Food Stylist Extraordinaire Sarah Thompson shares even more fabulous ideas for taking your presentation to the next level. When it comes to beautiful food, Sarah really takes the cake!
"Food presentation, or styling, will allow you to become an artist in your own home. That's what a true cook is—an artist who has the skills to allow the freedom of imagination and the ability to translate their ideas to the plate," Sarah says.
"There are specific tips that a food stylist uses professionally, but many of them transfer to the home-cook's kitchen. With a small amount of effort and time, it's easy to make healthy recipes look mouthwatering. How you present your recipe makes all the difference."
Bundle matchstick-cut veggies, like carrots, red and yellow peppers and zucchini together; secure with green onions and carefully tie into a knot. Steam bundles in a skillet with a little chicken broth, water or wine.
Recipe: Festive Bean 'n' Pepper Bundles
Use a plastic storage bag to help with a garnish and for good portion control. Pipe evenly spaced dollops of whipped cream around the top edge of your cake. Use one dollop for each serving. To serve, cut between each dollop. Garnish with a citrus slice, mint leaf or dark chocolate shreds.
Recipe: Truffle Cake with Candy Cane Cream
"It's a Cinch" Side Dish
Veggie ribbons are an impressive side dish that are a cinch to make! Trim ends from zucchini and yellow squash. Use a vegetable peeler to make long, thin strips. Steam until tender and toss with your favorite vinaigrette.
Recipe: Squash Ribbons
It's a Tie
Tie a fresh chive or green onion into a knot, snip the ends or leave them. Garnish each plate with a touch of green. This is a nice garnish to a bowl of soup, too. Float a small cracker or crouton in the soup and top it off with a tied chive.
Recipe: Carrot Soup
Rice is Nice When Its Got Shape
The next time you're having stir-fry, instead of plopping the rice on your plate, free-form style, pack the rice tightly into a 1/2 or 1 cup dry measuring cup coated with cooking spray. Turn it out onto the dinner plate. Spoon stir-fry mixture over the top and around the rice; garnish with a tied chive or green onion.
Recipe: Hamburger Stir-Fry
Super-Simple Dessert Idea
Plan ahead and hollow out a few oranges. Scoop frozen yogurt or sherbet into the orange shells and return to the freezer until ready to serve. Garnish each with a curl of orange, lemon or lime zest or a combination of the three! The citrus peel curls can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge or freezer until you're ready to garnish. Using a citrus zester, zest a long strand of the citrus peel. Carefully wrap it around the handle of a wooden spoon. Secure with plastic wrap and store in fridge or freezer at least 15 minutes.
Recipe: Orange Dream Cups