Last week I had the pleasure and privilege of giving a seminar on decorating with desserts at Ethan Allen.  Dessert is the much anticipated end to a meal. Who doesn’t love dessert?   Why not use your desserts as decoration as you celebrate all your occasions, especially Christmas and Hanukah? Set the dessert table up in advance in the dining room, the living room or even the foyer so people can enjoy visions of sugar plums all night. You will be surprised how a dessert table becomes a focal point.  It is like having a sweet shop in your home.

Be prepared to set up your sweet table scape by planning well ahead.  The right dishes and cutlery, the centerpiece, serving pieces and candles can all add interest.  Ethan Allen has so many style tables to choose from Modern, Explorer, Vintage, Romance or Elegance - remember to stay within your style for serving plates, fabric and basket choices.  Designing a plan for your dessert table will be a rewarding experience for you and your guests!

Imagine all the elements you can use for effect.  Start with a creative centerpiece, some apothecary jars with candy, lots of beautiful cakes and cookies.. A gingerbread house (real or imitation) is always a good centerpiece or a beautiful huge chocolate cake or chocolate yule log. Decorated  cupcakes, pies, cookies and chocolates are often decoration themselves.  Plan to use some fun and exciting cake pedestals and plates.  Scatter peppermints around the table.

Think ahead about your table cloth or use of runners. How about small stockings and mittens with utensils and cookies in bowed bags as favors in baskets?  Putting bows on the cake pedestals or baskets lends charm.  Stores like Pier 1 offer Tasting Party Service, collections of small plates, bowls and glasses to offer small portions of desserts and appetizers. Let your mind create an extraordinary vision to top your beautiful furniture.

Remember to stay within your theme and decorating style.  People we be dazzled by your efforts.  Creating a dessert table will be a conversation piece and make your holiday entertaining a huge success.

- Barbara Esatto, The Chocolate Goddess