how to craft the perfect cheese board

now that the weather is getting a bit warmer, people are spending more time sitting on porches and back patios [or is it just me…?] what better way to spend the evening than sitting outside, drinking a bottle of wine while enjoying a cheese board? there isn’t one, just in case you were trying to figure it out.


my sister, tiffany, taught me that the key to a successful cheese board is to fill that sucker up. fill it with cheeses, and crackers, nuts, dried fruit, olives, spreads, dips, meats…. basically anything that you want to put on it, put on it. the more shapes and sizes to fill the space, the better; which, i understand, sounds a bit daunting. we aren’t all made of money and it can get expensive quickly. my favorite place to get goodies for a cheese board is trader joes. they’re typically pretty cheap and a little bit goes a long way.


i start with a couple kinds of cheese. depending on the size of the board two maybe three kinds but probably just two. i like to buy one softer and one harder kind. here is where i think about the ease of eating it too: will my cracker cut the cheese or do i need a cheese knife to cut it? will it crumble the second i pick it up and make a mess of my shirt and floor?

[and yes, you should actually think about these issues before you go shopping. or at least while you’re standing at the cheese counter.]

next come the crackers. i typically buy three different kinds. one version for my gluten free friends, and two other varieties. here is where you can really throw in a variety of different shapes and sizes.

i will always pick out olives for my board. like i said before, they’re a great filler and who doesn’t like olives? satan, that’s who. BUT, beware because not every olive is made equal. some are packaged in brine (i believe…) while others are packaged in oil. avoid the oil packaging! they have the ability to turn your board into a hot mess in no time. my personal favorite are castelvetrano green olives. don’t forget a cute bowl for your olive pits! i have these and they’re the perfect size! looks like they’re on sale now too!

i’m sure i’ve talked about these before, but if i haven’t, i’m sorry for keeping them from you for so long. trader joe’s has rosemary and truffle coated marcona almonds and they’re amazing! i can literally eat the entire bag in one sitting so i typically only buy them when i’m making a board.

when i’m on the hunt for meat, i keep in mind what meat tends to be a bit greasier than others. super greasy salami doesn’t look that appetizing once it’s been sitting out for half an hour. a trick when arranging your board is to roll some up and cut some in triangles – it’ll fill the random spaces of your board better than it being displayed the same way.

honestly, anyone can make a killer board with just the basics above. but if you’re trying to get a bit fancier with your board, well then, you go girl! opt for some dried fruit or maybe even some chocolate covered almonds.

the fun part is when you start to arrange the board. i like to start with the crackers and “dry ingredients” first as they won’t leave a film on the board if i don’t like how it looks.  don’t get discouraged when you’re being a total perfectionist and it doesn’t look “just right” because it certainly will look amazing to other people. AND, don’t forget – people are going to eat it. it’ll only look perfect until the first slice of cheese is devoured. 😀IMG_0418


what do you put on your cheese board?

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updates

let me start by just saying hello, “hello”.

1. my mom came to visit! it was such a good weekend and we had a blast when she was here.

activities: we drank. we dined. we shopped. we hiked. we laughed.

overall, it was a fabulous weekend.

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waitsfield, vermont
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mom, looking extra cute on our hike.
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panorama.
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dinner @ tiny thai – winooski, vermont

2. halloween is quickly approaching. and i love halloween. but only if i have an amazing costume. we’re having a party at our house on the 1st so i MUST have an amazing costume. here are some pictures i’ve been obsessing over.

how bada*$ is this?!  courtesy of ever magazine
how bada*$ is this?!
courtesy of ever magazine
"oh deer" this is precious courtesy of cheap frills & thrills
“oh deer” this is precious
courtesy of cheap frills & thrills
sugar skull
i have decided to do a sugar skull spinoff. i’ll be sure to post pics.

3. i am now the extremely proud & boastful owner of this heavenly piece of technology. 😀 i knew it was going to love it, but i wasn’t quite sure of the extent of love.

