My first job ever was at a catering company in Greenwich called Watson's on Pemberwick. Everyday, after school, I'd ride my bike down to the store, where I worked as a dishwasher, scrubbing floors and taking out the garbage. It wasn't long, though, before I worked my way up cooking, doing window displays, styling tables and (my favorite!) creating that all-important holiday hors d'oeuvre, the Crudité. I've always loved how pretty they can be, especially when you pair crisp, colorful vegetables with a beautiful antique vessel. Hollowing out a cabbage is my favorite way to do a crudité. Just remember, the larger the leaves, the better. That way, you'll have more to work with when you're doing the arrangement. 


First, peel back the large outer leaves of the cabbage. Then cut out a circle from the top and use a melon baller to hollow it out.


Making a crudité is like doing a flower arrangement. Think groupings. Celery with celery. Carrots with carrots. For the container, I used one of my favorite French porcelain baskets. The dip is a classic 1950s recipe my grandmother Dottie taught me. It's complex, so get your pen out. Ready? Sour cream, together with Lipton Onion Soup Mix. How easy is that? Sure, you could spend hours doing a dip from scratch, and when I was in culinary school, believe me, I did. But sometimes, you just can't beat the convenience (and taste!) of Lipton's. With a beautiful presentation, who'd know the difference? Check out the final result!


How simple (and stunning!) is that? Sure to be the hit of any holiday party, especially yours! And for even more of a shortcut, buy a pre-cut platter from the grocery store, then ditch the plastic!


Have a great weekend, everyone, and happy crudité!