Posts Tagged ‘CARE Package’
In a world filled with delicious desserts, how is one ever to choose? Luckily for me, the great thing about getting my degree online is that I can travel the world, eating exotic pastries all while finishing up college.
I have always had a major sweet tooth, and I have loved every second of jetting around the globe in search of the next great dessert. Here are a few of my favorite exotic desserts!
Cannoli – Originated in Sicily, Italy, a cannolo (singular) is a tube-shaped, fried pastry dough stuffed with a sweet, creamy filling. Often topped with a drizzle of chocolate or crushed pistachios, cannoli are wonderful finishes to any meal! I first tried these when I was in Italy, but I order them every time I go to my favorite local Italian restaurant.
Mango Sticky Rice – A traditional summer dessert from Thailand, mango sticky rice is a fabulous dish primarily comprised of sticky rice, mangos, sugar and creamy coconut milk. I ate this refreshing dessert on a vacation to the beaches of Thailand, and it brings me back every time I order it at a Thai restaurant.
Crème Brulee – This decadent dessert hails from France, and is made up of thick, creamy custard topped with caramelized sugar. Served in individual ramekins, crème brulee makes the perfect dinner party dessert. I love to make this for guests when they come over and they are always impressed.
Flan – Often referred to as crème caramel, flan is a creamy custard dish with a rich, complex caramel flavor. Slightly giggly, this dessert is slightly similar to crème brulee, but much different in texture. I love to eat this dish after a particularly spicy meal to cool off my mouth and soothe my stomach.
Baklava – Crunchy, sweet, nutty and gooey, baklava is a traditional Greek dessert that succeeds in winning me over every time. Featuring layers of flakey phyllo dough and nuts dripping in a chewy honey mixture, I ate my weight in Baklava as I toured through the Greek Islands last year.
Remember, just because you can’t pronounce or have never tried something doesn’t mean it won’t be delicious!
Shipping care packages to a soldier through an APO address can be a little tricky if you’re sending something perishable. While sending letteres to soldiers is a wonderful way to show your appreciation and love, a package with cookies baked at home is that extra touch that makes all the difference. Because it can take up to three weeks for delivery, you’ll need to plan ahead. When receiving care packages soldiers love to find a homemade, tasty treat; not a mess of melted chocolate and crumbled cookies. Fortunately, it is possible to send cookies and other baked goods and ensure they’ll get there fresh and delicious.
The first step to shipping cookies overseas is selecting a type of cookie that will survive the trip and still taste fresh. Bar cookies are a good choice because they don’t get stale quickly and can stand up to being jumbled. There are dozens of great bar cookie recipes that you can use, as well as brownies. If you want to use one of your regular cookie recipes, simply turn them into bar cookies by spreading the batter in a 9 x 9 pan and baking until done.
You can also choose to buy store bought cookies, which have a long shelf life and tend to survive the trip well if they’ve been cushioned. Still, it’s always good to include a homemade touch in care packages soldiers receive overseas. Drop cookies are another excellent selection because they are dense and thick, making them ideal for a long trip overseas. Other cookies that do well are shortbread, peanut butter cookies biscotti, molasses cookies and sugar cookies. Another bit of advice when shipping cookies in a military care package: don’t mix hard and soft cookies in the batch, as hard cookies will absorb moisture from soft cookies and turn them gooey or too soft.
After you’ve selected a good mix of cookies to bake, plan on packing them properly. It’s a good idea to wrap each cookie individually, or two back-to-back. This cushions the cookies perfectly, keeps them from sticking to each other and lets you send a wide variety of cookies without the flavors mixing together. Because it can take weeks to ship APO packages, use cling wrap or the press-and-seal variety which makes the cookies air-tight and prevents spoilage. To ship your package to an APO address you’ll also need a sturdy container. Select a small box, tin or hat box is ideal for packing your cookies safely. Carefully arrange the individually wrapped cookies in the box but don’t crowd them. Use newspaper, crumbled wax paper or butter-free popcorn to fill up the empty space and cushion the baked goods.
When you ship APO packages in the mail you know they’ll be knocked around quite a bit on the trip. That’s why proper packing is the key to ensuring your military care package is received in good condition with a fresh gift inside. In addition to baked goods, sending letters to soldiers is a great way to show your love. Always include a handwritten note with your care package to add a special touch.
