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Holiday Centerpieces Good Enough to Eat

You’ve got the guest list, the menu and the date all set. What’s next on the list when you are getting ready for that holiday party?

Decorating.

And, contrary to popular opinion, foodies aren’t necessarily decorators, anymore than we are all chefs. We need ideas around the things we love. Like food.

So, what’s better for the focus at your table than something made with food? You can easily create an edible centerpiece with these ideas from The Food Channel chefs (who are exceptionally good at making food look great).

“For me, it’s about the unexpected,” says Judy Sipe, who directs all of the culinary creations that come out of The Food Channel’s Test Kitchens. “It’s creative, and colorful, and sort of a visual surprise.”

“It’s also smart from an economic standpoint,” says Chef Gail Cunningham. “It’s an inexpensive way to get high visual impact.”

Here are just some of the edible centerpieces they suggest for this holiday season:

Turn your cookie platter into a snow globe and use it as a tempting centerpiece (just see how long it takes until a guest can’t resist lifting the lid!)

Combine the deep purple of grapes with the bright red of roses and just wait for the comments to pour in.

Fill vases with heirloom tomatoes and set them around the room; then, at the end of the night, hand each guest a gift bag and let them fill it with tomatoes to take home to enjoy

Clove citrus fruit, such as an orange, and reap the benefit of the great smell along with the traditional holiday look.

Set out bowls of red and green apples to play up holiday colors . . . just don’t be surprised if a few come up missing!

Fill a big bowl with fruit (bing cherries are great, in season) and set it within reach for guests to nibble—pile it high, and use it for dessert

Use kale or cabbage for that unexpected look

“I love edible decorations,” says Sipe, “because even when the event is over you get to enjoy them. There isn’t really any waste, and you get that extra bang from sharing some of your creativity with your guests—particularly when they take some of it home.”

So, next time you think about decorating, think food. And enjoy everything on the table!