Magazine article Sunset

Just Desserts

Magazine article Sunset

Just Desserts

Article excerpt

An all-sweets shindig is a great way to splurge on flavor--not your bottom line. L.A. pastry chef Diana Sproveri of Di's Kitchen, whose fans include David Schwimmer and Jennie Garth, dishes on how to host a delicious dessert party ... even if you can't bake.

How to get the look

* BUDGET BONUS A few quick styling ideas elevate the look of your party at little cost. Goodwill is a great place to stock up on vintage cake plates, jars, glassware, and serving pieces.

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KEEP THE PALETTE SIMPLE Stick to one or two shades for dishes and linens: "The food is the star of the show, so don't overwhelm the table with too many colors," says Sproveri.

UPGRADE YOUR COOKIE JAR Display cookies in glass apothecary vessels with a pair of tongs.

PLAY WITH HEIGHTS "Different levels add to the appeal of the food," says Sproveri, who arranges cupcakes on towers and mini cakes and bars on tiers and cake plates.

STYLE LIKE A PRO Her trick to pump up humdrum desserts like brownies: "Cut them in small squares, dust with powdered sugar, and place in fanned-out mini-muffin liners."

GO RETRO Desserts feel old-fashioned--in a good way. Pick up vintage dishes at a secondhand store and, if you stick to one color, don't be afraid to mix and match styles. That's part of the fun.

What to serve

* BUDGET BONUS Desserts are deliciously cheap compared with dinner ingredients or a full bar.

SHAKE IT UP Plan to have lots of different desserts (brownies, sugar cookies, cupcakes, lemon squares) to make the party feel festive. …

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