By Marika Flatt

It’s the season for baking and holiday parties. This year, impress your friends by bringing new, unique foodie items to share. It’s the perfect starter for cocktail party conversation.

You signed up to bring the dessert? Just say no to fruitcake. This year, it’s all about the artisan crafted food-gift where each and every order is individually handmade with love, care, and the best ingredients on the market. That’s the concept behind Miss NiNi’s Fine Desserts. The bakery handcrafts the most delectable cheesecakes and coffee cakes. Miss NiNi’s Create Your Own 4-in-1 Cheesecake allows the purchaser to select up to 4 sectioned-off flavors into one cheesecake… Because choosing just one is almost impossible. $48,

Jump on the raw foods/ kale wagon—everyone is doing it! Be trendy by bringing these instead of typical tortilla chips. Austin-based Rhythm Superfoods kale chips are nutrient-rich, raw and vegan. They are also a delicious source of Vitamin A, B6, Calcium, Iron, Protein and Fiber. They have SEVEN delicious and unique flavors including two brand new options- Pineapple Coconut and Honey Mustard. I put these out at a dinner party and our guests were very impressed that they loved the flavor and texture of these chips. You can find these at H-E-B.


Baobab Fruit Cubes are tasty, chewy fruit cubes made from the Baobab super fruit imported from southern Africa. It’s a healthier snack alternative to a bowl of standard holiday candy, and also makes a great stocking stuffer. Baobab Fruit Cubes deliver bite-size nutrition in 3 delicious flavors: mango, strawberry and raspberry. These chewy morsels are chock full of antioxidants, fiber and essential nutrients, like vitamin C, potassium and magnesium. And at only 92 calories per serving and no added sugar, these make a great bowl of snacks at a party for kids and/or adults (great to take to school parties, too). Available on Amazon: and


This is going to be your best friend at the next party you are hosting! No more fixing large pots of coffee and then having to throw out half of it. The easy-to-use NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto Genio is the only single-serve coffee machine with the power to whip up to 16 hot and cold beverages in mere seconds. The compact design makes the Genio a perfect fit for those tight, narrow kitchen spaces. Airtight capsules are specifically designed to deliver a fresh cup of coffee, texture and no-hassle froth without the mess. Each beverage is made using only the highest quality ingredients, featuring only 100% Arabica, rich chocolate and foamy milk, each finished with a perfect layer of fresh crema. The NESCAFÉ Dolce Genio is currently available at Kohl’s, and the Dolce Gusto Store:, $130


Wondering what side to bring? Choose one that’s healthy, unique and can be paired with any entrée. Created out of a love for the organic and natural food movement, SooFoo has several delicious blends of organic-certified grains and lentils include nothing but high-quality, whole foods and natural seasonings. All SooFoo products are also Non-GMO Process Verified, vegan, and kosher-certified. SooFoo is available in four varieties – Original (unseasoned), Hint of Curry, Garlic and Herb, and Moroccan Medley.$4.49 per 6 oz. bag, 6.oz combo pack of all flavors $15.99, SooFoo Combo pack with the branded rice cooker $24.99

Purchase online:


You always need a bag to carry your items to a party. The Packbasket Grocer from ADK Packworks is the perfect holiday party companion (and even makes a super hostess gift). Fill it with wine bottles, bags of snacks or side dishes. It stands tall, but folds small enough to pack easily. This multi-purpose tote is large enough to carry everything you will need and the adjustable strap allows for a variety of carrying positions (two‐handled, over‐the‐shoulder, and backpack style) that can be reconfigured to fit your style when you take on the go.



About The Author

Hayden Walker
Executive Editor | Co-Publisher

Hayden Walker is the Editor in Chief and Director of Operations for Austin Food Magazine

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