Are you ready to ring in the New Year? A festive cheese platter makes for effortless and easy entertaining with friends or family, while watching the ball drop!
We’re staying at home where it’s warm and cozy this New Year’s Eve and celebrating by the twinkling lights of the tree. I’m all for easy entertaining and a cheese platter is easy to pull together at the last-minute and festive way to entertain, which makes it great a party appetizer!
Here are a few tips to build a cheese platter or board:
Serve a variety of 3 – 5 cheeses, selecting a variety of cheese based on type of milk used to make the cheese (cow, sheep, or goat).
An even easier rule of three to follow is to include one firm, one semi-firm or soft, and one blue.
The most important rule to follow is to allow your cheese to come up to room-temperature for maximum flavor.
I like use contrasts in color and texture as well as flavor, including some elements for a sweet and salty addition. Olives, cured meats and nuts add salty and savory notes, while grapes and dried apricots add a sweet note. Include some honey or fig jam to serve with your cheese. One our favorite pairings is Parmesan crisps with Dalmatia Fig Spread. You can make your own Parmesan crisps or find them ready-made at Whole Foods.
The olive bar at your grocery store makes for easy entertaining with a variety of ready to serve antipasto items to add to your platter or board like peppers and marinated mozzarella.
Bubbly is essential for ringing in the New Year! I found Freixenet Brut, a Spanish Sparkling Wine (Cava) with a festive limited edition polka-dotted bottle at World Market. Its affordable price tag makes it perfect for serving a crowd or for mixing a sparkling cocktail or New Year’s Day mimosa!
Dark Chocolate Star shortbread cookies from Trader Joe’s and Chocolate Covered Biscuit Sticks from Target are sweet ending for a New Year’s celebration.
Some of my favorites to round out a cheese platter are:
~Cheese straws for a little crunchy texture.
~Smokehouse almonds and/or marcona almonds. If you have a Trader Joe’s nearby, try their Rosemary Marcona Almonds and the Truffle Marcona Almonds (our favorite!)
~Grapes, dried apricots, fig jam
A variety of crackers: I love the ‘Fruit and Nut and Other Stuff Crisps’ from Trader Joe’s, along with their other flavors (Rosemary Raisin, Fig & Olive, Pistachio & Pomegranate).
*Pop * Fizz * Clink *
Confetti Poppers & Glitter Star Food Picks – Dollar Spot Target