I was thinking farro risotto because it's easy to rehat, or shaved brussels sprouts salad, or a quiche with greens, or maybe a dessert. Suggestions welcome!
how about a greek pasta salad or a spinach dip (I posted the recipe here on Food52)?
Is it one of those parties where everyone brings a dish, sort of a potluck? Or is the awesome cook hostess making all the food and you want to bring a gift? Everything you suggested sounded great, but if the hostess is preparing the entire meal, I think I'd bring something that the family could eat another day if they wanted like a cake or bread or candy. I know on Long Island people tend to bring food to dinner parties, and as someone who likes to plan and cook the whole meal, I find that a little frustrating. I made a salad and now what do I do with your salad?
I also hate throwing out food so I end up having all this extra food in my house for days on end. I once had a New Year's Eve party and despite telling everyone not to bring food, I had prepared everything, almost everyone brought food (and, really, I would have so preferred more champagne...) and then because the party was late, no one ate anything...so frustrating. So this rant is just to suggest that you should be clear on what the hostess wants before you make anything. In my close circle of friends, we frequently do potlucks, but we each say what we're responsible for so we don't have a dinner of just dessert and salad (like that would be a bad thing). This is probably not exactly what you were looking for...sorry.
I agree with drbabs....I would suggest you bring something for them to eat the next morning. (homemade cinnamon rolls/breakfast quiche/etc) maybe with some fresh oranges or bloody mary fixings--if it's that kind of party crowd! Other hostess gifts that cooks appreciate are a flavored sugar. My new favorite is lavender sugar. (one part dried lavender to 4 parts sugar. Pulse in food processor. Seive into airtight glass jar. For those who aren't cooks, a small gift certificate ($5 or $10) to the local cooking supply store makes for a fun outing...and the giver knows that he'll be remembered when I find a use for that new gadget I've been coveting!
Great thought, drbabs and lori (and the spinach dip looks great reyaka!) I would definitely clear it with the hostess but bringing a variety of wine and augmenting the dessert thing wouldn't step on anyone's toes, and I love the idea of bringing something for another time! You guys are the best!
If the hostess is an amazing cook, she's on 'stage' there..and like you said, you don't want to step on her toes...even if she says yes due to manners.
For a House Warming: Bread, Salt, Wine are traditional. Maybe a selection of salts, some muffins for the morning, and wine; in a nice wicker basket and cloth covering. Flowers are also nice addition.
Wine is the "expected" gift. Bring some tulips in a knock out vase!
I like to bring caramels! Or sometimes pickled prunes.
HLA--"pickled prunes"?? pray tell me more....
Does she have a partner? A picnic basket, (with table cloth and plastic ware). Filled with some cheeses, etc. And tickets to a concert in the park.
so thoughtful of you to bring something. is it a potluck? I invite friends over for dinner parties and since I enjoy planning the menu, some of my favorite hostess gifts have been a gift card to Whole Foods, flowers, wine, and cheeses and a nice walnut oil.
ok HLA...just saw the recipe for the pickled prunes...thanks for the link...with cardamon, coriander and pink peppercorns--I'm game. Will try them next week with my pulled pork instead of the onion--can't wait. Now I wonder which would make the better hostess gift, your caramels or the pickled prunes?
wssmom - you are an amazing cook! What do you want to give as a gift to share at this housewarming? You have the answer to this one, no kidding.
Fresh, in-season fruit goes with everything--food and wine. My favorite thing anyone ever brought to a dinner party was a huge, very sweet watermelon. I already had a menu planned from appetizers to dessert-- but there is always room for fruit, and it is a nice way to end a meal or for people who want a little something extra once all the other food is finished.
A great thread came up a while ago about bar gift ideas:
Thank you everyone! Having such a selection of wonderful choices and ideas makes me breathe A LOT more easily ....
Is it a housewarming? In any case, I like to bring sometthing the host(ess) can opt to serve or hold for later -- like curried prunes, marinated mushrooms, chocolate truffles. Something that you've made ahead of time, like homemade preserves, pickles, are also great gifts. At the holidays I often make pate and take that as a hostess gift. That way, if what I brought fits in with the meal, and my host wants to serve it, fine, Or they can enjoy it at another time.
OK this is a bit off the wall - and it depends if your hostess is also a gardener - but we are going to a spring party tomorrow and I am bringing - earthworm eggs! (not to eat - for the garden ...) My hostess is garden crazy and will LOVE them. So maybe something for one of her other interests??
Please just bring a bottle of wine! If your not expected to bring food then bring the expected gift!
I love when guests have brought treats like homemade muffins or chocolate. aargersi, I love the earthworms eggs idea! Did you order them online?
A wonderful, simple dessert is fresh strawberries covered with marscapone mixed with brown sugar and vanilla. People always rave about it. I guess at the mixture - say 2 cups marscapone, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp vanilla - when it tastes right you know it is good to go.
Yumm fresh strawberries are awesome right now .... and I ADORE the earthworm eggs!!! You guys rock!!!
Another good idea might be something home made but canned, so that the hostess can use it that night or keep for later. For example, red onion jam is really easy to make and you can tie a nice note to it. It goes well with all kinds of meats (roast pork comes to mind), as well as crusty bread and some good cheese (like a flavorful aged Gouda). We used Mark Bittman's recipe and it was delicious - slowly cook sliced red onions with olive oil, salt and a bunch of rosemary until it's the consistency you like, and put it in a jar. Done.