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Host/Hostess Gifts--Last Minute

OK, here's another one: You're invited to a friend's house for dinner. You have minimal time to shop, and you want to bring a gift. Wine and flowers don't count. What do you bring?

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

asked almost 6 years ago

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22 answers 2893 views
23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 6 years ago

A really nice bottle of olive oil can not be beat!

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A3fd67b9 8310 484e 9672 fa1944474794  n815475290 4808168 5317
added almost 6 years ago

Olive oil is a wonderful idea...because almost everyone uses it. also, if you know your host/ess cooks a lot (likely they do if they are hosting a dinner party), i have found that high-caliber spices are a unique way of saying "thank you". good quality vanilla beans are always are always a good choice, especially if it gives them a chance to cook a recipe they hadn't before. hope this helps!

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 6 years ago

An Emily Henry pie dish is something my kitchen can not be without. Often I wish I had more. They are great for roasting vegetables, baking cobblers, bread puddings... The high quality pottery has amazing heat conduction! Would pair nice with a pie cookbook.

http://www.emilehenryusa...

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Bb911bcd 2446 4d8f 848f cdc2090e999a  leaf cake
added almost 6 years ago

Any homemade item from your own kitchen (preserves, homemade spiced nuts, special salts, etc.), a big bunch of assorted fresh herbs, bought small batch items like olive oils, jams; and anything culinary or for the table from your gift stash. I comb sales at kitchen stores and I check out low end antique shops for items for gifts. Maybe a cool butter dish from Depression glass, or a cute little salt and pepper set, or a particularly interesting plate for hanging or service. I have a friend who loves ironstone, so if I see a platter or plate at a good price, I will nab it, but wait for an occasion to give it to her.

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E7b6597b db6e 4cae b9f3 699b508f4ed3  036
aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added almost 6 years ago

I always have loads of home made jams and chutneys on hand so those are often it. I also like to bring pate (not necessarily for the event) in a pretty dish, then the dish becomes the gift. But that one does take a bit of planning.

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549d9fb3 53ef 4170 b68e 8bae2e055be7  dsc 0048b
added almost 6 years ago

This year I started making jams and I find that I always grab a jar when I don't know what to bring.

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2f4926e2 248b 4c22 a6f7 8f2d888b8488  3 bizcard
sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added almost 6 years ago

These are all great gifts I think anything homemade speaks from the heart and I love that idea. I have never canned anything but I would make a jar of jam or preserves or boozy fruit in a beautiful jar. I love boulangere's idea of potted herbs in an attractive pot its a lovely gift. If I were the hostess any of these suggestions would make me very happy! I love to make flavored syrups and would possibly make a few different flavors and bring,

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0dcfb05c 8a90 480f 8cf7 cbc33e9a6b5c  me
added almost 6 years ago

I put a hand-written recipe of a dish I know the host/hostess enjoys in an interesting picture frame ....

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1d0d675a 5598 44a5 865e 32730d2a1273  186003 1004761561 1198459 n
added almost 6 years ago

We are always expected to bring wine; so we don't disappoint. We also make olive oil and I bring that sometimes. I make a few licquors, like nocino , French 44 and lemoncello that I sometimes take in a pretty bottles. I also have a stash of canned jams and chutneys that I take for a gift.

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Bc343245 99fb 4d2b 8579 9bf9c485181e  me
added almost 6 years ago

I like to bring jams and chutneys from my kitchen and as it gets closer to the holidays, I make a huge batch of candied orange peels I throw into pretty little jars and take. And by the way, any of you are welcome at my house anytime!!!! I love so many of these ideas!

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62da2e3c 5d4a 4c43 a2ed feb7f39ad363  with ab
added almost 6 years ago

Homemade granola. It's so quick and easy to make, but so much yummier than store-bought that it just blows people away. Now they'll have breakfast for tomorrow morning!

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23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 6 years ago

I find that people can be soo picky so I stick to wine. Boring but everyone likes a nice bottle of wine.

