It never fails that once Halloween comes, the rest of the holidays come barreling at us like freight trains. I cannot believe we are already into the throws of wish lists, holiday menu planning and family gathering calendar management.
It is the time of year where many of us have lots of social outings with friends, celebrations with family and festive holiday parties. I may be a bit old school, but I like to bring a gift to whomever may be hosting said gatherings. I think it is such a nice gesture that is always appreciated. Hosting is hard work. It may be work that some people enjoy (myself included) but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Getting a gift doesn’t make hosting easier, but it certain doesn’t hurt.
Below are some of my favorite ideas for hostess gifts to use through the season.
- The classic bottle of wine is almost always a good choice….if you know they appreciated wine. Be sure to let them know that the bottle does not need to be served that evening.
- Fancy or cool hand soap for the kitchen or bathroom (Caldrea has some great ones)
- Candles – I like the soy based ones and typically would pick one that comes with it’s own holder, like a jar candle for the kitchen.
- Good tea or coffee – again, if they like tea or coffee.
I’m sure it will come as no surprise that homemade gifts are my favorite. Taking the time to make something yourself with the host in mind is one of the most thoughtful things you can do and will ensure future invitations to their parties. Here are some of my current favorites:
- Homemade Dog Biscuits (these aren’t for everyone, but for the dog owners in your life)
- Granola (both my summer and winter versions make great gifts. I would recommend using colorful dried fruit to make them more festive)
- Brandied Strawberry Jam – bonus points if you bring them freshly baked bread too.
- Nut Butters – I attempted my first homemade nut butter this past week and I must admit, it was amazing! I made Ashley’s Pumpkin Spiced Almond Butter. It’s the kind of thing I will need to give as gifts, because I could sit down and eat it with a spoon until it’s gone. She has all sorts of recipes for different nut butters. I highly recommend them. By the way, if you invite me to something over the holidays, you’ll likely be getting nut butter. Just saying.
The last idea I want to leave you with is Honey Chipotle Pecans. In our house, we call them crack nuts. Not that I know from experience, but these are addicting like crack. They are great to have out with drinks, as part of a buffet table and the best as a gift to a host or to anyone you’d like to make smile.
They are spicy and sweet at the same time and I promise people will ask you for the recipe.
Lucky for you, you have it.
Honey Chipotle Pecans
This recipe doubles easily.
2 tbsp honey
1 1/2 tsp chipotle powder (I found mine at Penzey’s and it is key for these nuts)
3/4 tsp cinnamon
2 cups pecans
2 tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350.
In a medium skillet, combine honey, chipotle powder and cinnamon over medium heat until melted and combined. Add pecans and stir until coated.
Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until fragrant. Cool slightly (1-2 minutes).
Combine sugar and salt in a bowl, add pecans and toss until coated. Spread out on a piece of parchment paper and cool completely.
Be warned that if you have one…you will have another.
Store in an airtight container.
Do you have any go-to hostess gifts? Do you have a favorite gift that was given to you?
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