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    4 Amazing Artisanal Cheese Gifts

    March 31st, 2014 admin

    At GiftTree we’re passionate about artisanal cheese and crafting the perfect presentation to create an exceptional culinary experience for the turophile in your life. Whether it’s cheese with wine, fruit, cured meats, or other uniquely delectable snacks, we’ve got you covered.

    The cheese we select for our specialty gifts is vetted to favor small, local farms, individual batch craftsmanship, and delicate aging. We also feature many gold medal and blue ribbon winners at State Fairs from across the nation.

    Here’s a quick sampler of our assorted cheese gift baskets and cheese-related gifts.

    Artisan Cheese Hamper
    Artisan Cheese Hamper

    An ever-popular bestseller no matter the season, this assorted cheese gift basket comes with two desirable options depending on the type of cheese and pairings your special someone is into. The Gourmet & Cheese Sampler option features Beecher’s Flagship Smoked Cheddar, Sartori Basil & Olive Oil Asiago, the sweet & creamy Beemster Dutch Vlaskaas, and, my personal favorite, Barely Buzzed with Espresso Lavender Rub. Pairings specifically chosen for these rich cheeses include Cheddar and Chive Flatbread Crackers, Sweet & Hot Stoneground Mustard, and Bellentani Tuscan Herb Salami.

    The Deluxe Cheese Sampler option is an even more selective collection, featuring award-winning Wisconsin Bellavitano Black Pepper Wedge, as well as the Sartori Asiago and Barely Buzzed. The main difference besides the Wisconsin is acclaimed Flat Out Good Crispbread and Oregon Quince Paste (which I honestly can not stop eating if it’s in my vicinity).

    Both options come in a vintage wicker picnic suitcase with a beautiful hand-tied satin ribbon.
     
     

    Artisan Fruit & Cheese Hamper
    Artisan Fruit & Cheese Hamper

    The fruit version of the Artisan Cheese Hamper offers probably the best combination of all the hampers. They’ll get the Barely Buzzed, Sartori Asiago, and the Dutch Beemster but also crisp and sweet NW Fuji apples, ripe Bosc pears with Quince paste, Italian Herb & Tomato Flatbread and a rich assortment of lightly salted roasted nuts. I like this option the best because you get well-balanced palette-pleasers that incorporate the creamy cheese with the nuts, the sharp cheese with the sweet fruits, and a savory flatbread perfect for slathering with quince and stacking thin slices of cheese and fruit. It’s just altogether wonderful.
     
     
     
     
     
    Personalized Gourmet Stone Cheese Slate
    Personalized Gourmet Stone Cheese Slate

    The first time I saw this gift I was totally wowed by its elegant, modern presentation and timeless quality. It’s the ideal gift for someone who hosts regular wine-tastings or as a housewarming gift, and comes with three award-winning cheeses: Sartori Asiago, Wisconsin Black Pepper, and Dutch Beemster Gouda. The complimentary personalization is a traditional monogram and the board’s sturdy construction guarantees a lifetime of culinary enjoyment.
     
     
     
     
     
    Select Charcuterie & Gourmet Cheese Hamper
    Select Charcuterie & Gourmet Cheese Hamper

    This one is certainly a cheese “plus” type of gift. The Sartori Basil & Olive Oil Asiago, Beemster Vlaskaas Gouda, Wisconsin BellaVitano Black Pepper Wedge and Parrano Gouda would be enough to satisfy the choosiest of cheese enthusiasts. But add to that Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon, Smoked Rainbow Trout, Smoked Salmon Pate, Cold-smoked Alaskan Salmon Nova Lox and Columbus Dry Salami and you have flavor pairings in a gourmet cheese experience that’s hard to beat. Of course the basket is also full of premium crispbread, nuts, sweet & savory spreads, and gourmet chocolate to balance out the richness of the cheese pairings.

    Everything is packaged in an insulated picnic cooler with a zippered lining and secure leather shoulder strap. It’s one of the most impressive gifts we offer and a picnic experience like none other.

    Also see the Gourmet Delicatessen Hamper for cheese-related gifts with a similar sampling of pairings, and stay tuned for a review of my favorite artisanal cheeses.



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    Infographic: Easter By The Numbers

    March 27th, 2014 admin

    Having provided great gifts to millions of customers for over 17 years, GiftTree knows a thing or two about Easter! This year, we decided to dig deeper. We hit the books (or the Internet), broke out our calculators and crunched the numbers to give you some staggering facts and numbers about Easter.

