ST. LOUIS – I enjoy cooking and making food art, especially during the holiday season. I do my best to make ordinary food items look extraordinary when plating and serving them to whet the appetite and to create an incredible presentation to make my family and friends feel extra special.

Here are some simple things I do at Christmastime to make food stand out!

Courtesy: Shirley Washington

I presented this salad on a clear plate, which was placed on top of a holiday card. I added some leafy greens, mushrooms, and sliced a couple cucumbers and cherry tomatoes to make a festive salad wreath.

Courtesy: Shirley Washington

I took this pound cake drizzled with white icing, which took me all day to bake – just kidding. I bought the cake from a local grocery store and added some strawberry roses to it. Yes, I cut the strawberries into the shape of a rose and placed them in the center of the cake and around the cake along with some leafy greens and red and green grapes to make the cake look festive.

Courtesy: Shirley Washington

How about an edible Christmas tree? This is super easy. Just take a piece of cardboard and cover it with aluminum foil, shape some parsley into a triangle, make space to add celery, cherry tomatoes, green olives and Colby Jack cheese squares. Use a piece of celery for the tree trunk. That’s how you make an edible Christmas tree! Enjoy! Happy holidays!