Friday, November 14, 2014

Easy ways to dress up a Holiday Event

I am traveling around the holidays this year, but in between I still intend to have a party at my place and perhaps do some decorating., so as result I am dusting off my information on Prepping for the Holidays and I thought I would start with a few easy items.  How to dress things up and give a Holiday flair.

Food Presentation

Before slicing a cucumber, run the prongs of a fork down the length of the sides at intervals.  The slices will then have a fluted edge.

Make radish spinner garnishes.  Trim off the top and bottom of a radish.  Then cut two 1/8” thick slices.  Cut reach slice from the center to the outside gently push the two slices together where they have been out as a right angle to form a spinner.

Craft a cucumber blossom.  Peel long, thin strips from a cucumber.  Boil strips for 3 minutes.  Remove and cool.  Cut ¼ inch wide slits in the center of strip, being careful not to cut through the edges.  Gently wind strip into circles forming a flower.  Secure with a toothpick. 

Serve your dips in a hollowed out pumpkin or colored cabbage.  Use red and green peppers on your Christmas table.  Fill each vegetable with dip.  Line the inside with plastic wrap before adding the dip.

Create a cucumber spring.  Chop cucumber into 3 inch pieces.  Poke a wooden chopstick into the knife hits the chopstick.  Continue turning and cutting around the cucumber.  Remove the chopstick and gently pull the ends to form a spring.

For extra fancy veggies use a crinkle cut knife or madeline blade to chop carrots rounds, cucumbers and even pepper rings.

Garnish with strawberry fans.  To make, start at the tip and cut the strawberry into thin slices with out cutting through the end.  Spread slices open to form a fan.

To make a tomato rose garnish you need a large tomatoes and a serrated knife.  Stating at the bottom end of the tomato use the knife to saw off a continuous strip of tomato skin about ½ inch wide around and around the tomato.  Carefully roll this strip into a tight coil, then let open up slightly to create a blossom.

Make Carrot/Cucumber rings.  Cut cucumbers into 3 inch lengths, hollow out the seeds and insert a carrot into the center, then slice the combo into ½ inch slices.

Table Dressing

Do you have fall leaves or pine cones on the lawn?  Bring them in and place in a clear glass vase for a holiday festive natural decoration.  Closer to Christmas or if snow is on the ground, use colored holiday glass or plastic bulbs inter-spaced with sticks of cinnamon and star anise.  It will create a colorful and seasonal scent.

Seasonal Pomaders (oranges decorated with cloves) are a great seasonal decoration that only gets more fragrant as the season continues.

Choose a solid color - make the table all green or all red with a solid color runner, solid color Christmas bulbs in a bowl and an accent plate of the same solid color it makes whimsy without clutter.

One of my standbys is a poinsettia table cloth that was my grandmothers.  I then put a plain white runner down the center to remove clutter and accent with poinsettia flowers in bud vases.

Sometimes simple is perfect.  A pine or juniper branch in a clear champagne flute may be just the elegance your table likes.

Ideally, large parties should have more than one food location with different choices at each spot.  This motivates guests to move from place to place and thus circulate and socialize.

Join us again as we share more ideas for "Prepping for the Holiday" in the coming weeks.

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