5 Ways ... to Dress Your Dinner

So, as it turns out, home-cooked meals don't always look as beautiful as the picture that made your mouth water in Gourmet Magazine. As a firm believer of the idea that you first eat with your eyes, the way your food looks can be just as important as the way your food tastes. There are tons of simple tricks that can add the perfect finishing touch to your dinner, and make your friends think you got help from a pro. Here are a few of ours:

1. Add a Pop of Color:

Make your dishes look lavish by adding a pop of color. The main thing to remember with this one is that if you're going to add the splash of color into your food, rather than around it or atop, that the flavors need to be complimentary.
Our suggestions: citrus wedges, juicy cranberries, pickled veggies, & wasabi peas

Photo: Stephen Hamilton

2. The Art of Sauce:

Adding a sauce to a meal is a really great way to add flavor and color, but can sometimes take away from the look of your dish if it's applied too sloppily. One of the best ways to avoid a messy presentation is to place the sauce directly on the plate, rather than over the food. This technique adds an artistic quality to your food and at the same time avoids a potentially over sauced dish by allowing each diner to apply the sauce to their liking.

Photo: Romulo Yanes

3. Fruit Twists:

Although fruit twists are in no way an innovative food garnish, most people don't take the time to make them at home. This can work in your advantage by making guests feel pampered by something normally only provided at restaurants. Easy, beautiful, and inexpensive, adding a twist of lemon, lime, or orange to cocktails is a great way to add visual interest.

Photo: Christopher Griffen

4. Creative Ice Cubes:

Another fun way to add color and flavor to beverages is freezing fruit into your ice cubes. It looks super fancy considering how simple it is, and it serves a purpose: keeping your drink cold. Be sure to use something that would be complimentary to the beverage you're serving!
Our suggestions: blueberries, halved grapes, or pomegranate seeds

Photo: Jerry Errico

5. Chocolate Shavings:

We all know the most decadent part of any meal is the dessert course, and it should look the part. An easy and tasty way to add visual interest to desserts is by adding chocolate shavings. You can vary the texture and color by using different types of chocolate. This technique sounds tricky, but you can find an easy how-to here.

Photo: Kenji Toma
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