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 basic white platter (this one's from cb2.com) just might be the most versatile item in your cupboard. We've used it here to corral cocktail garnishes; try it at your next party!
Offer accompaniments to cocktails: citrus wedges (for gin and vodka tonics), olives and caper berries (martinis, Bloody Marys), and cocktail onions (Gibsons).
SourceMartha Stewart Living, July 2009
Guests will go dotty for confetti decorated with their own smiling faces. Use a photo-editing program to give digital pictures of family and friends a sepia tint; print onto matte photo paper. Use 1/2-inch to 1-inch circle punches to cut out faces, as well as extra circles from colored paper and vellum. Package the confetti in envelopes, and hand them out to guests for a celebratory toss at midnight.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, January
In addition to displaying the main seder plate, incorporate some of the symbolic foods of Passover into individual place settings. (Carafes of wine can double as place-card holders.) With everything in reach, guests will have what they need during the reading of the Haggadah, keeping the passing of the seder plate -- and the risk of spills at the table -- to a minimum.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, April 2009
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
This display is a centerpiece, a stack of party favors, and a table-number indicator all in one.
Fill small cardboard boxes with cookies or candies, wrap them with bands of paper and slender ribbon, and stack them on a silver compote in the shape of a pyramid. Attach a table number to the topmost box.
SourceMartha Stewart Weddings, 2004
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