2013 Holiday Gift List: Five Treats for the Hostess, Plus Where to Find Them in Houston

Give the gift of meat this holiday.
Give the gift of meat this holiday.
Photo by snowpea&bokchoi

The holidays are upon us, and that means it's time to show your buddies you care by buying them things they probably don't need. But there's no reason to shell out for an expensive ugly Christmas sweater that he'll never wear, or a tchotchke that will sit idly at the back of her closet, when you could give THE gift that everyone loves: food! We've found the best food and food-related items for anyone on your list, from pets and kids to the true gourmand. Many can be purchased in and around Houston, and some are available online and at major retailers. Let's get shopping!

Whether you're attending a dinner party, staying with family over the holidays, or are looking for a gift for a loved one who loves to host, we've got you covered.

Check out these 5 Hostess Gift Ideas; plus, we tell you where you can find them in Houston:

Stop by Oil & Vine for free tastings of our No. 5 gift idea.
Stop by Oil & Vine for free tastings of our No. 5 gift idea.
Photo by Mai Pham

5. A Good Bottle of Olive Oil

Anyone who loves to host will greatly appreciate a quality bottle of olive oil. It's the perfect finish for bread, salads, appetizers and more.

Find it local: Check out Olive & Vine for a fantastic selection of fine quality oils and vinegars. Bottles are just $18 and come in flavors like blood orange, French roasted walnut, smoky chipotle pepper and herbes de Provence. Stop by the store for tastings or shop online.

4. Coffee Shop Sampler

Every sane being loves coffe...and if they don't, at least you can crack open your own gift and enjoy a cup at your host's house. Fill a wooden basket with tissue paper, gourmet coffee grinds and flavored syrups.

Find it local: Katz Coffee is a favorite of restaurants and locals for a reason...and that's because the fair-trade coffee company's blends are fantastic. Shop online for a selection of gourmet coffees -- including sampler packs and the proprietary blends created for the city's best chefs and restaurateurs, or grind it fresh at the downtown Spec's or your local Central Market, H-E-B or Whole Foods.

3. A Potted Rosemary Tree

A rosemary tree is pretty much three gifts in one -- the plant makes wonderful decor, the leaves bring a pleasant winter aroma, and the trimmings can be used to add a fantastic, fresh and woodsy flavor to your cooking for months. A small plant will run you about $10 to $15. Wrap it in fabric and a twine bow for a sweet and delicate touch.

Find it local: Pick up a rosemary tree at Buchanan's Native Plants or your local Houston Garden Center, Big Tex Tree Nursery or Whole Foods.

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