Curated Boxes of Texas Treats Make the Pandemic-Stricken Holiday Season a Little Sweeter

Texas Foodie Basket from Foxtrot

In 2020, pretty much everybody could use a care package — especially during the holidays! Local companies have made it easy to gift foodie-tastic boxes to friends and family both near and far.

Like many restaurants and small businesses, Kickin' Kombucha pivoted at the beginning of Covid to help Houstonians get their hands on essential goods. But the Kickin' Local Market is now so much more, offering hundreds of items made right here in Houston for delivery and pickup (there's even a drive-through window!). New holiday gift boxes tout delicious groupings of items: There's hot sauce, barbecue rub and salsa in the Some Like It Hot, and the Sweetie has honey, artisan chocolate and more. The Picnic & Pickles gift box will totally make your al fresco feast — or why not send someone oven-fresh cookies from Michael's Cookie Jar, available via Kickin's website? Boxes are all customizable, and available for pre-order or grab-and-go at the Lawndale-area store.


Meanwhile, Becca Cakes Bakery has partnered with other local vendors to create giftable boxes of goodies. Available in two sizes, the packages include a holiday assortment of macarons, an Ellion Joyeaux candle and an Aalvo acrylic ornament. Orders can be placed online, via phone, or in person at the Oak Forest-area bakery.

Based out of Dallas, Foxtrot Market typically only caters to the Big D — but for the rest of the year, they are offering 48-hour shipping anywhere in Texas for a flat rate. The modern market offers made-in-Texas treats, creatively packaged in nearly 20 different boxes that range from $30 to $250. The Foodie box comes in two sizes, with sweet and savory goodies like White Rock Granola, Texas-shaped chocolates, Belle's Gourmet Popcorn, habanero hot sauce, honey butter and more. The CBD Vacation package has infused eye patches, face masks, sour gummies and more; The Coffee Friend includes beans, a thermal tumbler and more; and the Cozy Hot Chocolate has mix, a mug and marshmallows.

And Houston-based Mostess, which curates home-décor and hostess-friendly items in four seasonal boxes per year, will deliver its Winter Box in time for Christmas if ordered by Dec. 13. While folks likely aren't having large-scale gatherings this year, intimate at-home holiday parties are made special with Mostess's items like four faceted crystal coupes, linen napkins, napkin-ring flower vases, mixers and more.

Food

SOUTH FLORIDA-BASED Italian shoe line Concetto Limone will make its Texas debut at a cocktail reception at Valobra Master Jewelers (2150 Westheimer Rd.) on Thursday, April 29 from 5-7pm. The evening of "All Things Italian" will transport guests immediately to the coast of southern Italian as they sip on Italian wines, Aperol Spritzes, Negronis and Limoncellos while feasting on an assortment of Italian hors d'oeuvres from Houston's beloved Tony's. Invited guests will have the first glance in Texas on the Concetto Limone line and the opportunity to purchase unisex styles on Thursday evening and all day Friday at a trunk show at Valobra.

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Pastries at Cafe Leonelli

CAFE LEONELLI IS now open inside the MFAH's Nancy and Rich Kinder Building, the stunning new wing that first opened in November.

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Abbie Preston Edmonson gives a special presentation this weekend

DESPITE SOME APRIL showers, there's still plenty of fun to be had! From art-centric and Earth Day activities to family-friendly fests, check out a rundown of the weekend's best bets.

LEARN FROM AN ARTIST Tune in tonight for an hour-long talk by ceramicist and Houston Center for Contemporary Craft resident artist Abbie Preston Edmonson about her creative process. She'll give a virtual presentation about her work and a special demonstration in her studio space.

Brennen's exec chef Joey Chavez (photo by Kimberly Park)

TAKE A VIRTUAL PAINTING LESSON OR COOKING CLASS Be inspired by the great state of Texas during a virtual painting lesson hosted by Honey Art Cafe on Friday night. For only $20, stream a two-hour virtual lesson and make a series of stylized mini paintings inspired by West Texas and Big Bend National Park. Honey Art Cafe also has supply kits available for purchase for beginners or artists low on supplies.

And if painting isn't quite your speed, see what you can cook up in the kitchen! Brennen's exec chef Joey Chavez leads a "date night" cooking lesson for couples on Friday at 6:30pm. Hosted at the restaurant, the socially distanced demonstration, which costs $150, includes a reception, followed by an interactive demonstration and seated dinner.

CELEBRATE EARTH DAY! Join the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center from 10am-4pm on Saturday for a fun- and information-filled day! Explore informative booths, nature hikes, fun displays in the Discovery Room, and Earth-friendly take-home activities. Or join Discovery Green on Sunday from 12-5pm, when the park will screen a series of short films about Houston's environment, host a panel about February's freeze, and showcase a live painting demo by local artists working on murals to decorate the park.

GO ON AN OUT-OF-THIS WORLD ADVENTURE Fifty-one years ago, the Apollo 13 crew splashed down safely back on Earth after their famously harrowing mission to the moon and back. Space Center Houston is celebrating that anniversary on Saturday, hosting two livestreamed panel discussions with current NASA experts as well as Apollo-era legends.And now through May 2, local NASA and Apollo 13 fans can check out the center's new spring exhibition, titled "Apollo: When We Went to the Moon," that looks at the legacy of the Apollo era through the lens of the engineers and astronauts who actually lived the experience.

FIND FUN AT THE INTERNATIONAL KIDS FEST Traders Village hosts Kids Fest on Sunday, with games, activities, interactive shows, live music, acrobats, magicians, clowns and more. Parking is $5, but the event itself is free, sure to keep the whole family entertained from 12-4pm.

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