Now that the weather in Austin is heating up to the toasty 90’s, we’re reminded that summer is upon us, and that means picnics in Zilker Park, barbecues by the pool, and in some cases, welcoming new neighbors! Harry & David has created some regionally inspired gourmet gift baskets, inspired by iconic cities in the U.S. like San Fran, Chicago, New York, and our very own Austin.
I remember growing up in South Texas, and the excitement around Christmas time not only for the presents that Santa Claus was bringing, but also for the gift baskets my parents would receive from family, friends, clients and business contacts ;). My brother and I would sit around the dining table, and we’d eagerly break into each basket that was thoughtfully wrapped, looking for chocolate covered almonds, smoked salami, and more. Very often we received gift baskets curated by Harry & David, which was such a treat!
Now that I’m older, I always want to consider some sort of gift or present to take when we are invited to a barbecue or picnic, and this Austin-inspired gift basket makes for a thoughtful gift, or even a welcome present when you have a new family moving into your neighborhood!
What I love about this basket is that it’s inspired by southern culinary tradition, so while it’s called the Austin basket, it still speaks to the quintessential ingredients and accoutrements used in the southern US states, from salsa and queso prevalent in Arizona, New Mexico, to Texas, to barbecue rubs and sauces used from Texas on through the Carolinas.
The curated goods in this basket can be used individually, or paired together to create a delicious southern spread! I personally would mix the spicy salsa with the Monterey Jack queso to create the ultimate dip to enjoy with the perfect tortilla chips. Use the Texas Chili Bag O fixin’s to create a tasty chili, and make sure to soak it all up with the cornbread mix. You can keep the hungry crowd appeased by also serving up the Smoked Beef Strips with a wonderful pimento cheese dip while everything is getting ready.
I had a wonderful Saturday afternoon not too long ago, enjoying a little picnic with the Harry & David goods. I stopped by Thom’s Market on Barton Springs on my way to Zilker Park, and bought some sparkling wine, and some additional refrigerated goods from their local case. I spent a lazy, balmy afternoon sipping on some bubbles, enjoying some yummy snacks, and watching other people play frisbee with their dogs. I’m going to save the chili and cornbread for football season when the temps cool down, but that salsa and queso sure went down really easily :).
To get more info on the Harry & David regionally inspired gift baskets you can check them out here, and you can follow them on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Make sure to also follow their hashtag #TasteYourCity to keep track of all the ways people are enjoying these regional baskets!
This was a sponsored post by Harry & David, but as always, all opinions are my own based on my unique experience.
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