The Easy Way To Make The Perfect Cheese Board

 

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard // Ile De France Cheese

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard
Magazines and Pinterest are always showcasing them–overflowing with perfectly ripe fresh fruit, high-quality cured meats, perfectly flavored cheeses… Is it any wonder why putting together a cheese board or cheese platter can be such a daunting task for those of us who aren’t cheeseboard experts?!

I’ve been pretty intimidated by cheeseboards myself, but I’m finally getting comfortable with them. The truth behind putting a cheeseboard together is that it can be as simple or as complicated as you would like it to be. I wouldn’t call myself a cheeseboard expert but with these steps and tips, you’ll be all set to put together your own cheeseboard with ease.

You’re only a few quality ingredients and a few steps away from putting together a beautiful and inviting cheeseboard. 

Here’s what you need to know!

Decide what kind of cheeses you would like to put out.

Soft, semi-firm, aged, or bleu, there are so many different types of cheeses you can put out! To keep things simple, it’s best to stick to one or two types and perhaps get a couple of cheeses that fit into each of those categories. Here I have goat cheese, brie, and Saint André, which are all soft cheese, and a bleu cheese for those who love the flavor. 

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard // Ile De France Cheese

Here are the exact cheeses I’m using:

  • Ile de France Brie 
  • Ile de France St. Agur
  • Ile de France Saint André
  • Ile de France Plain Goat Cheese

Each of these cheeses should be available in your local supermarket! Ile de France brings great flavor to all their cheeses. 

Decide which crackers/bread you want to put out, based on the cheeses.

There are so many types of crackers and breads to choose from, just like how theres plenty of cheese to choose from, too. Whole-grain? Water crackers? Woven wheat crackers? Multigrain? Seed crackers? White bread baguette? Breadsticks? One or two simple but tasty crackers and/or breads are a good choice for a cheeseboard. If you’re looking to make things simple and easy, pick crackers that will go will multiple cheeses and be able to hold the weight of the cheese. 

Any jams, dried fruit, or nuts to go with the cheese and crackers?

The stronger cheeses can be tied together with simpler ingredients like honey and nuts, while the milder cheeses will be well complemented by flavorful jam. You can also go the savory route with tapenades, pestos, and hummus spreads. Remember that you don’t need to have any of these, but they do add to the cheese and crackers, helping to tie all the flavors together. 

Any components to complement the cheese and crackers?

This is where you can get creative and think of what meats, fresh fruits, dried fruits, olives, etc. go with the flavors of your cheese board. Salamis, grapes, dried apricots, marinated olives, etc. help to really make the cheeseboard like it’s overflowing with so many options and flavor combinations. Don’t be afraid to add some color, texture, or flavor. 

If you’re skipping the toppings for the cheese and crackers, do make sure you have a few options to complement the cheese and crackers. If you’re skipping the meats, fruits, and other snack foods, have more options for spreads, jams and toppings for the cheese. Just don’t serve plain cheese and crackers–you’ll need something to make it look, feel, and taste more like a cheese platter. 

Arrange the board!

Layer the cheese and crackers in between all the other components of your board. To make things pretty, think of patterns in which you can arrange things. I’m using a simple wooden cheese board here so that the food on the board really stands out. 

Set out wines that pair well with the flavors of the cheeses!

Keep in mind that you may need to have 2-3 bottles to pair the wines and cheeses well, but it’ll be well worth it. Do a little research to figure out what types of wine go well with the cheeses you’ve selected. 

On this cheese board, the bleu cheese goes well with a cabernet sauvignon, the Saint André pairs well with a chardonnay or a white blend, the brie pairs well with any white wines, and the goat cheese pairs well with Bordeaux wines. So I’ll need at least a cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay or white blend, and a Bordeaux (which is closest to a merlot and cabernet sauvignon blend) to get the best flavor pairing. 

Here are the exact wines I’m using:

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard // George Duboeuf Wines

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard // Legende Wines

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard // George Duboeuf Wines

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard // Legende Wines

The Légendes wines are quite elegant but also affordable at about $18 each. The Georges Duboeuf wines are highly rated with the ones I’ve used rated at 90-91 points. The prices however are anywhere from $10-$35. Both makes are excellent, and I highly recommend their wines. 

And… that’s about it! Keep these simple rules and steps in mind, and you’ll put together a cheese board that no one will be able to keep their hands off of. Make a plan and stay cool! It’ll look great, and taste even better!

Things to keep in mind:

If you really want your cheese board to leave a good impression, you’ll want to read these tips. Keeping these things in mind will help you to assemble the best cheese board for your guests! 

Dietary restrictions and food allergies. Do any of the people you’re entertaining have dietary restrictions or food allergies? Any vegetarians in the group, or perhaps someone with the need for a gluten-free diet? If you don’t know or are unsure, it’s better to play it safe by keeping the certain components of your cheese board separate. It’s totally alright to arrange two or three smaller boards with those ingredients grouped separately, say by meat, cheese, and crackers. Your guests might thank you for it!

