With the holiday season approaching, I’ve got entertaining on my mind!
I love entertaining friends and family, but let’s face it, it can be stressful. One way to manage some of this stress is to keep things simple – and that includes the food. One of my favourite entertaining essentials is the charcuterie and cheese board.
Here are some tips on making an irresistibly yummy and gorgeous charcuterie and cheese board! Enjoy your stress-free entertaining!
Related: 6 TIPS FOR KEEPING CUT FLOWERS FRESH
Here are a few reasons why a charcuterie and cheese board is the perfect entertaining essential:
⇾ You can customize it to your guests’ tastes, making sure it is perfectly fit for each crowd you entertain.
⇾ You can let your creativity soar by making all kinds of boards! For instance, a hot chocolate board with all the fixings needed to create the perfect cozy drink. Or what about a delicious dessert board? I’m getting excited (and hungry!) just thinking about the endless possibilities! 🙂
⇾ The presentation is a work of art! Saying this board is aesthetically pleasing is an understatement. A charcuterie and cheese board is a beautiful way to present food, and presentation is everything!
⇾ It’s a great conversation piece. Guests can’t help but talk about all the goodies they see! And, it serves as a really neat way for your guests to connect as they gather and serve themselves à la family-style dining!
But wait, what about the budget?
One, not so enjoyable, part about these boards is they often are costly to put together – with high-quality cheeses and meats costing a pretty penny.
What I’ve learned is to mix some high and low items, making it more affordable. In other words, splurge on a couple of high-quality cheeses and meats, and balance those costs with lower costing veggies or fruits, to stay within budget.
And plan your other entertaining costs around the board. If the board is the star of the show, focus and splurge a bit on that, and cut costs elsewhere.
Where to start?
You want to start with a beautiful board to display the goodies!
I have a gorgeous white marble slab, that I’m obsessed with, that I often use for my boards. It’s large enough to feed a crowd, and the perfect background to make all the food pop!
When deciding on a board, think size, colour, texture.
- Thoroughly dry your vegetables and fruits after rinsing
- Try to find a balance in types, i.e. equal amounts of veggies, to fruits, to cheese, to meat, etc.
- Balance in textures and consistencies, i.e. firm and soft cheeses, to soft spreads and dips, to crunchy vegetables and crackers, etc.
- Balance in flavour, i.e. spicy meat with sweet fruit
- Cut veggies in easy bite-size pieces for easy serving
- Roll up meat slices for a pretty presentation
- Group each item together for best presentation, i.e. all strawberries together, all cucumbers together, etc.
- Keep some space between food items, so guests have enough room to cut larger items (i.e. cheese, bread, etc.)
- For larger items (i.e. cheeses, loaf), leave a portion whole, and cut some individual serving size pieces for easy grabbing and beautiful presentation
Let’s talk, yum!
As I mentioned above, these boards are highly customizable. The most important part is to Include items you know your guests will enjoy!
The options are endless. Here are some ideas from my latest board:
- Jalapeño Havarti
- Garlic & Herbs Cheese Spread
Veggies & Fruits:
- sweet red and yellow bell peppers
- sugar snap peas
- green olives
- veggie dip
Add a loaf of bread with some crackers.
And pair it with a lovely wine, if your guests are wine drinkers.
And there you have it, my tips on creating the perfect charcuterie and cheese board. Happy stress-free entertaining, friends!