This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ChangeSnackingForGood #CollectiveBias
Oh, holiday season.
You are so eagerly awaited. So festive. So fun.
Seriously – these next few months ratchet up the need to BeAllThingsAmazing like no other time of the year. From decorating the house, to buying/baking/wrapping gifts, to hosting and being hosted, it’s a total whirlwind. And then over in a flash.
So how can we tamp down the “exhausting” and step up the fun, especially when we’re doing the hosting?
Say hello to the cheese board.
The cheese board is the harried hostess’ secret weapon, and I was super excited to partner with Sahale Snacks to take you step-by-step on how to pull it all together!
I have been a long time fan of Sahale Snacks. As you know, I try to make better choices when snacking, and keep things gluten-free whenever possible. With Sahale Snacks this adds up to anything but boring, and I love nothing more than having a bag (or two) in my car or next to me as I work, so that I’m “snacking for good”.
And while Sahale Snacks are delicious straight out of the bag, they shine in this festive, party-ready cheese board!
And the timing is perfect, because from now through 12/19 you’ll receive $1.50 off one 4-ounce bag of Sahale Snacks at these participating retailers (click to get your coupon!): Giant Carlisle, Giant Landover, Martins and Stop & Shop.
I decided to use Sahale Naturally Pomegranate Flavored Pistachios Glazed Mix – a blend of whole roasted pistachios and almonds, cherries and pomegranate flavored apples. The mix is seasoned with lemon and black pepper and is absolutely delicious. I picked up a few bags at my local Stop & Shop:
Additional flavors include:
Valdosta Pecans Glazed Mix
Naturally Pomegranate Vanilla Flavored Cashews Glazed Mix
Honey Almonds Glazed Mix
Thai Cashews Glazed Mix
Tangerine Vanilla Cashew-Macadamia Glazed Mix
Raspberry Crumble Cashew Trail Mix
Maple Pecans Glazed Mix
Let’s get started!
Like most winning recipes, you want that magical combination of colors, textures and flavors. And a proper cheese board is no exception. Here’s what I typically like to include, but let your imagination and taste buds run wild – the sky’s the limit!
Cheese (obviously): depending on your crowd, the amounts and flavors will vary. This cheese board will serve 6 – 8 nicely, and I included two cheeses – a soft, mild Brie and a hard, salty Manchego.
Meat: again, amounts and varieties will be dictated by your guests. I used imported prosciutto in the crostini (below), so went with some peppery sopressata to put on the board itself.
Nuts and Fruits: Nuts add crunch, and sweet, in-season fruits provide color – both pair beautifully with meats and cheeses. This “fall” board features fresh figs and petite Seckel pears. If you like, you can add in some dried fruits as well. As my Sahale mixture contains both nuts and dried fruits, I was all set!
Breads/Crackers: You’ll want something to put your toppings on – I went with “everything” flats here – my personal favorite!
Accompaniments: Olives, mustards, jams and chutneys are all lovely additions to any cheese board. Experiment with different options till you find the combination you like best!
Tuck in a few sprigs of fresh herbs and it’s as simple as that. This cheese board took about 10 minutes to pull together, which gave me time to assemble these easy crostini:
Crostini are a really nice accompaniment to a cheese platter, and can also be tweaked endlessly based on your guests’ tastes and the time of year.
Just slice up some nice bread (figure on 3 pieces per guest), brush with olive oil and bake at 350 till golden brown – about 10 minutes. I topped the bread with a dollop of fresh ricotta, a slice of imported prosciutto and 2 quartered figs. You can serve as is or drizzle with a bit of honey if you like. In season, you can swap the figs for some ripe melon.
Look, you’re doing enough at this time of year – entertaining should feel like a pleasure, not a chore!
How do you make life a little easier during the holiday season?