    Click the image to view full-size and make sure to share this with your friends & family by using the icons at the bottom of this post!

    And if you’re looking for fun & festive Easter Gifts, check out our collection by clicking here.

    Easter Infographic



    Posted in Holidays | Permalink | 25 Comments »



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    March is National Peanut Month (Really!)

    March 24th, 2014 admin

    There are all kinds of interesting and quirky holidays every month that rarely get attention (mainly because they’re quirky?) I suppose the amount of attention we give them makes them more interesting. For example, according to Foodimentary.com, March 24 is known as “National Cake Pop Day” and the 31st is “National Clam on the Half-Shell Day.” I’m not sure how well GiftTree could do clams in a gift basket, but I’m sure one of our top-notch designers could get us in on the cake pop craze. Oh wait – we’re already doing that.  Of course we are!

    But it is true that March is National Peanut Month, and the National Peanut Board (yes, it’s a thing) actually has a pretty decent-looking website. A compilation of interesting facts from their site:

    – The average American consumes more than six pounds of peanuts and peanut butter every year.
    – Peanuts account for 2/3 of all snack nuts consumed in the USA.
    – Four types of peanuts are grown in the US – Runner, Virginia, Spanish, and Valencia.
    – Four of the top ten candy bars in the US include peanuts or peanuts.
    – Peanuts possess more protein than any nut.
    – Peanuts are a nutrient-rich superfood with 30 essential vitamins and minerals
    – Like all nuts, peanuts are a plant-based source of protein and healthy fats, and have more antioxidants than broccoli, carrots, or green tea.

    Peanuts ready for harvest look like this:

    Peanuts ready for harvest

    I used to live in East Africa, where peanuts are known as groundnuts or g-nuts (fitting, given they way they grow) and are popularly thought to be an aphrodisiac, especially in Kenya. The meal I miss most from our time living in Rwanda is Ugandan Luwombo Peanut Sauce. We used to eat lunch at a place where they would truck in fresh banana leaves every week and use the leaves to steam the curry-style peanut sauce with onions, savory spices, and oils. They would bring it to the table still wrapped in the steamed leaves, with chapatti flatbread, matoke plantain, and veggies and rice. It comes out looking like this:

    Ugandan Luwombo Peanut Sauce © 2008 Amy Shaffer Crocker

     

    And here is another look (sides not shown):

    Uganda Luwombo - Uganda Daily Monitor

    You would then either dip your chapatti directly into the sauce (only foreigners use their hands) or spoon it out onto your rice, veggies, matoke, etc. Unfortunately the recipe is traditional and secretive, but its thick gravy-like consistency and smoky aroma make for one of the best soul foods I’ve ever had. My mouth is watering right now just looking at that picture and recalling fond memories.

    What’s your favorite peanut recipe?

     

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    Easter Gifts for Her

    March 20th, 2014 admin

    In the first part of this two-part series I wrote about finding a way to dote upon Dads for Easter and keeping us Dads included in all the festivities of Easter Sunday instead of in the mundane background where we usually end up.

    But what about the moms, wives and girlfriends among us who are often the ones who do the most for Easter, take the kids shopping for new clothes, make handmade baskets and prepare all the scrumptious food?

    Let’s find a way to honor them too. No reason to wait until Mother’s Day! And even the single ladies deserve some love on Easter. Here are five Easter gift ideas for women.

    Vineyard Select Wine Basket
    1. Vineyard Select Wine Basket

    Charming, popular, and a bestselling basket year-round, it’s the perfect Easter gift for her. Why not help your special lady celebrate with a nice combination of wine and snacks to relax with after the busy day is done? Better still, send the basket with a note that says “You deserve a picnic!” and give her the opportunity to get out in the fresh air while enjoying indulgent gourmet delicacies and premium wine. Your choice of red or white (or both) comes with sweet and savory pairings including Aaron Bell Rosemary Crackers, Auberge Camembert cheese, Jalapeno Cheese Straws, and Seattle Chocolates.

    Organic Tea for Me Gift Set
    2.Organic Tea for Me Gift Set

    If she’s not a wine drinker, indulgence and relaxation can still be hers to enjoy. In this basket, an upscale presentation includes a luxurious brown “Tea for Me” nested tea pot and tea cup, Republic of Tea Organic Green Earl Greyer, roasted almonds, lemon tea cookies, and rock candy swizzle sticks in elegant gold and tan cartons. Everything is presented in a woven banana leaf tray perfect for use later as a fruit basket for the kitchen.

