Whether you are headed to a friend's beach house or have been invited for a cookout, it is never good to show up empty handed. Even if your host tells you that you need not bring anything, it is always nice to bring a little something. Summer time calls for small bites that pack a punch of flavor, bright sweet in season fruit and perhaps a nice cold beverage. You can pull together the perfect host(ess) gift wherever you are in town with very little time and effort. It is, after all, the thought that counts!
If you're headed for the Cape or driving up to the North Shore to spend the weekend, then you can pull together a breakfast or dinner-themed gift. Pick up a large bowl or whisk and a large mason jar from a hardware store or . Then head over to and pick up some great quality cinnamon and maybe some vanilla sugar. Then put together the dry ingredients for your favorite pancake recipe and pour it into the mason jar. Write down the wet ingredients on a manila tag and tie it around the jar. If you want to add a little something else stop in to for a cute apron, recipe cards, candles or the like.
If pancakes aren't your thing, stop by the for some fresh tomatoes, garlic and basil. Pick up some fresh or dried pasta at your neighborhood store and grab a good bottle of red to pull it all together.
For a cookout, you may want to bring a few cold brews and if you don't know your host's tastes then pick up a gift certificate and a cute bottle or can opener to round it off. Newly opened in Belmont has a great selection of cans and bottles as well as helpful, knowledgeable staff. They even have regular tastings that you can head to when you and your friends are back in town.
You can also stop at for some local salsa and chips that make just about any barbecue pit master happy. To end things on a sweet note, head over to for some cookies. Be sure to ask which ones fare well on a hot or humid day especially if you know they'll be in the car when you stop for your ice coffee on the ride out to the beach.