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.
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Occasions such as Mother's Day call for the floral equivalent of a big hug. Candy colors, mixed textures, and varied sizes radiate homey spontaneity, especially when the "vase" is endearingly improvised from a flea-market find. A yellow teapot, with ample room for water below a narrow opening, becomes the perfect vessel for clasping a generous bunch of tulips, hyacinths, peonies, and, of course, forget-me-nots.
SourceMartha Stewart Living
A New Year's Eve celebration wouldn't be complete without a glass of Champagne, so bubbly is a perfect theme for end-of-the-year festivities. Ball-shaped ornaments displayed in glass flutes mimic the rising bubbles. (We mixed vintage balls with clear ones.) Gather flutes in varying styles, and cluster them on a cake stand to craft a truly effervescent centerpiece.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, January
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
These favors will soar, though perhaps not as high as your spirits on your wedding day. They are custom-made, with or without a 3-foot-long tail. Finish each with an initialed label printed on laser paper. Cut into 2 1/2-by-3-inch rectangles, and fold along short axis; attach using two pieces of double-sided tape.
SourceMartha Stewart Weddings, Summer 2001
Many brides save their bouquets, but dried flowers can look a tad Miss Havisham. Instead, turn the ribbon used for the stems into a keepsake by having your vows printed on it. Email a JPG image of calligraphed or typed text to Masterstroke Canada; they'll put the words onto ribbon using a thermal-transfer technique.
SourceMartha Stewart Weddings
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