today I'm full of...hostess gifts
having fun all summer often requires the obligatory hostess gift. with just a little extra thought you can bring a basket that will both please your host and make all the other guests jealous of your thoughtful ingenuity!
the “little rhody basket”
with presents, I always like to give a little representation of myself or something that speaks to the relationship I have with the person receiving the gift. Sometimes the gift is something that symbolizes a shared hobby, or a favorite treat. In this case I wanted to share something that was special to me, which of course, is my home state. It has a fourth of July theme (as it was presented at a fourth of July party) and is filled with little rhody’s best gems: Newport Vineyards Wine, Catanzaro’s pepper biscuits, and Narragansett Creamery’s award winning cheese spread.
the “never-over-stay-your-welcome basket”
I made this basket for two of may favorite new yorkers that always so willingly allow me to crash at their apartment. filled with all the amenities that I use of their’s the most, I figured they’d appreciate my re-filling of their stock.
For other great host/hostess gift ideas check out:
So you’ve RSVP’d to the party and, because you’re a woman of class, you are of the thought that a party hostess deserves a party hostess gift. Something in season, and moderately priced. Fresh tulips are a great gift for spring, as they have a pretty long shelf life, as flowers go, and they don’t have to be dolled up too much. Wrap a piece of brown paper around the bouquet and tie with a piece of raffia and you’re ready to go!
Earl of Harlem Truffles
Fashioned after truffles found in the soil of the Perigord region in France, these cocoa dusted treasures, although vastly different in flavor, are just as prized by many around the world. There are 3 main types of this international favorite: Swiss, European, and American, which differ in ingredients and technique. Here we are using a method most similar to the Swiss that makes the process easy and inviting so that you may enjoy your nuggets of chocolaty delight in no time. What’s more is we’ve infused our recipe with Marcus’ Earl of Harlem tea which adds citrusy layers, bergamot and floral aromas with lingering smoky base notes that will give the chocolate an even more rich and fragrant finish.
- 8 oz good quality dark chocolate
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 tea bag of Ambessa Earl of Harlem
- zest of half a medium sized orange
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
- 1 cup cocoa powder, for coating truffles
1. Heat cream with Earl of Harlem tea bag and until just about to simmer. Remove tea bag and zest and add vanilla.
2. While cream is heating, roughly chop the dark chocolate and place into a heat resistant metal bowl.
3. Pour hot cream over chocolate, and allow it to sit for 1-3 minutes.
4. After 1-3 minutes, stir cream and chocolate until well blended and smooth. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
5. Place cocoa powder into a bowl. Using a teaspoon, make 1-inch scoops of cold chocolate and infused-cream mixture (ganache) and roll into balls. Then roll in cocoa powder, and refrigerate until served.