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Alison Deyette's Holiday Party Gift Tips

Plenty of invites and so many bottles of wine are endlessly toted to party after party. It’s time to be more thoughtful with your choices of gifts you bring to the hostess.  Our Style Contributor, Alison Deyette brought Marie a variety of choices that satisfy everything from a host with a sweet tooth to a green thumb.

Bring the Hors d'oeuvres
Let the host have a reprieve from the kitchen. Bring the hors d’oeuvres so friends and family can have a chance to socialize before sitting down to the main meal.  Or if it’s a casual gathering watching football or playing board games, a mix of savory and sweet options from Hickory Farms satisfies everyone’s snacking needs. Hickory Farms, $25-65.


Breakfast in a Basket
The host has enough to deal with after the party cleaning up so make the next morning easy by filling a basket with gourmet goodies to take care of breakfast. If you’re spending the night, be sure to get up and make the host breakfast as an extra bonus.  Alison's gourmet goodies and basket were all from Home Goods, $30.


For the Gardener
Does your friend have a green thumb? Everything he or she touches just grows with abundance?  Or perhaps a friend who would like to do some planting? Give them a garden they can grow inside or enjoy when the weather turns warmer.


Herb gardens, butterfly habitats and bonsai trees are all available at Overstock.com.


For the Pet Lover
Sure you could bring wine, but if your host is a dog lover, why not bring treats for their animals? Make sure it’s a healthy treat and add a dog toy or canister to hold the treats.
 
Dog treats are available from Wellpet.com.
 

Sweet Treats for the Non-Baker
Sweet tooth? Skip baking and bring the host some our her favorite candy and instead of wrapping it up put it into lacquer boxes that she can place on a coffee table or once empty use for jewelry. Going to home with kids? Then bring along Nestle holiday boxes with candy inside and trivia to keep them occupied.
 
Nestle holiday candy and lacquer boxes are available from Home Goods.
 


To Capture the Moments
The host has enough to take care of without taking out the camera and snapping lots of photos. Take the pressure off him or her and offer to take all the photos and instantly share with all the guests using the new free Familiar app.




Recipe Favorites
Share one of your favorite recipes with the host and wrap it up in a new apron or pot holder, napkins and wooden spoon.  I’m a fan of sharing a carrot soufflé recipe that I make every holiday. The Apron, napkins, pot holders are available from www.henhouselinens.com.


Carrot Soufflé Recipe for the Host

A delicious side dish, dessert or breakfast!

Ingredients:
1-lb. cooked carrots
   (I use a 1-lb. bag of baby carrots)
3 eggs beaten
½ cup sugar
½ cup melted butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1/3 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon baking powder

Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
Cook carrots and mash them.  
Put mashed carrots into a blender and add milk. Blend. Mix all other ingredients together in a bowl. Then add mixed ingredients into blender. Blend again. Pour into a butter greased round soufflé/casserole dish or small ramekins for individual servings.  

Bake for 45 minutes to an hour at 350°.
It will rise like a soufflé and get slightly brown on top.

 


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