07/25/13

Easiest of Easy Summer Entertaining

2 words.

2 simple, simple words.

Fruit. Platters.

Is there anything sweeter in the summer than gorgeous sweet berries, delicious ripe melons, and platters dripping in sunny preserves and sticky honey? Some things simple scream summer, and this certain does just that. They are ideal for no-stress, no-fuss, summer entertaining.

Ideas for simple Fruit and Cheese Platters:

  • Berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries… all at season’s peak!)
  • Grapes
  • Cherries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • chutneys, preserves
  • honey
  • pita chips
  • pretzel crisps
  • crostini
  • toasted nuts

Here are some examples:

They range from the simple.

Looks like a pretty good dinner for one if you ask me…

*photo from Food Network

 

To the beautifully elegant. This is so clean and neat looking; everything in its place. And there is plenty of room on the board for all your guests to partake.

* from a Beautiful Mess food blog

 

To a bit more exotic, a bit more summery and tropical.

And the platter is simply decorated with leaves. Love the natural wood peaking through too!

See… there are no hard and fast rules here.

*photo from Betty Crocker

 

Cheese platters are perfect for a welcome table at a social gathering. Very few things says “Welcome to my home” quite like a fruit and cheese platter if you ask me.

“Don’t mind if I do… I feel at home already…” ūüôā

*from MGParty Impressions website

 

And then there is the truly ellaborate platter that will feed everyone at the party and keep the conversation going all night long.

Just glorious!

So. I get it.

It can be overwhelming standing over that beautiful imported cheese case at the grocery store. So, pick cheeses you love and that your guests will enjoy.  A good rule of thumb is to choose one cheese made from each type of milk: Cow, Goat, Sheep.  Then think about textures: firm like aged cheddar or gouda, creamy and smooth like goat cheese or Chevre, or sharp and grateable like Asiago or Parmesan. Make this fun! Express your personality in your cheese selection!

Then choose fruits, nuts, crackers, and other accompaniments that enhance the cheeses, not overpowering the flavors.

A couple of things to remember:

  1. Always serve cheese at room temperature. This can be done very simply. Take cheeses out of fridge one hour before assembling the platter.
  2. If serving before dinner, serve the fruit and cheese with savory accompaniments like proscuitto or olives. If serving after dinner, serve with sweeter accompaniments like jams, honeys, and toasted nuts.
  3. Use signage for your cheeses if you like. Shows some personality and intentionality, but if you don’t have time, don’t worry about it. This is just supposed to be about assembling ingredients you love without the hassle of a ton of prep and cooking. Make this easy on yourself!
  4. Each cheese should have its own seperate knife. Have fun with this too. These knives don’t have to be fancy or even match for that matter. Be creative and have fun!

Nothing pretentious.  Uncomplicated. Simple. Summer. Entertaining.

Just remember this simple equation.

Fruit + Cheese= Happiness.

Now, that is the sort of math I am good at.

Happy summer-time (or anytime) entertaining!

xoxoxo

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