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T (1655 posts)
Love this table setting where Oprah chooses some of her Favorite Things for 2012? It was created by Tammy Carmona, owner of fine porcelain dishware company Carmona New York & Co, and veteran caterer and event planner. (And for all you Twihards out there, she also designed the set—down to the flowers and the dishes—for Edward and Bella’s wedding scene in Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1.) Here, she reveals her secrets for creating a beautiful table—and throwing a great holiday party.
Holiday entertaining can be stressful. What do I need to know before I begin?
Know your theme, food selection, amount of people attending and other items you want to have on display such as flowers or candles. If it’s a holiday like Christmas and the red and green theme doesn’t work, have no fear—go with an elegant brushed gold and white instead.
What sort of dishware should I use?
Look at your menu as a starting point. Our dinnerware styles range from traditional to modern and funky; our challenge is to match each food with the best dish by size, shape and placement. Remember: You want the presentation to create excitement.
How do I make sure I don’t get stuck in the kitchen while my guests are mingling?
Keep it simple by limiting the number of dishes, so guests don’t get overwhelmed. Be prepared by placing good-sized portions on your serving dishes. When it comes to sweets, go for mini-desserts, which look less messy.
Any other tips?
Use flowers and candles to add to the ambiance—the lighting adds to a festive look. Also, consider personalized napkins, which are a beautiful finishing touch.
Happy Friday! Here's some of the things that made our week:
Beluga whale tries to teach himself to speak [via BBC]
Fascinating study on why children hide by covering their eyes [via BPS Research Digest]
Dad makes Halloween costume for wheelchair bound son [via The Huffington Post]
"There's a fierce inventiveness to Detroit," says artist Kate Daughdrill. "People here take ownership of a problem and work to find solutions." In order to help Detroiters keep doing just that, Daughdrill and a friend cofounded Detroit Soup, a philanthropic supper club. Each month four local groups present ideas to diners who pay $5 to attend; the crowd then discusses the ideas over soup, salad, bread, and pie, and decides which project will receive the evening's proceeds.
Since 2010 Detroit Soup has raised from $700 to $1,000 per dinner for more than 20 community projects—like a bicycle education workshop, or the design and manufacture of a coat for the homeless that converts to a sleeping bag—and the typical number of diners has grown from 20 to 200. "Right now Detroit feels like an underdog," says Amy Kaherl (below), Detroit Soup's current coordinator. "Someone needs to care for it, and that someone could be any one of us."
It's Friday! This week we're oh-so-grateful for...
Dads sing "Little Mermaid" song at the requests of their daughters
8-year-old dresses as a different historical figure every day [via Omaha.com]
Extraordinary story about breast cancer survivor groups in areas with major ethnic conflicts [via Tablet Magazine]