4. i’m cutting my hairs. all of them. today. ah. i’ve been wanting a little change and figured what better time but the present?! i’m going to salon cruz in burlington (never been there) and i’m actually really looking forward to it. i’ll be bringing in these pictures

 

5. i’m going to leave all you lovely readers with an article my dad sent me a link to recently… let me know your thoughts.  for me, it definitely makes me want to do a little bit of extra research before i buy something.

fast company article

happy wednesday!

work night

hi all you party people. hopefully you’re enjoying your weekends! i know i have thus far. unfortunately for me, my weekend ends tonight as i have a lovely 12 hour shift tomorrow.

my week recap:

tuesday – 

i had those girls over for a little date night. 2 things about that night to mention

1. the soup was SO good. like unbelievably good. and i mentioned how easy it was to make. i’m telling you-make it. you won’t be disappointed. the best part about it is, i threw everything in the crock pot the night before, pulled it out of the fridge set the cook time and voila. love those meals. here’s the recipe.

2. the movie was SO bad. ha. and there i was really excited to see it. let’s just say don’t waste your time. it’s a cool story (i cannot believe that it actually happened) but the acting is horrid. emma watson, you’re a much better hermoine than you are nicki.

can’t forget the company-love those girls so the night wasn’t a total bust. we ate good food, drank good wine, and laughed at the stupidity of the acting.

wednesday – 

no updates. work. run. eat. sleep.

thursday –

repeat wednesday

friday – 

my roommate, lindsay, and i both had the day off and we were remarkably productive! we’ve been living in our amazing house since the beginning of august but we’re finally starting to make it feel like our home.

and I FIXED MY CLOSET! i obviously am living in the one room in the entire house that doesn’t have a closet. (4th year in a row but don’t get me started….) lindsay and i attempted to hang one on the wall and that was just comical. it was holding up remarkably well for about 72 hours. then it started to make weird noises. there i am in my room, “no it’s definitely not the closet falling out of the wall, it must be like rodents just living in the wall”

HA.

i turn around and there are like two or three screws legitimately out of the drywall. side note – we are not as handy as we’d like to believe, in case that wasn’t obvious at this point.

so i ended up ripping the rest of it out of the wall and i put up this bad boy and i’m in love! it was super easy to put together (seeing as that i didn’t have to knock aimlessly around the wall to find a stud to screw it in) and it holds all of my clothes!

the one thing i don’t love is the fact that you can’t hang longer items without them dragging on the floor.

so to fix that little problem i’ll also be making this little contraption. it’s a no-brainer.

smitten-studio-garment-rack-diy2-copy1

picture & DIY courtesy of smitten studio

after our productive afternoon, we hit the town for our friend jess’ 30th birthday party! it was SO fun. we went to this little place called the cellar in burlington. we drank. we danced. we had a blast. oh, and we took pictures.

the whole gang @ the cellar
the whole gang @ the cellar
the birthday girl in the flesh
the birthday girl in the flesh

p.s. i wore my little booties again last night and i’m even more in love with them. they’re amazing. i would highly recommend purchasing a pair.

and hopefully we’ll wear them on the same day. and we can say we didn’t plan it.

have a fabulous sunday lovies!

date night

the date looks something like this:

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tonight a few girls are coming over to drink some wine, eat some good grub & watch the bling ring. i can’t wait!

i seriously made the EASIEST crock-pot soup ever. like, measure (if you must) a few spices, throw in some beans, tomatoes, chilis, chicken, broth & cook that bad boy on low all day.

i’ll be sure to let you all know how it tastes!

here is where i found the recipe.

i’m really excited to see this movie; i’ll let you all know how it turns out, because i know you’re DYING to see it.

short post tonight due to the hot dinner date.

a little congrats goes out to all of us who’ve made it to tuesday! (although when you have monday off, it shouldn’t have been that hard…..)

p.s. it was cold this morning when i woke up. like REAL cold. walking up to the hospital in a patagonia, puffy vest & hat kind of cold. i loved it.