Leave your apron on the hook. Quick, easy, and delicious order-in foods are only a click away.

By Allen Bunting
November 16, 2006
Courtesy of Hancock Lobster Company

Hosting a holiday party doesn't mean spending hours in the kitchen. Some of our favorite specialty food companies have online "stores" that deliver gourmet cuisine right to your door. Order up and dig in!

Alaska Wild Salmon Company
Based in Juneau, this family-owned company hand-catches wild salmon and ships it fresh, smoked, or dressed up in a gift basket. Call 866/463-3458 or visit alaskawildsalmoncompany.com.

Allen Brothers
Allen Brothers offers a wide selection of meats, appetizers, heat-and-serve entrées, and desserts. Customer favorites include Braised Veal Osso Buco and Maryland-Style Crab Cakes. Call 800/957-0111 or visit allenbrothers.com.

Beach Bum Don's Gourmet Cookies
Available in 12 Caribbean flavors including Banana Coconut, Rum Raisin, and Key Lime, these cookies are individually wrapped and sold by the dozen, and delivered with a personalized "postcard from the beach" gift card. Call 800/875-7749 or visit beachbumdons.com.

Charleston Seafood Express, Inc.
Enjoy the best of Charleston from this Amazon.com five-star "ZShop." Order lobster, fish, or shellfish, or check out their specialty packs. Call 888/609-3474 or visit charlestonseafood.com.

Chukar Cherry Company
Chukar Cherries (its motto is "The Best Of Nature, The Best of Chocolate") makes deliciously creative goodies to sweeten the holidays. Call 800/624-9544 or visit chukar.com.

Cinnamon Bay's All-Natural Seasonings
Get a taste of the Caribbean with Cinnamon Bay. Check out the all-natural seasoning blends, grilling sauces, glazes, and vinaigrettes including Caribbean Rum marinade, Lemon Rosemary glaze, and Ja Makin Me Wail grilling sauce. Visit cinnamonbaysauces.com.

Spread good fortune with Fortunuts' Sweet & Salted Walnuts, Mesquite Walnuts, and Sweet & Salted Pecans. All orders come with a special message; choose one of theirs, or create your own. Call 866/554-6887 or visit fortunuts.com.

Hancock Gourmet Lobster Co.
Located on Hen Cove in Maine, this company delivers the Downeast experience with its Christmas Cove Lobster Cakes, Nubble Light Lobster Wellington, live lobsters and other shellfish, and desserts such as Deep Dish Wildberry Crisp. Call 800/552-0142 or visit hancockgourmetlobster.com.

Harbor Candy Shop, Inc.
Harbor Candy Shop specializes in handcrafted chocolates and confections. Don't miss the turtles, an all-time customer favorite. Call 207/646-8078 or visit harborcandy.com.

Harry and David
Harry and David offers a wide selection of appetizers, hors d'oeuvres, and entrées. This season's hottest buy: organic snacks and gift baskets. Call 877/322-1200 or visit harryanddavid.com.

Ipswich Shellfish Fish Market
Treat your guests to a seafood feast, complete with lobsters, crackers and bibs, chowder, blue mussels, and easy-to-follow instructions. Visit ipswichshellfish.com.

Key West Seafood
Get lobster, stone crabs, fresh fish, and shrimp boxed with local specialty sauces and marinades (and no order is complete without the melt-in-your-mouth Key lime pie!). Call 800/292-9853 or visit keywestseafood.com.

Lake Superior Fish Company
Enjoy Lake Superior's finest wild salmon, walleye, herring, whitefish, and ciscoes. Order fish steaks or fillets fresh-frozen or slab-smoked. Call 715/392-3101 or visit lakesuperiorfish.com.

Marky's offers more than 600 varieties of gourmet foods, including top-quality caviars, foie gras, smoked salmon, truffles, wild mushrooms, and cheeses. Call 305/758-9288 or visit markys.com.

Sticky Fingers
This Charleston-based company is known for hickory-smoked ribs, wings, barbecue pork, and their signature sauces and seasonings. The Sticky Fingers Sampler ($50 alone, or as part of the Barbecue of the Month Club) reminds us that good 'Q is good any time of year. Call 800/784-2597 or visit stickyfingersonline.com.

The Spice Hunter Winter Sippers
Keep warm on even the chilliest of days with beverage blends you can add to anything from hot cider to eggnog (they're even delicious on baked ham and winter squash). Visit spicehunter.com.

Pastry chef Jean-Yves Charon's traditional French-style croissants, available plain or filled with premium Callebaut chocolate, are a tasty Williams-Sonoma exclusive. Call 877/812-6235 or visit williams-sonoma.com.

Other sites to check out:
Impromptu Gourmet (877/632-5766 or impromptugourmet.com)

AppetizersToGo.com (800/757-0058 or appetizerstogo.com)