Cheese. . . one of my favorite things! Whenever we gather with friends or family, one of my favorite things to bring (or to serve at my place) is a cheese platter. It’s always a hit.
The great thing about a cheese platter is you can change it up – every time – using whatever cheese is on sale at the time and serving it up with bread and apples.
Some of my favorite cheeses to pick up are:
Gouda – Creamy and mild this is a great cheese for those who don’t like strong flavors.
Blue cheese – A nice strong blue cheese pairs well with cranberries and bacon flavors.
Smoked cheddar – Cheddar takes on a whole new life when it’s smoked!
Boursin – This creamy cheese is so easy! You can buy it with various herbs and flavors. It spreads easily on bread or crackers. Beware – you can’t eat just one bite.
Beecher’s Flagship – Whenever possible, I like to find local cheese to have on my cheese board.
Fresh mozzarella – Pair with fresh basil and fresh tomato slices (drizzle with balsamic vinegar, sprinkle with salt if you want to get fancy)
Cranberry Orange Cheese torte – Look for prepared packaged cheeses such as this cranberry orange cheese torte – to dress up your cheese board. This torte recommends freezing beforehand, for the best display.
Prosciutto panino – Take your cheese board up a big notch with fresh meats such as prosciutto. You can buy pre-made prosciutto cheese rolls or roll your own! You can also use toothpicks to skewer prosciutto with your favorite cheese – I like to skewer baby fresh mozzarellas, with cherry tomatoes, a sprig of basil and a piece of prosciutto!
Serve with thinly sliced french baguettes, crackers or apple slices!
And if you’re 21 years or older – red wine is always a good match with your cheese board. For an affordable priced red wine, I like 14 Hands Hot to Trot – usually $8.99 – $11.99 a bottle.
One of the easiest (and more delicious) party dishes is baked brie with apricot preserves – it’s insanely easy to make and always one of the first things eaten at gatherings. I like it because brie is a really affordable cheese – usually $3.99 – $4.99 for a large wedge.
- Brie wedge (Double creme is my favorite – but they are all good.)
- Raw sliced almonds
- Apricot preserves, 1 cup
- Water crackers, apple slices, sliced bread
- Unwrap brie and put into a baking dish (leave the white, edible rind). Make sure the baking dish has edges, as the brie will spread when it melts.
- Top with apricot preserves.
- Sprinkle a handful of sliced almonds on top.
- Cover with foil.
- Bake at 400 degrees for about 12-14 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the preserves have started to crystallize.
What kinds of cheese do you like on your cheese board? Do you liked baked brie – or something else? Let’s hear your suggestions!