CULINARY THRILL SEEKING — Try gift baskets when looking for perfect presents

Published 5:55 am Monday, June 20, 2022

Let’s talk about gift baskets.

I like making them. I like getting them. It’s so fun to match the recipient to a plethora of goodies.

We’re half way to Christmas, so let’s plan ahead.

Vervana – Sometimes you think something that tastes so good can’t be good for you, but there’s Dr. Sinatra in the Vervana literature, a cardiologist who encourages us to Live High Vibrationally.

Vervana olive oil and an All-Purpose Italian Seasoning & Dipping Blend is all you need, except maybe some bread to get it to your mouth. What a difference freshness and quality makes, as well as the notion of enjoying these products in Italy itself, or California, where Vervana lives.

Visit vervana.com, which showcases gift baskets, including one with a simply divine olive wood bowl and spoon. It’s so smooth and knotty it sends you back in time, yet calls you back for dinner. The doctor has a pasta diet and sauces.

Try Vervana summer salad tips:

  • When building a salad, let color lead the way. Expand your palate to include peppers, radishes, green beans, Brussels sprouts, red onions, cabbage, arugula, beets, berries, grapes, avocado, apples and pears.
  • Top it with insulin-balancing and hunger-quenching protein and healthy fats such as nuts, cheese, hard-boiled eggs, quinoa, chickpeas and grilled chicken. Avoid processed carbs like crunchy noodles, croutons and bacon bits.
  • Keep that salad pristine by using a dressing with beneficial fats and tasty seasonings. Don’t drench it in dressing made of cheap oils, preservatives, artificial flavors and colors. Instead try Vervana’s cold-pressed extra virgin olive oils, flavored olive oils and balsamic vinegars.

Vervana’s Lemon Flavored and Garlic Flavored Olive Oils are packed with flavor and add the perfect finishing touch to a salad. Drizzle it on and add a dash of Vervana’s Italian Seasoning Blend for savory, palate-enhancing flavor.

Avocado on the tree – Remember the first time you heard the hide-the-pickle-on-the-Christmas-tree story? I never realized Old World Christmas had such a sense of humor.

Foodies may now adorn their boughs with alligator pair, aka avocado; peppers (bell and cayenne) and even charcuterie boards. If it’s trending, you can hang it. Avocado toast? Ranch dressing bottle? Bowl of ramen? Taco?

Visit oldworldchristmas.com, which has some inspiring delicate glass ornaments made in the old style. You could find a pick for every personality you know. Thing is, they are so pretty and so funny, you’ll hang them in the kitchen – or bar perhaps – all year round. Avocado is trending and those peppers will remind me to eat healthfully.

Wrapper’s Delight – I’m not so keen on shopping, but I’ve always loved, loved, loved wrapping gifts. My mother taught me about crisp corners hiding the tape, unique embellishment, etc.

Inspired Wraps feels me. This company showcases all the product you can imagine from plain brown bags – all the better to create personalized messages from their cute wooden boxes of alphabet stamps – to vintage look craft scissors to keep you wrapping in style.

They’ve made it easy for you at inspiredwraps.com, where you can buy the themed gift basket and get it wrapped. People like me can get the goods and go to town.

Darragh Doiron is a Southeast Texas area foodie embracing the “different” and “creative.” Reach her at darraghcastillo@icloud.com.