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.
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A handful or two of freshly cut flowers embody the laid-back spirit of outdoor entertaining, especially when the blooms are slipped into a mismatched assortment of clear glass bottles, jars, and carafes. The containers go with any color scheme and offer a way to pair unlikely garden mates. At this dinner party, sun-craving cosmos meet shade-friendly astilbes. And the mingling of starburst scabiosa seed heads with the fireworks of astrantia makes the tabletop conversation sparkle.
SourceMartha Stewart Living
Welcome your guests with flights of fancy. Line tiny wicker baskets with plastic wrap, fill with clump moss, and adorn with bright butterflies (or dried or silk flowers).
SourceMartha Stewart Living, April 2010
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
Here's a fresh idea for the season's abundant Forelles and Anjous: Use them to make a friendly, fragrant greeting.
Line up seven pears (in the same color or a mix) on a mantel. Then, with a fine-tipped washable marker, write letters on the front of each pear. Press whole cloves into the flesh along the lines; using a pushpin or a tack first can ease their entry. Make the letters no earlier than the day your guests arrive -- the sweet and spicy aroma will be as welcoming as the message itself.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, November 2010
Guests prone to waterworks at weddings could use one of these: a ceremony program that doubles as a tissue cache.
To make the petite pocket, tuck a tissue or two inside a piece of paper that folds over twice to become a small, sideless envelope. (Use decorative scissors to trim the edges of the flap.) Then, glue or tape the envelope to the program. True, not everyone is going to cry during the vows, but it's a charming way to dry the joyful tears of those who do.
Scalloped "z-card" in lavelite, Envelopments.
SourceMartha Stewart Weddings
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