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BellaOnline's Holiday/Seasonal Cooking Editor

Making Food Look Special For Holiday Parties

The holidays are times when family and friends get together and enjoy special meals. I frequently see parsley on plates as a garnish but there are so many different choices to spruce up a holiday spread. Toasted nuts, clusters of grapes or berries and coconut slivers among others can add pizzazz to your holiday events. Here are several suggestions to try for your next holiday meal.

Vegetable and fruit bowls.. such as watermelon baskets, tomato bowls, egg plant dip bowls, sweet pepper shells and even squash hollowed out make some great holders for salads, cheese spreads, dips, salsas and more.

Piped guacamole, whipped cream, cheese spread, sour cream, butter and chocolate mounds make great additions to plates with accompanying garnishments such as a mint leaf with chocolate, parsley, chocolate curls, celery leaves etc..

Twists of lemon, lime and orange peel and spruce up desserts and drinks. They can also be dipped in regular or colored sugar for added appeal.

Cheese balls and dips always look more appealing if they are surrounded by circles of various crackers or colorful vegetables cut into serving size pieces.

Fruit chunks are always great garnishes for topping glasses and dessert bowls, lemon slices, cherries, watermelon, just about any fruit you like that compliments the drink or food works. If using something that browns when exposed to air dip into lemon juice to keep fresh looking.

Flowers are great garnishes for plates as well. Make sure they are not poisonous though. For a list of edible flowers if you would like to try that check this page. http://www.whatscookingamerica.net/EdibleFlowers/EdibleFlowersMain.htm

I love orange/clove and ribbon decorations in bowls around the holidays. They smell really good and look nice as well.

Remember putting together a holiday meal includes even the little things to make it special. Just a little thought to garnishing your holiday dishes and drinks make it more delightful for your guests. If you have suggestions and traditions you would like to share please feel free to write and we'll post them so everyone can get great ideas for their holiday events.

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