How to Build a Cheese Board

wp-1597681816481.jpg
Cheese boards are so delicious, easy to pull together and fun to share with friends, on a date night, or sometimes, even for a simple dinner with some wine!  Yes, I have eaten cheese boards for dinner, though it hasn’t happened much lately and I just found out of one my closest friends does the same with her husband!  A cheese board for dinner is actually fun!

Building one takes less than 10 minutes and you can make it as fancy or simple as you want.

TYPES OF BOARDS:
There are many different types.  One of my favorites that I use is my slate board, but I also have a wooden and a marble one.  To build a cheese board for the hubby and me, I use the slate one or the marble one for just myself.  When we are hosting a dinner I like to pull out my large wooden one so that there is plenty to go around for everyone.  If I have a party, I’ll pull out all three and save the smallest one to create a kid’s cheese board (more to come on that one).  There are some cute individual slate boards also if you want to do a social distance cheese board so each person has their own.
wp-1597681799781.jpg
Cheese knives are also important and I like this set which also tells you which is to be used for the type of cheese you are serving.  A simple set like this one is also handy to have.

THE CHEESE:
Think variety with texture and type of milk.  I like to have about 3-4 different cheeses on my board.  My favorite is goat cheese, so I will always have that on my boards.  This takes care of my soft cheese but if you want a different type of soft cheese, try Camembert, Feta, or Brie.


Move on to the semi-hard cheeses and there are so many options!  One of my favorites is a wine soaked cheese that my cousin Sweetu introduced me to.  This is available in most grocery stores now so just check out the cheese section and look for one!  Some of my other favorite semi-hard cheeses include Gruyere, Manchego, and Gouda.  Pick 1 or 2 of these and add them to your cheese board.

Finally, the hard cheeses that are waiting for their turn!  Asiago, Parmegiano Reggiano, Pecorino Romano and Cheddar are some of my favorites.

Once you have picked out your cheeses, try spreading them out around the board so that you have space to include other foods.

THE SIDES:
This is the perfect time to get creative.  I always add the basics of crackers or bread and sometimes both.  You can also add in some breadsticks if you have.  Those always taste good!

Add in some fresh fruit – anything you have on hand.  Grapes are a traditional choice you can always bet on.  Other options include thinly sliced apples or pears, strawberries and raspberries.  Think color when you are adding these to your board as you want it to pop!
wp-1597681799781.jpg
A little sweet is always welcome to the board.  My favorite go to includes fig marmalade or honey.  Pair them with any of the cheeses and it’s sure to become an instant hit!

If you have something sweet, there has to be space for something salty too!  I love having some nuts on the board and to add the salty to my crunchy, I include Roasted Chili Almonds.

There will be times when I want some extras.  A really good option is roasted garlic (recipe to come soon…check back!) and/or some artisan bread.  In the cheese board pictured for this post, I included an artichoke focaccia bread.  A little of the roasted garlic butter spread on the focaccia is simply divine!
wp-1597681837549.jpg
Don’t stress when you build your board and just have fun.  I like to build the board about 20-30 minutes before serving.

Finally, sit back, enjoy your cheese board and have fun!

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Hummus is one of my all time favorite snacks and the fact that it is so healthy doesn’t hurt.  Rich in protein, fiber, folate, iron and packed with antioxidants, I really can’t feel guilty if I finish off a container of hummus on my own.  Yep, I do that.
IMG_7998
I’ve been playing around with this roasted red pepper hummus recipe for a while now.  I love how pretty and red the color of it is, the smoky and spicy flavor combined with the creamy texture is just perfect!

How do I eat hummus?

  • add it to a MEZZE platter
  • use it as a SPREAD on a sandwich
  • use it to make DEVILED EGGS
  • use it as a base for PIZZA
  • use it as a creamy PASTA SAUCE

IMG_7991

I have a secret ingredient in this roasted red pepper hummus that you’re never going to believe.
TOASTED CASHEWS

I know!  It sounds crazy but the cashews work so well!  They give it a depth of flavor, texture and added protein that is just so delicious!.
IMG_7998
The best part, this recipe literally takes 5 minutes to make in the food processor and there is no effort to put in.
IMG_7996
Try it out.  You won’t be able to stop eating it like me.

