Get the Party Started: More Gifts for the Hostess!
After the success of STA's last hostess gift round-up, we're giving you all yet another batch of fun ideas. Here's a thorough round-up that includes everything from recipe kits and cooking tools to martini shakers, dinner plates, champagne buckets, serving trays, liquor gift sets, DVDs and games to keep the guests entertained and rockin' around the Christmas tree.
Albrizzi Acrylic Domino Set, $215. Visit Vivre.com
A good game of dominoes doesn't have to be affiliated with viejitos camping out at picturesque plazas in Puerto Rico and Santo Domingo. After all, this is the Latino answer to chess or spades (seriously, we've got leagues, man!). And sure, the old-school sets emblazoned with coquí figures and PR flags are always dope, but if you wanna give a more high-end option, these are as luxe as they come.
If there's something Angela Adams is known for, it's her fantastic prints — whether they appear on textiles (wallpaper, throw pillows, and bedding) or glassware. With their retro graphics, these glasses will make any table a bit groovier.
What's Cookin' Recipe Tin, $18. Visit Fredflare.com
Losing a treasured family recipe really blows. I should know — I lost my grandma's recipe for coquito (Puerto Rican eggnog), and I've been peeved about it for years. So, why not save somebody else from sharing that fate? With this recipe tin, they can jot down any recipe and keep it tucked away in a safe (and cute) place.
Full Contact Spice Grinder, $39.95. Visit ModDecor.com
In a Latino kitchen, we call this device a pilón – it's what we reach for when we want to mash plantains to make mofongo or mangú and to grind up the spices necessary for making homemade sofrito. Usually, we employ wooden ones, but this ceramic one does the trick just as nicely — and it'll suit a more modern kitchen decor.
Saccso Champagne Bucket by L'Orfreverie D'Anjou, $655. Visit Vivre.com
Wanna pop champagne? Then you gotta do it right and put that baby on ice. And have you ever seen a sassier champagne bucket? Exacty!
Dom Perignon Power Trio,£685.09. Visit Harrods.com
Champagne connoisseurs will appreciate this DP threesome, which includes a bottle of Dom Perignon 2000, one of Dom Perignon Rose 1998 and a bottle of Dom Perignon Oenotheque 1995.
Harmonic Basket by Abi Alice, $115. Visit MomaStore.org
The architectural folds in this basket make it a true piece of art — what table wouldn't look better with this atop it?
Kate Spade Collingwood Drive Dinner Plate, $28. Visit HomeClick.com
If you didn't know Kate Spade designed flatware, you've been missing out. The handbag queen brings her distinctive, feminine aesthetic to the dinner table with plates in eye-catching patterns like this "Collingwood Drive" one.
Espresso Cup and Saucer Set (4 piece), $24.99. Visit RetroPlanet.com
With their diamond-shaped graphics, earthy colors, and unique shape, this espresso cup and saucer set looks like it belongs on the set of That '70s Show.
Café Bustelo Tote, $84.99. Visit JavaCabana.com
This "I Love Café Bustelo" tote pretty much sums up my sentiment about the ubiquitous coffee brand. And hey, there's always a coffee lover like me at every party, so why not bring them something they can enjoy? This bag comes equipped with four Café Bustelo Cool cans, one 29.2 oz. Café Bustelo Té can, 2 Café Bustelo Instant Cofee jars, a mug, and even a Café Bustelo T-shirt and hat for those die-hard fans who want to rep on the street.
Bacardi 8 Rum, $19.99. Available at select liquor stores. Visit Bacardi.com
Aged eight years in small oak casks, Bacardi 8 packs quite a punch and goes down ever so smoothly. Trust: I sampled some for Thanksgiving and let's just say it made my holiday even happier!
Hell Ride DVD, $12.99; The Happening DVD, $19.99. Visit Amazon.com
If you're attending a small gathering at someone's house, you may want to consider bringing some form of entertainment — and a good movie always does the trick. Period pieces and tear jerkers will bring down the mood in about 60 seconds, so your best bet is a thriller like The Happening (which does keep you intrigued, even if some have mocked the environmentalist premise) or a fast-paced ation flick like the Quentin Tarantino-produced, Larry-Bishop directed Hell Ride.
Serving will actually become a fun activity, rather than a back-breaking task, when you get to flaunt your gorgeous, Asian-inspired serving tray.
Vera Wang Silver Grosgrain Wine Holder, $48, and Silver Challis Martini Shaker, $51. Visit Bluefly.com
The bridal guru (as Anthony told Charlotte in Sex and the City, when it comes to wedding dresses, you go with Wang ) has dominated way more than church aisles. Her home collection (yes, everyone from Ralph Lauren to Armani, Kate Spade, Versace, Hermes and Michael Kors has launched a home decor line) includes such simple but exquisite piece as this silver wine holder and martini shaker.
10 Cane Mojito Set, $25.99. Visit PostWines.com
Mojitos are easy-to-make, crowd-pleasing drinks and, with this handy set from 10 Cane Rum, they're even more of a cinch to prepare. and hey, if someone wants to bypass the mojito madness, you can reach for the 10 Cane bottle and offer them a cocktail prepared with one of the most superb rums in the market.
Le Pain Quotidien certified organic products: "Blondie" Belgian White Chocolate Spread, $9.95; Strawberry Fruit Preserve, $5.95; Apple Cinnamon Fruit Preserve, $5.95. Visit LePainQuotidien.com
If you've ever strolled inside one of the Le Pain Quotidien restaurants in New York, D.C. or Los Angeles, you already know they specialize in fresh artisan breads, baked delights and mouth-watering gourmet goods. You can bring some of these culinary sensation into somebody's home by purchasing some of their fruit preserves (the Apple Cinnamon flavor pictured above is divine) or chocolate spreads (the Belgian White Chocolate Spread is downright sinful).
If you want to win some points with the hostess, help her keep her wooden surfaces intact (no nasty ring imprints left by inconsiderate guests who failed to use a coaster). Any Bree Van De Kamp type would be moved by this gift.
Alessi Mr. Chin Kitchen Timer, $50. Visit Fitzsu.com
Making the perfect roast, having the meat have the right tenderness and flavor, is all about timing. And, when you're running around the kitchen, it's easy to lose track of time and either overcook or undercook your meal — which is precisely why timers were invented. Now, if you had to choose between a plain, round timer in a drab white color and this funky, caricature-like one, which one would you choose? There you go!