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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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
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.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, July 2009
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
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
Outdoor weddings are especially beautiful, but they can also be uncomfortably steamy. To keep your guests from overheating, pass out handmade fans -- trust us, they'll be grateful. Ours features a floral motif on one side and a quote from Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" on the other: "My bounty is as boundless as the sea, my love as deep."
SourceMartha Stewart Weddings, Summer 2009
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