Food & Drink · Uncategorized

How to make the ultimate charcuterie board.

The holiday season is finally here!

For most of that means it’s the season for good friends and family, great wine and tons of delicious food!

I have come to find there are two types of people that host holiday gatherings. The first type are the ones who reach deep into the freezer for the same boxes of frozen appetizers year after year and pop them in the oven a half hour before their guests arrive. I love that group of people and I know when I go there, they’ll have those bomb mozzarella sticks they have every year that I look forward to expect! Although I love them, the second type are the ones I personally identify with. The perfectionists and over over achievers. The ones who wake up the day of at the crack of dawn and start zipping all over the kitchen to prepare everything on the carefully selected serving ware for the event that you know are going to match the carefully selected cocktail napkins they purchased months ago. Side note: you can confirm with Tyson – it’s best to leave these types of people alone while they are in the zone.

When we first deemed our house to the gathering spot for events I knew I needed to move from the frozen food people to the made with love people. I wanted our friends and family to leave our house with full stomachs and for them to talk about the party for weeks after.

One of the easiest ways to jump from the first category to the second is with a charcuterie board. I always always always do a few charcuterie boards when we have company. They’re full of so many bite sized goodies and you can mix them up each time with different flavours, textures and colours.

I will break down the essentials to a charcuterie board for you below but you don’t have to stick with this at all – go crazy and mix it up! I do find that I like to do a few different boards because I scatter them across the kitchen counter, kitchen table and into the living room – the three areas people tend to congregate in our house. I do mine on wooden platters / wooden cutting boards because I like the rustic look of them when they come together but you can use any platter you’d like really.

charcutie 1

Essentials for a charcuterie board:

You’ll want to incorporate a variety of crackers. These will of course compliment your cheeses but will also provide some much needed crunchy texture. I try and always have the following:

  • Bread sticks
  • Traditional style crackers (a mix of traditional, veggie, flax etc.) the more flavour, shapes and colours the better
  • Bagel chips
  • Toasted pita

Cheeses are an essential component to every charcuterie board. Be sure to offer a mixture of different tastes and textures. Don’t forget, you’ll need to set out cheese knives and toothpicks! For the hard cheeses I like to cube them up for easy eating but it’s not necessary)

  • A hard cheese (such as cheddar, marble, provolone and gouda)
  • A medium-hard cheese (such as swiss or jarslberg)
  • A semi-soft or soft cheese (such as havarti, brie or neufchatel)

charcuterie 2

Dried fruits as well as fresh fruits are great for a charcuterie board because they add a subtle sweetness and also lots of colours. Pick and choose a few, you don’t have to go over board here.

  • Dried mango – my personal favourite so I always like to serve it
  • Dried pears – these pair well with buttery cheeses like brie, triple cream, cheddars etc.
  • Dried apricots and cherries – these both go best with a tangy goats milk or sheep milk cheeses, blue cheeses or any funky aged cheese.
  • Dried peaches – these pair well with sheep and cows’ milk cheeses. Cheeses that have nutty undertones like in a jarlesburg swiss and esquirrou make a great option
  • When picking fresh fruit, it’s important to pick things that will hold up their appearance as the night goes on. I would recommend raspberries, grapes, and berries. Stay clear from choices like pineapple, kiwi and oranges.

Top off your board with a mixture of nuts, cured olives, mini pickles and either some humus or a spinach dip and you’re all set to entertain!

Do you have a signature dish or food item you whip together for gatherings? I’d love to hear about it!

As always, don’t forget to subscribe to LiveLaughLearn.blog to stay up to date and follow on Instagram @LiveLaughLearn.blog

XOXO.

B.

Food & Drink · Uncategorized

the club.

A Club Sandwich is one of the most iconic sandwiches on any menu, anywhere! Layers of ham, bacon and turkey with juicy tomatoes, crisp lettuce and cheddar cheese create the perfect bite! It is astonishing to me that I have gone thirty years of life without ever trying one, until a few weeks ago. We were out on the boat and came across this cute little restaurant on the water with a dock for you to park at and go in for lunch. I’m not really a sandwich lover but Tyson ordered the club and it looked so darn good I had to have a bite. Love at first bite.

club sandwich

Restaurants and diners of all shapes and sizes (and prices!), and country clubs, schools, resorts, even hospitals have some version of a club sandwich recipe on their menu! And who can blame them? It is delicious, and looks so yummy too!

