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hostess gifts: dinner guest

July 29, 2013

madewithoverLast week I shared a couple of gift ideas for friends and family members who are kind enough to invite you for an out-of-town visit. That’s a fun occasion, but its likely that you’re a dinner guest way more often than an overnight guest.

Unless, of course, you’re over-served at dinner. Then you’re probably a dinner guest and an overnight guest.

Anyway, here are some of my favorite hostess gifts for dinner parties:

Personalized Cups


We need to talk about my obsession with go cups. Its big.

I think it started with the whole growing-up-in-Louisiana thing.

When I know someone else is driving, I jump into the car with a half of a glass of wine in a disposable cup. This is almost always after 5 pm.

If your guests have a sense of humor, you can personalize the cups with a funny saying. One of my favorites around these parts (TX) is “We like our horns long and our drinks strong.” If you want to keep it simple, you can always go with a monogram or the host’s last name on the cup.

Also, be green and go with the (recyclable and so much cooler) frost flex cups instead of styrofoam.


breakfastYour friends are making dinner for you so return the favor by taking care of their breakfast the next morning. They’ll appreciate how easy it is to get up and not have to put too much thought or effort into making their next meal.

If you’re into baking, whip up a pan of the Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon rolls in a disposable tin and wrap a ribbon around a bag of coffee and you’re set. Your friends will have to do no more than turn on the oven and coffeemaker. The cinnamon rolls have an espresso-maple glaze and they are to-die-for. And the good news is that the recipe makes a few batches, so you’ll have some to wake up to the next morning too!

You could also bring the Blackberry Farms breakfast collection, which includes one pound of Blackberry Farm coffee, griddle cake mix, biscuit mix, apple butter, blackberry jam, honey, Tennessee sorghum syrup, plus country ham and bacon. It is a feast in a basket and it’s pretty hard not to be loved when bearing gifts from Blackberry Farm. Yum.

A (Small) Collection of Scotch


Like the drink kit in the overnight guest roundup, this is a fun play on the all-too-common bottle of wine gift. Master of Malt lets you give a curated selection of ‘Drinks by the Dram’, so you can select a few small tastings of unique and hard-to-find scotches and whiskies.

Serving Papers


My newest obsession. These things are too cool. The papers are all attached like a notepad, and you can just peel one off to use when serving cheese or pastries. It makes a pretty presentation and is one less thing to wash at the end of the night.

Custom Coasters


My college roommate Elizabeth came to visit Whitney and I in Houston soon after we moved there and she brought us a set of custom coasters and I have loved her ever since.

Just kidding. I loved her even before. I lived with her, so that was a good thing.

But I really loved the idea of the coasters since they’re disposable. They come in sets of 50, which makes them perfect for pulling out when you have large groups of people over. And it is such a nice, personal touch to have our names on them.

You don’t have to put your host’s name on them though. You could be creative and personalize them with something they’re passionate about, like “Geaux Tigers!” or something cute, like “Wine Time”.

MYdrap Placemats


Funny story. Remember Oprah’s favorite things? Yeah, one time these ingenious little disposable napkins and placemats were on her fav list and I decided I had to have them.

One problem…

MYdrap was based in Europe. Spain, I think. And according to the interwebs they weren’t shipping to the US.

But I was not to be deterred. I found a little store in London that carried them, and a couple of international phone calls later, I had them in my hands. I was feeling so elated and proud of myself for managing to track the damn things down and get them and then a few months later I walked into Kuhl-Linscomb in Houston and saw them sitting right there for sale. They were probably there all along.

So the good news is that they’re widely available now. Even on Amazon. And in many colors and sizes. I think the rolls of placemats are the most fun because it lets you accent different colors in your china or create different themes really inexpensively rather than having to purchase many different sets of placemats.


If all else fails or you run out of time, you can never go wrong with a bottle of champagne and a bouquet of flowers.

And a heartfelt thank you note. Always!

What are your favorite gifts to bring when you’re invited for dinner?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Paige McDaniel permalink
    July 29, 2013 10:03 am

    Love these ideas, Katie! I just ordered the Carmel cake last night…

    Sent from my iPad

  2. Linda MacMorran permalink
    August 4, 2013 4:17 pm

    Dear Katie,

    I don’t often reply to your posts, but wanted you to know that I love getting each and every one! I read them and then transfer the recipes to my “folder”. I think your mother is THE best cook I have ever known so I know some of these are her recipes or she is cooking your recipes. We are indeed lucky to have them at their house.

    I also loved the fun, new hostess ideas. You are exposed to so much more than we are here, plus you are so technical that you search out all these great new ideas.

    Please keep sending!

    Love to you and Whitney,



  1. hostess gifts: homemade | Is there any wine left?

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