How to Make a Perfect Cheese Board on a Budget
It’s the holiday season, which means holiday entertaining is in full swing. You don’t need to break the bank to have a holiday gathering with your friends and family. I always like to serve a fabulous cheese board when I’m hosting because I love cheese and I love the simplicity of putting together a board for a party. You literally just throw everything on the board and you’re done. Not cooking, no mess!
For my simple cheese board, I chose a rind-less brie, a salty manchego cheese, a Boursin soft cheese with chives and shallots, a soft goat cheese with cranberries and a cow’s milk Alpakse which is nutty and super flavorful. I paired this with grapes, red pears and dried apricots for something sweet and also some salty manzanilla olives and smoked almonds. To enjoy the cheeses, I like to use the Open Nature flatbreads and the 2’s company crisps. I also used a cranberry sauce that I quickly put together using O Organics fresh cranberries that were on sale with maple syrup and the zest of a navel orange for some citrus notes. All of these items on the board were on sale at Safeway, and with the sales, my cheese board cost about $25. When you think of everything on the board – that’s a darn good price!
Cheese Board Rules:
There really are no rules – but these are the guidelines I follow for a perfect cheese board. I like to use a slate board, but any flat platter or wooden cutting board will work. I really like to have a good combination of sweet and savory for my guests.
Choose a variety of 3-6 cheeses including soft and hard cheeses
Include fresh fruit like grapes, pears, and/or pomegranate arils
Include dried fruit like apricots, figs or dried cranberries
If you want to include meat on your cheese board choose savory meats like prosciutto, salami or sausage
Serve with crackers, flatbread, sliced baguette, breadsticks, or savory crisps
Add condiments like honey, jams, or fruits pastes to offset the saltiness of the cheese and crackers
Include olives, marinated artichoke hearts, almonds and anything else you like to snack on. Again, there are no rules
Here is a round-up of the holiday cheese board items at Safeway to create your own cheese board on a budget:
Boursin Cheeses on sale for $3.99 through 12/12
Alouette Brie Cheese and Soft Cheese Spreads – Buy One Get One Free through 12/26
President Rondele Cheese on sale for Buy One Get One Free through 12/26
2’s Company Crisps – Buy One Get One Free through 11/30
Rutherford & Meyer Fruit Paste on sale for $5.49 through 12/26
Sesmark Crackers on sale for $2.99
Dietz & Watson Gourmet Deli Cheeses 7.5 oz on sale for $4.99 through 12/5
Safeway Manchego Cheese Wedge on sale for $5.99 through 11/30
Nabisco Triscuit, Ritz or Wheat Thin Crackers on sale for $1.99 through 12/5
Signature SELECT Entertaining Crackers on sale for $1.99 through 12/5
La Bonne Vie Goat Cheese Logs 4 oz on sale for $3.99 through 11/30
Be sure to also stop by the olive bar at your local Safeway where you’ll find a great selection of gourmet olives, roasted peppers, marinated antipasti and more for a fabulous cheese board.
If you are really on a budget and want to spend $10 or less on a cheese board for a smaller holiday gathering this upcoming week, you’ll need to stick with 1-2 cheeses – I would suggest the Lucerne Sharp Cheddar Cheese Block 8 oz on sale for $1.77 and the Lucerne Pepperjack Cheese Block 8 oz on sale for $1.77 and Signature SELECT Entertainment Crackers on sale for $1.99, serve with fresh berries on sale for $1.67, and lastly Lindsay Manzanilla Olives on sale for $1.00 through 11/30.
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