Treat Mom to an assortment of fresh artisan chocolates in gourmet flavors from praline to

fleur de sel

to Tahitian vanilla. Choose a one-of-each sampling or a custom selection of favorites.

It's a gift that will fit even a youngster's "allowance" budget.

Artisan Chocolates, 9-piece box, $12.50; 16-piece, $19. At Miel Patisserie, 204 S. 17th St. (215-731-9191) or 1990 Route 70 East, Cherry Hill (856-424-6435).

- Marilynn Marter

A perfect pick

If you can't afford jewels for Mother's Day, these exquisite caramel gems may stand in. Rick Nichols first wrote of these buttery beauties two years ago, but they were unavailable for awhile, while their artisan creator, Christine Moore, was on maternity leave.

The handmade, hand-wrapped wonders are back, lining the counter at Capogiro, in sweet little bundles tied with white ribbons. They come in a variety of flavors, but the sea salt caramels are sure to melt any mother's heart.

Little Flower Candy Company caramels, 1/4 pound, $7 at Capogiro, 13th and Sansom, and 20th and Sansom.

- Maureen Fitzgerald

A drink of ginger

Add a kiss of exotic spice to mommy's cocktail with a splash of the season's hottest new flavor: ginger.

Hands-on mixologists like Katie Loeb, at Chick's Wine Bar & Cafe near South Street, brew their own ginger beer to blend into cocktails like Dark & Stormy (with Gosling's rum and lime.)

But if mom's not a mix-master, try this bright new Domaine de Canton liqueur instead. It debuts in the region this week at Morimoto in a Ginger-berry Bellini, with prosecco and crushed blackberries. But it's so bracingly delicious on its own - a touch of Cognac, vanilla and honey soften the candied-ginger tingle - that simple combinations are also nice. A chilled Ginger Sidecar (equal parts Canton and Cognac with a lemon squeeze) sounds like a good start.

Domaine de Canton,$38.39, is currently a special order item (code: 066467) in Pennsylvania, but is also available online at, and is in process for retail placement, in both Philadelphia and South Jersey.

- Craig LaBan