Kelly the Culinarian: For the Hostess with the Mostest

Monday, November 19, 2012

For the Hostess with the Mostest

I love this time of year. There's so many reasons to get together with family, friends and colleagues to share the spirit of the season. I love throwing parties, but I like attending parties just as much.  I'm of the opinion that if it's a gathering of more than four people, it's smart to come with a gift in hand.  But I like to do something a bit more meaningful than a bottle of a mid-range bottle of wine picked up on my way over.  Here are my tips for making an impression this holiday season.

Buy me chocolate. Always.
1. Know your host. Find out if they have any allergies or restrictions (like vegan or gluten intolerant) or specific interests (like chocolate or red wines).  With these things in mind, you can narrow down your selection to perhaps an assortment of teas or spicy mustard collection for the enthusiasts in your life.

2. If you're going to a dinner party, don't bring cut flowers. Why? The 20 minutes before and immediately after guests arrive are most likely tempered with panic and last-minute preparations. The last thing a host wants to do is fish out a vase, trim the flowers and find a spot for them while figuring out how to slice up a 25-pound bird and the rolls are burning in the oven.

3. If you're staying for the weekend, consider sending a gift after the fact with a nice note. It's a great way to thank someone for their extended hospitality and give them something to enjoy in the wake of your visit. I recently received a 2-pound coffee cake from that I think would fit the bill perfectly. I opted for the chocolate chip flavor, which is the chef's personal favorite and I know why. It had a ton of chocolate and was delivered fresh to my doorstep in a cute little package.  The bakery also serves up a blueberry flavor and a cinnamon walnut flavor, in addition to a variety of pastries, candies and QR code cookies. The nerd in me swoons.
You can order two coffee cakes for $39.90 using the code "freeshipping." Use the code "THANKS10" to get 10 percent off, too. This deal tastes delicious.

4. If you're completely at a loss, a potted herb makes a gift your host will remember.  Try rosemary, which is fairly sturdy and smells awesome.  My rosemary plant has been going strong for three years.

5. A board game is also a great gift. I firmly believe a house is not a home without an edition of Apples to Apples. If you want to discover how truly misanthropic your friends and family are, try Cards Against Humanity. Don't say I didn't warn you, though.

I received a cake from for this post, but these are all my ideas.  Read my disclosures for more info. 


Michelle @ said...

These are great ideas, thanks!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm a huge fan of the board game idea... I also give them as christmas gifts to couples as something sort of quirky and fun. :)

Unknown said...

Great ideas! The board game suggestion is great - it's the perfect way to pass the time when things get a bit slow.