GIFTS - Last Minute Gift Guide - 12-20-11it's the final countdown — but these thoughtful, quirky gifts suggest you planned ahead.By morgan ribera
Perfect for a game of bourre, the Deck O' Meals features a different Cajun recipe on each card and puts a playful spin on the traditional cookbook, $6.99 at Dorignac's Food Center (710 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 834-8216; www.dorignacs.com) or online at www.deckomeals.com.
This hand-stitched Bourbon Re-Weekender bag repurposes PJ's Coffee burlap coffee sacks, leather belts and natural canvas for a gift that's sure to please the eco-minded fashionista, $350 at Repurposing NOLA Piece by Peace (828 Royal St., Suite 504, 261-3275; www.repurposingnola-piece-by-peace.com).
The life of the tailgating party, a 24-quart aluminum pot is perfect for boiling shrimp or brewing gumbo on chilly game days, $130 at ADGAS Outdoor Cooking Products (2626 Music St., 943-0853; www.fanpots.com).
A collapsible beverage cooler equipped with its own corkscrew brings cheer to any match, $50 at Tennis Shop of Metairie (4931 W. Esplanade Ave., Suite B, 457-4401; www.thetennisshopofmetairie.com).
A 21st-century take on the mind-boggling Rubik's Cube, the Brain String's tangled web keeps even the brainiest of braniacs occupied for hours, $14.95 at Rapp's Luggage & Gifts (3250 Severn Ave., Metairie, 885-6536; www.rapps.com).
A multi-purpose Himalayan salt block can be heated for searing seafood and meats, frozen for serving fruity sorbet or refrigerated for plating hors d'ouevres, and enhances every food with a subtle, salty flair, $49.95 at The Spice & Tea Exchange (521 St. Louis Ave, Unit 1, 598-5689; www.spiceandtea.com).
A handsome trio of versatile honeys paired with fine cheese and lush tea makes a culinary concoction certain to please the taste buds, $11.99 at selected Rouses (701 Baronne St., 277-3838; http://shop.rouses.com).
More than a little blue card, it's a shopping experience. A gift card to The Shops at Canal Place (333 Canal St., 522-9200; www.theshopsatcanalplace.com) is a fail-safe option for the choosy gift recipient.
Shiny horse-and-jockey cufflinks add equestrian pizzazz to a wardrobe, $36 at Fair Grounds Gifts (1751 Gentilly Blvd., 944-5515; www.fairgroundsracecourse.com).
Eco-friendly and locally made, the Hadaki iPad Wrap lends a sleek gadget pep and personality, $50 at www.hadakishop.com.
Delizioso! This assortment of fruit-shaped marzipan confections delivers a sweet taste of an Italian holiday tradition, $5.25 at Angelo Brocato (214 N. Carrollton Ave., 486-1465; www.angelobrocatoicecream.com).
Give them something to crow about with this vibrant "rouxster" painting, $400, by local artist Stephen Rue (319-9990; www.rouxsterart.com).