.

Send What Your Recipient Loves

Chocolate Lovers Basket_Manhattan Fruitier

We love this Chocolate Lover’s Gift Basket – the perfect way to say thanks to anyone with a sweet tooth on your list!

When choosing a gift basket, be sure you really dig deep and consider what the recipient truly loves. Chocolate Lover? By all means send a chocolate gift basket like the one featured here as a token of your appreciation. Just look at all those chocolate-based ingredients! Yum!

Your thoughtfulness will really be appreciated when you send a thank you gift basket that matches a person’s dietary restrictions or preferences. If you know someone is kosher, then of course you will want to send a kosher gift basket. If you know someone is vegan, you aren’t going to send a basket with prosciutto and Parmigiano!

Strictly Vegan Gift Basket

Tip: Keep dietary restrictions in mind when sending a thoughtful thank you gift.

Think of a gift that shows your friend or colleague how well you know them. Many people adhere to special diets such as vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, heart-healthy, low Glycemic, low carb and Mediterranean. And there are gift baskets to suit every persuasion, such as the vegan gift basket below.

Send What You Love
Sometimes you’ve discovered something so fabulous that you want to share it with friends. You know them well enough that you’re fairly certain that they’ll love it too. So, the next time you want to thank your neighbors for bringing in your mail, why not send them a thank you gift basket full of goodies that you love. In your thank you message, you’ll want to describe what you love about the gift and why you think they will find it irresistible too!

Thank You Gifts that Satisfy All Tastes
Sometimes you will want to say thank you to a business colleague who referred a new client to you, for example, but you don’t know about her personal interests or tastes. A fresh fruit or fresh and dried fruit basket will please every palate and make a universally good gift basket to say ‘Thank You’, especially when the contents are of the highest quality and are stylishly arranged. Your gift basket thank you note will also be appropriately formal.

Healthy Pop Up Party Gift Basket

A snack gift basket is a perfect thank you gift for a group – family or office. Try this healthy and tasty Pop Up Party basket.

When sending a thank you gift to a family or an office, you can’t go wrong with a fun basket filled with lots of treats and snacks. Everyone has different tastes and variety is the best approach in this particular situation. Think about finding a gift with products that are easy to share: that can be put in an office lunchroom or in the family room in front of the TV.
Building Your Own Gift Basket
There are endless ways to create your own gift. You can buy a container and shop for the ingredients yourself. Think about going to your local farmer’s market and selecting a fresh, locally baked bread, an artisanal butter, fresh herbs and flowers to arrange in a basket.

Custom Cookbook Gift Basket

Custom gift idea with a cookbook and recipe ingredients.

Or buy a copy of your favorite recipe book and include all the ingredients to make your favorite meal. Perhaps you have a favorite line of beauty care products that you want to share with a friend as a thank you.

Designing your own gift baskets to say ‘Thank You’ involves time on your end, but the care you put into the gift basket will shine through and make your recipient feel even more appreciated.

Build Your Own Gift Basket

Build Your Own Basket (BYOB) with Manhattan Fruitier.

Those gifts can be amazingly successful, but they take time to assemble, and you can have trouble shipping them if your recipient isn’t nearby.

Another option for a custom thank you gift is to shop at an online store that offers customizable gifts. Here’s an example of our build your own basket (BYOB) which allows the shopper to select fresh fruits and sweet and savory additions from a list of options.

Tips for Writing Gift Basket Thank You Notes
Any gift basket, of course, will be accompanied by a thank you note. And just because you are sending a thank you gift, it doesn’t mean you can blow off the note attached to it!

There are some tips to writing good thank you notes. First and foremost, keep the sentiment appropriate to the situation. You’ll want to be more formal with colleagues that you don’t know well, but that doesn’t mean you have to be cold and impersonal. Obviously, you can be goofier or more casual with good friends.

The first key point is to be sincere. If you are sending a thank you gift, and not just a quick email note, then you must be feeling genuinely grateful. Be sure that your appreciation is communicated in your words. Secondly, be careful to address the note appropriately: using first names in the salutation is not always proper. Make sure you feel comfortable with your choice.

The body of the thank you note doesn’t need to be long, but it does need to be as specific as possible. If there is an identifiable deed, act or accomplishment that deserves a ‘Thank You’, make sure you mention it in your gift basket thank you note.

