It's etiquette 101 to never show up to a party empty-handed. But what works best — wine, an appetizer, a flower vase, customized napkins?
The 3rd hour of TODAY's Producer Challenge continued Wednesday when Erin Kim asked anchors Al Roker, Craig Melvin, Sheinelle Jones and Dylan Dryer what are their go-to host gifts. And we want them all!
A simple bouquet of flowers, at least by TODAY anchors' standards, isn't quite enough when it's time to attend a gathering — and after seeing a glimpse into Craig's 40th birthday, the 3rd hour crew clearly knows how to get down.
Ever the home cook, Al likes to bring his love of all things kitchen-related to a host's home. He creates a spice starter kit with basics like cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, rosemary, cumin, rosemary and more. He also kicks it up a notch with two types of salt. "Kosher salt for cooking and Maldon French sea salt for finishing," said Al. He puts everything together in a cute basket. Ina Garten would definitely approve as Maldon sea salt is one of her all-time favorite ingredients, too!
Sheinelle says you can never go wrong with a bottle of wine but to make her gift more personal, she doesn't stop there. The TODAY anchor is always sure to snap a lot of photos during the event, and will later send the host a nice slideshow so the good memories live on.
Craig goes for candles. And not just any candle. He has a very specific type that he picks up from a store in Westport, Connecticut, called Terrain. Many of the candles come in beautiful vessels embossed with different designs that could even be saved after the candle burns down to hold a tea-light candle or unsightly knickknacks from the kitchen's junk drawer.
Dylan also enjoys bringing something scented for a housewarming and turns to the gorgeous Savage Garden Fragrance Sticks.
But Dylan's real secret to a great party host gift is all about making something homemade.
Her go-to recipe is something that can come together in minutes and it can be customized with different toppings. She turns to is a simple roast beef crostini with Boursin cheese and roasted red peppers. It has only four ingredients, plus a little salt and pepper. The little crostini are hearty, fresh and delicious and they're perfect for any season.
The best part of Dylan's easy appetizer is that she plates it on a beautiful platter — and let's the party host keep it!
Now, that's a nice touch.