August is here with cooler Kentucky mornings and a returned incentive to awaken my oven. Even with several banana forward photo shoots last week, I still had a counter full of them. So in a total cliche baking move, I’ve been churning out banana breads. Can we say hello early 2020?
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I also hosted a small charcuterie snacking soiree with some friends on Friday. I love a house full of laughter, clinking glasses, and countertops covered in delicious food. Key tip, if you show up to my door with manchego or spicy sopressata you will always be invited back. Helps if you bring some sparkling wine too. 🙂
A sophisticated display of adult “lunchables” is just what we need more of right now. Plenty of cheeses, salty meats, fruits, and spirits to add a little comfort to all the stresses.
The photo above is a charcuterie board I styled for a client that showcases soft, medium, and firm cheeses. I hold absolutely no bias when it comes to cheese. From the super stinky to the sharpest of cheddars, they are all welcome to be equally devoured.
Next, on the board comes the choice of meats. The team consists of genoa salami, spicy soppressata, calabrese salami, peppered salami, prosciutto, and a rustic pork pate. Choose your favorite players or showcase them all to satisfy your guests. I vote the more meat choices, the better!
The accoutrements are last and consist of crackers, olives, pickles, dried and fresh fruits, nuts, dips, and spreads. The choices here are endless, so its best to choose crowd favorites or seasonal options. I’m also fond of offering a bowl of milk and dark chocolate bites to pair with fruits or cheeses.
Make sure to write down the names, flavor profiles and cheese origins to display at your table. It’s nice to inform your foodie guests about each item. You can even arrange multiple boards creating a flavor pairing of certain meats, cheese, spreads and fruits with a wine or cocktail to offer a full tastebud experience.
Fun Food Pairing
I recently came across an article in BOURBON + Magazine about party flavors. Choosing which foods to taste with certain styles of whiskey at parties is a great way to entertain your guests.
The pairing that caught my attention was milk chocolate with bleu cheese and chasing it down with sips of Michter’s American Unblended, or comparable bourbon. Somewhat an odd combo at first thought, however definitely intriguing. I promptly went to the store to purchase everything I needed to try this with my charcuterie party attendees.
My bleu cheese of choice was ‘Emmi’ Smoked Moody Blue which is a semi-soft, cow’s milk bleu cheese. With hints of smokiness, nuts, and coffee it was a perfect balance to a piece of milk chocolate.
I’m forever changed with this new flavor combo and yes I took several sips of whiskey to create an amazing new post meal treat! Give it a try and let me know what you think.
Chocolate and Cheese
You might also like another chocolate and cheese combo with these Cheddar Brownies from the Wall Street Journal.
Chicken is also getting a little extra attention this month. Here are some great summer chicken recipes to test.
- My Spicy Fried Chicken Recipe tastes amazing dipped in honey.
- Also check out the Reader’s Favorite Fried Chicken Recipe from Saveur.
- 13 Grilled Chicken Recipes That Aren’t boring Or Dry- NY TIMES
- This Grilled Chicken Is a Taste of Thailand’s Deep South –Saveur
Fav Food Products
When your counter is covered in a bout 12 wine bottles and everyone around you is dying of thirst. What wine bottle opener will you choose? I own several different contraptions including the wine key, winged corkscrew, and a lever opener. I tend to always grab the lever opener, but which one is your ‘go to’?
- Great British Cheese, A Full Flavored Guide – Wall Street Journal
- How to Cook Plantains – NY Times
- Pour Yourself a Mai Tai- Bon Appetit
- Restaurant Vaccine Requirements – Food&Wine
I’m headed down to Nashville next week for work and looking forward to dining at a few of my favorite restaurants while in town. Three on the list are of my most frequented when I was living in East Nashville.
- LYRA has an evolving season middle eastern cuisine with lots of shareable options.
- My favorite lunch and ladies evening spot goes to Cafe Roze for a Roze Bowl with a latte.
- If you’re into French bistros like I am, you must visit Once Upon a Time in France. A cozy gem with amazing French Cuisine. Get there early if you want a table, no reservations available as seating is first come fist serve. The wait is totally worth it!
That’s it for this week friends. Hope you have a wonderful Sunday.