Cheese preferences. While most of us are probably big fans of cheese (the more, the better am I right?!), not everyone loves the same cheeses. Even within my own family, everyone has their own preferences when it comes to so many varieties of cheese. Stronger cheeses might not be universally loved by all your guests, even if you personally live for something as strong as a bleu cheese.  Do a little research and make sure your guests love the cheeses you wish to place on the board. It’s safe to have a mix of mild and strong flavors. Be sure to have different cheese knives for the different types of cheese so that they don’t mix! 

Labels. Labeling the items on your cheeseboard with little picks or maybe with a chalkboard next to your cheese platter will help your guests decide what they want to eat! It will help answer a lot of the questions your more curious guests might have. 

Show guests how to pair their wines and cheeses. It’s best to not assume that everyone is an expert when it comes to pairing their wines and cheeses. Kindly recommend some wine and cheese combinations for guests who may be a little shy, anxious, or just don’t know what to pair together! You can also put up a sign next to the cheese with some recommendations if you’re hosting a larger group of people. 

Use high quality ingredients. Sometimes it can be tempting to assemble a cheeseboard with inexpensive ingredients. I’m talking raisins, saltine crackers, overly-salted nuts, etc. It’s so much better to stick to a few high quality ingredients than to deck out the board with a variety of snacks. 

Add some character with some decorative flair! Candles, flowers, foliage, and other decor can take the look of your cheeseboard display to the next level! Just be sure that people can still get to the food easily enough. You don’t want anyone burning their sleeves on a tea light just because they wanted to slice some brie. 

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard // Legende Wines

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard // Legende Wines The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard // Legende Wines The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard // George Duboeuf Wines

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard

What do you think? How do you feel better about assembling a cheeseboard now? What else would you add to your cheeseboard?

My First Afternoon Tea at Sketch London

Afternoon Tea at Sketch London

Afternoon Tea at Sketch London

Afternoon Tea at Sketch London

You’ve probably heard of Sketch or at the very least seen photos of the carnation pink velvet chairs in the Gallery (a part of the restaurant). As soon as I knew I would be traveling to London (which was actually only 2-3 weeks prior to going on the trip), I immediately made reservations for afternoon tea at the Gallery. The place is wildly popular thanks to Instagram, so I was pretty lucky to actually find a time open for afternoon tea. The place books up pretty quick!

It was my first afternoon high tea. Though there are plenty of tea rooms in The States, including some great tea rooms close to where I live, I’ve never really made the time to go to one. I’m kind of glad that I got to have my first afternoon tea in London since high tea is an English tradition. In a sense, it was nice to not have another tea experience to compare it to, but I also didn’t really know what to expect. I only knew what to expect based on movies, photos, and friend’s experiences. Afternoon tea isn’t exactly a wild time, but it was fun to finally experience it on my own. 

The afternoon tea isn’t exactly nominally priced (price per person starts at £58), but coming here was a nice “treat yourself” experience for myself. During my entire trip to London, I was pretty mindful about spending, except for when I was at Sketch. It was a bit of a YOLO moment since I was traveling on my own and didn’t really have to take everyone’s travel desires and budgets into consideration–only my own (perks of solo travel, friends!). 

Upon being seated in the Gallery, I was given a menu with a full list of the courses and the selections I could make. My lovely servers (really, the service here is great) kindly let me know that everything other than the initial drink ordered (you can select from non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages) and the caviar + quail egg, is unlimited. I could order as many of my favorite teas, sandwiches, or pastries as I liked. 

Afternoon Tea at Sketch London

I began my tea with a non-alcoholic rosé drink, which was a nice way to settle in and start. I went with a non-alcoholic drink only because I had many drinks the night before and woke up that morning hungover. Alcohol was one of the last things I wanted at that moment. Had I not been hungover that morning, I probably would have gone with sparkling wine. 

Afternoon Tea at Sketch London

Next, I selected my tea. There were so many teas to pick from, but I went with a white peony tea since it’s flavor is light and gentle and goes with just about any food. 

I hadn’t noticed at this point, but a trio of musicians (all women btw!) had set up in the corner of the Gallery and began playing beautiful music! It was nice to enjoy my tea and rosé drink while listening to the music. 

Afternoon Tea at Sketch London

The first food that came out was the quail egg + caviar. I became a little nervous at this point. I’m not much of a seafood person, but I was willing to try the caviar. The part that made me nervous was figuring out the proper way to eat everything. Also the table next to me just finished their tea and were waiting for their check, meaning they could stare at me oddly eating my food. My solution was to quickly eat everything and slowly add the caviar to the quail eggs one bite at a time. I hope I did it right, but to be totally honest I’m still not sure! 

Afternoon Tea at Sketch London

Next, the tiered stand of finger sandwiches and pastries made their way to my table. Though it doesn’t look like a lot of food, I was stuffed fully after eating all of it. It’s pretty damn filling. I didn’t place a second order on any of the finger sandwiches or pastries, just so I could stuff myself full with more tea and the scone that came next. I do wish I had some extra room though–I loved all of the finger sandwiches. Again, I’m not a big seafood person, but I still ate the smoked salmon finger sandwich and found it to be quite good. The pastries were all great, too. I’m not big on cheesecake or fruit filled pastries usually but I found all of them to be quite tasty. My line of thinking was to try everything on the tiered stand, even if it wasn’t something I usually liked. Often when food is prepared in a phenomenal way, it doesn’t really matter if you usually like it or not. 

