Some holiday parties require every serving dish you own -- and then some. Improvise a bread basket with a large rectangular cloth napkin or dish towel, preferably starched linen (the stiffer the fabric, the better it will hold its shape). Lay the fabric horizontally on a table. Fold the longer side up, slightly more than halfway. Fold the top half down in the same way, so the two edges overlap by an inch. Turn it over, and fold the shorter sides in to meet. For extra security, pin in place. Flip over again, and place rolls or a sliced loaf into the opening.
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Three delicious cookies -- chocolate-almond spirals,
lemon-oatmeal lacies, and cowboy cookies (chock-full of nuts, coconut, and chocolate chunks) -- meet one clever wrapping idea: Line easy-to-make paper envelopes with waxed tissue, and seal with punched-paper labels.
When you're looking for a cool, healthy treat, think granita. Then take a shortcut and enjoy this easy version. The refreshing dessert is typically made by freezing a mixture of sugar, water, and flavorings and scraping it often as ice crystals form. This variation calls for just one ingredient and no scraping. Freeze any juice -- we used grapefruit -- in an ice cube tray; pliable silicone ones are ideal. When solid, pulse 3 to 5 cubes per serving in a food processor until shards form. Serve the granita in a pretty glass. (Or freeze it in an airtight container for a day or two.)
SourceMartha Stewart Living, June 2009
Repeat after us: No more soggy salads for lunch. Here's how to pack healthful ingredients so they stay fresh, crisp, and cool. Arrange the heaviest items (we used chickpeas, sugar snap peas, cucumbers, carrots, and tomatoes) into a storage container first; then tuck in a small container of dressing and add lettuce on top. Place the whole thing in an insulated lunch sack with a cold pack. When hunger strikes, pour on the dressing, shake gently, and enjoy.
Tellfresh Screw-Top Food Storage, 1 liter, $4, containerstore.com.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, August 2010
Classic mimosas get a fresh twist -- and a pretty, rosy hue -- when they're mixed with pink grapefruit juice instead of the usual orange juice. For each serving, pour equal parts of Champagne (or any other sparkling wine) and fruit juice (either store-bought or freshly squeezed). One bottle of Champagne will yield about eight cocktails.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, January
A minimalist motif gives these canapes maximum charm: Thinly sliced scallions and snipped chives make stems for salmon-caviar blooms. Spread plain or smoked-salmon cream cheese onto soft white sandwich bread. Trim to desired shape, and arrange the chives and roe into single stems or a field of flowers.
Fishing for Caviar
Salmon caviar, or roe, is a luminous bright orange and tastes of the sea. A relatively inexpensive type of caviar, it can be found at specialty-food stores or ordered from russanddaughters.com.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, April 2010
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