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Great Food Decorating Ideas for a Holiday Buffet

Dig out the good plates and silverware — you have a holiday meal to present! Along with using your finest serve wear, give each dish a little extra attention. Here are some food decorating ideas to impress your guests:

Go Vertical With Veggies: Skip the standard veggie tray appetizer. With a little creativity, you can make an edible topiary. Use a cone-shaped floral foam and cover it in foil. With toothpicks, stick broccoli in the foam to create an evergreen tree. Then garnish with cherry tomato bulbs, garlands of yellow bell pepper slices, and baby carrot ornaments. Serve a healthy dip, such as hummus, alongside the tree in a star-shaped bowl. If you want, you can use extra ingredients, like kale leaves and mushrooms, to add on to the “tree.”

Dress Up the Entree: Whether you’re serving a holiday goose, ham, turkey, or rack of barbecue ribs, add some color to the platter. Lay the meat on a bed of curly green kale leaves. Then, arrange red tomatoes cut to look like roses or halves of lemons cut with a fancy edge around the meat. This pop of color will have your guests snapping pictures in no time.

Use Decorative Containers: If you’re assembling a table of desserts, use holiday-printed cupcake liners to present bite-size portions. This is an easy way to help health-conscious guests only have a bite or two of sweets. Brownies, fudge, mini muffins, small cookies, petit fours, rum balls, and sugared nuts can all be served in these small individual cups.

Try Flavorful Garnishes: Don’t let your food decorating ideas be limited to making the dishes look better — use garnishes to add flavor to the meal, too. Arrange festive lime and orange peels or zest on a bowl of cranberry relish. Dress up plain white mashed potatoes with coarse chopped sprigs of green parsley. Add chopped walnuts and dried cranberries to the top of a gelatin fluff salad.

Use Cookie Cutters: If you’ll have lots of kids at the dinner table, make the meal fun. Use cookie cutters to turn slices of fruitcake into seasonal shapes such as stars or bells. Small cookie cutters can also work on sliced cucumbers or apples. Turn them into candy-cane shapes!

Add Unexpected Colors: Decorate a bowl of coleslaw for Christmas. Start by soaking shredded cabbage in beet juice to naturally dye it a rich shade of red. Then prepare the slaw as usual. Finally, toss in a few healthy add-ins such as chopped nuts or raisins.

Christmas is a great time to go overboard on festive decorations. With a few creative touches and a sense of fun, you can set out a spread that’s both delectable as well as pleasing to the eye.

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