Garnishes & Presentation Tips

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How do I make a centerpiece?

How to make an icebowl

Try this simple process for making an impressive ice centerpiece for your next party.

2 bowls
distilled water

Take one 6 quart bowl and one 3 quart bowl. Fill the larger bowl 1/2 way up with DISTILLED water. Put the smaller bowl inside the other bowl and tape it down with freezer tape. Let it stick up a little above the bigger bowl. Take some fresh flowers and arrange them around the sides along with some greenery. Freeze the bowl for 2 days. Take out and let sit until you can remove the bowls.

You have a perfect ice bowl very clear and beautifully decorated. You can put sherbet in it, or even some shrimp. Place the bowl on a silver tray, that has sides to catch the water as it melts.
Place a few paper towels on it and then place a decorative doily on top of that.

The icebowl will last about two hours at room temperature; make sure to drain off melting water periodically.

If the bowl doesn't melt completely, you can replace it in the large bowl, top with smaller bowl and pour in water to fill. Freeze as before.

   
How do I make a decorative napkin fold?

Rosette Napkin

For the most effective presentation use a large cloth napkin for this fold.

Open the napkin completely. Take the left and right sides and fold into the center until they almost touch. Leave a 1/2" opening along the center.

Pleat the entire length of the folded napkin accordion style at least 8 times. Folds will be approximately 1/4 of an inch wide.

Pinch the center, and hold in place with a small piece of pipe cleaner. Spread out the pleats to form a round rosette.

Place a single flower bloom in the center where the pipe cleaner is. A rose, carnation or daisy works nicely for this.

Place the entire rosette flat on a dinner plate of a contrasting color for the most dramatic affect.

   
What flowers are edible?

Edible Flower Varieties

Edible flowers can help transform a salad, cheese plate or party platter from good to gourmet with little work.

The following is a list of edible flowers to choose from. Make sure to use pesticide free, well washed
blooms.

Geraniums
Nasturtiums
Pansies
Primroses
Roses
Squash blossoms
Strawberry blossoms
Violets

   
Butter garnishes

Butter Shapes

Molded butter shapes will liven up your dinner table or buffet with little fuss, and it's easy to do.

Soften butter and spread it evenly into candy molds.

Freeze until firm; pop out of the mold and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

   
How do I make chocolate drizzle?

Quick Chocolate Drizzle

Chocolate drizzle is wonderful for garnishing all types
of desserts. Swirl a design on a plain plate, over top of an ice cream confection or on baked goods.

Place some chocolate in a plastic sandwich bag and melt in microwave, checking at 20-second intervals.

When ready, cut off a small tip of one corner, and squeeze into desired pattern.

   
How do I garnish a drink?

Citrus slices

Thinly slice a lemon, lime or orange, and cut a small slit in the side. Place citrus slice on the rim of a cold drink for a nice but easy presentation.

   
How do I prepare a crudite platter?

Cabbage Cups

Creating cups from green or red cabbage to hold dips or crudite makes for a different, yet inexpensive presentation.

Cut a thin slice off the root end of the cabbage so it will be upright.

Using a small, sharp knife, hollow out the center of the cabbage to desired size and depth.

Smooth the cut out cavity by scraping with the side of a metal spoon. Fill as desired.

The cabbage cups can be placed on a glass plate or directly on the buffet table.

   
How do I garnish canapes?

Green Onion Curls

These are a simple but effective garnish that can be used to brighten up anything from anitpasto platters to simple dips and main course entrees.

Using fresh, crisp, green onions, cut the dark green top portion off so that the green onion is 3-4 inches long.

Slice off the root end.

With a small sharp paring knife, cut multiple horizontal slits in each end of the green onion, making sure not to cut through at the center.

The more slits you make the more curls you'll get.

Place the prepared green onions in a bowl of ice water
and place in the refrigerator for at about 20-30 minutes.

Use as desired.

   
serving peas

Pretty Peas

Serve cooked peas in a scooped out fresh tomato for a nice effect on a dinner plate.

   
How do I keep flowers fresh?

Keeping cut flowers fresh

A shot of vodka added to a vase will keep your cut flowers
fresher much longer.

   
garnishes

Frosted Grapes

Fresh grape clusters - green & red
1/2 cup pasteurized egg whites
Granulated sugar to coat

Preparation:

Wash and dry grapes.

Separate into clusters of desired size.

Beat pasteurized egg whites until frothy.

Using a small pastry brush, paint a cluster of grapes with egg whites.

Place grapes on a layer of sugar, then shake a thick coating of sugar over the cluster through a sieve.

Shake off excess and set the cluster on a wire rack.

When egg whites have dried, use frosted clusters as edible garnishes.

   
How do I make a centerpiece?

Edible Vegetable Centerpiece

Impress your guests with this decorative, edible centerpiece.

Buy a Styrofoam cone available at craft stores, cover with curly endive or lettuce secured with plain toothpicks.

Using cello-tipped toothpicks secure baby sweet pickles, sweet onions, cubes of cheese, olives, radish roses, Cherry Tomatoes, cubes of ham, salami and roast beef onto the covered cone.

Place filled cone on a platter secured with a little double stick tape.

Surround cone with additional crudite, melba toast rounds and other small crackers. Serve with your favorite dip on the side.

   
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Guru Spotlight
Sheri Ann Richerson