Cheese Boards are a no-cook, sure-to-please option for any holiday celebration. Build a cheeseboard that’s affordable yet special. Then toast the season with festive cocktails.
A few inexpensive ingredients and simple homemade touches are all you need for a spectacular, special occasion-worthy spread. Here are some smart tips to deck your board with festivity and flavor without breaking the bank.
For a classic, colorful centerpiece, make your own cranberry and herb cheeseball. Start with a container of spreadable cheese and form into a ball. Use a sheet of plastic wrap to avoid messy hands. Roll the ball in a combination of finely chopped dried cranberries, parsley, and chives until thoroughly coated. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.
No need to buy expensive cheeses. Inexpensive cheddar is always a crowd pleaser. Skip the pre-cut cubes and cut the block yourself. Orange or white, mild or extra sharp. Cheddar is always a favorite.
Upgrade affordable goat cheese by rolling the log in herbs and spices, like dried thyme, dried oregano, or crushed rainbow peppercorns for a beautiful, flavorful crust. You could also keep it plain and top with jarred pepper jelly or mango chutney.
Instead of mixed nuts, opt for crunchy snack mixes, which are often less expensive and just as delicious. For the board, look for one with little or no seasoning.
Give a budget-friendly feta or mini mozzarella balls a flavor boost by marinating cubes in olive oil with herbs like parsley, oregano, or rosemary, and other seasonings like sliced chilis, crushed garlic, or lemon zest. Refrigerate overnight or up to 3 days.
Round out your cheese board with other delicious items like fresh or dried fruit (dried apricots, figs, grapes, and sliced pears), pitted olives, and plain crackers.
Pair your cheese board with a festive holiday beverage and enjoy!
©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2020 All Rights Reserved
Here is another use for the whole grains and seeds that you’re seeing at the store. Top off with delicious flavoring, which are also tasty on oatmeal.
Amaranth (3/4 Cup)
Bring 2 1/4 cups water or milk to boil in saucepan. Stir in amaranth. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until tender. Cooking time is 25 to 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat and mix in or top with dried cherries, coconut sugar, macadamia nuts, vanilla, banana, or cacao nibs. Serves 2
Millet (3/4 Cup)
Bring 1 1/2 cups water or milk to boil in saucepan. Stir in millet. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until tender. Cooking time is 15 to 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat and mix in or top with chopped dates, demerara sugar, hazelnuts, cloves, clementine, or granola. Serves 2
Quinoa (3/4 Cup)
Bring 1 1/2 cups water or milk to boil in saucepan. Stir in quinoa. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until tender. Cooking time is 15 to 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat and mix in or top with dried apricots, agave syrup, pine nuts, cardamom, blueberries, or toasted coconut.
“Work With What You Got!”
©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2018 All Rights Reserved
Looking to build healthier eating habits? Remember, you don’t have to change everything all at once. Start with small steps that you can feel good about.
The easiest way to cook healthy is to have the proper items on hand. Healthy pantry staples are key ingredients for making healthy meals. Fill your pantry with these shelf basics and then during the week shop for more perishable foods. Try and buy organic when possible.
Dried Beans & Dried Lentils
Canned Beans (No Salt Added)
Whole Grain Pasta
Rolled Or Steel-Cut Oats
Canned Diced Tomatoes (No Salt Added)
Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
Unsweetened Plain Soy Milk
Unsweetened Plain Almond Milk
Mellow White Miso
Peanut Or Almond Butter (No Salt Or Sugar Added)
Raw Nuts (Almonds, Cashews, Walnuts, Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds)
Dried Apricots, Dates & Raisins (No Sugar Added)
Instead of thinking about what not to eat, think about healthy things that you can add to your diet. Strive to incorporate more greens and colorful vegetables into your meals.
Concentrate on whole foods in their natural forms such as fruits and vegetables.
Whole grains are key. Instead of reaching for regular pasta or white bread, look for varieties made with 100 % whole grain flour. Brown rice, quinoa and barley are good choices as well.
Try steaming your vegetables instead of frying in oil.
Think of beans, whole grains, and vegetables as the main event. Keep lean meat and fish at 3 ounces or less.
Remember, there are no quick fixes. Making healthy choices is a process that lasts a lifetime.
“Work With What You Got!”
© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2016 All Rights Reserved
5 Ways to Make the Most of Seasonal Stone Fruit
Ripen: Ripen peaches, nectarines and apricots at room temperature. Once ripe, they can be refrigerated for just a few days to help keep them at their best.
Speed Up: Speed up the ripening process by placing fruit in a brown paper bag on the counter, checking a few times each day.
Can: Preserve stone fruits by canning them (make jam, syrup or salsa) to enjoy the taste of summer year-round.
Dry: Bake or grill halves or slices at 200 degrees for about 3 hours, turning every 30 minutes or so, until dehydrated yet still soft. Store in the refrigerator.
Freeze: Lightly poach halved and pitted fruit in water (sugar optional), portion and freeze for later use in smoothies, baking, desserts or fruit sauce for pancakes.
“Work With What You Got!”
© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2015 All Rights Reserved