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6.08.2011

12 Thoughtful Summer Hostess Gifts

Other than the winter holidays, summer is one of the busiest times for entertaining.  It's a celebration of summer flavors or that new grill & patio, as well as a time to relax with friends.  Whatever the occasion, make sure you don't come empty handed.  Your hostess was gracious enough to invite you over, and it takes a lot of time, money, and planning to get it all right.  A gift is a must!

You have a lot of options when selecting hostess gifts.  If you don't know the hostess well enough, that's ok.  Generic gifts like candles and even hand soaps are great gifts that everyone will use/like.  You can also select gifts based on the event.  Say you've been invited over for a clam bake.  Purchase a few pairs of lobster crackers to ensure that everyone invited will get a pair.  Also, another more hands on option would be to make compound herb butter and display it in a pretty butter dish with a tag and ribbon tied around it.  This semi-homemade option shows that you went the extra mile, and after your hostess is done with the butter, they still have a wonderful gift to remind them of your thoughtfulness...Trust me, this will definitely get you an invite to their next get together!  Oh and if all else fails, you can always ask your hostess if they need you to bring anything.  Even if they say no,  an appetizer or dessert are always great additions to the party.  

The following are 12 Summer gift ideas that your hostess would be lucky to receive.  For each category there is one thoughtful purchases and another semi-homemade gift idea.  
New York Clam Bake : Your hostess will probably only have so many lobster crackers, so this is a great way to make sure everyone gets a pair.  The butter is also a wonderful addition to the lobster, as well as to other clam bake fare, such as corn on the cob. (It's also even great on meat and other vegetables too!)
     No. 1 ~ Lobster Crackers ~ Fox Run
     No. 2 ~ Tea And Toast Butter Dish ~ Anthropologie + Compound Herb Butter

Cocktail Hour : Some days all you need is a cold drink, good company, and beautiful outdoor surroundings to unwind.  The grapefruit margaritas will be a refreshing hit at your next get together, and the cocktail rimming sugar kit will be a pretty, colorful addition to your cocktail/mocktail beverages.
     No. 3 ~ Cocktail Rimming Sugar Kit ~ Delicove Spices
     No. 4 ~ Eye Winker Green Opal Pitcher ~ Fishs Eddy + Iced Tea Spoons ~ Anthropologie  + Grapefruit Margarita

After Dinner : As I said before, dessert is always an easy and great idea to bring with you.  With the days growing hotter by the minute, however, skip turning the oven on and pick up your favorite ice cream on your way over to the event.  Jeni's "Artisanal" Splendid Ice Creams is, without a doubt, my favorite kind of ice cream.  It has so many interesting "foodie" flavors, as well as the basics, so that everyone will enjoy it.  (You can purchase it online if there isn't a store near you btw.)  You can also make your own vanilla bean sugar and package it in a beautiful sugar bowl.  Each grain of sugar will be infused with the vanilla flavor and it's a great addition to grilled fruit, beverages, and other desserts.
     No. 5 ~ Ohio Love You Ice Cream Collection ~ Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams
     No. 6 ~ Mimi Sugar Bowl with Spoon ~ Kazuyo Komoda + Vanilla Bean Sugar

Grilling Party : It's pretty likely that everyone knows at least one master of the grill, and even more likely that you'll get invited to at least one BBQ this summer.  These gifts are for those people and events...A master of the grill probably has a ton of grilling gadgets, but not many have a pizza stone.  This set also conveniently comes with a large pizza paddle and pizza cutter.  The Giara glass bottle makes a lovely presentation for your homemade BBQ sauce that will be ready to be brushed on and enjoyed that day or weeks later.
     No. 7 ~ Round Pizza Baking/Grilling Stone Kit ~ via Target
     No. 8 ~ Giara Hermetic Glass Bottle - Red ~ Bormioli Rocco + All Purpose BBQ Sauce

Guys Only Night : Invite your friends over for a couple of drinks and brews for the game or a poker tournament.  Both of these gifts are extremely guy friendly and functional.  The whiskey stones will keep any drink cold without diluting it with water, and the chip & dip bowl will be great filled with some blue tortilla chips and the quick & easy salsa recipe below.  The shortcut is that it uses canned tomatoes.  All you need to do is blend all ingredients together, transfer it into the acacia bowl, and put it in front of your friends to munch on all night (though it has potential to be devoured in seconds).  Anyone can do it.
     No. 9 ~ Whiskey Stones (Set of 9) ~ Teroforma
     No. 10 ~ Acacia Chip and Dip ~ Crate & Barrel  + Quick & Easy Shortcut Salsa + tortilla chips

Weekend Guests : As a weekend (or overnight) guest, it is more important to bring a hostess gift than ever.  I usually like to bring things that will be great eats/drinks for the next morning aka less for your host to worry about the next day.  This blueberry batter bowl gift set has all you need to have fresh blueberry pancakes minus the griddle pan.  In addition, this flow carafe has a freezable coaster that will keep drinks cold for up to 4 hours!  Make a batch of mimosa (or bloody mary) mix in this carafe, bring a bottle of champagne, and you'll have mimosa's ready to go for the next morning.
     No. 11 ~ Blueberry Batter Bowl Gift Set ~ Stonewall Kitchen
     No. 12 ~ Flow Carafe w/ Freezable Coaster, 1-Quart  ~ Emsa + Mimosa Mix + Champagne

Gifts not only shows the personality of the receiver, but of the giver as well.  I love to cook and bake, so these "semi-homemade" gifts are perfect for me, but if you're not the homemade type, it's ok.  Do what you do best.  If you're crafty, embroider your hostess' monogram on some pretty cloth napkins.  If you're the music type, develop a rockin' playlist to set the mood for the event.  At the end of the day, it's really the thought that counts, and it doesn't have to empty your bank account.

3 comments:

  1. you have the best lists! seriously! i love all of these.
    thanks for all the suggestions on summer sweets! i will definitely be taking your advice.
    sarah

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