One of my absolute favorite things is to entertain. I love the process of planning along with the actual preparation and execution. Have one to two other couples over is the perfect party. You can actually carry on a meaningful conversation and truly enjoy each others company. Rather than sitting down in the dining room table, I have found that starting in the kitchen and then moving to the family room to get a bit more comfy is my preferred route.
Last weekend we had some new friends over for appetizers and wine. We met them through the website NextDoor and they live about 4 minutes from us. I love that in today’s world technology is a way to meet new people and build lasting friendships. I have prepared individual cheese plates in the past and they are always a hit. The presentation is special and guests can move at their own pace tasting all of the combinations of flavors. Hubby gave me “The Art of the Cheese Plate” by Tia Keenan for Christmas. While I was looking though it, I gained massive inspiration.
I had purchased many years ago from Cost Plus World Market, the rectangular plates that were perfect to service these individual cheese plates. I went to WholeFoods (WF) to pick up the majority of the items with some coming from Trader Joe’s (TJ) and the crackers were from Safeway (S). Starting from the top I sliced some Cave Aged Gruyere (WF) along with the Almond Fig Cake and next to it was a dollop of my handmade Balsamic Fig Jam. Next I found some Point Reyes Blue Cheese (WF) and drizzled with honey (TJ). The 5 year aged Gouda (WF) is simply divine with a rich Cabernet Sauvignon and a bite of Candied Walnuts (WF). To round out the plate, I took inspiration from
and added a couple slices of Manchego (TJ) and adorned it with Quince Paste
(WF) and Truffle Marcona Almonds (TJ).
The crackers are from a local bakery in the North bay called – Rustic
Bakery. If you can’t find them locally
where you live, click here to order online.
Trust me – they are some of the BEST crackers you will ever have.
I served the individual cheese plates with a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon from Teeter-Totter. This wine has a punch of fresh blackberry and mocha along with subtler notes of thyme, violet, lavender, pomegranate, spices and smoke which leave you with a delightful feeling.
This is my new favorite way to entertain and is a show stopper for your friends. Let me know what combinations you come up with. Cheers!!