If you like this one, here are some other recipes that are simple and delicious:
Roasted Chili Almonds
Spicy Garlic Hummus
Spinach Watermelon Salad with a Basil Vinaigrette
Best Ever Baba Ghanouj
Roasted Masala Chickpeas

From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this hummus!

Best Ever Baba Ghanouj

Growing up, I was never a fan of eggplant.  I’m not sure if it was the seeds, the flavor, or the way it was cooked but I just didn’t take to it.  So imagine my surprise when I went out to a Mediterranean restaurant with some friends and ended up loving my first bite of Baba Ghanouj!
IMG_7723
Yep.  It was love at first taste!

The smoky flavor, the silky texture, and a guilt free snack all rolled into one.  What’s not to love?

Roasted or Grilled?
I personally love it grilled either over the stove or especially on a bbq,  The flavor of the char stays in every bite which totally makes this recipe so amazing.

How do you eat it?
Baba Ghanouj is usually served as an appetizer with pita bread and crudités.  I have on occasion been known to add it to a Falafel bowl if I’m in the mood.  It tastes really delish!
IMG_7713
This particular recipe is made without tahini, which is a sesame seed paste traditionally used to make baba ghanouj and hummus.  I did add a lot of garlic and some cayenne and smoked paprika to enhance the smoky flavor.

food processor or by hand?
Honestly, both work but I prefer my food processor as it gets the job done quicker and I prefer a smoother texture.

Go ahead and try it out!  This recipe will not disappoint!
2

Roasted Masala Chickpeas

I’ve been making these chickpeas at home as a healthy snack option so I don’t turn to junk food and my girls have fallen in love with them too.  I initially started them with a basic salt, pepper, olive oil and paprika seasoning.  We love the basic and use them not only for snacking, but in salads, tacos, as a topping for soups (yup), and pretty much in anything I can add it to. Continue reading “Roasted Masala Chickpeas”

Stuffed Mushrooms

The hubby loves his mushrooms.  I on the other hand am not the biggest fan of them.  So when we got married and he found out I didn’t like them, he was a bit devastated.  BUT, I still make them occasionally….. especially when he comes home with a large container of them.
wp-1591883432099.jpg
I secretly like it when he comes home with so many mushrooms because that means I have to get creative with them.  This time around, he brought home baby bellas and they were larger than usual, which is perfect because I knew I wanted to stuff them right away!
wp-1591883431919.jpg
I didn’t want to use too much cheese in the filling, and like anything, I want to pack a punch of flavor so I opened my fridge and stared at it for a few minutes.  Seriously, I just stood and stared.  And my eyes fell on a container of chives and onions cream cheese so I knew that was going to pull it all together!
wp-1591883433033.jpg
I also added red bell peppers (for color and crunch) and some paprika and cayenne pepper for a kick.  The hubby, and my sis-in-law Shivani, loved these!  Score!
wp-1591883431987.jpg
Yum
They are pretty quick to make and don’t require much effort.  Go ahead, try them out.

From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this!

Mango Pico

Mango is my absolute favorite in the whole world!  Done.  That’s it.  If I were stuck on an island and there were mangoes, I would be set.
wp-1591883427364.jpg
Yum
That being said, I think for my hubby, it would be salsa.  Honestly, I’ve never seen a salsa that man has not devoured.
wp-1591883427396.jpg
I love this mango salsa because it is so fresh, tangy, sweet, and spicy all at the same time!  I’ve paired this the traditional way with chips, fish, tacos, fish tacos, as a dip during parties and more recently with Hawaiian chicken.  There’s no wrong way to eat mango pico!
wp-1591706168380.jpg
The mango pico that I made is very easy and simple but it packs a punch of flavor.  I go a little heavy on the spice to balance the sweet of the mango and only 5 ingredients needed to make.

From my kitchen to yours, enjoy this recipe!