Monday, August 31, 2015

Cheese Boards

My recent obsession for Friday evenings, baby showers, casual get togethers with friends and family, you name it, is a cheese board. I just love a good cheese board and have really had a great time recently "styling" my cheese boards.

So coffee table styling and bookshelf styling are really "in" right now and try as I might...I am just not that great at it. However, when it comes to food and styling a cheese board...I feel like I can really get into that. Pretty sure that's my inner foodie coming out...

Here is my most recent cheese board styling project:

I've been practicing...and Adam and I have definitely enjoyed the fruits of my "practice" cheese boards. But I owe a lot of my self-proclaimed success to two things...

Emily, at Cupcakes and Cashmere has an excellent post on The Modern Cheese Plate. And her finished product is pretty beautiful...makes me have some serious cheese envy...

(Photo from Cupcakes and Cashmere)
Natalie, at Designer Bags and Dirty Diapers also makes some killer cheese plates. I would highly recommend following her on Instagram, @snoopnattynat. I love her post on creating the perfect happy hour spread...and her photos can't lie...these are perfection!

Photo from Designer Bags and Dirty Diapers

Here are a few of the tips that I have found to be very helpful:

1. Choose a good serving piece as your backdrop. I love using a big wooden board (like a bread board...), or a nice white platter. If I know I'm going to have a lot going on in terms of food, I try to keep the serving piece neutral.

2. Limit your large ingredients. I used to make cheese boards with like five different types of cheese...I have since learned to stick with only two or three and let the garnishes really dress everything else up. 

3. Try to include at least one garnish item that is tart, one that is sweet, and something that is salty. For instance, I love to put pickled okra and olives for something tart, almonds for something salty, and grapes and fig preserves for something sweet.

4. Table water crackers are kind of a must have. They are a great base for all cheeses and can handle all sorts of flavors. That said, I also try to include a wheat or flaxseed cracker as well.

5. Go ahead and cut up some of the cheese. I think it gives some people anxiety to be the first person to "dig in" to a big block of a sister out, and cut or even break off a few pieces.

6. Think about texture when you put it all together. You want a cheese that is soft, a cheese that is hard, something crunchy like a cracker or a cornichon, something soft like figs, and something with a little punch, like grapes or apples. 

To get you are a few serving platters I love...happy styling (and more importantly...eating...)

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