Unless they're down on hands and knees for an outdoor egg hunt, people tend to overlook the exquisite shapes and tones of minuscule spring flowers. Give these plants the close-up they deserve by using eggcups as vases, which can hold pink lilies of the valley, species tulips, grape hyacinths, narcissus, violets, pansies, bleeding-heart leaves, and other small wonders. Try several cups on a tray for an Easter centerpiece or a single one to cheer up a desk or a bureau.
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Follow this guide to determine how much to buy. The primary rule: Buy plenty. You can use it later or return unopened bottles (check store policy before making your purchase).
Item and Quantity
Wine: One bottle per two people per hour
Beer: Two per person per hour
Spirits: One bottle per five people per hour
Mixers: Three bottles for each bottle of alcohol
Ice: At least one pound per person per hour
SourceMartha Stewart Living, November 2009
As you crack walnuts for pies and stuffing, save the shell halves that remain intact. The miniature "bowls" make natural holders for individual portions of salt and pepper -- especially handy for big gatherings at the table.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, November 2008
Keep bugs, leaves, and other unwelcome guests from joining you for drinks by topping glasses with these jaunty little hats (otherwise known as baking cups). Cut a small X into the center of each liner, poke a straw through the hole, and enjoy your beverage worry- (and pest-) free.
Paper cups, fancyflours.com.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, August 2010
Shake things up with a dish that's distinctive but doesn't abandon traditional flavors: fall-foliage lasagna. The secret? Pasta colored with beet and carrot puree, and shaped with cookie cutters.
Your caterer can incorporate these tricks into her recipe; we layered fresh ricotta cheese between beet and carrot pastas, which were cooked, then sauteed in -- and drizzled with -- a brown-butter and sage sauce. The combination is hard to, ahem, beet.
SourceMartha Stewart Weddings, Fall 2009
You're not the type to have a closet full of neutrals. Wouldn't it be great if your engagement ring reflected your penchant for color? Candy-hued diamonds have figured heavily in famous engagements of late (think Mariah Carey's rose-tinted rock and Heidi Klum's canary-yellow beauty), but they hold a prehistoric appeal. Long before the stones were ready to grace your finger, they blushed pink or glowed gold far beneath the earth's surface, as elements like nitrogen worked their magic. The stunning results, courtesy of Father Time and Mother Nature.
SourceMartha Stewart Weddings
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