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Sophisticated Appetizers in 5 Simple Steps: Birchbox Test Kitchen

You miiiight have noticed by now that Birchbox staffers have an ever-so-slight obsession with food, from colorful (and totally yummy) vegetables to delicious smoothies. Which is why we’ve enlisted our in-house recipe guru Nicole to divulge her kitchen secrets each week, sharing seasonal ingredients, must-have tools, and new cooking methods. 

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Whatever the occasion—say, an upcoming Oscars party this weekend—appetizers are a delicious and fun way to introduce your guests to the wonderland that will be your dinner party. Plus, since apps are a communal finger food, they handily help encourage guests to become familiar with one another while you put the finishing touches on the next course, refill drinks or adjust your iTunes party playlist.

Whether you’re the kind of person who throws dinner parties every weekend, or if you’re only in the kitchen for a special event, we can all agree that no one wants to be caught without a go-to recipe for a sudden small gathering.

Not to fear! Below are two amazing appetizers that you can pull together in 5 easy steps—all you need are basic ingredients that are easy to procure from any grocer. One’s creamy and one’s salty, so these dishes perfectly complement each other and look pretty when plated together when served in something like this elegant Core Bamboo Entertaining Set. Click through for Nicole’s recipes!

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3 Easy Ways to Spruce Up Your Home Decor

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Whether you live in a tiny apartment or a sprawling ranch-style home, chances are you don’t get to update your décor as frequently as you’d like. I know I’ve been stuck with the same furniture since my first apartment after college because hey, it still works. But even if you don’t have the budget to do a redecoration right now, there are still a lot of small, very easy things you can do to make your home feel fresh and impress guests.

1) Incorporate pops of color into your color scheme: I can’t get enough of these cobalt blue C. Wonder Foo Dogs, which would look trés fetching on the book shelf next to my copy of Isabella Blow’s biography and old copies of New York Magazine. I’ve also got my eye on these Core Bamboo Utensils with color-blocked handles, which would certainly encourage me to cook more frequently. 

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