Beautiful Buffets

You don't need an enormous table to entertain big. Set up mini-buffets throughout your house, and serve everything from appetizers to desserts.
William Dickey / Styling: Lisa Powell Bailey / Food Styling: Rebecca Kracke Gordon, Pam Lolley

Think location, location, location when you set up your next party. Find three fabulous places in your home to serve each course. A perky salsa bar sits on a kitchen island; the main course is spread on a table near the fireplace; desserts stand on a sideboard in the dining room. The idea is to keep guests moving from one place to the next and re-energizing the conversation with each new destination.

Featured Buffet Recipes:


Setting Up

  • Create a cascade of heights with the serving dishes and decorations. We layered two platters, with a napkin in between, to elevate the potatoes.
  • Scatter tiny bouquets of ribbon-tied flowers and clear iridescent flower-arranging pebbles on the table.
  • Identify recipes with place cards. These ceramic ones come with an erasable marker. Log on to a search engine, and enter “erasable ceramic place cards" to locate a style that suits you. Or buy inexpensive tiles at a home-improvement store, and use a dry-erase marker to add the recipe title.
  • Check the position of votive candles by pretending to serve yourself--you don't want to chance a guest getting burned.

"Beautiful Buffets" is from the December 2005 issue of Southern Living.