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Charcuterie 101

Charcuterie 101

In case you haven’t noticed, my go-to party food this year has been a charcuterie board. I’ve been bringing them to everything and had one at each event we have hosted this year. Mostly because I’ve been last minute for everything and they are so easy. Plus, who doesn’t like cheese?!

When browsing Pinterest for wedding ideas, we came across this picture that became our inspiration.

Source: via Pinterest/Kaleb Norman James Design

Source: via Pinterest/Kaleb Norman James Design

Patrick, my dad and I made this 6ft long board for the wedding and have ended up using it at least 3 more times since. Maybe when it gets warmer we will make a tutorial on how we made it!


Here are some pictures from the wedding and a couple of events we hosted at our house.

Charcuterie is always a hit and I’ve had a lot of fun making each board different depending on the holiday, season, event, etc. I’m making one for the New Year’s party we are going to so thought I would share the steps I go through when creating my boards.

When choosing my board, I think about how many people it needs to feed and the overall look I’m going for. Our huge board from the wedding can hold a lot and has a bit of a modern look to it. Here are some other choices I have for smaller or medium boards


I like to think outside the box a little too…you don’t have to just use a wooden board. This round tray from Anthropologie is a great medium size and looks a little more glamorous. This one is my choice for New Year’s because of the white and gold.


The next thing I think about is what other pieces will I be adding to the board. Our big board fed 150+ people at the wedding but we have also used it for events of around 25 and 40 people. I obviously didn’t need as much food for the smaller events so I filled the board with lanterns, candles, bowls to hold nuts and candy, and small trays for crackers. Bowls and trays are also good if you want to separate nuts or crackers if people have food allergies.


I’ll be adding some small candles and a little cup that i’m using as a bowl to add some New Year’s color and height to my board. I don’t need a lot since the food should fill a decent amount of the board.

After choosing the board and accessories, it’s time to go shopping. Trader Joe’s is my go to spot. They have the best selection and good prices. Harris Teeter is pretty good too. I like to get at least 3 types of cheese. It’s always good to start with something that will appeal to everyone. My TJ faves are a Cheddar & Gruyere blend and Gouda. I also pick a soft cheese like goat cheese or brie. Trader Joe’s often has a fun seasonal goat cheese wrapped in things cranberry, apricot, or blueberries or sometimes I get plain and pick up some fig or cherry spread to go with it. I got this Champagne Cheddar from Teeter as a special one for New Years.


I also pick up these combo packs of meat from Trader Joe’s. If it’s a bigger crowd or I know there will be a lot of guys there I grab an extra pack of salame.


Here are my favorite cracker choices all from Trader Joe’s. I also like their breadsticks, pretzels, and bread (a fave if you use brie)!

After choosing cheese, meats, and crackers I wander around Trader Joe’s looking for things that fit the look and feel I’m going for to help beef up the board. These are the things that make the board unique and pretty. I look for a variety of sweet and salty like fresh and dried fruits, chocolate, nuts, olives, artichokes. Grapes are a great go-to, but I also love including seasonal fruits, veggies, and greenery. I don’t think any board is complete without some type of greens. I picked up some preserved eucalyptus from Home Goods for $12 that I always have on hand in case I’m super last minute. i lasts a long time and I can reuse it for other boards. Here are some favorite season items/accessories. This is the best part because you can get creative.

Spring- Fresh flowers, Eucalyptus, pastel chocolate almonds

Summer- Cherries, strawberries, peaches, succulents, air plants, edible flowers

Fall- Fresh herbs like Rosemary and Thyme, pumpkins, apples, pumpkin seeds, candy (for halloween)

Winter- Pomegranate, cranberries, pears, clementines, pine sprigs, magnolia leaves, you could even add lights and Christmas ornaments

Here is a recent one I made for a Christmas party:


Below is the stuff I chose for this one. I also dipped some strawberries in white chocolate and added white and silver sanding sugar for a little sparkle. Tomorrow I’m going to a soak the grapes in Prosecco and roll them in sugar using this recipe. How cute are the stars!? These were a new find at TJ. They are mint and dark chocolate and taste like little thin mints! I might also try and pick up a cute New Year’s blower to add tomorrow.


When you assemble your board, you have to decide if you want it to look more perfect and put together or if you want it more natural and deconstructed. This is my favorite way because you can basically start throwing things on and it will still look good! The main thing to keep in mind is to not overthink it. It’s all about the layers. It’s so simple that I’ve even assembled everything after I’ve arrived at the event.

I start with my cheese and whatever extra pieces I need to hold things.


Then add the meat.


Next add all of the fruit. Make sure to save a tiny bit of space for crackers!


Then add the crackers. Don’t worry about fitting everything on. You can always bring the extras and keep adding so it stays pretty all night long.


Finally, add the greenery and all of the other cute little things. Light the candles and enjoy!

$100 Room Challenge- Weeks 1+2

$100 Room Challenge- Weeks 1+2

2018 Highlights

2018 Highlights