Thursday, December 18, 2008

David Monn on Good Morning America Friday, December 19

This morning I was on Good Morning America giving last-minute affordable tips for holiday decorating. Below is a re-cap of some major points from the segment.

I want to give the basic tools I use for every event so you can create an special experience for your guests this holiday season. It is not about how much money you have, it is about how resourceful you are with it. To set the stage you need to engage the senses. The most important is your sense of smell. Always have a fragrance in your hall to greet your guests. Music is the second most important thing. Choose appropriate songs to create the mood. Now, here are my secrets to a great buffet table.

Wintergreen Dinner Buffet

Utilize the power that comes with one element and multiply, and use one accent color. Scale is also very important.
I've layered a white burlap lattice work pattern over this green felt table cloth. By simply pulling the threads from all corners you can create a cut work design. We also made 12 burlap napkins that are 24x24. We first fringed the napkin edges about 1 3/4". To create the inside border we used a ruler and measured 1 1/2" from the edge and pulled one inch worth of threads.
Creating levels for a buffet creates interest. As a simple guideline, there should be no dish higher than your elbow when you are standing. To created these buffet stands use floral foam and boxwood. We used about three bricks for the largest stand for food.

Winter Wonderland Dessert Buffet

I love desserts, in fact, I learned to ski to get to a piece of cake. This is my fantasy all white dessert table. Its the easiest table to create especially if you are short on time!

It's very simple; using the power of one main color-white- create a winter wonderland. The table cloth is quilt batting with two white strand of Christmas lights under it. This is an old cut up birch log we used as the food levels. If you don't have a log you can also cover cardboard boxes. White boas from the dollar store and fake snow from Kmart complete the look.

We sprayed paper snowflakes with glitter to add scale and balance for the dessert table.

Send guests home with leftovers in over-sized mason jars tied with ribbon.

My favorite cookie recipe

Horn Symphony (a/k/a Lady Locks)
From the kitchen of Marcia Shertzer

(Makes about 70 cookies)

2 – 8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese
½ lb. margarine
½ lb. butter
4 c. flour

Mix all together, cover and refrigerate overnight. Work with small batches in cool place. Roll dough on powdered sugar. Cut into strips about 10” long by ¾” wide. Wrap around lady lock form (or round wooden clothes pin) making sure to overlap dough. Bake on greased cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Pull off form while still warm. Cool cookies before filling.


4 c. powdered sugar 1 c. Crisco
4 Tbsp. butter 4 Tbsp. flour
6 Tbsp. half and half 2 egg whites
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Mix all together until smooth. You can substitute almond or orange extract for vanilla for a different taste.
Happy Holidays!