Thank you to Cost Plus World Market for sponsoring today’s spread!
New Years will be upon us in no time. With Christmas just before, planning a party to celebrate 2017 may seem a bit overwhelming, but I assure you, it’s not. It can be easy actually if you stick with my go to party solution, a cheese and charcuterie board. Elegant and delicious, it’s an ideal spread that will please just about everyone.
For this spread, I teamed up with Cost Plus World Market. If you didn’t know, they carry a wide range of foods as well as the serving essentials needed to create an ultimate board. For the exception of a few grocery store ingredients, berries, herbs and dried fruits, everything was picked up right at my local Cost Plus World Market. To help you decode this cheese and charcuterie board, I crafted a little “how to” for you. I hope you find it helpful, and please, if you use any of the tips, make sure to share a photo with me. I’d love to see your food art.
Use multiple platters.
Just because a board is small doesn’t mean it can’t do big things. Layering multiple pieces, from boards to bowls and stands, can create the feel of one large serving platter. To make it feel cohesive, fill in areas that have a break (where two pieces meet or are layered) with food. You can also use herbs and florals to hide gaps.
Have the right serving pieces.
Food can look pretty, but it’s all for not if people don’t have the essentials tools to serve themselves. Always be prepared with spreaders, spoons and other silverware that is necessary for serving. The best way to do this involves preplanning the spread, so you can jot down how many serving pieces you’ll need. That way you only need to purchase what is required of your board.
Choose a theme and incorporate variety.
It’s easy to pick up a ton of food, but it doesn’t mean it will all go together. I suggest picking a theme and sticking to it. For example, this board has a bit of an Italian theme with the artichokes, Italian meats, dipping oil and bruschetta. Also, consider flavors and texture. Because there are so many salty components, include a mild cheese and something sweet, such as a preserve or sweetener like honey. Think about balancing textures, too, with crunchy elements such as nuts.
Make it look appetizing.
A cheese and charcuterie board can stand up beautifully on it’s own, but what makes it even more lovely are the details you put into the board to make it feel almost like a garden. Florals, for instance, add charm, while fresh produce is visually pleasing. My vote is always to decorate a board with edible items. I find it beautiful when foods are combined with herbs and vegetables. Plus, if your guests really want to eat the garnishes/decorations, they are free to do so.
Set out food wisely.
This may be a no brainer, but I must say it just in case. I want to be responsible, you know? Ideally, your food setup should start with putting out items that sit at room temperature well. Foods that fit this include nuts, crackers, breads and preserves. After that, slice the meats to be placed on the board alongside foods that match the flavors. Finally, right before guests arrive, place the cheeses. By waiting for people to arrive, you are less likely to have cheese sitting around and gaining dry patches from exposure to the air.
So there you have it, my tips for crafting the best cheese and charcuterie board for New Years or truly, any other occasion that requires a quick and beautiful treat.