Entertaining during the holidays doesn’t have to be complicated. Serving simple items and dishes that are plated and presented beautifully can give the appearance that a lot more effort was required.

Next in our winter series, let’s look at how to creatively dish out the snacks and sweets for your holiday guests.

What Italian feast doesn’t include a hunk of crusty, chewy bread or fresh breadsticks served with extra virgin olive oil for dipping?

While we like to keep it simple, we make it special by sourcing the best tasting freshly baked breads we can find and serving them warm with our favorite olive oil for special occasions. A little garnish of green is all you need to create a beautiful platter, or you can kick it up a notch with some dried fruits or fresh Mediterranean olives.

rosso dishes with bread

Dessert can be an excuse to entertain all on its own. You can start by inviting friends over for an Italian coffee with a shot of Strega, a digestif with hints of juniper, mint, and saffron. Top it off with some fresh whipped cream and a hint of grated nutmeg. Delizioso!

Whether post dinner or a dessert only party, creating a dessert bar offers a variety of options and the serving pieces can make it even more interesting.

Using the simple beauty of fruits with stems and leaves intact alongside homemade cakes and cookies is a winning combination. This cake pictured was made by our food stylist with a wonderful mold that makes the most basic recipe look sophisticated. Serve it on a beautiful dish with a sprig of holly or sliced lemons or oranges and it takes it to a whole other level.

rosso with sweets and fruit

If you have a larger group, you can add bowls and cups of beautiful candies or nuts to fill out your dessert bar. Not everything has to be homemade – sometimes just a hint of something to satisfy a sweet tooth is all your guests require.

Read our next installment - Picture Imperfect