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.
More Bright Ideas
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
As if being the perfect portable snack weren't enough, one of Georgia's most famous exports reveals a little-known talent at picnic time: Peanuts can cushion delicate items such as peaches (speaking of Georgia), sandwiches, and glass bottles (or Champagne flutes, if you're getting fancy). And when their work is done, the peanuts make a tasty addition to the meal.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, July 2010
For a splash of style, adorn your table with autumn's brightest accessories: vivid fall leaves. Simply clip sprays of young leaves from a tree in your yard (ours are from a maple). Arrange the clippings at each place setting, and top with transparent glass plates. Come dinnertime, you'll be basking in the oohs and aahs of your guests.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, October 2007
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
More Entertaining Ideas