PARTNER POST – Be inspired to create beautiful cheese boards with Castello cheese. And what goes better with cheese than wine? Enter to win a trip for two to Napa, California.
For all of your upcoming spring events, make an easy cheese tray that will suit every eater. Accompany the spread with a delicious chia seed jam.
Spring is in the air and that means lots of fun upcoming events… Easter, Mother’s Day, baby showers, bridal showers, bachelorette parties and weddings are several that come to mind. Whether you’re hosting or attending, I bet you’ll be faced with the dilemma of what to bring or make.
My simple cheese tray ideas and Double Berry Chia Seed Jam to make the ultimate party platter. Perfect for Easter or Mother’s Day gatherings!
A cheese tray with a variety of snack foods is something EVERYONE loves… trust me. You’d better have extras ready! Oh and pair the cheese, crackers, jam, almonds and everything else with a favorite wine and there will be no worries about guests not being satisfied.
With a few simple cheese tray ideas and my yummy Double Berry Chia Seed Jam, you’ll be the hit of the party! Cheese trays are perfect for gatherings or parties for a number of reasons. For one, there’s a variety of foods to choose, so you can make those of us with a huge sweet tooth happy and there’s also plenty of options for people who like more savory bites. Also, you can satisfy everyone’s dietary needs. There are literally millions of combinations to make your cheese platter perfect!
You don’t need hours of cooking time or recipes and cookbooks. Enough rambling… pour a glass of Folie à Deux and let’s get going with those simple cheese tray ideas and my Double Berry Chia Seed Jam recipe.
1. It’s all about the cheese!
Purchase a few really high-quality wonderful cheeses. Don’t worry, you can find cheeses with lovely flavor that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. For my cheese board, pictured, I used one of my favorite brands, Castello. From tangy blue to complex aged Havarti, the cheeses are deliciously balanced and come together to create a gourmet cheese board. Castello offers a variety of creatively crafted cheeses- I like to include at least one soft, one semi-hard and one hard cheese to fully cover all bases. Plan to buy about 3-4 ounces of cheese per person. Be sure to serve cheese at room temperature, as it will taste much better. To do this, take the cheeses out of the fridge at least one hour ahead of time.
2. The Accompaniments
For a well-balanced platter, I suggest your 3 different types of cheese along with at least 3 sweet additions and 3 savory additions. And don’t forget a few types of crackers and/or breads. Jarred condiments are quick and fuss-free, but my Double Berry Chia Jam takes less than 20 minutes and is a must try. It will also pair well with plenty of other foods, like oatmeal, toast, sandwiches and so much more. Consider savory nuts, marinated olives, marinated artichokes, roasted red pepper, cherry tomatoes, cured meats, spicy mustards, caramelized onions. Or, sweet fresh fruit, dried fruit, jam, jelly, honey.
3. Get creative and have fun!
Keep it simple. All of the crackers, pictured, were already in my pantry. Before shopping for your cheese tray, raid your food stock. You may not need to buy as many goodies as you think. When deciding on the foods for my cheese tray, I try to consider the colors. I love having pops of color here and there on my platter. Fresh fruits, pretty jams and colorful olives are all eye catching ways to add pizzazz to your plate. Another fun extra is cheese labels- I didn’t have any when photographing my board, but you can usually find labels for cheap and they add a festive touch.
Don’t forget the wine! I’m sorry, but no cheese tray is complete without a bright and vibrant Chardonnay from Folie à Deux.
For another easy condiment, try making these carrots:
Lastly, don’t forget to enter to win a trip for two to Napa Valley, California! To enter, click here.
And now for the chia seed jam!
- 1 cup fresh raspberries
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- Set a medium saucepan, with fruit, over medium heat.
- When fruit comes to a boil lower heat and simmer fruit for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add maple syrup and chia seeds; continue to cook for 5-7 minutes more and stir occasionally. Mash fruit with your spoon as you stir, if preferred. I like to leave some fruit unmashed for added texture.
- Remove from heat and allow jam to sit and thicken for about 10 minutes.
- To store, place in an airtight jam jar or other container, and keep it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Can also be frozen for up to two months.
Replace maple syrup with honey, if preferred.