Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's Day (or for whenever) Cheese Plate

Haapy New Year everyone - hope that you all rang in 2013 in a fun way, and took today to recover.  For me, it was nonstop celebration with a New Year's Day luncheon hosted by my brother Peter and sister-in-law, Fiana.  I wanted to bring something for their table as well, but didn't want to actually cook, so I used things in my pantry as well as a few new ingredients to put together a festive cheese plate.

It went over well and I thought it could be a good idea for a future party that I have at home or for when I'm asked to contribute something.  The ingredients can be switched up of course, based on your liking, but I thought I'd provide you with some initial inspiration.  Here's what I used:

Festive Cheese Plate
1.  3 varieties of cheese (goat's milk, sheep's milk and cow's milk, but you can use any cheese you have on-hand)

2.  Dried fruit such as Turkish apricots (you can also use dates, raisins, craisins, etc).
3.  Nuts such as cashews, peanuts, pistachios, almonds

4.  Something sweet like preserves or chutney (I used Anarchy in a Jar's Cranberry-Bacon Chutney that was given to me by my family friend, Kim)
5.  Good quality whole wheat crackers (I used whole wheat everything)
6.  Decorative elements such as the above pictured dehydrated lemons

Choose a serving platter that you like and arrange in a rustic fashion.  I used a clustering approach, where I had heaping rows full of the same ingredients that created a nice pattern.

I look forward to seeing the combinations and designs you come up with!

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