It’s time to get festive with some red, white and blue food in the form of a cheese board. It’s perfect for any patriotic holiday, or themed dinner, which I’m quickly learning are all the rage with young kids. I’m deeming this summer the summer of snack board dinners and I’m so excited to kick things off with this festive red, white and blue cheese board! It makes the perfect fourth of July themed appetizer – or a color themed cheese board idea.
I love the idea of snack/cheese board dinners. Yes. I serve this cheese board as a dinner for our entire family! Cheese boards are all the rage now, but my mom served a version of them every Sunday night when I was growing up! Family meals around the table were always really important in my family, but on Sundays we would take dinner into the family room (with a tv!) and eat around the coffee table. The spread usually consisted of cheese, crackers, popcorn, and maybe some leftovers. It was an easy meal for my mom, and a nice way to clear everything out of the fridge to start things over again for the week.
What I love about cheese boards as a family dinner is that the kids are really in charge of what foods they are going to choose (I talked about this in my facebook live for meal plan members!), which both empowers them and also let’s them practice serving themselves and making their own choices around food. (Both important for them to learn!)
So if you’re used to serving up your kid’s plates like I am, take a step back, let them serve themselves in a pressure-free way, and enjoy this casual twist on dinner. And let me know how it goes. ?
What to Put on a Cheese Board
Because this cheese board has a very specific theme, we’re keeping the foods to red, white and blue ideas.
Red Food Ideas:
- red peppers
- salsa or pico de gallo
White Food Ideas:
- hummus (add a drizzle of olive oil and sesame seeds and feta crumbles)
- cheeses (1-2 varieties)
- crackers (I used breadsticks)
- yogurt-covered pretzels
Blue Food Ideas:
- blue corn chips
- treats or candy if you want to include it
How to Arrange a Cheese Board
The #1 tip for how to arrange a cheese platter is to CRAM THAT CHEESE PLATTER FULL! Different colors, shapes, flavors, and textures. Click here to watch a video on how to arrange a cheese platter.
- Cheese. Start with cheese and or any bowls of olives, etc. Space them throughout the cheese platter. (PRO TIP: Cut a little of the cheese so that it’s inviting for people to start eating!)
- Meats. Next add the meats. I like to keep them close to the cheeses. If you’re using a variety, be sure to put a little section of each meat by each cheese, so that you’ve got a few different meat sections throughout the board with a variety. (PRO TIP: Fold salami in half, and rip up sheets of prosciutto so that they are small enough for one bite.)
- Crackers. Fan out crackers like water crackers and place any oddly shaped crackers (like the breadsticks) in a small bowl or glass. (PRO TIP: The breadsticks help add height to the board, which adds visual interest. Display them in a way that shows this off!)
- Fresh components. Now we’re going to add the fruit and/or vegetable. You want people to be able to pick up one piece and eat it easily, so cut cucumbers into rounds on a bias; cut grapes into little clumps of 2-3; and slice any pears or apples.
- Take a look. Step back and look at your cheese platter. Does it feel and look balanced? With a good variety? GOOD! If not, add some extra crackers or meat to any areas that look open.
- Nuts. Finish with the nuts! This is the last step and you want to fill in any open spaces with nuts. Any place you see the board or platter? Add nuts. I like to use a variety, but check to see what you have in your pantry already! Marcona almonds are a high-end option, candied walnuts are a great sweet and crunchy component, but regular almonds or pistachios work great, too!
Cheese Board Tools
If you’re going to make these often, which you’ll definitely want to (!!!), you’ll want a nice cheese board platter. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy. I picked mine up at CB2, but here’s a nice bamboo option from amazon. Marble pastry boards also work well. Remember, the main tip is to cram it full, so choose a size cutting board that you can fill up entirely. And if you’re keeping it casual, or want to easily transport it outside, a large rimmed baking sheet works well.
You’ll also need some cheese knives. Mine are from Crate & Barrel, but here’s a nice set from amazon.
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