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Easy Holiday Hosting- 4 tips for creating the perfect cheese board

All things Merry and Bright brings twinkling trees and pretty garlands 
and the holiday parties and get togethers. 

Tis the season for hosting and entertaining.
And running around like wild folks trying to get everything done.
So when it comes to entertaining- why not keep it super easy?

I have talked before about easy hostess ideas with those secrets for desserts
and how you can dazzle your guests while keeping your sanity.
And today, we are in the kitchen again and talking cheese boards.
Because- cheese and crackers with savory nuts and a bit of sweetness 
are always a hit.
And- they are so simple to put together with just a few steps.

Delicious and Easy Cheese Board

#1. Choose 4 or 5 cheeses

Start with your favorites.
For this board- 
I went with a wedge of brie that I topped with a drizzle of honey
Fig and almond goat cheese
black pepper white cheddar
herbed feta

The key is variety-and really it is whatever cheese speaks to you. 
 Some of my favorites for a cheese board are the cranberry rolled goat cheeses and Dubliner cheese.
But I might have already nibbled on those before styling the board  so
they aren't included in this one. 

#2. Something Sweet

A bit of sweetness plays well with the cheeses.
Some of my absolute favorites that I might be guilty of just making and enjoying just because...
candied pecans. 
And a secret tip- add just a bit of cayenne pepper to them when making them.
Absolute perfection with the sweetness. 

I also added some brownie bark- which basically is like super thin brownies 
baked a little bit too long and then broken into pieces.
Another festive treat that is pretty is sugared cranberries.
These can be a bit sour- but if you like sweet and sour- they might be your favorite thing.

#3. Something Salty 

Of course crackers goes without saying when you are talking cheese and cracker boards.
So my tip there is to vary the choices.
I love the seed crackers sprinkled in sea salt that are thin and easy to break up into two pieces
but I also love the super chunky fig and olive crackers you can find in the deli area.
Just find a few you like that pair well with your cheeses and spread them in the corners of your board.
I also add a jar of preserves for spreading on the crackers or even the brie if someone chooses.

#4. Simple Garnishes

For that added bit of festive- think pretty garnishes.
A couple of favorites are sprigs of rosemary and lavender.

Rosemary can be found in the form of those fresh trees for Christmas this time of year
and lavender is a year round bloom over here so even when it isn't as full or flowering like it is
 in summer - the foliage looks beautiful on the board.
Arrange your board and set out with knives and small plates for guests to nibble on 
before dinner is served. 
I generally get everything ready and on the table and then take a few minutes to tidy the kitchen- stack the food prep cutting boards and run a load of glasses and silverware in the Maytag dishwasher 
while the guests start enjoying a few nibbles and a glass of wine.

So many times when I have hosted, 
I would run around in the busy and find a whole lot of mess to tidy after the party ended- 
and so I do try to tackle as I go before sitting down to relax and mingle. 

And then, when the rest of the menu is ready-  
you can serve and enjoy.

You might notice that I don't include any meats in this for a traditional charcuterie board-
that is personal preference since we are vegetarians.
You can of course choose your favorites and mix them in as well if you would like to.
That is one of the best things about creating a board such as this one- it really is all about using the cheeses, crackers and other bits that you like.

And if new kitchen appliances are on your list- find more about Maytag here.
And stay tuned for more holiday entertaining favorites, tips and treats coming your way.

Happy holiday entertaining!

This post was sponsored by Maytag but all opinions are my own.

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