Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Book Review: The Perfect Basket

A month or so ago I picked up a copy of The Perfect Basket (by Diane Phillips). I was shopping at Michael's that day and they happened to have a good sale on the craft books. I have to admit that I am a fan of gift baskets {it is so easy to personalize a gift by using baskets}, so the book looked fun to me. And boy was I right--really right! The Perfect Basket has over 50 different gift basket ideas for every occasion: from camping to getting a new pet to a guest's bedside basket.

And what is nice is that the book outlines three different spending levels for each basket. Phillips tells what to put in a "Basic Basket" (low cost option), what she calls the "More Than" basket (medium level cost), and "The Works" baskets {and boy does she mean the works! One golfers' basket includes round trip airline tickets to a destination golf resort!}

There are also a number of different food basket ideas: "Taste of the Tropics Basket;" "Festival Italiano Basket;" and the "Sweetheart Basket" to name a few. Most of these come with recipes for do-it-yourself -- or should I say bake-it-yourself? -- mixes. For example, the "Sweetheart Basket" comes with this yummy mix for Belgian waffles to put in a decorated canning jar:

2 Cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 T. baking powder
1 T. vanilla powder

Then there is the label you can photocopy to include with the jar that reads: "Beat three large egg whites to soft peaks and set aside. In another bowl, combine three egg yolks, 2 T. melted butter, and 1 cup of milk. Whisk in the Belgian Waffle Mix and fold in the egg whites with a wire whisk. Cook according to waffle iron manufacturer's directions."Anyway, I am having fun just looking at the pictures in this book and think I will be making some of the bake-it-yourself mixes to give to my neighbors for Christmas this year. Now all I have to do is decide which recipe... Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies? Cranberry Oat Scones? Too hard to decide!

Scripture of the Day: Exodus 3:4-5

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