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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

California Delicious Gift Baskets and Boxes - A Great Holiday Gift

This blog post contains sponsored links.

This is the kick off post for my holiday gift guide.  I want to start with the perfect gift for everyone.  

There is nothing more exciting for me than food.  I love to cook, but more importantly, I love to eat.  I can't say that I love anything more than trying new foods.  Even better is when I don't have to make them.  Although I do love to cook, sometimes a gift basket of snacks is just the best gift you could get.  Today I was gifted a California Delicious Golden State Gourmet Foods Gift Basket.  I was able to try out the 8 pound box.  

It has so many amazing goodies in it.  It was hard for me to stop and get pictures before eating it up.  It was also rather hard to fight off the family.  I did end up sharing it though. Small confession.  I opened these when only the 1 and 2 year olds were awake.  The other 6 were asleep.  That ended up with me not sharing too much.  Shhhhhh!

So, what was in this gift box?  

In this box I got to snack on:

Sonoma Cheese Straws

California Pistachios
Sonoma Jacks Parmesan Peppercorn Cheese Wedges
Almond Roca
Ghirardelli Creamy Milk and Caramel Chocolate Squares
Rustic Bakery Crackers
Chocolate chip cookies
California Dried Fruits and Nuts
Santa Barbara Pimento Martini Olives
Premium Chocolate Rolled Wafers
and Sparkling Apple Cider

I had never tried some of these snacks.  I had never heard of a cheese straw or Almond Roca before.  I had tried cheese wedges, but never the parmesan peppercorn wedges.  I guess I'm sheltered, or maybe I have just missed out on a huge piece of snack food heaven.  I'm not sure, but I was thrilled to open this California Delicious gift box!

The first thing I tried were the California Pistachios.  Well, I tried a few of them and lost them to my husband.  Ha ha ha ha!  He LOVES pistachios.  They were just amazing too.  There's something about pistachios where they MUST be in their shell before you eat them.  These were perfect.  

Next I tried the cheese straws.  As I said, I hadn't heard of these before, so I was kind of thinking they would be straw shaped.  I was wrong!  They are cute little cheese biscuits.  They were a little dry, but they had a lovely cheese flavor.  I thought at the end I noticed a spice.  My throat started to have just a tiny burn.  I checked the ingredients, and at the end was Cayenne Pepper, so I was right!  It's not spicy hot.  It just has a tiny bit of heat.  Come to find out, my 1 year old loves these.  I shared a few, but I might have to hide the rest.

As I'm eating the cheese straws, hubby decides to try out the olives.  He really liked them.  I'm not an olive fan.  Especially green olives, so I'll leave that for him.  However, he found them very good.  He did discover to not try the cheese straws when you still have the olive flavor in your mouth.  It wasn't a good mixture.  It was funny though.  

My next snack was the fruit and nut mixture.  Ok, so I'm in love with fruit and nut mixtures.  I even went and put it in my own little bowl to savor it... while giving part of it to my two littles who seem to love them too.  It was full of dried cranberries, raisins - golden seeded, pineapple, papaya, almonds, and my favorite of the surprises was the dried blueberries.  This was amazing and I could have easily eaten a pound of it.  

I then gave the chocolate chip cookies a try.  These are the crunchy type of chocolate chip cookie.  They are super sweet and perfect for that sweet craving.  It was a great little cookie snack and I love the tiny little chocolate chips in them.  There weren't too many, so I didn't get melted chocolate on me.  However, there were enough to have the chocolate flavor in the cookie.  Mmmmmmm.  

The chocolate rolled wafers and my favorite of the sweet snacks.  I've always had a place in my heart for these.  The box had 3 wafers.  The house was a little warm tonight, so the chocolate inside was melted and creamy.  The cookie wafer was crunchy and chocolaty.  I was sad as I was writing this because I had just been eating one.  I reached out and realized I had already eaten it.  **sad face**

The Ghirardelli chocolate and caramel candy.  What more can you say but that it is elegant.  I love the creamy chocolate and the delicious caramel inside.  I love to just let it mix in my mouth for that mixture of the perfect combination of flavors.  One of the best chocolate candies.

I got to the almond roca.  The box had 2 in it, and I pulled one out and opened the wrapper.  I chucked for a moment.  Inside that wrapper was another wrapper.  So, I opened that wrapper and saw something familiar!  I had tried these before!  It's a toffee candy covered in chocolate and crushed nuts.  These are wonderful if you like toffee.  I'm a big toffee fan.  Covering it in chocolate and nuts is just icing on the cake.  

The parmesan peppercorn cheese and sourdough crackers.  I'm going to do these together because, well, cheese and crackers.  They must go together.  The cheese is the soft style spreadable cheese.  It is very mild in flavor, but has a lovely parmesan flavor that I can definitely find easily.  The peppercorn gives it just a little of that peppery kick of flavor that match perfectly with one another.  The crackers are great.  They are hard crunchy flat bread pieces.  Some are still together in the sheet of bread, unbroken from their original baked form.  My husband didn't care much for them, but I actually preferred to just snack on them like little crackers or bread "chips".  

The last is the Organic Sparkling Apple Cider.  Unfortunately for me I loved this a little too much.  It was delicious, and I'm going to have to start buying this or finding a way to replicate it.  It was like fresh apple cider, only carbonated.  It was my absolute favorite of the entire basket.  Seriously, it was just delicious.  

It has a pop cap, so you will need a bottle opener.

If you can't finish it, or want to keep some for later, it has a plastic resealable cap over the pop cap.  That way it keep it fresh and ready for next time.  It was hard to take off again, so I just used a bottle opener again and popped it right off.

I really did enjoy this gift basket.  It was full of sweet and salty.  It's a perfect gift for friends, family, employees, teachers, or anyone that loves to try a variety of foods.

You can find this California Delicious Golden State Gourmet Foods Gift Basket on Amazon by clicking the name or at their website at California Delicious.

I received this gift basket in exchange for my review.  All thoughts and experiences were my own (as well as the help of my family for optional opinions).  

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