Whether hosting a sit-down dinner or having a few friends over for drinks, having a Cheese and Charcuterie Board ready when your guests arrive is a quick, no-cook way to get the party started. The key is to have a good selection of cheeses, meats, and accompaniments so your guests can try a little bit of everything, and perhaps, even discover a new cheese or cured meat.
The dizzying array of great cheeses and charcuterie available can be overwhelming, so I’ve pulled together a few tips on how to assemble your own board, including suggestions on how to select the cheeses and meats, how much to serve, and what accompaniments to serve. I’ve also included a few cheese and meat combinations for you to try like the Spanish-themed Cheese and Charcuterie Board pictured above, featuring Manchego cheese, dry chorizo, and marcona almonds.
Follow me to A Lucky Life blog now to read the rest of this article and get my tips on assembling this no-cook appetizer.
Thanks to the abundant sunshine, fertile soil, and cool coastal breezes, farmers up and down the state of California are able to grow a huge variety of crops, many of which are shipped all over the country. We are fortunate to live here in Southern California, where we have access to many of these locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables. Many of them, such as those featured in today’s recipe, are at their peak of flavor during the late spring to early summer.
A couple of weeks ago, I attended Camp Blogaway, a conference for food and recipe bloggers run by Patti Londre of Worth the Whisk. Special thanks to Christina Peters, of MDR Photography Classes, for telling me about the camp in the first place, and for graciously sponsoring me to attend. The camp, limited to about 100 bloggers, speakers, and sponsors, is held annually at Camp de Benneville Pines, located at about 6,800 feet in elevation in the picturesque San Bernardino National Forest in Southern California. All weekend long, we heard from top notch speakers who spoke about their careers in food, their experiences writing cookbooks and e-books, and their experiences working with PR agencies, literary agents, and brands.
I was first introduced to this light and refreshing appetizer about ten years ago (thanks, Auntie R), and I have been making it ever since. The stuffed endives look elegant, and they are a breeze to make. They’re perfect to serve at dinner parties since all the components may be prepped ahead of time and then quickly assembled right before guests arrive.
We Americans often think that bruschetta is the mixture of tomatoes, garlic, and basil on a slice of toasted bread. Bruschetta, from the Italian word bruscare, meaning to toast or burn, actually refers to the thick slices of grilled bread. Often served as a snack or appetizer, bruschetta is traditionally prepared by rubbing the bread with garlic and drizzling it with olive oil before toasting it over hot coals. Then the bread is topped with a simple mixture of tomatoes and fresh herbs. It is an easy way to showcase the excellent quality of freshly-pressed olive oil as well as a way to preserve bread that is beginning to get stale.
It is Japanese eggplant season at my house. Every week for the past few weeks, I have been harvesting two to three eggplants from the seedling I planted in early June. As it turns out, the variety I planted, called ‘Ichiban’, is a fast-growing and prolific producer of slender, purplish-black fruit. Like all eggplant, this Japanese hybrid thrives in warm weather, so it is very content in a warm, sunny spot in my garden. Continue reading →
I have never liked peppers, partly because I don’t have a high tolerance for spicy foods and because I don’t really care for their taste. When I do use them, mostly in the form of bell peppers, it is mainly to add color to stir-fries, salads, and kabobs. Then, last year, I discovered one exception to my great dislike for peppers in the form of the jalapeño. They have a moderate “kick” to them, but they’re not intense, especially when seeded and their membranes are removed. They became a slight obsession, even planting them in my garden so I could have a steady supply of them. Continue reading →
Tomato, basil, and mozzarella is a classic combination that’s perfect for summer, when tomatoes and basil are at their peak. This quick and easy appetizer is extra special when you use fresh burrata*, a fresh Italian cheese made by stuffing mozzarella with a mixture of more mozzarella and cream. On the outside, the burrata looks like mozzarella, but on the inside it is oozing with soft creamy goodness. It has a clean, milky taste that goes well with sweet roasted vine-ripened tomatoes and the slight saltiness of the basil pesto. Continue reading →