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  1. It's Crudite Season

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    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.

    Herb Dip Recipe

    Source
    Martha Stewart Living, March 2008
    More Bright Ideas
  2. Packing Leftovers

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    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.

    Source
    Martha Stewart Living, November 2008
  3. Nutshell Miniature Bowls

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    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.

    Source
    Martha Stewart Living, November 2008
  4. Floating Flowers Platter Centerpiece

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    It's a cheese board; it's a centerpiece; it's a place to corral cocktail garnishes. It's a basic white platter (this one's from cb2.com), the most versatile item in your cupboard. 

    Float flowers like these peonies in small bowls, and arrange them with votive candles for a quick, modern centerpiece. On a long table, you can place a few platters down the middle.

    Source
    Martha Stewart Living, July 2009
  5. Good Thing

    From Tree to Table

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    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.

    Source
    Martha Stewart Weddings, Fall 2009
  6. Good Thing

    Stacked Favor Centerpiece

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    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.

    Source
    Martha Stewart Weddings, 2004
  7. More Entertaining Ideas