    Easter's Treasures Gourmet Gift Basket
    3.Easter’s Treasures Gourmet Gift Basket

    This brand new chocolate and gourmet Easter Gift for 2014 features a Lindt Gold Chocolate Bunny, Marich Sea Salt Caramels, Weinrich Chocolate Almond & Raisin Bar, Cary’s Milk Chocolate Almond Toffeeand a veritable smorgasbord of our signature gourmet treats. The elegant fabric-lined tote will last long after the contents have been enjoyed and the beautiful green “Happy Easter” satin ribbon makes it a gift she’s sure to appreciate.

    Personalized Wine Gift
    4. Personalized Wine Gift

    This is one of our best sellers year after year, holiday after holiday. It offers the ability to customize your own sandblasted message on the side of the wine bottle for a lasting keepsake she’ll display for years. The rich, silky red wine will go perfectly with Easter lunch, or she can save it for an even more special occasion.

    Spring Serenade Bouquet
    5. Spring Serenade Bouquet

    Last but not least, sometimes all it takes is fresh flowers to communicate that her presence is significant. Start your special lady’s Easter Sunday off right with this bouquet of beautiful yellow lilies, pink roses, lavender daisies and raspberry statice in a silver keepsake reflections vase. The flowers will be delivered by an expert florist to your desired location in the recipient’s local area. Saturday delivery is no extra charge.

    This concludes the two-part series on Easter gift ideas for him and her. Have a safe and happy Easter!



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    Easter Gifts for Him

    March 19th, 2014 admin

    When I think of my Dad and his role during my childhood at this time of year, I realize that I never really thought of getting Easter presents for him. It just didn’t occur to me. Easter meant going to church in new clothes, a big lunch, an egg-hunt, photo ops with the Easter Bunny and then back home to gorge on sweets.

    All of this is typically the domain of moms and kids, so my Dad was always left in the background. Now that I’m a Dad myself, I see that it always feels nice to be included, especially on holidays where it seems like Mom and kids are having the time of their lives making memories, and we’re left with just the Sunday paper and the same boring cup of coffee.

    Here are a few ways to honor any special man in your life with some impressive Easter gifts.

    The Love of Coffee Gourmet Gift Basket
    1. The Love of Coffee Gourmet Basket

    Boring cup of coffee no more! Have this one ready as a surprise for him on Easter morning – he’ll revel in the distinctive canvas tote, and the intriguing coffee and treat selections inside. The basket includes Molokai Hawaiian Espresso, International Arabica, Tortuga Rum Cake, Mocha Shortbread, Cappuccino Jelly Beans and much, much more. Complete the personalization option to add your special message to a beautiful satin ribbon.

    Bissinger's Chocolate Easter Eggs
    2. Bissinger’s Chocolate Easter Eggs

    As a kid, even into my teenage years, my mom would always have an Easter basket set out for me first thing on Sunday morning. It always came as a nice surprise for me, and they typically included chocolate eggs, a stuffed bunny of some kind, jellybeans and other candies. The nostalgia I feel for those simple gifts comes back again when I see this gift from Bissinger’s collection. Each egg is individually wrapped with beautiful foil, the chocolate is premium, and the packaging is bright and vibrant. I can personally vouch that I would love to see this sitting on my nightstand or kitchen table when I get up on Easter morning.

    Chocolate Decadence Gift Basket
    3. Chocolate Decadence Gift Basket

    Yes, it’s chocolate again. And what’s wrong with that? Easter isn’t complete without it, and this collection of name brand chocolates is sure to impress him. While the kids are hunting for plastic eggs filled with Hershey’s kisses and gumdrops, he’ll be savoring the decadence of Ghirardelli, Godiva, Marich, and more. There’s even a serving of European Hot Cocoa for a chilly Easter morning.

    Coffee Time Gourmet Gift Tower
    4. Coffee Time Gourmet Tower

    This gift achieves a similar purpose as the basket above but includes more coffee and more traditional artisan café style coffee accompaniments. A signature coffee-bean design on sturdy, reusable boxes holds Berardi’s House Blend, Berardi’s French Roast, and Berardi’s Columbian Supremo Coffee, with Merlino Black & White Shortbread Cookies, Dilletante Triple Chocolate Biscotti, Dilettante Valencia Orange Butter Biscotti, Harry London Cappuccino Biscotti, and white and dark chocolate Tuxedo Jelly Beans.