Otherwise, your recipient may wonder whether you really know what they did! Sometimes your thank you gift won’t be attributed to any specific reason so your thank you note can express a more general sentiment such as “Thank you for all you’ve done for me this year!”

Finally, do carefully consider the closing or valediction when writing your gift basket thank you note. “Sincerely”, “With Gratitude”, and “With Thanks” always work in a thank you note, especially with business associates. These are formal, but expressing the sentiment perfectly. With friends you can be as informal as you like. But do be sure to communicate your true appreciation.

The New Thank You Note
A thank you gift basket isn’t necessarily about sending something that someone needs. It’s about sending something a person will enjoy. Whether you make it yourself, customize it, or select it from a collection, we can’t think of a gift better than a basket filled with beautiful, delicious, fresh, and nourishing treats. Your gift basket will say thank you in an unforgettable way and will take your thank you note to new heights.

Healthy Easter Basket Ideas for Adults

Easter baskets are traditionally for children, but there is no rule against finding fun Easter baskets ideas for adults! There are many ways to elevate the time-honored basket components such as marshmallow peeps, chocolate bunnies, and colorful eggs to delight an adult’s palate. Not to mention the many ways you can design an elegant basket to contain these goodies without using fake grass or hollow plastic eggs.

Artisanal bakers are always searching for ways to make conventional treats more remarkable by using natural, fresh, high-quality ingredients. Easter treats are no exception! Easter gift ideas for adults can be reminiscent of childhood and an earlier era, or they can be completely reimagined for healthy, organic and/or gluten free or vegan diets.

Old-Fashioned Easter Baskets Reimagined for Adults

Gourmet Easter Gift BoxIf you are of a certain age, and your parents celebrated Easter with the traditional Easter basket for children, you will remember the yellow-dyed marshmallow peeps, the large, machine-molded Easter Bunnies, and the reusable hollow plastic eggs of all colors, that when opened contained 3-4 flavors of jellybeans.

Usually the Easter basket was lined with tufts of curly bright green plastic strips to emulate grass upon which the chicks, bunnies, and eggs sat. The entire basket was wrapped in cellophane and then a big pink or yellow or green manufactured bow was attached to the top.

These baskets can still be found pre-made in grocery stores. Depending on the person, a funny idea for an adult is to just purchase one of these pre-made Easter baskets! Good for a laugh, but probably lacking in the taste department (and by taste I mean to convey both flavor and style).

Or you can replicate the traditional Easter basket, but with upgraded ingredients. You might even want to enhance your gift with fresh Spring fruit for a healthy addition.

How to Make Fun Easter Baskets for Adults
If you want to make your own conventional, but elevated, Easter baskets for adults, start with finding a nice willow or sea grass basket. If you are delivering your gift by hand, then the open-handle style is de rigueur as it allows all the delectable and colorful treats to be displayed in their full glory at a first glance.

If the weave is open a bit, you can buy some fresh flowers to decorate the outside for another fun Easter basket gift idea that will be especially appreciated by an adult. Look for a daisy such as the Gerbera, with their wildly hued large petals in bright yellow, pink, orange or red. They will work well if you are making the gift right before you deliver it.

Cut the flower off a few inches from the bloom. (Gerbera daisies usually have a plastic tube on the stem designed to help support the heavy head. You can cut the stem at the plastic.) Insert in between the weave until just the head of the flower shows on the outside. You may need to trim the stem on the inside. If you need to make your adult Easter basket ahead of time, try using heather sprigs or statice, both of which come in a variety of seasonal colors and still look great as they dry.

Next, think about lining your basket with real grass — why use plastic?! Wheat grass is a beautiful grass to use, and you can buy small trays of it at your local juice shop or natural food store. It is long, silky, and edible too! Wheat grass will create a lush pillow upon which you will nestle your ingredients.

If you don’t use flowers to decorate the outside of the basket, think about putting fresh flowers inside of the basket. Look for small plastic tubes with points at the end at your local flower shop to stick flower stems in. You can cut the flowers to any length, fill the tubes with cold water, carefully place the stems into the tubes and then stick them into the sod of the wheat grass.

You can use roses, tulips, daffodils, or any other spring flower. Sometimes, floral shops only carry tubes with rounded bottoms. If those are the only ones you can find, you can use them in the same way, but instead of sticking them into the sod, you can place them in pockets around your gift at the very end, once you have arranged all the other ingredients inside. Either way, flowers make a beautiful accent.

What Should You Put Inside Your Adult Easter Basket?

