Healthy Living Blog

Personalized Gift Baskets

Tina Miller, MS RDN Healthy Living Advisor,


Tina Miller 2011Have fun while adding a personal touch this holiday by creating personalized gift baskets for those on your shopping list.

Kate’s Date-Night In Basket:

A great gift for couples of all ages & stages, this basket provides everything needed for a candlelight dinner & a movie at home.  Encourage a busy couple to reconnect over the cutting board, and relax with a movie. Eating in allows us to take control of our food, customize menus to our preferences, and gives us a chance for great conversation.  Put on your favorite tunes, pour each other a glass of wine, and enjoy spending the evening together.

Include:  Spinach Fettuccine, Gourmet Pasta Sauce (such as Alfredo), True Goodness™ by Meijer® Pecans, 2 Wine Glasses, Wine, Pasta Fork, Candle Stick and Holder, Popcorn, and a DVD.

Vivianne’s Mindful Stress Relief Basket:


A gift basket designed for the person in your life who is ready to decrease stress, get into yoga, and/or increase their overall mindfulness in life. This basket includes a faux bonsai tree (to add greenery without the upkeep), a yoga mat, lavender oil, and a wanderlust hanging sign to keep them inspired. To fuel this new lifestyle there are KIND bars for on the go (no added sugar), dried blueberries (pre-yoga energy), coconut chips, and Justin’s Almond Butter packets (protein + fat for a filling post-yoga snack). And to stay warm this winter between classes or in the dark early hours of the morning, the basket has Yogi Tea, Tazo Zen Green Tea, and an active wear sweater. For all-around hydration to fight the dry winter air, there’s a Camelback water bottle too.

Nutrition & Health Basket

Fill a basket with nutrition magazines, cookbooks, wine, dark chocolate, fruits, and a “special homemade gift.”


Holiday Trail Mix: Combine roasted nuts, dried cherries, dark chocolate chips, and Gourmet Kettle corn


Crockpot Fun Basket

Fill a large basket with a 1.5 quart Crockpot, a package of dried figs, apples, and cinnamon, attached with a homemade recipe card (Kristen’s Crockpot oats with figs & apples).


Crockpot Oats with Figs & Apples

Serves 4


1 cup True Goodness™ by Meijer® old-fashioned oats (NOT quick cooking oats)

1 apple or pear, peeled and chopped

4 dried figs, chopped

1 tsp. McCormick ground cinnamon


Rinse oats and soak in cold water for 1 hour.  Drain oats and add to small (1.5 quart Crockpot).  Add 2 cups of water, apple, figs, and cinnamon.  Stir to mix.  Turn on Crockpot and cook for 7-8 hours.  Serve hot with almond milk (optional).


Nutrition Information: Calories 150, Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 3 mg, Carb. 40 g, Fiber 6 g, Protein 3 g


Kid’s Baking Basket

Arrange a gingerbread pan, gingerbread cookie mix, cookie liner, sprinkles and Wilton ready-to-decorate icing in a holiday basket.

Gingerbread Cookies

Shortcut: Buy refrigerated gingerbread cookie dough just roll, cut, bake and decorate! Makes 3 dozen.


3 cups True Goodness™ by Meijer® White Whole Wheat Flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick ground ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon McCormick ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon McCormick ground cloves

1/2 cup True Goodness™ by Meijer® Organic butter, softened

1/2 cup Meijer granulated white sugar

1 True Goodness™ by Meijer® Organic large egg

2/3 cup dark molasses (spray measuring cup with non-stick pan spray prior to measuring to prevent        molasses from sticking to the measuring cup).


Confectioners Frosting:

2 cups Meijer confectioner’s sugar (icing or powdered sugar), sifted

1/2 cup Meijer unsalted butter, room temperature

1 teaspoon McCormick pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 tablespoons milk or light cream



  1. Gingerbread: In a large bowl, stir together flour, salt, baking soda, and spices. Set aside.In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and molasses and then beat until well combined. Gradually add the flour mixture beating until incorporated. Divide the dough in half, and wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place rack in center of oven. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside while you roll out the dough.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Use a gingerbread cookie cutter or other shapes to cut out cookies.  Using a spatula lift the cut out cookies onto the baking sheet, placing the cookies about 1 inch apart. Note: If you are hanging the cookies or using as gift tags, make a hole at the top of the cookies with a straw or end of a wooden skewer.
  4. Bake 8 – 12 minutes.  Cookies are done when they are firm and the edges are just beginning to brown.  Remove the cookies from the oven and let stand about one minute. When they are firm enough to move, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. If desired, you can press raisins or candies into the dough for eyes and buttons while the cookies are still warm. Otherwise, confectioners frosting can be used to decorate the cookies. Icing can also be used to attach candies, raisins, and sprinkles.

Confectioners Frosting:

  1. In a medium to large bowl, cream the butter until smooth and well blended.  Add vanilla extract, mix. Gradually beat in sugar until well blended.  Add milk and beat on high speed until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).
  2. Add a little more milk if too dry. Place the frosting in a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip and decorate the gingerbread men as desired. Alternately, make a small cut on the corner of a quart size zip-lock bag.  Fill bag with frosting and squeeze to decorate cookies. Makes 3 dozen cookies.