Giving the gift that keeps on giving – It’s the perfect gift.

 

DSC00800

As many of you know, I bake and sell things through my Etsy shop and sometimes that makes it a little interesting when I post pictures of things I bake on a daily basis. Many people try to eat healthily by cutting out sweets and carbs and when they see my pictures I get a lot of conversations about people wishing they weren’t tempted or wishing they could have some or even the occasional, “I wish I could support you and what you do but I’m gluten-free or sugar-free, or I don’t know…pick something. I get this and it’s all fine.

Really, it’s fine. Not everyone is supposed to be my client. We can still be friends.

What many of you may not know is, about 80% of what I bake is a gift for someone. Most of my clients aren’t buying for themselves so their own dietary restrictions are not part of the equation. They want to bless someone with freshly baked items, period. I simply bake what they want to send, include a note from the client to the recipient and off it goes.

Since this is the perfect time of year to think about gift giving, let me tell you about a few of my clients.

Mary, (not her real name), contacted me last year because she wanted to gift her mother with a 6-month subscription of my Cookie of the Month Club. Her mother lived in an assisted living facility in upstate New York and, it was her 90th birthday! Every month when Mary’s mother received those cookies she would share them with all the other people she played bingo with. It was a great adventure each month because “momma” got so excited to see what treat she received this time. After a month or so, her friends were as excited as she was! (Of course, they got to share in the loot also!)

Every month, I contacted Mary and let her know the next batch was on the way and gave her all the shipping details. That way, she knew exactly when her mother would receive them. Also every month Mary would re-contact me and let me know how much her mother enjoyed her cookies, and also enjoyed the attention she got from her friends!

Sadly, this ended after 6 months were up. Mary thanked me so many times for bringing joy to her mother.

A few months ago, Mary contacted me again. She decided to purchase another 6-month subscription for her mother’s 91st birthday. She knew her mother had loved the gift the previous year and knew she would be so excited to receive it again.

MWC10

And, that’s just one mother’s tale. Last week I got an order for a 3-month subscription for Grandma Gigi who was turning 101 years old! Yay, Grandma! I get to do this kind of thing all the time and feel honored that someone would trust me with such a precious gift.

Sometimes this is the only “home baked” thing these parents or grandparents get each month. It’s a splurge and it’s a great treat for them to think someone baked something just for them. What they don’t know is, it’s an even bigger treat for me.

I’ve been honored to send condolence gifts to someone who is grieving over a death in the family. I’ve celebrated birthdays and anniversaries. I really do get to celebrate with them – even if they never know.

christmas-garland-clipart-3.jpg

If you are interested in something like this – whether it’s Christmas gift for your parents, grandparents, or simply a Thank You gift for a friend or co-worker, I think I may have something to help make things easier for you.

Check it out…

Sometimes you want to treat that special someone with a gift but not sure what to choose. Maybe they have EVERYTHING! Maybe you just want to say thank you and not really sure how.

My Cookie, Muffin, or Treat of the Month Clubs could quite possibly be the answer you need. Who doesn’t like receiving packages in the mail, especially packages of fresh, delicious baked goods? And you know, YOU might be that special someone who needs a gift of freshly baked treats each month!

That would mean that you could gift someone Treats for the entire year (or however long you choose), and it would be a surprise each month.

So why not treat yourself or a special friend to 3 months of fresh-baked cookies delivered right to the front door? (Or you may select 6 months, 9 months, or an entire year!) Order once and I’ll take care of everything else. You get to sit back and enjoy; either your own treats or thank-you from the recipient.

Here are the links if you want to see what it’s all about:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/223027550/cookie-of-the-month-club

https://www.etsy.com/listing/250544588/muffin-of-the-month-club

https://www.etsy.com/listing/269267579/treat-of-the-month-club
 

Advertisements

Breakfast Sausage French Toast

I received a recipe in the mail from one of my local grocery stores the other day and it looked so good, I decided to give it a try. I’m so glad I did.

They were so good, in fact, that I went back to the store and got more so I could make them ahead and freeze for another day.

Breakfast Sausage French Toast

Breakfast Sausage French toast

1 lb Breakfast sausage links

14 slices white bread, crusts removed

2 eggs

1 cup milk, half & half, or cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

Dash of cinnamon, optional

Powdered sugar, optional

Maple syrup for dipping

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 225º

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil – set aside.

Cook the breakfast sausage according to package directions, set aside.

Meanwhile, stack several slices of the bread and remove the crust with a bread knife, or another serrated knife. Repeat with remaining bread.

In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, vanilla extract, and cinnamon if using.

Lay 1 slice of bread down on your work surface. Next, place 1 sausage link at the bottom and roll up, sealing the edge as best you can. put on a plate. Continue until you have rolled all sausages.

One at a time, put each “roll” in the egg/milk mixture being sure it’s totally covered. Let the excess drip off and put on a plate. (I dipped only about half of the rolls into the milk mixture at a time.)

