It’s almost Valentine’s Day! Eight years ago, I made dinner and a tiny heart cheesecake for my boyfriend and we watched The Hunt For Red October. The cheese and the movie stuck. Every year I look forward to snuggling up with Dearest Carl on February 14th, watching a Russian submarine movie and eating a big plate of cheese. After several years of putting together our cheese plates, I have a system when I start planning it out.
Don’t let cheese plates intimidate you! It doesn’t have to be hard and it doesn’t have to be expensive to be large and delicious! Here are my tips for an epic cheese plate for two or twenty.
- Lean on the charcuterie side. Cheese plates on Pinterest are mostly cheese and grapes while charcuterie plates are a wider variety of meats and snacks. I like to blend the two in my head, especially when I’m serving it for dinner. So don’t think you have to have five cheeses to make your cheese plate the best in can be.
- Now that we have the right mindset for your plate, start raiding your pantry and fridge. Pull out things like nuts and pickles, mustard and jam, fruit and veggies and don’t forget the pepperoni from last weekend’s pizza night. You might be surprised how many random things can translate beautifully to cheese plate glory.
- Once you’ve gathered the snacks in your house, you can make a nice list for what needs to be bought. The cheese, the crackers or toasts, the dark chocolate and any other little additions that your pantry didn’t produce.
- When it comes to cheese, I know everyone has their preferred mix for the perfect plate. And if we were hosting people, I might try to go a little broader to please more people. But I shop at Aldi and their cheese aisle is good enough for us. First, I always pick up a round of brie to go with any jams, fruit or chocolate. Next I look for something hard and classic like cheddar or gouda. Last, I see what weird and interesting options they have like herb infused havarti, honey goat cheese or Italian mozzarella balls.
See? That wasn’t so hard was it? This system always gives us a nice variety and leaves us with leftover to enjoy the rest of the week. If you try it out, share it with me! I love all the new ideas that a person’s unique taste will bring to their cheese plate!