Passover started yesterday and with it, the official Spring entertaining season. From Easter to the royal wedding to Cinco de Mayo to the Kentucky Derby to Mother's Day, there's lots of reasons to celebrate in the near future! If you're attending a party that's hosted by a friend or family member, thank them by bringing a thoughtful gift.
Although it's quick and easy to reach for a bottle of bubbly or gin, why not think outside the box and bring a product that's not alcohol? Plenty of guests will bring a bottle of something, so to stand out from the crowd, I advise gifting one of the following five items.
- Flowers Nothing says Spring more than a gorgeous grouping of colorful flowers. Pick up a couple of bouquets of festive blooms, like yellow daffodils or purple tulips, and arrange them in a simple glass vase. Tie with a ribbon and hand to the hostess upon arrival. She won't have to worry about finding a vase while guests arrive and can simply display the flowers as is.
- Magazine Subscription For under $20, magazine subscriptions are the gift that keeps on giving. Your host will enjoy reading it for the whole year — just be sure that they don't already subscribe to the magazine. Buy a newsstand copy of the mag and present it to the host upon arrival. My top three picks: the newly made over Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, or Martha Stewart Living.
- Artisanal Cheese No food-lover can deny a wonderful wedge of artisan cheese. Place the cheese in a decorative bag and write a note telling the host to enjoy the cheese the day after the party. If you can find some delicious plain crackers, toss those in the bag, too.
- A Cookbook A new cookbook can be inspirational for someone who loves to entertain. Think about their style as a hostess and select a cookbook (that's recently hit the market) to match it. For vegetable lovers, I recommend Plenty. For the trendsetter, consider Gwyneth Paltrow's My Father's Daughter, and for the busy parent, Real Simple Dinner Tonight.
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Every cook uses it, so they'll be excited to receive a bottle of good quality, extra-virgin olive oil for finishing. Avoid flavored oils and choose one that highlights the classic taste of olives.
Besides alcohol, what's your go-to hostess gift? Share your suggestions with me below!