A Cutie Patootie Charcuterie
It's fun to say, and trust me, a lot easier to make than you might think.
Sharing a charcuterie board and a glass of wine with my friends or family is one of my favorite things to do. So when I started my blog, I knew that I would eventually write about my charcuterie boards, because I get asked about them quite a bit.
So follow along and I'll share my deepest secrets on how this works!
In all seriousness, I literally just throw together what I have on hand, trying to add different textures and flavors. And I usually DO have this kind of stuff on hand, because we make these boards all the time.
In fact, this is dinner for us quite often.
It all starts with a cute foundation - the platter (or platters - can't have too many) and cute little bitty bowls.
Oh my gosh there are so many cute ones out there! They come in all sizes, shapes and material so mix it up - pewter, wood, marble, ceramic.
I'm in love with this wooden board with the pewter squirrels!
And this pewter one is one of my favorites, and will fit a ton of food!
I love a good bargain, and I find most of these at Home Goods, Marshall's, Old Time Pottery, Tuesday Morning. I actually found this cute bamboo platter w/4 little square bowls at Aldi for less than $10.
I also love anything from Mud Pie designs, and even better as these were gifts from 2 sweet friends. These make me so happy, and I think of these friends every time I use them.
Once you have your foundation, let's chat about what goodies to pile up on there.
I usually buy most of these items at Aldi or Trader Joe's, because you can save SO much money on this stuff. Also nicer grocery stories, of course. But oh how I LOVE Aldi. You KNOW I'll blog JUST about Aldi at some point.
Cheeses -- different colors and flavors, sliced up however you like - don't try to make them uniform and perfect. The more random the better. Whatever is your favorite, we like cheddar, pepper jack, colby-jack, havarti (regular, pepper or dill), gouda, manchego. We seriously do not discriminate here at our house. (Well, maybe we draw the line when it comes to super stinky cheese)!! We have a really nice grocery store here called Hen House that has great selection of a brand called Sartori. Our favorites are the merlot, espresso, black pepper, balsamic, and the limited edition peppermint that we became hooked on during the holidays (promise, it's subtle!).
Cheese/Fig Spread -- Another fav is Boursin cheese (1 package) smashed down a bit on a separate plate or platter, covered with 1/2 a jar of Dalmatia Fig Spread. Oh LORDY, I can eat the entire thing, and I promise, people will ask you for the recipe. Have this stuff on hand, and it's ready in 1 minute, no joke. For yourself or for a party. Best served with these fig & olive crackers from Trader Joe's or something similar.
Crackers -- whatever you like! Here are some of my favorites.
Meat -- sliced salami, there are so many to choose from. Things to poke with a toothpick for easy eating (fancy, right?) -- turkey rolled up around an olive or cheese, little mozzarella sticks wrapped in italian meat - cut into thirds (you can find these everywhere, but my favorite place to get them is Costco).
Olives — anything you like, but my favorite are green Castelvetrano because they're not too salty. My girls like plain black olives but I’m not a huge fan. Marinated artichoke hearts are also a great addition, but in my family, I'm the only one who eats these so I don't add these too often.
Nuts, trail mixes, dried berries -- ok so seriously, the sky is the limit! Almonds, cashews, peanuts, dried cranberries, etc. Marcona Almonds from Costco are a little expensive, but worth every penny. I have found some really great flavored cashews at Trader Joe's and Aldi. They are so good!
Veggies & Fruits -- This adds so much color, and of course, you gotta balance out the cheese with a little of the healthy stuff, right? Aldi has a great 4-flavor hummus sampler that is amazing. My fav fruits to add are strawberries, blueberries, raspberries.
So now the FUN begins!
Step 1: Pour yourself a glass of wine.
Step 2: Place platters on counter.
Step 3: Open meats & cheeses and start slicing; gather handful and plop on one of your platters.
Step 4: Open bags of nuts and place on platters next to cheese/meat or in a cute bowl. Sit bowl on platter.
Step 5: Open olives and put in cute bowl on platter.
Step 6: Add anything else you have where you have room on your platter.
Step 7: Invite your friends in, have some fun conversation, a little wine, and enjoy.
You can spend a ton of time making it all perfect and "pretty", or you can spend that time enjoying your treats and conversation with your friends. They'll be super impressed and think that you worked hours, when it really only takes minutes to put together something that everyone will love!
There ya go! Charcuterie Boards 101. Can't wait to see what you come up with!