A New Year's Eve celebration wouldn't be complete without a glass of Champagne, so bubbly is a perfect theme for end-of-the-year festivities. Ball-shaped ornaments displayed in glass flutes mimic the rising bubbles. (We mixed vintage balls with clear ones.) Gather flutes in varying styles, and cluster them on a cake stand to craft a truly effervescent centerpiece.
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Follow this guide to determine how much to buy. The primary rule: Buy plenty. You can use it later or return unopened bottles (check store policy before making your purchase).
Item and Quantity
Wine: One bottle per two people per hour
Beer: Two per person per hour
Spirits: One bottle per five people per hour
Mixers: Three bottles for each bottle of alcohol
Ice: At least one pound per person per hour
SourceMartha Stewart Living, November 2009
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
If you're expecting numerous guests for the holiday dinner and have only one seder plate, create one or two extras so everyone around the table can participate. Arrange five elegant saucers or small bowls on a large plate that matches them, and then use the small dishes to display each of the symbolic foods.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, April 2008
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
Bring the lush greenery of the 50th state to your own backyard: Party snacks plain or exotic get an upgrade when served in cones fashioned from banana leaves (which are available at Asian and Latin food markets). Cut them into six-inch squares, roll each into a cone, and fasten at the seam with a bamboo skewer.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, July 2010
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