Now, what to put into the beautiful adult Easter basket you have now created? Chocolate is a good place to start. Today there are many highly regarded small-batch chocolate makers that craft their creations using only the highest quality cacao. This is chocolate an adult can appreciate. If you live near a local chocolate shop or sweet shop, stop in to see what they are offering for Easter, or go online to search. There are a variety of chocolate bunnies available that will please an adult palate and aesthetic.

Chocolate Easter Bunnies in SweatersFor example, we found this adorable Easter bunny trio (or trios lapins de Pacques) by Claudine Desnoyers of Le Comptoir Chocolat in Montreal Quebec. The rich, dark, creamy milk and sweet white chocolates are all organic and fair-trade with a smooth texture and luscious taste. What could be better than that?

When Claudine decided to dress her bunnies in woven “sweaters” (edible chocolate!) in an array of pastel colors, she brought the Easter bunny to entirely new heights. No adult could resist the charm of these one-of-a-kind Easter treats.

The marshmallow “peep,” or yellow-dyed marshmallow chick, is an iconic Easter gift and it’s a great idea to include in any Easter basket for adults. Pastry chefs like to offer seasonal and occasion-specific treats and Easter is no exception. You can find peeps that are made with higher quality ingredients than the grocery store bought brands.

Using hGourmet Easter Peepsand-made marshmallow and real sugar in place of corn starch can make a peep actually taste really good as well as look adorable. We especially love these marshmallow Easter peeps made at Duane Park Patisserie.

Each peep is a unique creation because they are entirely handmade with distinctive body shapes, beaks and hand-dropped black eyes. It’s hard to resist these charming little chicks. (Having said that, I know a few adults who really like the old-school peeps, especially once they get a little stale!)

Easter Eggs
Hard boiling and then dying eggs continue to be a popular activity with families. The colors are so fun! Easter egg hunts are a well know past-time in preparing for the holiday. So another Easter gift idea that could still be fun for adults is to arrange an Easter egg hunt! You can do it in your own home, backyard, or make it a larger event. Be sure you remember how many eggs you hide and where you hid them… otherwise you’ll be smelling rotten eggs in a week or two.

For an adult Easter basket, there are many options for colorful eggs that are neither plastic nor real. Chocolate eggs can be painted in vivid colors, hand-sprinkled with sparkling spots, or even brushed with gold-leaf.

Chocolate Easter EggsA great example is the hand-painted chocolate Easter eggs filled with praline (a luscious almond and hazelnut paste) by Christophe Paume of Christophe Chocolatier in Charleston, South Carolina. Just look at the extraordinary glazes on these! They could be mistaken for collector’s items, but don’t wait to enjoy them — these chocolate eggs don’t have the chemical preservatives that make store bought brands “shelf-stable” for months and months on end.

Jelly Beans
Another customary Easter candy is the ubiquitous jelly bean! In years past, jelly beans came in red, black, yellow, and green — the green ones always got eaten last in my house — and they all tasted basically the same, with the exception of the black ones which were definitely more licoricey.

Today, however, jelly beans come in a myriad of colors and a nearly limitless variety of distinctive flavors such as root beer, popcorn, and watermelon. A peppering of modern day jelly beans is another good idea for designing your traditional Easter basket for an adult.

As you arrange your goodies in your adult Easter basket, think about taking the ingredients out of their wrappers. Maybe a little less sanitary, but if you are giving the gift right away, it really does make a better presentation without the cardboard and plastic. Immediately afterward, you can put the items into ziploc bags (if anything remains uneaten!).

Types of Easter Baskets for Adults

Healthy Easter Baskets
Eating healthier is a national trend that spans age groups. Parents are more concerned than ever about finding healthy alternatives for snacks and treats for their children, and adults are also paying closer attention to their diets and healthy lifestyles.

There are many ways to make healthy Easter baskets for kids or adults that are still fun and appealing. One of the best ways to start is to use fresh fruit as your base. You can shop your local produce market for your favorite fruits, but why not also explore some more exotic options?

Pomegranates are just ending their season now, but you may still find some good markets that carry them. These are especially fun fruits for kids to discover. Help them set up by the kitchen sink to open the pomegranate.

First, score the skin of the pomegranate with 4-5 cuts around the fruit and then pull the sections apart to reveal the deep dark ruby red seeds. Let your child experience the fun of plucking or scraping the seeds out of the pith while they crunch on the juicy niblets during the process.

