Easy Entertaining Idea With No Cooking or Baking is sort of a re-run on Hello Lovely since I shared my boards and tips last fall, but I thought you just might appreciate the reminder…I know I need all the help I can get when it comes to easier entertaining. I have added more photos never shared before, and clearly I enjoy playing with food!
Easy Entertaining Idea With No Cooking or Baking!
A few nights ago, a talented friend of mine assembled a gorgeous spread of cheese boards (or charcuterie or graze boards, depending on your preference) and desserts for a book launch party I attended for Aaron Niequist’s new release The Eternal Current. There were so many lovely details I noted, and maybe best of all, there was NO COOKING or BAKING involved in the whole shindig!
How is that possible?
Well, when the ingredients are: CHEESE BOARDS, delicious beverages, candlelight, and fresh fruit…your recipe for a no-fuss lovely get together is destined to please!
You will note the edibles may bloom into such a luscious tablescape that even fresh flowers are optional!
Why a Cheese Board?
What you’re seeing here is my own take on assembling a beautiful cheese board. I created these last fall to celebrate our son’s birthday with a group of the most gracious and loving gentlemen. I also cooked dinner for them, but I love the idea of no-cook, no-bake easy cocktail party or wine and cheese to make it easy on the host.
I love the sense of abundance these gorgeous platters of cheese and charcuterie glory elicit, and truth be told, it is simply a quartet of beautiful boards artfully assembled with a variety of vibrant ingredients and wine curated by Martha Stewart.
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I’m sharing 4 Tips for a Beautiful Cheese Board, but I know full well most of you wildly gifted creative dynamos could put these together in your sleep and educate me on the topic!
Why Everybody Loves a Beautiful Cheese Board
So much to love about serving this style of appetizer…the gorgeous bold color, the rustic elegance, the fresh clean deliciousness, and the simplicity. Since my own family members either avoid or are intolerant of gluten, these are completely gluten free, including the crackers.
If you’ll also be cooking dinner…For my birthday boy, I served more of his favorites: easy bacon wrapped dates stuffed with goat cheese (I learned about the loveliness of these from Shauna Niequist in her yummy book, Bread and Wine), brie fondue (I stir a little pesto and diced roasted red pepper into melted brie), two cheesy baked pastas (why, yes…more cheese, please!), and a homemade Funfetti bundt cake iced with my easy and famous buttercream.
Shop for new wood or marble boards or trays with a smooth surface. Some of my favorites are RIGHT HERE. While antique boards are pretty for display, they may not be the best choice for layering on your charcuterie.
2. CHOOSE THE CHEESE.
Decide on a few different varieties of cheese (see the suggestions in my shopping list above), charcuterie, fruits, nuts, crackers, etc.
In terms of cheese, there are honestly no rules you must abide by beyond simply choosing what you love. If a stinky cheese gives you a headache, do not consider it! I love fruit-studded cheeses, and it doesn’t hurt that they add a great variety of color. As for charcuterie, I love the ease of pre-sliced coppa, proscuitto, and salami.
3. SLICE THE LOVELY.
Slice some of the strawberries, pears, charcuterie, and cheese.
If there’s any secret at all, it’s this: leave some of the fruit and cheese whole, and also slice some of it. A few strawberry, fig and pear slices will add interest and beauty to the board. Slice the charcuterie thinly (if it didn’t pre-sliced) and dice some of the cheese into bite-size chunks. Simply style apples and pears on the table around the board for color and added beauty. Prepare the grapes: with kitchen shears, cut the stems for small individual bunches.
4. JOYFULLY ASSEMBLE!
Artfully arrange ingredients on the board.
Begin with the largest items (cheese, meats, crackers) and then fill in, paying attention to what pleases your eye as far as color. Have fun with it!
Easy Candlelight: Here’s My Secret Weapon
Scatter these candles everywhere and watch your home transform into a magical luminous backdrop for sweet memories.
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