Does anyone else have a hard time deciding what to bring to a party or holiday? Sometimes I find myself spending days flipping through cookbooks or my Pinterest board. It’s a problem, but it’s so important that I bring something that everyone will love. My favorite thing to bring to a party is an appetizer because there are so many easy, simple options and your food gets to be the opening act of the party. Kind of cool, right?
One appetizer you can’t go wrong with is a cheese board. Everyone likes cheese, especially a variety of cheeses. I’ve never seen more people flock to an appetizer than when there’s a cheese board in the room because there’s usually something for everyone on the board. Or, in my case, there’s everything I want on one board. It’s true, I’m a cheese fanatic. Someday I hope to travel to Paris, Italy and Spain to eat the many cheeses Europe has to offer. Maybe I should start a cheese fund? Do you think people would contribute?
As much as I’d love to go on about my obsession with cheese, I’d rather share how I created my autumn cheese board and convince you to bring it to Thanksgiving or your next holiday gathering. This cheese board is a mix of spicy and salty, as well as soft and hard textures. It’s important to have a diverse plate, with a variety to nibble on because as I stated earlier, you’re going to want to cater to everyone with this board. The star of the show is the cheese, so I’d suggest using 4-6 and then having about 2-3 different crackers/wafers to go with them. To mix it up, include a couple of different meats as well as some fresh or dried fruit, jam or spread and nuts.
A cheese plate is super simple to put together and it’s a fun appetizer to get creative with. Before you arrive at the party, give the board a test run at home to ensure you have enough space for everything. Rearrange as much as you need, putting different items in opposite directions and placing some of the foods in little bowls to separate the board into sections. I’d also recommend only slicing a small amount of each cheese and leaving the rest on the block for guests to cut themselves. Placing a couple of little butter or cheese knives will invite them to do so.
Everything I included on my cheese board is listed below. I bought everything at Trader Joe’s – they have everything you’ll need and their cheeses are pretty affordable. If you end up making a cheese plate this season, please take a picture of your masterpiece and don’t forget to tag your photo with #marinamakeseats!!
Autumn Cheese Board
- Monterrey/Pepper Jack Mix
- Black pepper toscano cheese (substitute with a parmigiano reggiano)
- White cheddar
- Goat Cheese (pairs perfect with hot pepper jelly)
- Sopressata (Italian dry salami)
- Thinly sliced peppered salami
- Dried apricots
- Hot and sweet pepper jelly (substitute with a jam spread)
- Fig and olive crisps
- Multigrain crackers
- Savory thin crackers
- Candied pecans
- Jalapeno-stuffed olives
Assemble however you’d like. Have fun with it!