Eating is a necessity. However, we choose what to eat. The choices we make reveal a great deal about us. The food you eat can tell quite a bit about your heritage, your family, your fears, your sense of adventure, your attitude toward yourself and others, and a myriad of other personal tidbits to anyone paying attention. Everything about eating is a glimpse into your soul.

I hope to reveal a little bit about myself to you through my food. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy eating. I find pleasure in bringing pleasure to others. I hope that by sharing my recipes I bring you a little bit of joy.

Cook my food. Feed it to the people you love.

Monday, November 24, 2014

How to Create a Good Cheese Plate

The holidays are upon us and for the next two months if you are like me you will be invited to party after party and expected to throw more than a few of your own. The way I handle the near constant need for ready to go appetizers is cheese.

Everyone likes cheese, it keeps for a long time and is very easy to dress up.  When creating a cheese plate I usually only use 3 or 4 different types of cheese.  I put out a few sweet accompaniments, a few savory, and 3 or four different types of crackers or breads. The crackers should be plain as you want the taste of the cheese to come through. Always include a variety of olives and grapes. Make sure to slice hard cheeses before serving them.  Soft or crumbly cheeses can be scoped out with a melon baller to make individual servings.  Line the cheese up from mildest to strongest. Make sure to include a few softs and a few hards.  Never serve citrus fruit or spicy sides.  They kill the palate and ruin your cheese experience.   Cheese  needs to be taken out of the fridge 30 minutes before serving.

Here are my favorite combinations:

Blues:  Roquefort, Gorgonzola
Apples wrapped in prosciutto
Praline pecans mixed with honey
Quince paste (ask at the deli)

Soft Goat Cheese: Humboldt Fog, Chèvre
Figs and dry salami
Cherry jam and toasted fennel seeds

Cheddars: Vermont Cheddar, Irish Cheddar
Tart apples
Peppered salami

Parmesan: The good stuff, go to a cheese monger
Good olive oil
Balsamic vinegar (the good stuff)
Olives packed in oil

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