Fancy in 5 Steps! 🥂 Charcuterie Board

The inspiration for this came from a 3 and 6-year-old. We were to host a small, casual gathering and we sought to satisfy everyone without killing ourselves. Aha! A charcuterie board is like fancy buffet but far simpler to build. We used two cutting boards that Mr. Chef made, but you don’t need custom end-grain cutting boards to accomplish this festival of food. The cutting board could come from IKEA, or use serving tray. Have a bit of fun with your imagination and what you already have in your cabinets. Presto!

In hosting, as in life, we prefer balance and elegant simplicity, and fun with perhaps a *sprinkle* of fancy. It’s okay to throw something together and even bring in a bit of whimsy.

So, to keep things classic and chill, the idea of having a variety and simple foods- a smorgasbord- stood out. Call it that, a Hungarian cold plate or “Hidegál”, or, because it sounds so nice to say, charcuterie board (the way we like to remember to pronounce it: “shar(k)-coo-ter-ee”; say it fast enough and the “k” glides you right through the word). Other reasons we love this:

Unstuffy – at its heart, a charcuterie board is very finger-friendly and is even great for kids

Healthy – we went mostly for organic produce & gluten-free items but also had quality meat products for omnivorous types.

Visually appealing – because we all ‘eat’ with our eyes first, we really wanted to provide a cheery, colorful palette of foods from which to choose.

The Steps

  1. Think about your guests – do they have dietary restrictions or allergies? Food preferences? Will children be present?
  2. Plan your board(s) – think of food groups (healthier versions of fat, protein, carbohydates) and accessories (dips that go well with chips, carrots, and celery for example). This helps provide a balanced and light meal. Bonus: make a ‘rainbow’. Get creative and perhaps offer a fruit and vegetable option for each color – such as orange bell peppers and orange slices.
  3. Go shopping and prep the produce. Here are some items you might want for your custom board(s): vegetables (bell pepper, carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes), fruits (orange and apple slices, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, kiwi, grapes – dried fruit is also an option!), cheeses, deli meats (salami, turkey, ham or chicken), crackers and/or bread, dips (hummus, Ranch, herb-infused olive oil), olives, pickles, seeds (pumpkin and sunflower), chips, and chocolate.
  4. Decorate your boards! Use little bowls for dips, dishes or plates, cutting boards, and utensils to design a beautiful, curated offering to your guests.
  5. Relax, eat and enjoy!

DIY Pizza Party!

pizza

It has been a very long time since our last pizza. Years of sad, cardboard-y gluten-free pizza crusts turned our focus to other dinner entrées. However, a recent shopping trip to Trader Joe’s brought us back to our inner Italian, who gave us a kiss on each cheek. There are two pizza crusts in a single package; you’ll likely want to use them both and set up an impromptu decorate-your-own-pizza gathering where many hands can get involved in making a fantastic dinner. Gluten intolerants and celiacs – finally, a pizza without repercussions! This recipe is for 2 pizzas and about hungry 4 people.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 11 minutes

Ingredients

1 bulb of garlic (yes, bulb, not clove)
1 package of gluten-free pizza crusts (we got ours from TJoe’s)
1/2 cup canned or jarred artichokes
1/2 cup organic cheese, shredded (we used cheddar and Parmesan)
1/4 cup olives, sliced
2-3 ounces of mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup arugula
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/8 cup diced jalapeño

pizza-ingredients-obw

Instructions

Remove frozen pizza crusts from fridge and let thaw about 15 minutes while preparing the olives, mushrooms, and cheese. Roast garlic in oven at 400 degrees for about 20-30 minutes or until done. Pull pizza crusts out of package and spread tomato sauce over each. Then layer on arugula followed by mushrooms, cheese, olives, artichokes, jalapeño, and then the roasted garlic (removed from skin). You can either put pizza directly on rack or use a pizza stone. Buon appetito!

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