This is the week to recognizes the great work of your secretaries, administrative assistants, receptionists and other professionals in your office who always do a great job. So take this opportunity to say thanks to your entire office and offer a little something extra that day.

Some suggestions would be fresh flower bouquets to brighten the office. A small houseplant for every desk would let everyone know how much you appreciate them.

Or, treat everyone to lunch with pizzas and an assortment of gourmet cookies and brownies as shown above. The goal is to show appreciation and we all know a little thank you can go a long way.


For those with dietary challenges, it is sometimes difficult to find a little something sweet that doesn’t taste awful. After much trial and error I am very happy with the results of this recipe. This is a gluten free, dairy free and egg free recipe that is absolutely delicious. This ends up being a chocolate brownie that is more like the flourless chocolate cake you find on many gourmet websites. Bake this and enjoy!

1 3/4 cup King Arthurs almond flour or almond meal
1/2 cup Hershey cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 EnerG eggs replacer (3 teaspoons EnerG powder + 4 tablespoons warm water, whisk together in a small bowl) (You can use 2 eggs if you prefer)
1/3 cup xylitol sweetener
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup Silk unsweetened almond milk (or 1 cup Silk dark chocolate almond milk which does have some sugar)
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 cup Enjoy Life dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350. Use a little coconut oil to grease an 8×8 inch pan. In a medium mixing bowl mix together the almond flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and xylitol. Mix the dry incredients well. In the small bowl with the EnerG egg replacer add the coconut oil, vanilla and almond milk and mix well.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well. Add the chocolate chips and mix well. Pour the batter into the greased pan and bake for 30 minutes. I noticed during the baking that the center puffed up but then sunk a little after that. I would watch for that to test doneness because the normal toothpick test doesn’t work because of the chocolate chips. Cool before cutting.

Wine Country Gift BasketChristmas gift baskets have become an elegant alternative for holiday gift giving. The best part is that they appeal to everyone. From friends and family to business associates and clients, all of your holiday gifting can be handled in gourmet style. My Fast Basket Company has many types of gift baskets with wide appeal. Each of  our holiday baskets have unique qualities to fit just about every personality or preference of your gift recipients. Continue Reading »

Bonsai Tree Basics
Gardenia Bonsai - Indoor Bonsai

Bonsai, both indoor and outdoor varieties have become very popular and some are surprisingly easy to grow and maintain. For those of you who might be interested in getting acquainted with this wonderful plant, here are some basics we would like to share.

What is the difference between Indoor or Outdoor Bonsai?
Let’s start with the answer to much asked question, where do I put my bonsai. Many people think that all varieties of bonsai can be kept indoors. Although there are many varieties that can, most are displayed outdoors and really do best when kept outdoors all year long. Most bonsai are seasonal just like their original sized counterpart found in your backyard. Rule of thumb, if the non-dwarfed version of the tree is in your yard, the bonsai counterpart should only be brought indoors for short periods of time or when freezing is a possibility. These temperate-climate bonsai need to undergo the same seasonal changes just like their non-dwarfed cousins. Indoor bonsai are varieties of tropical trees and plants that do well outdoors, but in tropical climates. So, the rule of thumb here is if you live in a freezing northern climate, your tropical bonsai should be kept indoors during periods of cold or imclement weather and all of the winter months. Naturally, tropical trees can only be kept outdoors in tropical climates, but outdoors is where they will grow best. Tropical trees can be kept indoors in temperate climates during winter with extra care and light.

What if I am a Beginner
You must start somewhere and once you do a bonsai collection can be very rewarding. If you live in a temperate climate we suggest a the Chinese elm, a maple or green mound juniper that can be easily raised outdoors. These also adapt well to their surroundings with proper care. If you want and indoor or tropical variety start with a ficus or schefflera that grow well indoors and can tolerate lower light. But even with tropical indoor bonsai exposing them to bright light will help them thrive. is where they will grow best. Tropical trees can be kept indoors in temperate climates during winter with extra care and light.

Watering My Bonsai
Bonsai should be watered when you notice that the top part of the soil in the pot has dryed. Be sure and monitor each plant if you have more than one because each will use water at a different rate. Water each gently when needed.

Bonsai Training
A bonsai needs to be trained since in most cases a bonsai is not a natural miniature of a plant but has been dwarfed by training. The process is detailed and starts with a special pruning to keep the plant small. The steps that following may include additional training, wiring and repotting until the desired result is achieved. If you receive a bonsai that has been trained then all that is needed for some time is trimming of any branches or leaves that do not add to its dwarfed beauty or to maintain its shape.

I made this wonderful coffee cake for breakfast this morning and thought I would share it with you. It is a moist, cake made with oatmeal and fresh apples. A great way to get your kids to eat their oatmeal. I love this recipe since it is just so very easy to make. Yum!. Hope you enjoy.

Apple Oatmeal Coffee Cake (Oven 350 – 8×8 greased baking pan)

1 cup of unbleached flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup sugar (I use 1/2 sugar and 1/2 splenda or stevia)
1 cup oats (regular Quaker oatmeal)
1/2 cup vegetable oil (not olive oil)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup peeled and chopped apple
1/2 cup chopped nuts (Optional)

1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons of milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all dry ingredients. Add the remaining ingredients. This mixture will be thick like a dough rather than a batter. Pour and spread into the greased baking pan. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven. Mix the glaze in a small bowl and pour over warm cake. Let cool. Cover to store. Cut into squares. Serve warm or cold.

Rose Perfection Bouquet

Valentine’s day is upon us once again. This year (2010) it falls on a Sunday. Boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands and wives you will be really, really sorry if you wait until the last minute. We’re the experts and we urge you to be on the ball this year and order early. Here are reasons why. Valentine’s Day is on a Sunday and no carriers deliver on Sunday. Saturday the 13th will be very backed up.

SUGGESTION ONE: Order non perishables to arrive on Thursday or Friday or even earlier in the week. Less stress for you and your sweetie will be impressed.

SUGGESTION TWO: Order perishables early and tell us when you want them shipped. Either call or email us with your desired delivery date. The benefit to you is the order will be in if the product should sell out.

SUGGESTION THREE: Ordering early offers you the best selection and at the best price. If you wait until the last minute you might end up having to choose a Valentine’s Day gift that costs considerably more money. Don’t let that happen.

Hope these suggestions have been helpful. Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day.

ASU football players and Cheerleaders receive Ram Cookies from a special ASU Fan.

ASU Football Jersey Cookie Favors

ASU Football Jersey Cookie Favorts

The Albany State University Golden Rams football team and cheerleaders received a nice surprise Thursday afternoon. Over 100 cookies in the shape of football jerseys in blue and gold, and personalized with the players’ jersey numbers and coaches’ names arrived at the ASU Athletics Office. Continue Reading »

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