hosting

Let’s Get Cheesy

Hello Friends!

If you know me then you know I love to entertain. Hosting parties is like my thing. I also love to pick on appetizers and sip my vino instead of sit down dinners (I mean of course there is a time and place for that). On today’s Perfectly Plated I’m talking about the anatomy of the PERFECT cheese plate. Recently, I had someone tell me I should do a post on doing a cheese platter like you would order in a restaurant. Well here you go! MK and I always stay in for Valentines Day, and usually do wine and cheese. There also might be steaks involved. But always wine and cheese.

When I started hosting many years ago,  I did soooo much research on how to make the perfect cheeseboard. One full proof thing I learned was “something old, something new, something goat, and something blue”.  That will always stay in my head when creating this appetizer. A board like this might be intimidating but I can assure you it isn’t hard.

How to Charcuterie:

Here is a list of what I used:

Meats: Pepperoni

Salami

Prosciutto wrapped around mozzarella

Sliced ham

Sweet Sopressata

Cheeses: Asiago (old)

Fresh Mozzarella  (new)

Brie

Goat

Gorgonzola (blue)

I added: Grapes

Gorgonzola stuffed olives

Walnuts

Honey

Raspberry Rhubarb

Fresh Rosemary

An assortment of bread and crackers. Make sure to mix up the texture and flavors.

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I recently came to own cheese knives. Why they weren't already a part of my life before is beyond me. But, I thought it would go perfectly with this cheeseboard talk to break down what you use them for.

Spatula: This one is for cheeses like Brie or Camembert

Cheese Fork: Move cheese easily with this to plates

Heart Shaped: Best for hard cheeses like Asiago

Soft Cheese Knife: For Gorgonzola or Mozzarella

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No matter what your V-Day plans are, I hope they include some delicious cheese and wine of course.

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My Hosting 101

This will be Fast Fashionista’a last post of 2018. I’m going to take a much needed break and return fresh in 2019. Doesn’t that sound crazy? 2019. I feel like I’ve only just gotten used to saying 2018, haha. But here we are creeping closer to another year and the holiday season is upon us.

In honor of Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday, being this week I thought I would share a few of my hosting tips. I throw a good many parties throughout the year and these tips can really help no matter if you’re hosting Thanksgiving, Christmas, a birthday, or even The Fourth of July.

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  1. Plan. Plan. And then plan some more.

    What I do is write everything out in a sketch book. What the party is, how many I anticipate coming, if I have a theme, and as I make my menu not only do I write everything down, I also write what that particular dish is going in (for example: these three appetizers on risers). Write and plan until nothing is left in your head.

  2. You never have enough time. Ever.

    Sometimes I’ll catch myself thinking “Oh I've got plenty of time! The party is in two weeks.” Wrong. Time is no ones friend so in your sketch book on a different page make a schedule of what you’ll do each day leading up to the event. I’m a very organized person but even if you aren’t this will save your butt.

  3. Have your whole house clean.

    Even if the party is only in your downstairs, a great practice to get into is having your whole house be clean. Not only does it help your head feel less messy it actually is less messy. Also, when you clean up the party nothing else needs cleaned after that.

  4. Food shop as early as you can.

    Don’t torture yourself going the day before your party. If you list can be done 2 days before or even three then do that. You’ll breathe easier.

  5. Make as much as you can ahead of time.

    For example, when doing Thanksgiving, I always make my desserts, rolls, and cold appetizers at least one day a head so on the actual day that's one less thing to worry about. Take a good look at your list and see what can be done ahead of time.

  6. Prep.

    Along with making the dishes that you can ahead of time, also prep as many dishes as you can. Be it dicing veggies, peeling potatoes, or making the dish before it goes in the oven.

  7. Pick an outfit in advance!

    I can’t stress this one enough. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had an idea of an outfit in my head for a party I was hosting but then when I tried it one something didn’t fit right or it just didn’t work for whatever reason. Then you’re left sweaty, making your closet a mess (now your house isn’t clean), and flustered. Pick it out a week before and try it on the day before.

    Follow these tips and by the time your guests arrive you’ll be frazzle free with a glass of vino in hand ready to have a great time.

    Have a great Thanksgiving week everyone!

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A Fast Cinco De Mayo

Are you hosting this weekend? Going to a party? Let me help you get prepared for no matter what your plans are. Even if that means throwing together a couple last minute appetizers.

If you're hosting: 

One thing that would never travel well if tacos. But it wouldn't be this holiday without tacos! I mean it sure is a good excuse to eat them. Let me be very clear, I sure don't want you in the kitchen all night. I'd much more prefer you with a cold margarita in your hand  when your guests arrive. Here are two fast and esthetically pleasing recipes. 

Mini Tacos:

What you need:

Big tortilla shells

Circular cookie cutters  

Taco filling of choice

Take your cookie cutter and make small circles in your one big one big tortilla shell, spray them with oil, and place each shell in between muffin tins. Place in the oven on 350 degrees for a couple minutes. This doesn't take long so just keep an eye on them.  

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Fill shells with however you like to nosh on tacos!

I did traditional Tacos for these little guys.

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Next, give me alllll the stacked things. Seriously. Food just tastes better when it's in stack form.  

Mexican Ceviche with Shrimp:

What you need:

1/2 cup cooked shrimp

4Tbsp lime juice

1 plum tomato

1/2 jalapeno, cored and cut up small

1 Tbsp fresh chopped cilantro

What to do:

Mix in the shrimp and half of the lime juice and let it sit in the fridge for an hour. Then, mix shrimp, tomato, jalapeño, 1 Tbsp lime juice, and cilantro. I added some garlic salt for taste. 

In a different bowl mix avocado with remaining 1 Tbsp lime juice

Now for the sauce:

1/2 cup fresh cilantro

2 1/2 Tbsp lime juice

1/8 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp Garlic powder

Put in a food processor and serve on the side of your Ceviche

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If you need to throw something together really fast: 

A hosting worst fear. One time MK and I were out with friends and everyone decided to come back to our place. I made salsa out of the fresh tomatoes in my fridge. After that I always made sure I had the fixens for salsa on hand, just in case. A lot of times you just have to go with what's in your fridge or pantry. 

Salsa On The Fly:

What you need:

Can of whole tomatoes

2 cans whole jalapeños  

1 small onion (perferably white but whatever you have on hand will work) 

1 1/2 tsp garlic salt

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp sugar

2 tsp lime juice  

What you do:

Throw it all in a blender! That's it!

Once, I had no tortilla chips but tortilla shells so I cut them in triangles and popped them in the oven until crispy. Super delicious. 

Now the only thing missing is a Margarita right? Stay tuned for Friday's Martini Moment. I have a great DIY and an even better drink recipe.

Enjoy your Wednesday! If you look closely you can see Friday in the distance...

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