Be sure to pull the pith entirely off the seeds before eating them (no harm, but the seeds may taste bitter). It takes work to build a pile of pomegranate seeds and it can get messy (pomegranate juice can squirt all around) but it is also fun.

Pomegranates are nutrition packed with vitamins and have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Other spring fruits that are a bit more unusual include Sumo Mandarins, blood oranges, Asian pears (also called Nashi), black mission figs, pink Muscat grapes, rambutans, pepino melons, miniature pineapples, and Tommy Atkins or Ataulfo mangos.

Organic Easter Baskets
More and more people are looking for organic alternatives of the foods they eat. Many fruits can be found in both conventional and organic varieties. In the exotic fruit realm, mangos, dates, kiwis, and blood oranges can be found organically grown.

Similarly, baked goods, chocolates, and candies can be found that are made with all organic ingredients. Your local health food store will likely have a good selection to choose from to construct your very own organic Easter basket.

One of our favorite organic chocolate bars is from Cacao Prieto, made in Red Hook, Brooklyn. We like the original 72% dark organic chocolate, but they offer a wild variety of flavored chocolate bars such as orchid, absinthe, and mandarin & bergamot, as well as more familiar combinations such as almond sea salt, and cashew and cranberry.
Organic Chocolate Bar

We also love the traditional organic Swedish cookies from Unna Bakery. These are delicate little handmade bites of chocolate and caramel, classic butter & almonds, ginger snaps and cardamom biscotti. And the little boxes are decorated sweetly too!

Swedish Cookies Unna Bakery

Gluten-Free Easter Basket

Fruit is naturally gluten-free so fresh fruit is always a great addition to a gluten-free Easter basket. You can still decorate with wheat grass, and flower accents. As more and more people move to a gluten-free diet, more and more gluten-free bake shops are opening. If you have one in your neighborhood, check to see what offering they have for Easter.

Alternatively, many grocery stores have gluten-free sections. Be sure to read the labels carefully. If you are sending a gift to a person who has Celiac Disease or is otherwise gluten-intolerant, you must be very careful to choose products that are certified gluten-free by one of the gluten-free certification organizations.

Some organizations certify gluten-free to only 5 parts per million (ppm), which is the safest, while others certify only up to 20 ppm.

Vegan Easter Baskets
If your Easter basket recipient — whether child or grown-up — is vegan, fresh fruit is a natural go-to and is readily recognizable as “animal product free”. Vegans are also generally very health-conscious people and fresh fruit fits the bill. But don’t forget to add some sweet treats to your vegan Easter basket.

Vegan cookies, cakes, chocolates and candies abound! And don’t mistake vegan for tasteless or textureless! Check out these amazing Choc-a-Bloc cookies made by Sweet Leaf Bakery of Long Island City made exclusively for us! Packed with coconut, chocolate chips, almonds, banana and peanut butter, these cookies would please any palate, vegan or not!

Vegan Choc-a-Bloc

Whether you are making an Easter basket for an adult or a child, you can make a very sweet small basket or a shockingly gigantic one! Both will have impact and appeal. And if you need to ship your Easter basket, you can modify your creation by using a lidded basket or other container and putting your flower accents inside rather than outside.

Leave your delicate treats in their original containers to protect them during the shipping and handling process. A shipped Easter basket for adults or children can also be a beautiful gift experience!

What to Bring to Passover Dinner

The Passover Seder is the traditional celebratory dinner where Jewish families and friends get together to eat, drink, and read the Passover story of the exodus of the Jews from Egypt. If you are invited to attend and are wondering what to bring to Passover dinner, rest assured that it’s always appropriate to bring a gift, or Passover offering. Food and wine gifts are especially fitting and will be much appreciated so long as you follow a few rules.

What is Kosher for Passover?

The most important stipulation is that the edible or potable gift you bring to a Passover meal be Kosher for Passover. Unless you keep a Kosher household and comply carefully with Kosher for Passover restrictions yourself, it is best not to try to make something at home and bring it to Passover dinner.

Food and drink consumed on Passover must be prepared in dishes and with utensils that have not been used to touch leavened foods (unless they have been rendered Kosher for Passover use). If your hosts aren’t sure how your gift was prepared, they won’t be able to eat or drink it.

So when deciding what to bring to your Passover celebration, opt for finding delicious pre-packaged food that is properly labeled and is in its original wrapping. The wrapping will confirm to your hosts that your gift has the proper certification and that it can be opened and enjoyed for the Seder.

