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Dinner parties

Hosting a dinner party should be as much fun as being a guest. With careful planning of everything from your cooking timeline to the placement of guests, you can alleviate any hosting anxiety. Martha has spent decades mastering the dinner party, and culled all of her best decorating ideas, shortcuts, and recipes here, whether hosting a crowd or preparing a romantic evening for two.






Embracing the idea of household favorites, we asked our food editors which dishes they cherish most, and let their answers inspire the quintessential Thanksgiving meal. Our menu is meant to be adaptable: Prepare it entirely or choose individual recipes, weaving them into your customary spread.


Chocolate fans will cheer this twist on tiramisu: It has ladyfingers infused with cocoa instead of espresso and an ethereal filling of chocolate and cream cheese. One bite and you'll be transported to your favorite trattoria.