Need a last-minute Mother’s Day gift? Go for edible gifts (with a side of flowers)

The ol' dyed pasta necklace isn't going to cut it when you become an adult. (Photo courtesy Selena N. B. H. via Flickr Creative Commons)
The ol’ dyed pasta necklace isn’t going to cut it when you become an adult. (Photo courtesy Selena N. B. H. via Flickr Creative Commons)

The horses have barely finished kicking up dirt at Churchill Downs, yet it’s time to turn around and celebrate another big occasion.

I’ve always thought that the Kentucky Derby and Mother’s Day are just a little too close together to give moms in the state proper justice. You want me to pick a horse, down a couple of mint juleps, AND plan a bomb brunch and buy a fabulous gift for my beyond-fabulous mother all in one breath?

Month of May, have mercy on me.

Since I’m a little too old to hand out pasta necklaces to the woman who co-signed on my creation, I’m searching for the perfect gift. Yes, it’s last minute. But I pray to the gods of Better Late Than Never.

Here are some great items I’ve come across in my search for the perfect Mother’s Day gift, from the traditional to practical and back again.

  • Grocery delivery.
My first bunch of produce from Green BEAN Delivery.
My first bunch of produce from Green BEAN Delivery.

Taking care of a week’s worth of groceries isn’t the most sentimental thing you can do for your mother/mother figure. But for the practical person in your life, a gift like a Green BEAN Delivery gift certificate would give a busy lady one less thing to think about. I’ve touted this organic grocery delivery service before, and the fine Green BEAN folks have a special offer if you want to treat your mom. Visit Green BEAN’s website and use the code 15AEml for $15 off your first order (for new members/reactivations only; expires a week from today).

  • Chocolate.
(Photo courtesy of EuroMagic via Flickr Creative Commons)
(Photo courtesy of EuroMagic via Flickr Creative Commons)

I’m not talking about the stuff you get at the gas station on your way to visit your mother. Stop by Cellar Door Chocolates in Butchertown Market (1201 Story Ave.) or Oxmoor Mall (near Starbucks) for some decadent, small-batch chocolate.

  • Meat.
A box of meat from Mattingly.
A box of meat from Mattingly.

Sure, you can take your mom to brunch. Just be prepared for loud crowds, long waits, and at least one unsatisfied grandma. How about getting some quality meat from Mattingly Foods – A. Thomas Meats and cook your mom a nice dinner?

  • Flowers.
(Photo courtesy julie via Flickr Creative Commons)
(Photo courtesy julie via Flickr Creative Commons)

I once got my mother flowers for the big day. Her mouth said, “Thank you.” Her eyes said, “Is this it? They’re going to die in a week.” I’ve learned that flowers are a present that serves better as a supplement to something else rather than the big sha-bang. Stop by Nanz and Kraft Florists (they make arrangements beyond the KFC corsage) to see if they can help you find something pretty to go with the “real present.”

What are you doing for your mom this Mother’s Day?

Hungry for Valentine’s Day gift ideas? Try these 6 edible treats.

Photo courtesy of EuroMagic via Flickr.
Photo courtesy of EuroMagic via Flickr.

What sad lives we lead if they are, indeed, like boxes of chocolate.

It’s true that, like life, you never know what you’re going to get when you tear through that red cellophane. But is life also full of disappointment coated in sugary promise?

Boxes of chocolate are the most discouraging Valentine’s Day gift. When someone mistakenly gives me one, I try to activate my dormant X-ray vision to find the two caramel-filled chocolates that are hidden in every box. Even with a little help from the Rosetta Stone of a guide that’s sometimes included in the lid, I still end up biting through ghastly coconut and raspberry filling. Yuck.

There are other edible presents I’d rather see this Valentine’s Day. Consider these when picking out something for your sweetie.

  • An Edible ArrangementNo one in the office is upset when their coworker gets an Edible Arrangement. This bouquet of fruit (and sometimes chocolate) is meant to be shared, not envied like a traditional bunch of flowers.
  • A Panera bagel. If you follow me on Twitter, you know that my love for the cinnamon crunch bagel at Panera runs deep. Real deep. A warm, chewy bite of the pastry along with a cup of coffee would start Valentine’s Day off right.
  • Twix/Take 5. Stick with one or two types that your significant other loves if you insist on giving something from the candy aisle. My favorites are Twix and Take 5.
  • Cookies. Specifically, two cookies, a rose and a mixtape from the coffee shop/record store Please and Thank You.
  • Pizza. Rob and I have done the heart-shaped pizza for Valentine’s Day, but that isn’t even essential. Order me some Bearno’s and reserve your judgement when I eat half of a large pizza.
  • Cellar Door ChocolatesThis isn’t the stale variety you find in your neighborhood drugstore. This local business offers a variety of fresh, decadent chocolate treats.