    Peet's Coffee Gift Chest
    5. Peet’s Coffee Chest

    If it’s name brand coffee he likes, it’s name-brand coffee he should get! Peet’s Coffee pioneered the artisan coffeehouse idea back in the 1960s in San Francisco, and this memorable gift features three of their signature styles: Colombia, House Blend, and French Roast (my personal favorite). Along with the coffee come premium confections such as Mocha and Cappuccino Shortbreads, Chocolate Espresso Beans, Amaretto Mochadots, and a Coffee Truffle Bar from Lake Champlain Chocolates. All this and more comes in a one-of–a-kind old world map-themed wooden trunk that’ll be the perfect addition to his man-cave .

    Whatever your plans are for Easter this year, make it one that Dad will never forget.



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    Happy St Patrick’s Day!

    March 17th, 2014 admin

    St. Patrick's DayWhether it’s a pub crawl, free live music with bagpipers, Irish Dance lessons or just good old-fashioned soul-nourishing Corned Beef and Colcannon, I love getting out and about this time of year. The awesome McMenamins pint glass you see is featured courtesy of PDX Pipeline. (http://pdxpipeline.com/2014/03/10/portland-2014-st-patricks-day-w-mcmenamins)

    GiftTree now offers gorgeous beer gifts year-round, with a Personalized HOPSIDE Down® Beer Glass, Personalized Stainless Steel Growler and more.

    Whatever the luck o’ the Irish brings you this year, make it a safe and happy St Patrick’s Day.



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    Happy Pi Day! (3/14)

    March 14th, 2014 admin

    One my favorite memories from my years in school was math class on Pi Day (March 14 or 3.14). We would get to bring in either a pie or a pizza, slice up the pieces, talk about how to measure area and circumference of a circle, and then, of course eat!

    It was nerdy, but fun, like this shirt:

    Pi T-Shirt

    Of course the Pi Day experiment could also work splendidly with any one of our awesome cheesecakes. All you need is something round and delicious like our Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake or Very Berry Cheesecake.

    It’s extra fun that Pi Day falls on a Friday this year. It’s the perfect excuse to take off half an hour early, order pizza (or cheesecake), watch a movie (Darren Aronofsky anyone?) and kick back.

    So go eat some pie and celebrate Pi!



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    St Patrick’s Day Hostess Gifts

    March 10th, 2014 admin

    Scenario: A person you greatly respect has invited you their St. Patrick’s Day party. You feel special and important, and quite a bit nervous! You really want to arrive with a gift that both expresses your thanks and leaves a lasting impression with something more permanent than the traditional bottle of wine or flowers. You’re feeling the desire to break out of the routine, but you aren’t quite sure where to start.

    Have no fear. It isn’t always easy to try something different, but the payoffs can be huge, and GiftTree makes it easy. Take a look at this collection of unique and personalized gifts that are sure to impress your host or hostess for St Patrick’s Day.

     

    Designer Acacia Wood Cheese Grater

    Designer Acacia Wood Cheese Grater

    Engrave their full name on this distinctive and functional gift. Send it to yourself and then present it to them in our beautiful signature gift box. It’s a beautiful addition to their kitchen that they’ll use often – and think of you each time.

    Engraved Crystal Wine Stopper

     

     

    Engraved Crystal Wine Stopper

    A dazzling cut glass bottle stopper is faceted like a diamond and engraved with a single initial of your choice. Show up a few minutes early so they can open it before the wine bottles come in. Then they can show off their new gift to all the guests who will wonder what imaginative partygoer brought such an impressive gift.

     

    Personalized HOPSIDE® Down Beer Glass

    Personalized HOPSIDE® Down Beer Glass

    The monogrammed engraving on this gift is just one of its many impressive features. Its dual-wall technology gives the ability to keep the beer cold while keeping the hand warm and dry, and its sculpted interior provides a creative take on the traditional pint glass. Ready to fill with green St Patrick’s beer right away, it’s guaranteed to look elegant on their wet bar, and will be a frequent conversation starter throughout the party.

