By Maureen Katemopoulos
Food Gift Ideas & Recipes for a Birthday
By Maureen Katemopoulos
A birthday celebration would not be the same without good food, and it is often remembered because of an outstanding meal. When planning a birthday party, try to find complementary foods and recipes that will please everyone. With so many kinds of food available, and so much help readily at hand on the Internet, creating a fabulous birthday meal is not an impossible dream, but a dream come true.Food GiftsThere is a huge assortment of food gifts that can be ordered online for a birthday. Among the companies that specialize in gifts of food is Harry & David (see References), whose gift products range from tiramisu and Chocolate Decadence Birthday Cakes, to a Bakery Gift Tower filled with gourmet brownies, fruit galettes, baklava and chocolate fudge, to a Super Fruit Party Tray with dried pears, peaches, apricots, dates, plums, prunes and figs on a re-usable tray. There is also a Birthday Cookie Box with one-dozen chocolate chunk, white-chocolate raspberry, moose munch and hand-decorated sugar cookies, and a Birthday Cupcake Partybox that features fancy decorated cookies, gourmet popcorn, peanut butter pretzels and assorted nuts. Personalized greeting cards can accompany these gifts. As of 2009, the prices of these items ranged from $19.95 to $59.95.Send a MealFor a touch of luxury, consider ordering a gourmet meal that can be delivered right to the door of the person celebrating a birthday. Companies such as sendameal.com provide meal choices including Shrimp Fettucine Alfredo; Chateaubriand Gala; French Rack of Lamb; Live Lobster, Steak & Chowder; and a Happy Birthday Meal of New York Strip or Filet Mignon Steak, Gourmet Shrimp or Chicken, two vegetables and dessert. As of 2009, prices of these birthday gourmet meals ranged between $29.95 and $151.95 and provide dinner for two. There are many other meal choices available for all occasions and for any number of dinner guests.Homemade PateHomemade pate is an ideal gift for a cocktail or buffet birthday party, because it is easy to make and transport. All it takes is a package of liver sausage (9 oz.) and 2 tbsp. of mayonnaise or sour cream. Mash the sausage with a fork and blend in the mayonnaise or sour cream to create a spreadable consistency. If desired, mix in one dozen shelled and quartered pistachios (optional). Serve at the center of a large platter display of crackers, or separately in a fancy glass or crystal container on ice. This recipe can feed about six people. See Resources for another pate recipe.Soy Sauce ChickenFor a birthday dinner that may have to be organized at short notice, Soy Sauce Chicken is easy and quick to prepare. Mix together a 1/2 cup of soy sauce; 2 tbsp. sugar; 1 tbsp. chopped ginger; and 1 tbsp. crushed garlic. Pour the sauce over a whole chicken (defrosted) and cook at 400 degrees F for about one hour. This recipe can feed about six people. Serve the chicken with rice or baked potatoes, and mixed vegetables (minimal preparation time required), and perhaps red wine for a toast and an ice cream cake for dessert.ResourcesreferenceHarry & David Birthday TreatsreferenceSend A MealresourcePate Recipe
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