1 This is the perfect after-dinner kit complete with an exceptional red vermouth, Carpano Antica Formula vermouth, a favorite of our food editor Christine Albano, followed by fruit, cookies, candied peels, a paring knife, and a wooden tray that the host can use long after the last bit of fruit is gone.
2 This basics kit will be appreciate by the experienced chefs or the less-experienced cooks in your life. Our food editors swear by these finishing touches. Extra-virgin olive oil, by A l’Olivier, Napa Valley red wine vinegar, organic fleur de sel, and organic whole peppercorns from St. Helena Olive Oil Company, beechwood pepper mill, striped towel by Cote Bastide, and a wooden salt bowl.
3 This breakfast kit includes everything you'd need to make breakfast for a group. Blackberry–Meyer lemon jam, Bella Donovan coffee beans, Farmhand’s Choice granola, olive-oil cake, and a Erik Magnussen coffee press all packaged in a whitewashed wood bin.
4 As a houseguest, one of the greatest gifts you can offer -- aside from pitching in to clean dishes -- is to give your host a night off from menu planning. This paella pan holds almost everything you need to concoct that savory rice dish, including a book of 108 recipes, specialty Bomba rice, Spanish paprika and olive oil, and dried chiles. Come dinnertime, just add protein.
5 This is a bar in a box and is meant to be a big "thank you" to a host that has had you over night or for the weekend. In this, I pack the essentials -- a shaker, coasters, straws, umbrellas (we all secretly love them), napkins, a recipe book, plus a can of mixed nuts -- on a bright lacquered tray. Then I wrap it all up in cellophane and top it with a colorful bow.
6 For a dinner party, I love to pare the extraavagant weekend gift to a few beautiful pieces: a big stack of napkins, coasters, and festive swizzle sticks.
7 Another fun, bug larger, thank you gift is this one that will last. Handsome playing cards and dominoes, with a smart score pad and pencils, are indulgent but tasteful -- and your host will think of you with every game. Board games are also so much fun and can make an evening.