At Smileycookie.com, you can send dozens of delicious smiles to a service person via the APO and never have to worry about the condition your gift will arrive in. In addition to our famous traditional Smiley, you can send seasonal cookies like our patriotic Star Smileys, “Love U Dad” Cookies for Father’s Day, or our tree shaped Christmas cookies. We have a delicious treat for just about every holiday. Or you can create your own cookie tailored with your soldier’s unit colors or those of their favorite team or school. All of our sugar cookies and gift baskets are certified kosher and 100% peanut free and with every Smileycookie.com order you are always able to include a free personalized note so you can say thanks, I miss you or come home safe in your own words.
How to Write a Thank You Note
Receiving a Thank You note is one of the most uplifting and encouraging events that can happen in a day. While sending a thank you note may feel old-fashioned, think of the many times your day was changed by the thoughtfulness of another person. If you have ever received a thank you gift along with the note, you know that the note meant just as much as the gift. When you take the time to find great thank you gift ideas, follow these instructions to write an effective thank you note to accompany that gift.
Three Reasons to Write Thank You Notes
There are some very specific and surprising reasons to send thank you notes. If you are wondering if there is any real reason to send a card along with those thank you cookies, consider these proven benefits to sending thank you notes.
1. One act of kindness deserves another – Whenever someone provides hospitality or goes the extra mile to give something special, the best response is to send a note along with a thank you gift. Everyone appreciates the time and effort required to express thanks.
2. Saying “thank you” is good for your health – Studies have proven that saying thank you for many reasons throughout the day actually relieves stress and lowers blood pressure. Maybe the reason for this is the positive feelings that are remembered while the note is being written.
3. Grateful people are more successful – An attitude of gratitude changes the tone of all interpersonal encounters. Take the time to send gift of thanks accompanied by a thank you note and notice the positive change in your own outlook.
Structure of a Thank You Note
Most thank you notes are more than three sentences in length and have some very specific information. Generic thank you note verbiage should be avoided since general statements carry far less meaning than the following:
1. Greeting – In a personal note, “Dear” might be an appropriate greeting, but in business settings use a less endearing word. Begin with just the name of the other person when in doubt.
2. “Thank you” – The first two words in the note should be “thank you” followed by point number three.
3. Specific description – Write a very specific description of the item or event that has triggered the note and thank you gift. If your thank you cookies follow a theme associated with the event, explain the connection in this sentence.
4. Appreciation – The second full sentence of the note should express your appreciation of the event or gift that you received. Include a specific benefit you have received because of the thoughtfulness of the other person.
5. Restate occasion – Part of the thank you is to restate why you received a gift or were provided hospitality. This note could survive for many years and should trigger great memories.
6. Connection to giver – The final sentence should highlight the special connection you have to the person you are thanking. This might be through a relative or because of a business association, but this statement can be a useful reminder later.
7. Complimentary close – “Sincerely yours” might be appropriate in a formal setting, but other greetings might be more suitable for personal thank you notes. Very close relationships allow for specific and familiar closing phrases. If the gift of thanks is for a person in a respected position, carefully consider the wording of this phrase.
8. Signature – The name used to sign the note should correspond to the setting. A nickname can convey memories to a family member, but probably should not be used in a formal setting. A legal signature conveys a different message of thanks than just a first name. Match the name to the person receiving the note.
9. Date on top – Sometimes the thank you note should include the current date for future reference. People who keep meaningful correspondence will often refer to the note to remember when an event occurred, such as a wedding.
Practice Your Approach
One of the most challenging aspects of writing a thank you note is finding the words that say what you really mean. Take a sheet of paper or open the word processor and write down a few different ways to say the same sentence. Rework the sentence to express how you feel about the person and their kind deed, and then write the final product. Everyone finds thank you notes to be challenging because the note is going to be kept and maybe read again many years from now. The words inside the note are important and practicing a few approaches can make the process much easier. Read your sample sentences aloud to determine which one sounds best.
In conclusion, the rule of thumb is to send the note regardless of how much time has passed. When you consider the positive feelings you will remember and the fact that the other person will be blessed by your note, there are few reasons to avoid this act of kindness. After investing time to find great thank you gift ideas, take the extra time to write a thank you note. Follow these suggestions and you will be able to make someone’s day.
Once again, it is time for this week’s StarSmile Competition. At stake is a dozen delicious Smiley Cookies that we’ll deliver fresh to your door. For your chance to win, all you have to do is guess the name of the celebrity whose smile is pictured below. You can enter by tweeting your answer @Smileycookie with the tag #StarSmiles or by leaving a guess in the comments section of the StarSmile post on our Facebook page.
Guess as often as you like and we’ll keep adding hints on Facebook and Twitter every now and then to help you out. We’ll randomly draw the winner from everyone who guessed correctly at 3 PM today.
But enough of the contest mumbo jumbo, can you tell us who this is?
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