Give the Gift of CLE

The holidays are sadly over and you may not be thinking about gifts right now, but I certainly am! Why? Because my birthday is just a few weeks away. And as is the curse of having a birthday around the holidays, people often don’t want to celebrate, don’t know what to get me, or even sometimes forget. Do you have a friend or family member who just got everything on their list for the holidays, but has a birthday coming up? Fear not – here’s a potential gift idea … CLE Pack!

CLE Pack is package featuring products from local Cleveland organizations. You can pick a package of 5, 7 or 9 items and they range from foodstuffs (sweet treats and savory snacks), local collateral (like tote bags or can holders or stickers) and other fun items like chapstick, keychains, etc. CLE Pack sent me a package of 7 items to try out for free (thanks, CLE Pack for the early birthday gift!) and I loved it.

Some fun facts about CLE Pack:

  • CLE Pack was just started in August 2018. Igor Oliyarnik is the founder and the idea was born over 4 years ago when he saw a similar business in Baltimore called “Baltimore in a Box”.
  • The most popular items in the package are the food. Bertman Mustard has been the #1 seller, followed by Campbell’s popcorn and Malley’s Chocolates.
  • The founder, Igor Oliyarnik, is not originally from Cleveland. He was born in Ukraine and moved to Cleveland with his parents when he was ten years old. He shared: “I’m now in my 30’s and proud to call Cleveland my home. I think the city has a very unique personality and a bright future because of the people that live here. It has been great watching the city improve in many different ways over the last two decades that I’ve been here.”

The items I chose for my package included:

  • Malley’s CLE Chocolate Bar
  • Fear’s Confections CLE Chocolate Bar
  • Ohio Pure Maple Syrup
  • Crazy Monkey Baking Dark Chocolate Chip Granola Cookie Crunch
  • Bertman Ball Park Horseradish Sauce
  • Sweet Moses Cleveland Chocolate Bar
  • Cleveland Landmarks Tote Bag

I LOVE that CLE Pack is all local Cleveland items. And while I was familiar with some of the companies they include (like Malley’s, Bertman and Campbell’s), CLE Pack also introduced me to some new local brands, like Crazy Monkey Baking.

CLE Pack would make a great gift for more than just a friend whose birthday is coming up. In fact, I was thinking that CLE Pack would also be a great unique gift for:

  • A new neighbor, especially one new to the city
  • A friend that has moved away and misses their Cleveland favorites
  • A hostess gift for that family who has everything
  • Members of a wedding party or close family coming into town for a wedding

Some questions for you:

  • What would you choose?
  • Have you had any of these items?

Disclosure: I was asked by CLE Pack to promote their products. In exchange, I recieved a free box for myself. As always, views are my own.

White Chocolate Oreo Peppermint Bark

Yikes. There is suddenly less than one week until Christmas? I know what you’re thinking – that’s plenty of time to get my holiday baking done, right? Well, okay … it probably is. But if you’re looking for a sweet treat to make that won’t take too much time so that you still have time for some holiday shopping (or napping) then this one’s for you! This bark is sweet, delicious and takes no time to make (and no oven to preheat). Pack it up in a fun container and you have the perfect hostess gift (it pairs well with a bottle of wine too …. just saying) for a holiday gathering this year.

 

oreo peppermint bark

White Chocolate Oreo Peppermint Bark

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c. chopped / crushed andy canes (about 2-3 regular ones or 8-10 mini candy canes)
  • 12 holiday (red creme) Oreos, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • Red/green/white sprinkles (optional)

Here is what you do:

  1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Melt milk chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Mine took about 1 minute 30 seconds to melt and I heated them up at 30 second intervals, stirring after each Pour onto parchment paper lined cookie sheet and spread flat with a spatula.Let cool for at last 10 minutes or until hardened.
  3. Add white chocolate chips to a microwave safe bowl and melt like you did with the chocolate chips, stirring about every 30 seconds. Pour over chocolate layer and spread to the edges of the milk chocolate. Sprinkle with chopped candy canes, chopped Oreos and sprinkles.
  4. Chill until set, then break into pieces enjoy!

Some questions for you:

  • What’s your go-to hostess gift?
  • Do you still have some last minute shopping to do?
  • Who is the hardest on your list to get gifts for?