Just as the coffee is being served, the dancing always seems to begin in earnest, leaving guests with cold coffee when they return to the table. At your reception, offer caramel wafers to rest across the top of the cup -- the coffee will stay warm and the caramel will soften, turning the wafer into a sweet gooey treat. To prevent premature nibbling, the wait staff should let guests know what the wafers are for when they first bring out the coffee.
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A handful or two of freshly cut flowers embody the laid-back spirit of outdoor entertaining, especially when the blooms are slipped into a mismatched assortment of clear glass bottles, jars, and carafes. The containers go with any color scheme and offer a way to pair unlikely garden mates. At this dinner party, sun-craving cosmos meet shade-friendly astilbes. And the mingling of starburst scabiosa seed heads with the fireworks of astrantia makes the tabletop conversation sparkle.
SourceMartha Stewart Living
Welcome your guests with flights of fancy. Line tiny wicker baskets with plastic wrap, fill with clump moss, and adorn with bright butterflies (or dried or silk flowers).
SourceMartha Stewart Living, April 2010
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
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.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, March 2008
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
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