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!

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