What is a Club Sandwich?

Probably the most obvious sign that you’re getting a club sandwich is the unique way it is stacked with three layers of bread and then cut into quarters and secured with a toothpick.

club sandwich2

What are Club Sandwich Ingredients? The classic club sandwich has been around for generations because it is chock-full of the things we love best all served up on some soft sandwich bread. It’s almost like a BLT with ham and turkey!

  • Turkey
  • Bacon
  • Ham
  • Cheese
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Mayo

And of course you can make a chicken club sandwich with leftover baked chicken! And why stop at white bread? Try some sourdough, whole wheat or even rye. Make a fancy California club sandwich and use sliced avocados, fancy micro-greens and some stone ground mustard? I am learning that any way is the right way when it comes to this sandwich!

club sandwich3

Here is what you will need:

♥ 6 slices of bread – toasted and buttered

4 tablespoons of mayonnaise

4oz of sliced turkey

4oz of sliced ham

2 slices of cheddar cheese

4 slices of cooked bacon

1 sliced tomato

1/2 cup of lettuce – washed and chopped

Here is what you will need to do:

Arrange 2 sliced of bread on a cutting board and spread each slice with mayonnaise

Top with turkey, tomato sliced and cheddar cheese

Spread mayonnaise on 2 more slices of bread and place on top of the cheddar cheese

Top with ham, bacon and lettuce. Spread mayonnaise on the final 2 slices of bread and plate. Cut the sandwich into either halves or quarters and serve with a pickle. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Food & Drink · Uncategorized

Engagement Party Recipe Round Up: Caprese Salad Skewers

Welcome back loves!

As I promised on Tuesday, I am going to slowly but surely start sharing everything from our Engagement Party. Everything from the DIY decorations, the food recipes, the drink stations etc. I figured this morning I would kick it off with one of the biggest food hits from the party – Caprese Salad Skewers.

These took absolutely no time at all to assemble and I made about 80 of them. I actually assembled them the afternoon before with my sister-in-law to be and I kept them in an airtight container in the fridge. We kept some of the marinate oil from the cheese so we could drizzle them on top at the last minute as well as some fresh basil to sprinkle. These kept really well in the fridge and it was great to have one less thing to worry about the day of!

Ceprese Salad Skewers

I do wish I would have gotten some better pictures of the food set up before people arrived but in true Becca fashion- I was running around like a crazy woman trying to make everything as perfect as can be. One thought that I had when we were putting them together was that it would have been nice to add a basil leaf to the skewers but I was worried about it turning while being in the fridge overnight. Putting a skewer hole in it and having it next to oiled cheese may have been a recipe for disaster. I will make these again though for a party and will likely add the basil leaf since I won’t be doing them the day before. To make up for it, I sprinkled some basil on them before sending them out the kitchen door and onto the food table.

Here is what you will need:

Cherry tomatoes

♥ Mini Marinated Bocconcini or Mozzarella balls

♥ Fresh or dried basil

♥ Skewers

Here is what you will need to do:

There really is no right or wrong way to assemble these, go to town! I found that by putting the tomato on first it worked as a little barrier from any oil dripping from the cheese when someone goes to lift the skewer to their mouth but you can totally do cheese first if you prefer. The skewers that I used had enough room to do tomato, cheese, tomato and one last cheese but depending on the size you have, get creative! Again, because I did these in advance I reserved a bit of the marinate from the cheese and used it to drizzle on top once assembled and just before going out.

I arranged them in a shallow oval platter facing the center so the ends were easily picked up without touching the ones they didn’t want to grab.

You can also choose to drizzle a balsamic reduction on top of the skewers. I decided against this because I knew they would be served for a few hours and I didn’t want a hot and sticky balsamic reduction mess on my hands at the end of the day and I didn’t want the cheese to turn brown from coming into contact with the balsamic.

These were certainly a crowd favorite and all 80 of them were eaten in no time!

Don’t forget to subscribe to LiveLaughLearn.blog to stay up to date and follow on Instagram @LiveLaughLearn.blog

XOXO.

B.