The holidays are officially here. A ton of you have been messaging me asking for recipe ideas and I’m going to be honest, I’m not on top of my game right now. I’ve been so busy with work and traveling, I’ve barely turned my oven on in the last few months.
One of my signature Lazy Girl moves when entertaining or showing up to a party: make an epic cheese plate! Cheese Plates are an awesome way of putting together a super last minute appetizer that looks impressive but takes relatively no time or skill. Perfect right? You can totally cheat your way into everyone’s hearts by throwing some cheese and meat onto a cutting board. The trick is: you have get kind of artsy with it and throw a few other things on that make it all look pretty. But at the end of the day, everyone will be happy because they get to eat cheese.
FACT: If I could eat cheese for dinner every night, I totally would. Charcuterie is basically my favorite food group. Also, there’s no cooking involved. So you can’t use that whole “I’m a terrible cook” excuse. You literally just have to unwrap things.
How to Throw Together A Last Minute Cheese Plate
Alright, let’s not waste any time. If you’re stressed out looking for a last minute appetizer to bring to your family’s house, or you’ve got people coming over to your house in a few hours… here’s everything you need to know to make an epic cheese plate.
You don’t need to go to a fancy store. Just run to your local supermarket. No one will know that you didn’t spend hours scouring through your farmer’s market for the perfect combination of brie and bread.
The key is to make sure you’ve got a little bit of variety and some different textures and flavors. You need at least one cheese, but if you have a couple you can’t go wrong.
Cheese Plate Shopping List
- Pick a couple of cheeses. I like to get one soft and one hard cheese (at minimum). Depending on the number of people you’re trying to feed. If you want to get really wild, buy a cheese ball. Not only is it soft and easy to eat, it serves as a nice “fancy looking” centerpiece, but really it’s just a bunch of cheese rolled into a ball that you can spread all over your crackers.
- Don’t stress on the types of cheeses. All types are delicious. No one will ever complain because you just stuck with the basics. Normally, I recommend going to the “fancy cheese section” that’s usually near the deli. Here’s where it get’s a little confusing. Don’t buy the packaged, shredded cheese or string cheese. Go into the grown up cheese section and pick out a couple of wedges/rounds of cheese.
- Grab some nuts or a nut mix, olives, dried fruit or a few small snacks to fill up the plate.
- Pick out a fruit spread (like fig or quince) or a honey. This is one of the items that takes your cheese plate to the next level and look super fancy and grown up.
- I always add meat to my cheese plate, aka a “charcuterie”. I like to pick a couple of different types of salami out. You can skip this step if you’re not a fan of meat. I normally pick one normal salami and one spicy.
- Throw in a couple types of crackers or bread. If you’re going to buy bread, make sure it’s a baguette that hasn’t been sliced. No one wants to put their cheese on a hamburger bun. I like to pick out a fairly neutral cracker and then a less traditional one, like a flatbread or one with some nuts and dried fruit.
- Here’s the pro tip: don’t just throw your stuff onto a plate. I like using a cutting board or something a little different to display my cheese. You don’t have to buy a designated “cheese plate”. Get creative. Arrange your cheeses and meats on the board first and then fill in the gaps with the “accessory items”. I like to fold my meat rather than just laying it all out, it makes it look like I took the time to strategically place it all. And don’t forget to put out a knife as well so your guests can dig in!
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