Whether you're attending a holiday party or you've got a friend who loves to entertain, chances are you're in the market for a hostess gift idea or two. Go beyond the bottle of wine and consider pairing a few items together to create an experience. Yes, that salad cookbook is great on its own (really, it is... I just got it myself and highly recommend) - but why not pair it with a pretty, new salad bowl set instead? Here are some of my favorite hostess gift ideas for the holidays and beyond.
(1) pizza stone // fresh, local mozzarella // your favorite sauce recipe
Making pizza at home is one of my all-time favorite activities. All it takes is a few friends, more than a few bottles of wine, and you can get your own pizza factory going on in your kitchen that everyone can take part in... What's more fun than that? Get the party started for your hostess by gifting her a pizza stone along with a ball of fresh mozzarella and your favorite sauce recipe (I have an easy go-to version here).
This whiskey set-up is perfect for your favorite cocktail enthusiast. Old-school cocktails like the Old-Fashioned and the Manhattan are back, and these are the goods you'll need if you want to do it right. Head to your local liquor store and ask for a good recommendation on a bottle of Bourbon within your price range, and then pair it with a special ice cube tray (for those perfect giant cubes of ice) and a set of glasses.
(3) molcajete // basket of avocados // your favorite guacamole recipe
Another great gift for your fun-loving hostess: A guacamole starter kit! A molcajete is the Mexican version of a mortar-and-pestle, and trust me - it makes every guacamole experience feel much more authentic. Grab a few avocados and your favorite recipe, and if you really want to be a good friend, why not throw in some tequila?
(4) brie baker // your favorite wheel of brie
Every good entertainer knows that when you need a last-minute appetizer for an impromptu gathering, classic baked Brie is the way to go. An inexpensive Brie baker is a cute partner for your favorite wheel of Brie, and it's probably something she doesn't already have in her kitchen.
I seriously want to buy one of these salt keepers for all of my friends who don't have one. They're pretty, yes - but more than that, necessary! This is how you store your salt so that you can grab a pinch when you need it. I keep my standard kosher salt in one, but there will be no purchasing a box of Morton's as a gift - instead, splurge on the Fleur de Sel (a flaky French sea salt used for finishing a dish).