Using the same pan you cooked the sausage in, add about a ½ tablespoon of butter and let it get nice and hot, say medium-high. Don’t let the butter brown! Once it begins bubbling, add the rolls, one at a time, being sure not to let the butter splash on you – cook, turning until all sides are a nice golden brown.

Remove the pan from heat and place the cooked on the baking sheet and pop in the oven until the other batch is cooked.

Repeat the dipping and cooking process with the remaining batch.

Place all the cooked Breakfast Sausage French toast on a serving platter and sprinkle with powdered sugar, if using. Serve with warm maple syrup.

Anytime you can make something in advance, you should do it. I’m about to begin writing a series on this food blog (The Table) of exactly this – food hacks, tips and make-ahead things to help your holidays (and everyday life) run more smoothly.

To make ahead:

Let the sausage rolls cool. Then place on a baking tray and place in the freezer until firm. Once they are firm/frozen, place them in a zip freezer bag, or other freezer containers and put in the freezer until ready to eat.  Bake in a preheated 350º oven for about 5 or 10 minutes. There is no reason to thaw first.

Breakfast Sausage French Toast 3jpg

~~~~~~

I fried a couple of eggs to go along with the French Toast and added a bit of warm maple syrup. It was the perfect breakfast for a cold autumn day.

Breakfast Sausage French Toast 2jpg

College Ahead

College ahead

Before you know it we’ll be sending our kids off to school again. Do you have any that are going off to college? It can be had on both of you sometimes. Obviously, it’s hard for us parents when our kids go away and aren’t under our influence anymore. But do you realize that it’s also difficult for them, too? It is. When my daughter went away to art school it was really hard for me. She seemed too young – she only turned 18 the day she moved into the dorm for Pete’s sake! She was several states away, didn’t know anyone and had never been away from home more than a week or two at a time.

College dorm room

What I did to make us both feel better was to send her care packages.

I realize I’m not the only one who has thought of this but the other day I was baking some cookies and was reminiscing about sending cookies and such in the mail so she could have a taste of home. I can’t tell you how much she appreciated it. (There was even enough to share with her new friends!)

Treat of the month 1

Wouldn’t your child love to get some home-baked goodness from you every month while they are away from home also? If you think they would I can set up a monthly subscription and you won’t have to do a thing – except receiving all the thank you’s they will be sending your way!

I have 3, 6, 9, and 12-month subscriptions to choose from. The choices are pretty limitless; you get to choose all muffins, all cookies or you can even mix it up and choose to send cookies, brownies, pies or even cupcakes. The choice is yours. Of course, you can simply send one order – they will love you for it no matter what you send.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/GigisTable

Mexican Wedding Cookie

Mother’s Day and Honoring Women

Coconut TPC

Mother’s Day is on May 14th this year and that makes it less than a month away. I have to find a victim, quick! No, really. Let me explain…….

My mother passed away 8 years ago and because she has gone on, it doesn’t exempt me from honoring mothers all around me. There are single mothers who need encouraging, spiritual mothers who need honoring, sisters who have forgotten how awesome they truly are or maybe you’re a mother to orphans who simply needs someone to listen to what has happened in your day. The need is greater than we know.

Find someone to honor and celebrate extravagantly this year. Take them to dinner, send them something in the mail, go clean their house or buy them flowers. And most importantly, tell them how much they’ve meant to you, how they’ve spoken into your life, or how awesome they are!

And, if you do want to send them something in the mail I can help you out with that! There are plenty of options to choose from in my shop: There are gifts of cookies, muffins, pies, scones or even cupcakes! Also, there are options to send a give that keeps on giving. You can choose from 3, 6, 9 or 12-month subscriptions for cookies, muffins or even assorted treats – your choice. All made fresh the day they ship.

Anyone can send flowers and really, haven’t we all been guilty of this fallback no-brainer year after year? I know I have. I also know that I love it when I get something different for a change.
I do all the work; you get all the praises and thanks.

If you want to check out the options for gift giving, here’s the link:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/GigisTable?ref=hdr_shop_menu

 

Tomato Pie – The quintessential taste of summer at our house.

Tomato Pie 3

Every spring when we set out our tomato plants we also plant lots of basil to go with them because what we have in mind is tomato pie. The other thing we plant in the spring is sweet banana peppers because you cannot have tomato pie without them. Did I mention how much we love tomato pie?  We have so many memories that are attached to this pie that it’s like taking a walk down memory lane when we eat it. (smile) Continue reading “Tomato Pie – The quintessential taste of summer at our house.”

Meatloaf with Mushroom-Garlic Sauce – aka The very best meatloaf I’ve ever eaten, bar none.

Meatloaf with mushroom gravy

Last night while I was trying to figure out what to have for dinner, I discovered 2 packages of mushrooms hidden behind the lettuce. Apparently I forgot I bought them the week before. For some crazy reason I thought of meatloaf with a mushroom gravy.  It was crazy because I usually only make meatloaf once every 6 or 7 years. I’m NOT a fan. Boy did that ever change! Continue reading “Meatloaf with Mushroom-Garlic Sauce – aka The very best meatloaf I’ve ever eaten, bar none.”