Cheese Board

For a busy holiday party, I find it easier to serve an appetizer or cheese board while everyone is waiting for the dinner hour.  When guests arrive, it is very easy to have many types of cheese, nuts, dried fruit, condiments, crusty and multi-seeded bread ready to go. Guests can serve themselves while they enjoy conversation with others and the family.

I usually set up the table earlier in the day or the day before, depending on the guests’ arrival time.  I have the serving dishes ready to go and mark them with post-it notes so it is an easy task to assemble at the last-minute.

This technique has worked for me over the years and keeps me from not having to hunt for a certain platter or dish just as the party is starting.

This past Easter I served a cheese board with four cheeses, complimented with many choices for both sweet and savory snacking.

Here are some photos which included the following choices:

white cheddar cheese with blue seedless grapes, fig jam, and hard salami

mini mozzarella balls with grape tomatoes and fresh basil

black and green olives with small dill pickles

aged cheddar with blueberry honey and candied tangerine slices

Bremner wafers with candied ginger nuts

Gouda cheese with natural almonds and dried cherries

Dill Havarti cheese with crusty bread and multi-grain seeded bread

Carr’s crackers, raspberries and bar cheddar cheese

Chocolate eggs and jelly belly beans

Boska cheese boards

For Easter appetizers this year, I plan to share a cheese board with my family. I was recently introduced to a company from Holland that offers so many lovely products for preparing and serving cheese. They offer everything from slicers, graters, boards, and knives to fondue and raclette sets. Their products are high quality and were beautifully displayed at the home and housewares show in Chicago last month.

Here is what I plan to serve this year for my cheese board:  olives, dried apricots, cranberries, candied oranges, white cheddar cheese, fig jam, red onion jam, crackers, almonds, pickles, grapes, nuts, honey, Gouda and Jarlesberg cheeses. In addition, I will offer crusty bread slices, apple slices and raspberries.

Here are some photos of the Boska products that are available online on their website designed for United States residents.



Serving cheese

Pleasing presentation during entertaining has been encouraged for years by entertaining experts.  Presenting food in an appealing way actually encourages the overall interest for the food, including taste and food satisfaction.

I often consider what is the best plate, platter or tray to display appetizers or cheese for guests.  I was thrilled to receive a lovely new cheese plate for Christmas from my son and his wife.  I collect Emma Bridgewater china from England, and this cheese platter was a perfect addition to our home collection for entertaining.

One of the basic concepts for cheese and fruit platter presentation is allowing enough room around the cheeses to allow for complimentary flavors and tastes from other foods. With this in mind, it is very clear that a larger platter is a better choice for cheese tasting. This platter design includes the names of cheese in a lettered design layout. For any cheese platter presentation, use a few simple rules.

To start:  Choose an odd number of wedges for the platter. Add complimentary tastes with fruit, honey, crusty bread, or nuts.

Place the cheese in a circle, with the mildest cheese at the top and continue around the platter.  Choose cheese based on region of the World or just from America.  Too many types is overwhelming.  Stay with two or three types.   And consider the texture and the type of cheese.  Consider a theme.

Invest in a good set of cheese knives.  They make a huge difference. And finally, pair with a delicious choice of wines.

Cheese is a perfect appetizer or light bite for almost any occasion.  And having a cute platter makes it even more fun to share with others.


late summer snack on my new bamboo board

Ah, the last day of August is here.  I have been working in my garden for one week now, cleaning and dividing hosta and perennials.  It is the time of year that I look forward to dreaming of what my garden will be next year.  It is a time to think about what grew well and what could have been better.


I evaluate my sun and shade areas and make changes based on what trees the neighbors have removed and planted, creating those changes in my garden.  I look forward to thinking about new additions to my garden spaces for next year, and harvesting my onions, tomatoes, and herbs.

My husband was mowing the yard and asked for a small afternoon snack. So, I decided to serve some dill havarti cheese and some fresh end of the season raspberries.  I have a new #bambooboard that was sent to me for review on my blog.

It is a smaller size bamboo board which is perfect for a small presentation or for bar service.  And, is just the right size for slicing lemons and limes or for cutting a few stalks of celery for everyone’s favorite beverages. The board has a nice drip ridge for catching juices from citrus fruits keeping them from dripping through to the counter-top.

Bamboo is a great surface for a cutting board, as it will not dull knives like plastic cutting surfaces.  This board does not have any dyes or stains and is 100 percent bamboo. The board stores easily due to the smaller size and washes easily in soap and water.

Summer is coming to an end, but this bamboo board will easily move into Fall with many more uses in entertaining.



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