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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.

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recipe

Enjoy the honeyed flavor and velvety texture of these colorful sweet potatoes. Their buttery flesh and sweet taste make them enjoyable simply mashed. Serve mashed sweet potatoes as a side dish to your favorite main dish, and you'll have them perfected by the time the holidays roll around.

recipe

The crust is most crisp the day it's made, but the pie without the whipped-cream topping and chocolate shavings can be made up to a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator. To cut the pie into neat slices, use a serrated knife.