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Dec 14, 2009 10:42 AM

What are the best hosting and home cheffing gifts you've ever received?

I'm in need of about 8 host gifts and holiday gifts for some really talented home chefs and entertainers. These are the folks who put on more than their fair share of parties, and have every kitchen gadget they need. They are also the ones who have the whole menu figured out and handled, so there's no need to contribute something to the meal I'm about to enjoy.

I usually bring wine and flowers. But this time, I want to reach into a new category or two.

So I thought it wise to put a shout out to the Chowhounders who cook and entertain a lot, and ask: what are some of the best hosting or home chef gifts you have ever received (up to $40)?

Your suggestions appreciated!

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  1. Are you looking for a food to make? I assume yes, since you're posting here, but you threw me a bit with the up to $40, unless you mean ingredients?

    My Christmas gifts this year include (all homemade) lard, spaghetti sauce, spicy bourbon pecans, cranberry liqueur, stropwaffels and maybe pecan caramel turtles.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Chris VR

      Wow! Homemade lard! I hope your friends will all give you homemade pies in return. :). I had never heard of stroopwafels until now. Wow, they sound amazing. Can you make them with a regular waffle iron or does it require even more specialized equipmen?


      1. re: The Dairy Queen

        I have a waffle iron that flips to be a pizzelle iron, and use the pizzelle side. They're a lot of work, but so good!

        1. re: Chris VR

          Neat. I've been thinking about getting a pizzelle maker and using it to make krumkake. It's not 100% perfect for krumkake, but I really try to avoid single-use appliances. So, now you've just given me one more reason to get one!


          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            Mine is an unfortunately discontinued appliance, called a Toastmater Grillerie, I think. it's got 4 irons: waffle, pizzelle, flat and something I cant remember right now. The plastic housing is starting to really crap out after about 12 years of use and I'd love to get another like it.

      2. re: Chris VR

        No - sorry. Not food to make...these hosts are the type who have the whole meal planned from top to bottom. So I am looking for a gift to bring, besides flowers and wine.

        1. re: kaysyrahsyrah

          The best place for such a question would be the General Topics board, so we've moved it here, from the Home Cooking board.

          1. re: kaysyrahsyrah

            I know that this is late, but there's always next year. I wish I'd seen this sooner, it would have been on my Christmas list....

            National Geographic Food Journeys of a Lifetime


            1. re: Axalady

              Thanks for the heads will make a nice gift to someone I know. Amazon has it for $23 & change:

        2. Breakfast for the next morning (special coffee, baked goods, etc.). On the same thought, pan fried foon noodles for dinner for a brunch.

          1 Reply
          1. re: chowser

            I love this line of thinking -- quality ingredients for later. One of my business colleagues says she brings home spices and other gourmet items from the places she travels. Ras el Hanout spice blend from Marrakesh, etc.

          2. Really high end chocolates, particularly chocolate covered caramels. Don't need to bring tons, but everyone loves them and most of us don't buy them for ourselves. Also they keep, and so no pressure to consume them immediately in the midst of the holiday binge.

            1 Reply
            1. re: sholli

              i agree with this line of thought... candies tend to keep well and are items one does not make/buy for themselves much.

              one item i'm happy to give away this year are these layered caramels. they are superb and i'm not generally a fan of bonbon type items:

              i've also received some modena 12yr balsamic that was very delightful. in that vein there are many specialty vinegars out there that have gained in popularity. sherry vinegar might be another good one. really any small amount of high quality product would be awesome. if i could get a sampler set of vanillas from of different origin or extraction method it would certainly be a very prized gift.

            2. Homemade limoncello and limoncello glasses
              a pretty glass jar of vanilla beans
              deep dish pie plate and a 1/4 bushel of Washington apples, I forget the exact variety

              1. Monogrammed Sferra linen dinner napkins (if you keep an eye on sales, you *can* get the for about $40).