Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Guest Blogger Leslie on Thoughtful Hostess Gifts

I hope you all had a restful 4th of July weekend! I've invited Guest Blogger Leslie Blumenstein back and today she'll be sharing some thoughtful hostess gifts to continue the theme here of entertaining and etiquette. You might remember last month when she shared her tips for giving great toasts which was timely for many of you that commented.

Many people are stumped as to what to bring as a hostess gift when they visit for a dinner party or stay with friends for a long weekend. They don't want to break the bank but do want to avoid bringing something that the host my deem useless to them. Leslie provides some classic and inexpensive ideas, some that you may not have thought of.

Thoughtful Hostess Gifts

Though not required, a thoughtful hostess gift is always appreciated. It is a polite gesture to thank your hostess for having you. Here are some thoughtful hostess gift ideas to consider next time you attend a party or event.

Farmer’s Market Finds

Local honey, veggies, fruits and crafts make excellent hostess gifts. It’s also a great way to support local growers and business owners.
Gardening Supplies

This is a nice gift for the hostess that has a green thumb. A new gardening book or some new gloves and a few veggie starts are a great hostess gifts for a lunch or brunch event.
Wine and Cheese

You can rarely go wrong with a nice cheese and wine pairing as a hostess gift. Try a sparking wine or champagne for the warm summer weather
Personalized Thank You Notes

Design your hostess beautiful, personalized thank you cards. It is always handy to have stylish thank you notes on hand!

Custom Recipe Book

This gift will take a little effort but is something any hostess would treasure. Put together your favorite recipes. Add in photos if you have them. Tailor the recipes to the recipes to the tastes of your hostess.

Fresh Baked Brownies

Unless your hostess doesn’t care for chocolate, homemade brownies are the perfect little gift to give. Don’t worry if you are not a baker. I have always been intimidated by baking but this recipe is a winner.

Brownie Recipe


3/4 cup butter
2 cups packed brown sugar or 1 cup brown, 1 cup white
3 eggs
4 (1 ounce) chopped squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
2 T cold coffee
Splash of milk/cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped walnuts


Melt chocolate in double boiler (metal bowl over simmering water) add in milk and coffee and stir.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (120 degrees C). Grease an 8x8 inch baking pan.

2. in a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and eggs until light and fluffy. Stir in the unsweetened chocolate and vanilla until well blended. Mix in the flour, and then the walnuts. Spread batter evenly into the prepared pan.

3. Bake for 40 min (cooking time may vary based on your oven) in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack before cutting into bars.

Plate them on a pretty serving platter for the hostess to keep. Dust with powdered sugar and add a few fresh raspberries too.

Quality Olive Oil

If your hostess is enjoys cooking, a high quality bottle of olive oil is a something every cook can use. Check out your local cooking store or higher end grocer for a great selection.

Enjoy these gift ideas!

Leslie is a work at home mom of one busy little guy. She is a regular contributor to PurpleTrail.com, a site dedicated to amazing invitations, photobooks and party planning ideas and has been recently featured on Jackie Fo, Birthday Girl Blog, Craft Monkey, and Little Shindigs. Her love for entertaining has led her to become an expert on budget party planning without sacrificing style. From baby showers to back yard barbecues, she’s done it all – without breaking the bank.

Thank you Leslie for sharing these creative ideas and being a guest contributor once again. Now you have me craving brownies! I may just have to make some later. ;)

Looking for more hostess gift ideas? You can find another list of suggestions in a post I wrote last summer titled Be a Grateful Guest.

Have a lovely day!


  1. Wonderful ideas! I especially like the custom recipe book. i'm going to make several to keep for future use - what a completely disarming and thoughtful gift!

  2. Excellent suggestions. One of my favorite hostess gifts is a homemade quick bread kit. I prepare the dry ingredients and provide the recipe. Generally, I get a cloth gift bag to add to the presentation. I find it's nice to have a mix on hand for occasions when you want to bake something but don't have time.

  3. oooh, those are such great ideas!!!!

  4. These are wonderful - I would love to receive any of these... especially cheese, that's something I don't treat myself to as often as I could!

  5. Great ideas. The recipe book reminds me of a wedding I attended. There were all kinds of great cookies served along with the cake, and the bride and her mom had made recipe books for each guest to take, that included all the cookie recipes.


Thanks for stopping by, your comments make my day! I read every single one and will answer any questions you have. I hope you'll visit again soon! :)


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