Joy the Baker

The Perfect Cheese Plate

November 8, 2011

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Let’s be people that host parties.

Let’s not just have people over… let’s host parties.

Let’s be people that look effortlessly elegant all night… even if this just means wearing the perfect pair of flattering jeans.

Let’s be people who always have perfect lipstick. Let’s be people who wear comfortable and stylish heels all night. Let’s be people who rock the most appropriate obscure playlist.

Let’s be people who start the game of Pictionary.

Let’s be people who send guests home with full bellies and warm cookies.

It all starts with a perfect cheese plate! And it’s totally not even hard! Come on… Play along!

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The Perfect Cheese Plate!

These are just suggestions.  It’s totally a create-your-own-adventure situation:

You’ll need a clean board, a piece of parchment paper, or a large brown paper bag, cut open and crinkled.

4 to five cheeses.

Try an aged cheddar like Hook’s 12 year cheddar. Pair cheddar cheeses with sweet cherry or blackberry jam. The sweet fruit and sharp cheddar combination is stellar.

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Try a French cheese like Abondance. Semi-hard, raw cow’s milk, almost Swiss like cheese with salty pickles and crisp crackers. Straight classy!

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Try a a creamy goat cheese like (mmmm!) Truffle Goat Cheese. Let the truffle take center stage. Simple crackers and a sprinkling of black pepper are totally major. This is a popular cheese. It will be gone in a flash. Be warned!

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Try a stinky and bold blue cheese. This cheese is made from raw cows milk… Making it even more crazy tangy… It’s also aged in grape leaves. This strong, blue-veined cheese pairs really well raw honey. The sweetness eases the aggressive nature of the cheese.

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These are two VERY simple recipes.  Feel free to just eyeball it all.  Keep it simple.

To make Quick Pickles… it’s easy!

this recipe is adapted from Rachel Ray

Print this Recipe!

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon whole mustard seed

1 teaspoon salt

1 smashed clove of garlic

a bit of fresh dill

a bay leaf

2 english cucumbers, sliced thin

In a small saucepan, heat vinegar, sugar, mustard, and salt over high heat.  Heat until sugar dissolves.  Add garlic clove, dill and bay leaf.  Pour mixture over sliced cucumber and chill.  Leave in vinegar mixture and serve with cheese plate.

Roasted Chick Peas

2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas

about 2 tablespoons olive oil

generous sprinkling Spanish paprika, cumin, black pepper, and salt.

a sprinkling of cayenne pepper

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.

Rinse and dry chickpeas.  Toss with olive oil and spices.  Bake until crispy and slightly golden, about 20 to 25 minutes.  Toss a few times through baking.

Remove from the oven.  Cool slightly.  Serve with cheese.


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