Festive decorations and fabulous food set the tone for a spirited feast.
It wouldn’t be the holidays without a dining table to decorate, wreaths to make, and a scrumptious menu of treats to prepare for your own personal fan club―the friends and family whom you cherish the most. This year, do things a little differently, and give a fresh twist to familiar ways of preparing the food, decorating the tree, and adorning your table. You’ll find plenty of inspiration, along with the tips, techniques, and terrific recipes you’ll need, right here.
This beautiful, classically furnished dining room possesses luscious coral-colored walls and billowy silk draperies―a warm and welcoming background for staging an unforgettable dinner for eight. To prepare for the special evening, designer Carole Sullivan created a variety of innovative floral accompaniments using various shades of green from pale celadon to deep jade. Consider all of Carole’s creations―including her lush tabletop garland of fresh flowers, the wreaths and napkin rings that she covered in hydrangea blossoms, and the lengths of sheer fabric that she tied to the chair backs―and choose one or more for decorating your home.
What’s an easy way to make flower wreaths such as these?
Cut hydrangea blossoms into smaller pieces. Insert the stems into a circular florist foam wreath, covering it completely. To make a square wreath, tape blocks of florist foam to a wooden picture frame, and then insert flowers. For extra color, place ‘Jade’ roses in florist water picks and insert into florist foam.
How do you make the floral napkin rings and candle collars?
Use a craft spray adhesive such as Tack 2000 Super Strength Spray Glue to attach flowers to pieces of 1-inch-wide satin ribbon. Cut the ribbon about 15 inches long for the napkins rings and about 12 inches long for the candle collars.
To make the base of the garland that runs down the center of the table, Carole cut blocks of florist foam in half lengthwise.
Then for added support, she wrapped pieces of chicken wire around the florist foam. She saturated the pieces of florist foam
with water and placed them in plastic trays that protect the table surface from moisture.
Carole shortened the flower stems to about 3 inches and inserted them into the florist foam. The green flowers she used include cymbidium and dendrobium orchids, bells-of-Ireland, ‘Kermit’ mums, ‘Jade’ roses, gladiolus, lady’s-mantle, and ‘Lenten’ rose. She also studded the arrangement with hypericum berries and blades of variegated liriope inserted into florist water picks. Carole arranged the flower-covered blocks of foam down the center of the dining table and then added tall square candles and groupings of votives at intervals.
Once they’re seated in the fabulous setting you’ve created, your guests will be thrilled with the menu you’ve chosen. It’s
a beautiful balance of delicacies―some to make ahead and others that you can prepare immediately before the meal.
An important holiday deserves fantastic food, and we think this menu absolutely delivers. Many of these are recipes that the
Southern Living Food staff turns to time and again for our own celebrations, as do so many readers. Entrées don’t come any grander than beef
tenderloin, and the Henry Bain Sauce served with this one is a Kentucky classic. Surround it with top-rated sides, and you
have a meal guaranteed to make memories. But the final bite is often the one you remember most, and you chose Cream Cheese-Coconut-Pecan
Pound Cake to finish off this spectacular meal. This full-bodied beauty will positively wow your guests. (Best of all, you’ll
likely have leftovers to enjoy with a cup of coffee the next day.) We’re betting you’ll find yourself at the table long after
the last crumb is devoured, basking in the warm glow of conversation and friendship.
No double oven, no problem. Follow our plan for a low-stress kitchen-to-table strategy.
Heaped high with a snowy drift of coconut, Cream Cheese-Coconut-Pecan Pound Cake is made all the more merry when trimmed with a wreath of sugared rosemary. For a festive presentation for your table, just follow these easy instructions.