10- from the pantry to the host – guest etiquette

We get dinner invites all the time, but most of our friends prefer us not to bring anything. Which is perfectly fine but it doesn’t mean we go empty handed (that will be rude, right?) Sometimes it’s short notice, and I don’t know what to take. I can always pick something from my veggie garden or flowers from my garden. But I think since times are hard for most people, and being invited to dinner can be a big cost. I don’t know about you but, wouldn’t it be great to get something that is a pantry treat that most of us don’t buy unless it’s on sale or only when we need it for a recipe?

Practicality is the drive on deciding what’s best to give, but practical givers can potentially be boring- well, it all depends on the kind of friend one has. My friends enjoy the simple things in life, I must say ‘It has taken me years to learn that a gift does not need to be over-the-top for someone to appreciate it, after-all it is the thought that counts, right? For some time now, I have been taking things from my pantry using them as gifts, surprisingly very appreciated by the hosts. I am sharing this with you so next time you have a dinner invite and you don’t have wine or flowers but have some of these in your pantry not to overlook them. Also, most stores usually have sales where you can buy a couple of these items on discounts, ‘stock them up.

Practical cost effective ways to say- ‘Thank you for dinner

  Flavored Tea

Flavored tea is a treat to not just me but my family, you can have it hot or cold. Ice tea/sweet tea is one of my specialty for my guests and my family.


Jam Jar

Yum yum, there is nothing like a good jam to treat someone. A Fig jam is the best jam I ever tasted, great on toast or pairing it with soft white cheese and wine. Just the other day a friend told me she made a fig pizza “wow”- I thought!

Blue cheese

Just looking at a Blue cheese I want to do a happy dance. I am Taurus we love food whether it’s to cook it or eat it. I eat a Blue cheese as is or make it as a dip for buffalo wings, plus it takes like magic on pork chops.

Basil Pesto

My life will be even more boring without a bit of basil pesto, hubby and I use this Pesto for a lot of things like pasta, chicken, fish, garlic bread, and much more…


 Peppadew(R) piquante

My first ever Peppadew jar was a gift from a client and since then I was hooked, now I get to give it as a gift to someone else. Add them to a pasta dish, I also stuff them with feta/goats cheese and chives, even pairing your Peppadews with cold meats and cheese – the spiciness will give a kick to your taste buds.


Tabasco pepper sauce

I think – my husband’s relationship with food would have never been the same without a Tabasco pepper sauce, he uses it on everything. For me other than using it as a table sauce, I also found a recipe for homemade fish cakes with Tabasco, the taste is amazelicious I have since done them again and again…

Sweet chilli sauce

For those of us that enjoy Thai food, sweet chilli is right at the top. But just as tasty on veggies, cheese (yes, now you know. I love cheese), shrimp and pork. A halloumi salad with bacon and sweet chilli sauce will transport you to food heaven.


I have so many uses for honey in my home I use it for red cappuccino’s daily, ice tea, cooking pork and I use it as a face mask with a bit of turmeric and lemon. Lets me just say “I can’t live without honey”


Olive oil

Olive oil is like magic oil in my household and once again this is also one of those items my friends uses without a doubt. I can write a whole post on what you can use olive oil for, but since I am not going to do that now, here are just 3 reasons to have or to buy olive oil for a friend; cooking (its best when not heated), salads and my husband does this thing where he makes toast with garlic and olive oil (heaven on bread) yeah my guy is Portuguese, he loves his pao aka bread.



The first time, I had chutney was when a client made me a chicken dish with chutney and mayo, it was so good that for the next few weeks it became my go-to dish. Then slowly I started playing around with the different flavors on salads and on their website they had a fruitcake with peach flavored chutney.

A family that eats together stays together!


What have you received or gifted to say ‘thank you?











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