Afternoon Tea at Sketch London

I ordered another tea, a hibiscus one this time, which had a deeper flavor than the gentle white tea I began with. It was a great tea to pair with the scone I had next. Warm and delicious, I had my scone with the fig and strawberry jam. 

Afternoon Tea at Sketch London

Finally, I was served a traditional Victoria sponge cake. It made my taste buds sing, but my stomach was so full I couldn’t finish the cake. I began to take small bites here and there but at some point I just let go and decided that if I ate anymore I would just get sick. 

After my meal and taking in the posh pink environment, I was soon on my way to some of the stores in the area for a nice-post meal walk. Or as some friends call it, the digestion walk.

Overall, I loved the afternoon tea and definitely think it’s worth the experience. Be ready to pay for the experience (it’ll be about $100 USD/person including the service charge depending on what you order), but also come ready to have a good, relaxing time and enjoy yourself. 

Sketch also has other beautifully decorated rooms and serves more than just afternoon tea. Take a look at their website and their menus for a good idea of what they have to offer. 

Afternoon Tea at Sketch London

Afternoon Tea at Sketch London

Afternoon Tea at Sketch London

Why I Love My Rocksbox Subcription

September RocksboxI’m going to be honest with you–I don’t wear a lot of jewelry, nor do I change up my jewelry very often. I wear a simple pair of diamond studs every single day, and have a little cubic zirconia stud in the cartilage of my right ear. It’s a simple, classic look that I don’t have to think twice about most of the time. 

I actually like jewelry and accessorizing, but sometimes it can all be a hassle in my opinion. There are a few things that stop me from changing up my look:

I don’t like buying cheap, trendy jewelry from a fast-fashion store in the mall that’s going to go out of fashion in a few months. I did that in college and it was fine then, but I feel like I should be spending on quality pieces at this point in my life, even if they cost more than $6.90. It all adds up–becoming clutter and a waste of money. 

“I have nothing to wear.” My studs are always in reach and they go with everything. But when I look in my jewelry drawers and stands, I never see anything I want to wear. Suddenly, my collection of jewelry seems boring and I end up thinking “I have nothing to wear.” 

I don’t have time to shop for jewelry. I just don’t. Plus, jewelry is usually one of those things that’s better to shop for in person. Sometimes the images online make the bracelet, necklace, or ring look waaayyy better than they actually do. 

I don’t really want to pay crazy prices for pretty pieces. Some of the nicer fashionable pieces of jewelry at department stores can go for a lot of money. $100-$200. As someone who doesn’t switch up her jewelry enough, it’s not worth the money. 

I also don’t have time to look for what’s in style for the season. I just don’t have enough room in my brain to store what’s in style when it comes to jewelry for the season. I can keep some of the main trends of the season in mind, but remembering what jewelry is in style and then shopping for it is too much for me.

The only thing that has changed my mind about trying to wear more pretty and trendy jewelry is my subscription to Rocksbox. I just had the chance to try it out and wow, I am impressed. 

Rocksbox solves almost all of my problems when it comes to jewelry. The only thing they don’t do is come over to my house and put the jewelry on me, but everything else they do makes my life so much easier. 

By spending $21/month for a subscription, you get three pieces of jewelry from designers like Kendra Scott, Kate Spade, gorjana, House of Harlow 1960, Sophie Harper, Nakamol, and the list goes on and on. 

First, you create your style profile–a quiz that asks you questions on what kind of jewelry you like to wear and how frequently you wear those pieces.

Then, your account has been created! And you can browse all the jewelry they have available. 

Add your favorites to your wishlist by “hearting” your favorites. Pick your top 10 and then Rocksbox will send you three pieces from this list!

I received my Rocksbox about 2 business days after placing my order–pretty fast! No shipping charges, btw. 

My granted wishes included a Sophie Harper necklace ($49), Kendra Scott studs ($65), and a Nakamol wrap bracelet ($63). That’s a $177 value. 

You have the option to buy the pieces or send them back, but the pieces are yours to wear and try out while you decide. Yeah, you can wear all this pretty jewelry and send it all back. 

And there are deals if you buy the products. For my September box, I can get $10 off if I buy two pieces or $20 off if I buy three. 

This is a steal, considering everything:

I don’t have to buy the jewelry. I’ll always have something new to wear. I can go to one place online to see what jewelry I like and look at photos where I trust what the pieces look like. I don’t have to pay the crazy prices. And I don’t have to worry about whether my jewelry is in style or not, because it will be in style. 

Rocksbox really makes my life so much easier. 

If you want to try out Rocksbox for FREE for one month, (yes, at no charge), use the code “thesassylifexoxo”. 

I’m sharing all of this with you because I love it and I think if you’re a lot like me where you want to have really good style but don’t have time to do your own research, you’re going to really like it, too. 

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