Mother’s Day gift baskets from the heart

Published 3:30 pm Saturday, May 5, 2012

Mother’s Day will soon be here, and its time to make your mom’s day extra-special. One way to do that is to put together a gift basket especially for mom.

Who doesn’t love a thoughtful gift with meaning?  Show your appreciation for your mom by bundling her uniqueness into a basket; you will be sure to put a smile on her face.

What to do first

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Pick a theme for your basket. To make the basket unique to your mom, think about her hobbies, activities and interests.

Does she like to cook? Is she health-conscious? Or would she appreciate a basket of beauty products to pamper herself? Is she a gardener?  Does she love yoga?

After deciding a theme, list five or six items that could be part of that basket.  Whatever you choose, make sure to bring honor to your mother.

Gluten-free gift basket

This gift basket is specifically created for moms with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. The gourmet, gluten-free treats included are healthy and tasty, too.

•Farmstand Soup Company Soup Mix

•Blue Diamond Nut Thins

•American Bounty Foods Cranberry Crunch

•Angie’s Kettle Corn

•Lucy’s Gluten Free Cookies

•Food Should Taste Good Blue Corn Chips

•Muir Glen Black Bean & Corn Salsa

Active and athletic mom healthy snack basket

The healthy foods included in this basket help keep the mom-on-the-go energized. To top it off, the foods will also have mom jumping for joy from their delicious taste.

•Back to Nature Almond and Dried Fruit Mix

•Larabar Fruit and Nut Bars

•Alo beverage

•Food Should Taste Good Sweet Potato Chips

•Black Mission Figs or Goji Berries

•Blue Diamond Dark Chocolate Almonds

•Kashi Happy Trail Mix Soft-Baked Cookies

Pampered mom gift basket

All moms deserve some pampering and self-care.  Give your mom a basket full of natural care products that mom will love to use.

•Bubbles by Brooks Handcrafted Scented Soap (locally made in Rochester, Minn.)

•Gud Natural Care Products from Burt’s Bees including Body Butter, Body Mist and Hand Cream

•Kiss My Face Skin Moisturizer

Gardening mom gift basket

A gift that keeps on giving – give mom a hanging basket that will produce through the season and will remind her of you. A perfect way to help mom to health.

•Hanging basket of strawberries or lettuce (find it in the Garden Center)

•A whimsical watering can

•A garden hat

•Garden gloves

•Seed packets

Combine items into something that mom can use; ideas include a basket, metal beverage tub or garden planter.  Enjoy the smiles you will receive when you give the perfect gift basket.

Strawberry Bruschetta

Serves 4. Total time: 15 minutes

Astoundingly good for minimal effort, this makes an indulgent weekend breakfast or anyday dessert. A sensible smear of mascarpone (half the fat of butter) is part of the luxury, but even lighter low-fat cream cheese will work as well. The real secret is warming the berries just enough to make the flavor bloom and transform their juices into a rosy syrup.

All you need

•4 thick slices Hy-Vee Baking Stone whole-wheat bread

•6 tablespoons light brown sugar

•1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

•2 teaspoons lemon juice

•3 cups sliced or diced hulled strawberries

•4 tablespoons mascarpone (Italian cream cheese)

All you do

1. Toast bread in a toaster.

2. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice and cook, stirring, until the sugar melts and mixture begins to bubble, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add strawberries and stir until juices begin to exude and the berries are heated through, 30 seconds to 1 minute more.

3. Spread 1 tablespoon mascarpone on each piece of toast. Top with the warm berries.

To make ahead: Prepare the sauce (Step 2), cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month. To reheat, microwave on high for about 1 minute (defrost first).

Nutrition facts per serving: 202 calories; 5g fat (2g sat, 0g mono); 9mg cholesterol; 38g carbohydrate; 19g added sugars; 5g protein; 4g fiber; 137mg sodium; 238mg potassium.

Nutrition bonus: Vitamin C (109% daily value).

Source: adapted from Eating Well, Inc.