How to impress your foodie friends without breaking a sweat

Feb. 18, 2011 at 11:31 AM ET

Kosher-style fare has developed for those of us that take their pastrami sandwiches with extra mustard -- hold the religion.  So, too, a reactive-style niche is forming for the locavore, slow-food trend.  Luckily, it's a diluted version for those of us that are less culinarily inclined. (You know who you are.  You only cook on the high holidays, if that, and do so begrudgingly even then.)  It's foodie-ish -- hold the cooking.  A few items for the cook-gnostic:

Your friend in Brooklyn is spending the winter season pickling, jarring, canning, and god-knows-what-else in those mason jars. You're spending the winter season tasting every item on your Thai take-out menu.  But damn, those mason jars are hip.  Impress your foodie friend with this adorable porcelain mason jar vase.  Take that, homemade boysenberry jam.


You've invited friends over to your apartment, and want to make them feel homey and welcome.  If we learned anything from Alicia Silverstone's character, Cher, in “Clueless,” it's that you can fake it ‘till you make it. We all remember Cher throwing that log of cookie dough into the oven pre-date. The Baked Bread scented candle is the answer to your adult hosting insecurities. Less involved than real baking, this candle is a tricky way to lure guests in, only to hand them a take-out menu and a cocktail.  As if!


The closest you've ever come to composting was writing in one of those marbled black-and-white notebooks in high school.  You pass by an odd-looking community garden on your walk to work but are just confused by it.  But you see the power and popularity of these and other similar green movements, and don't want to be left out.  Fear not.  Next time you want to show your appreciation for a friend's gracious (and, of course, green) hospitality, send one of these kinda gross but kinda awesome postcards or these adorable quinoa cards, and no one will so much as raise an eyebrow when you suggest going to the farmer's market this Sunday.