The holidays are here, which is a time for gift baskets and camaraderie. Homemade gift baskets are so much better than store bought ones - primarily because you source your items., and you don't end up with garbage like candy corn.
Why a gift basket?
- Perfect for any occasion: birthday, potluck, celebration
- It's ALWAYS festive
- Who doesn't like edible gifts?
- Also, imagine how fly you'll look carrying this in...
If you weren't sure if you were going to make friends at this get together, BAM. Automatic friends. Anyways, let's get to it.
What you Need
A Basket - this is kind of a requirement
The Anchor Item: California Fig
It's important to pick one flavorful anchor item so you can build your basket around it. For this basket, the anchor item was California figs.
If you've never had figs, think of Fig Newtons, but way healthier (tons of fiber). For a sweet item like this, you have to pair it with contrasting items, like a smooth creamy cheese or a brighter wine to balance out the flavors.
Choose a wine that is fruity to pair with the sweetness of the figs.
Red: Pinot Noir
- Oyster Bay Chardonnay
- Globetrotter Sangiovese
- Puglia Rosso
- Mark West Pinot Noir
Since figs are sweet and seedy, you want to pick cheeses that are smooth, creamy, and a bit funky.
Funky Bleats - Bleating Heart
La Tur - Caseficio dell'Alta Langa
Goat Cheese Log
Capricho de Cabra
You can get crackers or a baguette. But girl, tell me that baguette doesn't look good in that basket. My pick: Semifreddi's sourdough baguette. Cut the baguette in half, and keep half inside the wrapper, half out.
These figs are dried, so you want to add some fresh, crisp flavor to the basket.
- Pears - They add color and freshness, and crisp texture.
- Grapes - Concord grapes are fantastic sweet grapes that pair well with soft cheeses, fruity wine, and dry figs.
You have the sweet flavors down, but what about savory? Add a stick of salami to the basket. I used the Cerminelli Whiskey Salami.
To have smooth, buttery flavors to compliment the acidity of the dried figs, I chose cashews and pistachios. If you don't have fancy bags, cut the tops of zip lock bags, insert nuts, & tie them tastefully.
This adds pops of color to your basket and livens it up.
Scarf - makes your basket look homey & festive
Flowers - try to match these to the items in your basket
Thank you so much Valley Fig Growers for sponsoring this post. Even though this post is sponsored, these opinions are honest. My favorite items I'd recommend buying are the mission figs & the balsamic pepper jam.
For more fun with figs, check out the posts below from some lovely ladies:
Alexis: Jac o' lyn Murphy; Festive Fig Appetizers; @jacolynmurphydesigns; http://www.jacolynmurphy.com/2016/10/festive-fig-appetizers.html
Erika: Cheese Sex Death; Drunk on California Figs; @cheesesexdeath; http://www.cheesesexdeath.com/california-figs/
Vero: Miss Cheesemonger; A Blogger Cheese + Fig Party; @misscheesemonger; http://misscheesemonger.com/2016/10/a-blogger-cheese-fig-party/