I am absolutely loving the trend of a well made food board… charcuterie as it’s fancily known. There is just something about artfully stacking food until it becomes a masterpiece and then watching your people enjoy it so much. I’ve even done boards for kids playdates because the moms and kids can all enjoy it and it just makes people happy.
If you’re all about doing the big displays with all the things stacked up… please go for it. Do it everyday if that works for you. But if we’re being honest, that can get expensive… and time consuming. So say hello to the Lazy Girl’s Charcuterie tips and get the same feel without all the extra time and money.
1. The right combination: I think 2 cheeses + 1 fruit + 1 veggie + 1 extra + crackers is all you need. You can go more or less but this combo will never let you down. Let's take a look at how to do it
- Cheese and Fruit: Depending on how adventurous your snackers are, choose accordingly. There are rules for the what varieties you’re supposed to offer (one hard, one soft, one smelly… something like that but I honestly don’t even know) but the Lazy Girl’s Charcuterie rule is to pick what you enjoy and your guests will too. I will say that a simple white cheddar and grapes will never disappoint even the pickiest or snobbiest snacker. Grapes are so easy to have on hand and can we just agree that grapes + cheese is magical? And if the board is for kids, go ahead and make cheese cubes so they're not trying to cut it.
- Crackers: I love it that you can find a fancy variety pack of crackers for a great price. Keep them in the pantry for such occasion but if you don’t want to go that far, who doesn’t love a classic Ritz? There is no rule that says you can’t use good old yellow cheddar and some Ritz crackers. Just be sure there is some crunch.
- Veggie: Whether it’s some simple carrots, cherry tomatoes or slices of cucumbers a little veggie can do a a lot to balance out the cheese overload. Here, I did our simple summer pickles to make it extra special but regular pickles also do the trick.
- Extras: One other thing will help make it extra special and yummy. Here are a few of my favorite ideas
- Nuts: Extra protein and crunch
- Meat: think pepperoni, lunch meat rolled up, etc. we’re still getting that protein and extra flavor
- Something Sweet: add in your favorite chocolates, trail mix, mix in your favorite quality chocolate chips with nuts and you’ve taken basic pantry items and made them truly special. Or even a jar or cute little bowl of your favorite jam or jelly... so simple and so delicious.
3. Layers: What’s the difference between stopping in Publix and grabbing those veggie trays with the compartments for the items cut up in them and a “board?” It’s not just the variety, it’s the presentation. It does matter because you eat with your eyes first but you don’t have to overthink it or overdo it here are some great options to elevate the look without the effort.
- The right canvas
- Looking for just a small snack? Thelma is your girl. You can use this simple white plate for just about any snack time.
- White plates are always the answer. For lazy girls there is no rule that you can just use your favorite dish.
- And if we're looking to go even more simple and/or rustic layer a sheet of parchment over your favorite baking sheet and start piling it up with goodies.
4. Make it easy: The beauty of a board, even a lazy one is it's grab and go, easy grazing. But getting the elements right ensures your snackers will worry about enjoying and not finding what they need
- Napkins: a stack of beverage napkins or vintage ones is all you need. Keep them in easy reach so they can be used for napkin purposes or also an informal plate. Our beverage napkins are really the very best for this.
- Forks: it's 100% ok to eat with your hands but be sure you have a few forks set aside for those who prefer it. I keep a small jar of vintage forks ready to pull out and use for these purposes.
- Serving pieces: whether it's tongs, forks, spoons are cheese cutters, be sure you have the necessary tools so no one is staring at a block of cheese wondering how to break into it.
- Plates: Not everyone likes to stand and snack so have some cute plates ready for them to load up and take. You can also use cute paper ones, like these or these to make cleanup a breeze
Feeding people is really about meeting their needs and showing them love. To me, the perfect "charcuterie" isn't about being elaborate and fancy (though I appreciate that and if you make me a fancy board I will enjoy every single inch of it and stand amazed at your skills) but it's more about thinking about the person enjoying it... do they have what they need? do they feel like they're taken care of with what I'm serving?
Then adding a few simple layers invites them in to truly enjoy it with all their senses (remember, you eat with your eyes first!) and shows them you want to make the experience special. This doesn't have to be difficult or expensive. Get the elements right and even a Lazy Girl can show love through food.