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Dcca139f 78d5 41a3 b57b 6d6c96424a1c  img 7818
added almost 6 years ago

Such great ideas! I like taking a small box of muffins or another baked good that can be enjoyed the next day. I find it's nice to make it clear that it's a treat from them to enjoy later -- so they don't feel compelled to serve what you bring. Homemade is ideal, of course, but in a pinch, you can pick up cupcakes, cookies, etc. from your favorite local establishment.

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1097a5b5 1775 4eec a8ea 7421137b65dc  image 2 apples claire sullivan 2
amysarah

amysarah is a trusted home cook.

added almost 6 years ago

I agree about bringing something that's clearly not intended to be served at the party. Since the question is about doing something last minute - not when there's time to make something - I think the key is to personalize it. If the host is a big coffee drinker, I might bring a pound of exotic beans they may not have tried; for a tea lover, a special tea - preferably in a pretty tin; maybe a jar of really good imported anchovies or a small, good looking jar of saffron threads for a friend that cooks. It need not be 'fancy' - just something that specifically relates to them, but is a bit more splurge-y than they'd typically buy themselves.

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8bbce907 3b5e 4c8c be5c c64e6c780d63  birthday 2012
luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

added almost 6 years ago

Something that keeps, I always worry about being overwhelmed with food and having the gift (homemade bread, say) go bad. Jam, wine, dried mushroom assortment from Violet Hill, agree with above about coffee and tea, agree with above about saffron or other exotic spice you know the person will use or try (so sad when you give to a non cook or non adventurous cook, say, a jar of fennel pollen). Chocolate is always welcome but now it has come out that Hershey's and other popular brands rely on the slave trade and I am trying to buy only small quantities of Fair Trade chocolate. Mast Brothers chocolate is really good and beautifully packaged. If you love the person very very much buy something from June Taylor.

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8f5038ed 8aca 4d33 aef7 8a0ce63adc40  img00019 20100929 0432 1
sexyLAMBCHOPx

Chops is a trusted home cook.

added almost 6 years ago

Last night, I gave toasted cumin pepitos from all the pumpkins I been carving & cooking with. I presented it in simple clear cellaphane party bag (always have on hand year-round) and tied with twine. It looked cute and even better they tasted amazing. Full disclosure - I made a huge batch and had so much, I thought it was fun and seasonal.

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7d6f1c7c 61b9 4b07 86e4 dbd4b1caeb8d  coopers
added almost 6 years ago

I love to take something home-made, but don't always have something on hand. A few weeks back I was in the store 'Nancy Boy' in Hayes Valley in San Francisco, and found some wonderful fall scented pot-pourri with dried oranges and cinnamon sticks - I took that along with some lovely caramels from Bi-Rite Creamery. Something that is clearly not intended to be served is always nice. I'd like to make some flavored salts and sugars - does anyone have any good recipes? In the October issue of Food & Wine magazine I found a few flavored salt recipes, also a recipe for preserved garlic (with some recipes for its use) and some home-made bitters recipes (with recipes for their use) - was thinking of trying some of these as holiday gifts.

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E7b6597b db6e 4cae b9f3 699b508f4ed3  036
aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added almost 6 years ago

Aussie Foodie there are home made salts and sugars both on this site! Thank you for the reminder, need to buy pretty jars and get started!!!!

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 5 years ago

I recommend giving a Waring cordless electric wine bottle opener as a hostess gift. They are $19 at Costco and a nice gift they will actually use and think of you every time they use it.

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671b6c39 4898 435f 92c5 89cd9b925088  img 3788
added over 5 years ago

Handmade Garam Masala (toasted and freshly ground) in a small jar - save the ones from miniature jams. http://www.bbc.co.uk/food...

Celery and lemon salt http://www.101cookbooks...
Perhaps with a card including a few simple recipes or serving directions.

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5590ce29 aa2e 417c 94ba 2fbc61134171  174060 100000008404888 3554258 n
added over 5 years ago

Usually a jar of bitter chocolate sauce with the recipe attached, but often for this time of year the Le Jacquard Francais calendar tea towel, $13 and beautiful and useful.

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