Q. Paula, I’m hosting my soon to be in-laws for a New Year’s Day Party and I want to impress them with my food presentation. What are some great tricks for presenting my plates of appetizers in a unique way?
A: Lisa, I always say we eat with our eyes first. Beautiful presentation is just as important as how good the food tastes. Think about colors and contrast. Brightly colored glass plates or patterned serving plates will show the food off nicely. Think about lining your serving platters with banana leaves. A tip I use is to spray the banana leaf first with a non stick baking spray. It will make the leaf shine and won’t harm your food. Also, serve your food in individual containers. For a New Year’s Day party, make a batch of Banana Pudding and serve it in small mason jars with jute twine tied around the jar and tie a tag that says 2010 on each one! I also like to serve appetizers in unexpected containers like Asian bamboo steamers! My guests are always pleasantly surprised when they open the lid to find Baby Back Ribs and not pot stickers! Probably my favorite thing to do is use some of my grandmother’s old china in different ways. I’ll put the dipping sauce from my Buffalo Chicken Livers with Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce in a couple of old tea cups on a large platter with the Buffalo Chicken Livers surrounding them. Or, try this one. I make my Sausage Balls and I put them in individual little egg cups with an appetizer pick! Just have fun Lisa, and the most important thing you can do to impress your future in-laws is just be yourself.