Bring the lush greenery of the 50th state to your own backyard: Party snacks plain or exotic get an upgrade when served in cones fashioned from banana leaves (which are available at Asian and Latin food markets). Cut them into six-inch squares, roll each into a cone, and fasten at the seam with a bamboo skewer.
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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.
SourceMartha Stewart Living
Leftovers are one of the best parts of Thanksgiving, so pack them with style as you send guests home with food.
Purchase takeout cartons in multiple sizes, along with adhesive labels to note what's inside each. At the end of the meal, you won't have to scurry to find the right containers and matching lids -- and guests won't need to return any dishes.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, November 2008
If you're expecting numerous guests for the holiday dinner and have only one seder plate, create one or two extras so everyone around the table can participate. Arrange five elegant saucers or small bowls on a large plate that matches them, and then use the small dishes to display each of the symbolic foods.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, April 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
Create an hors d'oeuvre centerpiece that recalls a vegetable patch. Buy a large, deep galvanized-metal planter from a garden-supply center, line the bottom with sprouts, and pour in enough water to moisten them. Arrange vegetables, such as cherry tomatoes, carrots, radishes, asparagus, and cauliflower, in sections inside the container, varying the colors. Serve immediately with herb dip, or cover with moist paper towels and refrigerate up to 2 hours.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, March 2008
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