Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Tea Time with Brandy: Brunch from Gourmet Gift Baskets

Lately, Brandy has been waxing nostalgic for the days when she and Bunny were brunching partners every single weekend.  Even though the two old friends still speak quite regularly, and indeed do see each other from time to time as Bunny passes through Chicago in between her flights all across the world, they don't usually have a chance to brunch together more than once or twice a year, and that makes Brandy rather sad.  "As much as I love catching up with all my other friends in Chicago over some eggs benedict and mimosas, I can't help missing my oldest and dearest friend of them all," sighs Brandy on occasion.  This longing for days gone by, however, did give Brandy a wonderful idea.  "If we can't be in the same city for brunch, perhaps I can bring brunch to her."

As luck would have it, Brandy had recently discovered, an absolute foodie's paradise of gifts and goodies for every occasion.  The hundreds of baskets and gifts are all themed for various life events both big and small, from weddings and birthdays to backyard BBQ's and movie nights, and contain only hand crafted and high quality products, hand picked by a team of gifting experts.  Brandy's eyes grew bigger with each click as she beheld all sorts of things, like summer cake pops shaped like ice cream cones, craft brewed beers sampling buckets, and even tins filled with gourmet treats for cats and dogs!  But focusing in on her goal of sending a little brunch Bunny's way, she zeroed in on one basket in particular: The Ultimate New England Brunch Basket was simply jam packed with goodies both sweet and savory that would have any brunch fan salivating.

Bunny was practically in tears when she received Brandy's present with a note attached, reading, "Make sure you share some of this with me!"  So Bunny decided the best thing to do would be to send her friend pictures of everything in the basket as she tried them.  First up, Bunny pulled out the Broadbent's Hickory Smoked Peppered Country Bacon ("I can't believe they didn't even forget the bacon!" she squealed) and fried it up until crisp and golden.  Then she combined the canister of Stonewall Kitchen Farmhouse Pancake Mix and the tin of Wild Maine Blueberries for the perfect fluffy blueberry pancakes, and topped them with some of the Maple Guys Pure New Hampshire Maple Syrup.  Lastly, she brewed up a fresh pot of the Coffee Masters Vanilla Nut flavored coffee.  "I'm calling this one the 'All American Brunch,'" she said to Brandy, sending her a picture of the meal.

 A few days after she'd finished off all the pancakes and bacon, Bunny once again dove into the basket.  This time, she pulled out the Village Mixes Blueberry Crisp and set to baking up a fresh and fruity treat with it.  Next, she whipped up a batch of the Apricot Maple Nut Oatmeal by Holly's Oatmeal and topped it once again with a drizzle of maple syrup and also some Granny Smith Apple Chips by Bare Fruit for a touch of tartness.  "I'm calling this combo the 'Fruity Favorites,'" she said in her next message to Brandy.

Once all the fruity favorites had been consumed, Bunny knew just what to do with the rest of the basket.  She baked up a few dozen scones from the included Stonewall Kitchen mix and slathered them in the Clearbrook Farms Blueberry Preserves.  Then she brewed a pot of the Davidson's Earl Grey Tea (her favorite, of course!) and set out the The Original Carlsbad Oblaten Strawberry Tea Wafers and the Effie's Homemade Oatcake Biscuits, a buttery treat that turned out to be her favorite item from the basket.  "Lastly, we have Tea Time!" she messaged to Brandy, along with several pictures of her chomping on the buttery biscuits and the flaky scones.

Brandy felt a great gladness at being able to share a brunch with her friend again, even across such a great distance, but after seeing Bunny's pictures of all the goodies she received, Brandy also felt a small pang of jealousy.  "I'm glad you enjoyed everything!" she messaged Bunny, "But now I'm craving fresh scones and bacon and oatmeal!"  Just as she sent the message, there was a knock at Brandy's door, and upon opening it, she found the very same brunch basket sitting there!  "You did ask me to share ;-)"  Bunny messaged her back.

The writers of this blog were provided with the products mentioned free of charge in order to facilitate the writing of this post.

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