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Old 10-06-2005, 07:55 PM   #1
Executive Chef
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 4,357
Spring Into Entertaining

Can't recall where I found this article, but it's an easy guide to get your creative juices flowing when coming up with ideas for a special celebration. (Although it's geared toward Spring, you can adapt the party details to season or occasion of choice.)

Spring Into Entertaining
Rebecca's Garden

Here are five easy steps for setting a beautiful spring buffet table:

Step 1. Start with a theme. This way, you can throw out things that don't work. The theme can be based on a color or on subject matter. Host Rebecca Kolls laid a colorful scarf across a white tablecloth as a runner. Then, any aspect that's added to the table complements the scarf in some way.

Step 2. Choose either a centerpiece or a focal point. Because Rebecca was setting a buffet table, she chose a focal point, as opposed to a centerpiece. The focal point was a copper-finished lighting fixture located above the center of the table. Rebecca added a garland of silk flowers to dress up the lighting fixture that incorporated the colors of the scarf, and also added some hanging ribbons that drew the eye back to the buffet table.

Step 3. Add appropriate embellishments. For a simple embellishment, create miniature bouquets, tying small bunches of flowers together with wire and then winding the stems with appropriately-colored ribbons. She also created candleholders out of terra-cotta pots. She painted the small pots with a 50/50 mix of acrylic paint and varnish. After the paint was dry, she turned the pot upside down and attached a terra-cotta saucer to the bottom with glue. This made a perfect pedestal for a pillar candle.

Step 4. Invitations. Of course, you could use store-bought invitations, but Rebecca made her own. She used a piece of cardstock to which she attached a packet of seeds and ribbon. On the back of the cardstock, she put all the party information.

Step 5. The food. The food for the party can be as simple or as extravagant as you like, but Rebecca likes to keep her food simple and easy, so she opts for finger food. A simple recipe that works is a fromage spread ("cheese" in French). Scoop the mixture into a bowl and surround with crackers.

A frozen ice bowl keeps cocktail shrimp chilled and adds to the color theme.

Pour about an inch of water into a large bowl. Float a smaller bowl inside the large bowl, and tape it in place. Fill the space between the two bowls with water and anything that will match your theme (Rebecca chose some silk flowers).

Place in the freezer, and a few hours later, you have a frozen bowl to keep your shrimp fresh.

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