Remember this: when it comes to food (and only food), it’s all about appearances. That’s right – prepare a clean, crisp, stylishly set table or buffet, and your guests will never suspect your pre-made main course. Note: This doesn’t mean you need expensive dishes.

“It’s not about spending a lot of money,” writes Susan Spungen in What’s a Hostess to Do? “More expensive platters don’t guarantee the the food will look beautiful. Sure, you might invest in some special pieces, like a silver bowl or fancy glassware, but all that matters is that the food look enticing and inviting, which can be achieved with even the humblest serving pieces.”

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November 10, 2013