What do you think is the best edible Valentine’s Day present?

We are in the midst of Choctoberfest, so it’s time to celebrate

Photo courtesy of EuroMagic via Flickr.

Some of the best things happen in October. 

There’s Halloween, my birthday *cough cough* and a gaggle of fall festivals, including the Just Creations Choctoberfest.

Just Creations is a not-for-profit, fair-trade store that sells products from farmers and artisans, according to the organization’s website. The sale of the products helps to provide a fair wage for the artisans and enables them to pay for food, education, health care and housing.

Choctoberfest began Monday and runs through Saturday, Oct. 27. Here is some info about the festivities:

Customers can sample chocolate and enter a raffle to win the Chocolate Sampler Gift Park worth $100. Proceeds from the raffle and 15% of all chocolate sales during Choctoberfest will be donated to Women for Women International 

As part of Choctoberfest, the annual Chocolate Bake Off will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 24 from 6-8 p.m. … Judges for the Bake Off include Fred Moore, owner of Coco’s Chocolate Café, Jessica Haskell, owner of Sweet Surrender, and the LouisvilleHotbytes.com Dining Duo Mary Johnson and Robin Garr.

This event sounds like a sweet way to celebrate the season.

Just Creations Choctoberfest

Where: Just Creations, 2722 Frankfort Avenue, Louisville

When: Now through Saturday, Oct. 27; bake off is 6-8 p.m. Oct. 24

Cost: Free, but you can buy goodies at the store

For more information: Just Creations website

Bits and pieces: Chocolate shop, junk food and IQ, and other food news from the web, 2.14.11

Chocolate, chocolate everywhere, and not a bite to eat - yet. Photo courtesy of EuroMagic via Flickr.

Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all. My gift to you? The news:

  • A chocolate shop/cafe is scheduled to open in April on East Market Street in Louisville. This area of town is really starting to flourish. But can we spread this revitalization into the west end? (Courier-Journal)
  • Scientists say that eating foods containing trans fats and saturated fats could contribute to depression. To those of us who have every gone on a White Castle bender at 2 a.m., we know this to be true. (LA Times)
  • Another group of researchers says there is an association between foods high in fat and sugar and reduced IQ in children. Looks like the smart kids eat their vegetables. (ABC News)
  • Louisville’s vegetarian/vegan scene is getting a kick in the pants with the opening of Roots and Heart and Soy on Bardstown Road. (Consuming Louisville)
  • Wonder how much caffeine is in your favorite beverage? The numbers might surprise you. (Food and Think)

Bits and pieces: Chocolate shortage, Betty Crocker’s PMS solution and other food news from the web, 11.10.10

Starting next week, Bits and Pieces will return to Mondays. Now, on to the news.

  • This first news item brought a tear to my eye. Some experts say that chocolate will be an expensive rarity similar to caviar in 20 years, according to an article in The Independent of London. According to the newspaper, the demand for chocolate exceeds the supply of cocoa beans, which make for a beastly crop to tend that yields little reward for farmers. We need to get the Oompa Loompas on this one.

 

  • Speaking of chocolate, Betty Crocker has devised a marketing plan to sell its Warm Delights dessert and play up on feminine stereotypes. According to the website Jezebel, the company has created a free PMS app. Check the link – I can’t make this one up. When it’s a woman’s time of the month, she and her partner will receive a coupon for Warm Delights to satisfy cravings for chocolate. From Betty Crocker via Jezebel:

When it’s “that time of the month,” most girls could really use a couple of things: a little advanced warning, a bit more understanding and support, and a lot of chocolate. … This free app also helps guys navigate this special time – from a place to practice foot massage, to suggested escape routes. Because sometimes the best thing to do is get her chocolate and get out of the way.

  • For the busy breakfast eater in all of us, Dunkin Donuts has launched Sausage Pancake Bites, little pieces of meat wrapped in syrup-soaked pancake, according to The Consumerist. I’ll just skip this and have the coffee, thanks.

 

  • The LA Times did a wonderful profile of Gluten-Free Girl, aka Shauna James Ahern, aka blogger, aka author. Shauna turned a diagnosis of celiac disease into an avenue to share her story and tasty recipes. Kudos to her success.