     

    Personalized Stainless Steel Growler

    Personalized Stainless Steel Growler

    This gift is another classy specimen from our new collection of beer companion gifts. Growlers are becoming more and more popular by the week – they’re perfect for parties, trips to the beach, picnics, or anywhere you may want to safely and fashionably transport your prized brew to share. This one features a gasket ring sealer cap to prevent carbonation from escaping, and a signature engraving that says “[their name here] Brewing.” It’s perfect for a beer lover and doubly appropriate to dote upon your gracious host.

     

    So it’s not that hard at all. Breaking out of the norm often gives way to new opportunities that we never realized were possible. All of these gift ideas and many more can be found at our personalized gifts page. Happy St Patrick’s Day! (And make sure to check out our St. Patrick’s Day infographic for fun facts to dazzle any party-goer, friend or family member!)



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    Administrative Professionals’ Day Flower Arrangements

    March 5th, 2014 admin

    An administrative professional is someone who you just can’t get through the day without. He or she is the ultimate “string puller” who can reach out to any and all vital contacts to help solve a problem, is a whiz at scheduling, a gatekeeper supreme, and a tactful navigator of sensitive situations.

    And while Administrative Professionals’ Day is still over a month away (in North America, it is celebrated on the Wednesday of the last full week of April), it doesn’t hurt to plan for April 23, 2014 early. Especially because they would do the same for you!

    Here are five administrative professionals day flower arrangements that are sure to send the message that you appreciate and respect all that they do. Each flower gift comes with a complimentary enclosure card so you can make the flowers extra personal, and will be delivered fresh to the location of your choice by an experienced florist.

     

    Simply Splendid Roses

    Simply Splendid Roses

    This bright cheerful bouquet stands proudly with roses in coral, peach, purple, and yellow hues. White waxflower accents add a texture and fullness to the arrangement. The bright colors and sweet fragrance of the roses will make this a beautiful, memorable gift.

     
     
     
     

    Island Princess Bouquet

    Island Princess Bouquet

    Of all the many flower arrangements we offer, this one of my favorites, and is highly recommended by our customers. The tropical and exotic mokara orchids bring a pizzazz and uniqueness that’s hard to find in other arrangements. The sword fern and red ti leaves bring an additional tropical fullness, and it all comes together in a distinctive purple cube vase. Delightful!

     

    Pink Reflections Bouquet

    Pink Reflections Bouquet

    I love the pink Asiatic lilies in this one. They bring a sense of drama and show that you really didn’t skimp. Lilies tend to be a little more hardy than other flowers, so the recipient will be able to enjoy the flowers for more than just a day or two, and then it’s combined with pink roses, pink alstroemeria, white stock and a bundle of fresh greenery for a really impressive presentation. The shimmering pink vase is the icing on the cake.

     

    Sweet Symphony Bouquet

    Sweet Symphony Bouquet

    If it has been awhile since you truly made an effort to notice your assistant’s contributions, or if that person has really been a superstar lately, go for this impressively large premium bouquet. It shows that you went “all out” to make this a special day and includes lavender and red roses, pink tulips, pink lilies, pink gerbera daisies, white hydrangea, purple asters, and much, much more.

     

    Color Sensation Bouquet

    Color Sensation Bouquet

    Finally, I am a sucker for the color splash in this one. I love the way the orange lilies pop against the bold, blue hydrangea, and how the orange and pink tulips come up through the back of the arrangement like a fireworks display. In addition to the lilies, hydrangea, and tulips your workplace wizard will get to enjoy hot pink roses, yellow spray roses, and full, lush greenery to make it a truly unforgettable gesture. Beautiful for spring and especially beautiful for Admin’s Day.

     

    Here’s to an Administrative Professionals’ Day that is special, memorable, and lasting. See our Admin’s Day gifts page for more.



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    Infographic: GiftTree Celebrates St. Patrick’s Day

    March 3rd, 2014 Alicia

    Having provided great gifts to millions of customers for over 17 years, GiftTree knows a thing or two about St. Patrick’s Day! This year, we decided to dig deeper. We hit the books (or the Internet), broke out our calculators and crunched the numbers to give you some staggering facts and numbers about all things St. Patrick’s Day.

    Click the image to view full-size and make sure to share this with your friends & family by using the icons at the bottom of this post!

    And if you’re looking for fun & festive St. Patrick’s Day gifts, check out our collection by clicking here.

    St. Patrick's Day Infographic from GiftTree



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