mrs.b and her boys

embrace the chaos

Month: December 2017

CHARCUTERIE BOARD

Are you at a loss as to what appetizer to put out this holiday season? Are you worried what you make will not please certain people? Are you to a point where you are just going to throw a bag of chips on the counter and call it good? I have THE solution for you and – it is simple!

 

A Charcuterie Board, which is just hipster now for what most of us call a Meat and Cheese Board, is so easy and you can adjust it accordingly without worrying about measurements or substitutes. You have meat for the “I Must Have My Meat” folks, cheese and fruit for the “I Do Not Eat Grains” folks, you have crackers for the “Picky Eater Kids” folks, then you can throw any fun, random thing in there for the “I Eat Anything” folks. Oh, and don’t forget, you don’t have to measure or follow a recipe for this! Everyone is happy! {Well, almost everyone} Plus, you will impress the pants off of all of them because it is so pretty.

You do not have to make it “fancy” if that is not your thing. Create the level of presentation that works for you. You do not have to do just as I did on my board. Pick and choose what you and your crowd will like. Use the list below as a guide.

2-3 Meats: Salami (there are so many varieties), Prosciutto, Capicola, Chorizo

2-3 Cheeses (One mild, one sharper in flavor, one soft): Cheddar, Smoked Gouda, Brie, Gorgonzola, Herbed Cream Cheese, Goat Cheese, Parmesan, Marinated Mozzarella

2-3 Crackers/Bread: Something buttery, something grainy, something for the gluten-free or grain-free, something kid-friendly, baguette bread, crunchy breadsticks

1-2 Fresh Fruits: Grapes, Apple Slices, Small Oranges, Pear Slices, Berries

1 Sweet Spread: Tomato Jam, Fig Jam, Jalepeno Jam

1-3 Extra: Nuts, Olives, Pickles, Cornichons, Dried Fruits, Hummus, Tapenade, Roasted Peppers

1-3 Edible Garnish: Rosemary, Pomegranate, Persimmon, Pears, Apples

Your board or platter can be any size that works for your crowd. Just because I say “board” and you don’t have a board, don’t fret. Any nice platter will do.

First, remember to check if your board or platter is food safe. If it is not, you have to line it with lettuce leaves; say a red lettuce or raw collard greens.

From there, you just arrange as you wish. Pair cheese slicers with any cheese you choose to keep whole, pair small serving knives and spoons with anything spreadable, you can even mix in plates and bowls for different levels of presentation. With the fruit garnishes, like the pomegranate, I like to slice it open for a pop of color and texture. Have fun with it!

Happy Holidays and may the New Year bless you with an abundance of laughter and delicious homemade foods around the table with your most favorite people!

GIFT GUIDE 2017

I hope you are all heading into the holiday season feeling healthy & blessed! I also hope that you have some sort of giving project planned. Our family was talking about putting together lunch bags & delivering them to the homeless. We do not have a lot of money to give big, but we know sandwiches, chips, fruit, a homemade cookie & a personal note will not cost much. The joy it will bring our hearts will be priceless!

After that, I hope you are very thoughtful with your gift giving to your loved ones. Think about them & what they love. That being said, I know there are some people on our list that are hard to buy for. Or we think, ‘Our kids don’t need anything.’

 

This list will spark some ideas for your gift giving this year!

 

HOST/ESS: Your favorite hand soap & a beautiful hand towel {I actually give this hostess gift year round. So simple, yet perfect}

BABIES: Wooden toys. www.landofnod.com has some great pieces

 

LADIES & GIRLS: An overnight bag, a toiletries bag & make-up bag. If you feel like throwing in some travel size toiletries, bonus!

GUYS: A hoodie & cap of their favorite college or pro team

BOYS: A fleece hat & neck cover, wool socks, hand warmers, beef jerky, sunflower seeds & gum {Perfect for any skier, snow boarder, hunter or fisherman in your life}

 

FAMILY: Ice Cream Sundae Kit. Include: Fun sundae cups or cones, hot fudge, caramel sauce, sprinkles, nuts, praline topping, cookie crumbles, mini M&M’s, an ice cream scoop

TEACHERS: A gift card. It doesn’t have to be much. As much as they appreciate any gift & the thoughtfulness behind it…they do not need another cute mug or tree ornament!!! They just got nine last year {Ha!} $5 to a coffee shop is perfect. Or a cupcake shop, or a book store, or Thai take-out, or a specialty grocery store. The options are endless. If you feel you must give them something, how about fuzzy warm socks/wool socks? Or donate snacks & items to the classroom so they don’t have to buy out of their pockets?

THE SCIENCE KID IN YOUR LIFE: A science experiment kit or book to have your own science fun at home

THE COOK IN YOUR LIFE: Set of soup bowls, ladle & pot holder

THE MUSIC BUFF IN YOUR LIFE: A pair of nice headphones & an iTunes gift card

BOOKS:

Wonder by R.J. Palacio – If you or your children have not read it yet, you have got to! A beautiful story of a boy with a facial difference, sharing how it effects his & his loved ones lives & how being kind is most important

 

Lasso the Moon by Trish Holland – This sweet Little Golden Book is a goodnight story of cowgirls & cowboys

Flotsam by David Wiesner – A book with no words but full of beautiful illustrations allows you & your child to use your imaginations & tell a new story everytime

The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak – As it states in the title, this book has no pictures. It does not need any. The words of this brilliant author leave children {& yourself} in stitches!

 

A BOOK & THE MOVIE:

Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

These are two of my favorites with strong, beautiful messages.

For more ideas for gift giving, check out last years Gift Guide 2016 below! It has a load of more great options.

GIFT GUIDE 2016

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