To find the proper Kosher certification for Passover, look for the words, “Kosher for Passover” or a kosher certification that includes a “P” on packaged foods, including candy. There are dozens of symbols used for Kosher certification.

Perhaps the most recognizable symbol is the OU (that is, the letter U inside a circle representing the O). But a Kosher symbol alone is not enough. The Kosher rules are more stringent for Passover. So be sure you see “Kosher for Passover” printed clearly on the packaging, or the letter P next to the Kosher symbol.

What Do You Bring for Passover Dinner?

Here are some specific ideas when you don’t know what to bring to Passover.

Fresh Fruit
Fruit is one of few things that is naturally kosher. That’s great news because there’s an abundance of delightful Spring fruit in season during Passover week. A fresh fruit basket may be kosher while also being beautiful and healthy.

But remember, if you choose to bring or send a fresh fruit gift to a Passover celebration, there shouldn’t be any foods in the basket that aren’t labeled Kosher for Passover. The addition of any single non-kosher item makes the entire gift non-kosher!

Confections for Passover must be flourless. In strictly Kosher households, desserts must also be dairy-free. That is because most Seders include meat and people who keep Kosher cannot eat meat and dairy in the same day. So do be careful in your selections. If not sure, play it safe and bring a sweet treat to Passover that is flourless and dairy-free.

Passover Gift Basket

A perfect Kosher for Passover gift baskets with fresh fruit and delicious sweet treats!

Kosher, non-dairy Coconut Macaroons make a great Passover gift. When they’re well made with toasted coconut and then dipped in chocolate, they are a sure winner for all ages.

If you know that your hosts are not exacting about eating dairy with meat, you might consider a gift of a tin of kosher Almond Kisses made by Barton’s Confections. These Almond Kisses contain dairy and are made by pouring creamy chocolate caramel over roasted whole almonds. And you know how good almonds are for your health! Other classic Passover sweets include anything made with matzah. Look for matzah dipped in chocolate, caramel, toffee, or even matzah layer cakes!

If you add some of these delectable treats to a fresh fruit basket, then you’ve brought both dessert and a centerpiece to Passover dinner!

Kosher Wine
Kosher wine is a welcome gift to bring to Passover, especially if it’s high-quality wine. Everybody at the Passover Seder is obligated to drink four glasses of wine! That can add up to a lot of wine at larger Seder gatherings. Therefore, it makes sense why a wine gift would be greatly appreciated. Note that at the Passover Seder, it is customary to drink red wine.

The good news is that today there are many very good kosher wine options. Winemakers have moved beyond the super-sweet wines made from Concord grapes. There are hundreds of high-quality dry wines available from around the world.
One very good kosher wine is made by Hagafen out of Napa Valley. In particular, Hagafen Cellars makes an excellent Cabernet Sauvignon. It is a small production wine with a rich, spicy nose of bakers’ chocolate and black cherry. There’s also a hint of spice-filled black licorice, black cherry, plum, and cranberry on the palate.

Hagafen Kosher Wine Hagafen Kosher Wine Label

As with all of the gifts you bring to a Passover dinner you’ll want to be certain that your wine gift is kosher for Passover. On the Hagafen label above (right) you’ll see the OU symbol, which represents the Orthodox Union’s Kosher certification.

You also see the “P”, which signifies that the wine is kosher for Passover. And “Mev.” stands for “mevushal,” which means the wine has been flash pasteurized (before fermentation for white wines and just after fermentation for reds).

Mevushal is a standard stricter than kosher, which allows non-Sabbath-observant Jews (a waiter or sommelier) to pour the wine without it losing its standard of purity. If you have any questions about whether a wine is kosher for Passover, it’s probably best to ask the store you are purchasing it from.

Flowers also make a great Passover offering because they are not subject to any kosher rules. Flower stands in the Springtime are always bursting with colorful blooms that bring the promise of sunshine and warmer weather and are guaranteed to put a smile on your face! Any host would greatly appreciate you bringing a bouquet of flowers to the Passover dinner.

Not every Passover celebration is going to adhere rigorously to the Kosher for Passover rules. Some Jewish people are very liberal and many do not even keep Kosher. However, at Passover, which is such an important celebration for Jewish people, many become more traditional. If you don’t know the people very well, and you need to know what to bring to a Passover meal, it is always best to bring gifts of food and wine that are Kosher for Passover.