Happiest of Mondays, friends! We had the most fun time at Parent’s Weekend, and I’m only mildly sad to be back home today. Certainly a different experience from the last time we left him at college! #praise! I don’t think Mr. SP could have handled another episode like that one!
We had some good family time, met lots of his new friends, and restocked his dorm room with snacks…so I couldn’t have asked for more. Plus, game day in Norman, Oklahoma is like nothing I’ve ever seen before! It was a blast, and I’m excited for more weekends we have planned this football season. Especially when the weather gets crispy!
Now that it’s starting to cool a little in the evenings, Mr. SP and I have started taking advantage of our new outdoor living area, and frequently steal away for a little date-night at home. Even if it’s just for 30-minutes at the end of the day, it’s a chance for us to catch-up, re-connect, and just enjoy being together.
And of course there’s cheese. Always cheese.
The first thing we do at the end of the day is get cozy! I change into pajamas, joggers, cardigans…whatever feels the most cozy and soft. This Eberjay pajama set is just about the lightest, softest pair I’ve ever worn! They are a silky modal cotton with a touch of stretch, plus they stay cool. They are pure luxury and feel incredible!
Mr. SP is a t-shirt connoisseur, and he insists none fit and feel quite like Theory tees. Seems a little crazy to me, but considering tees make up much of his wardrobe, I guess it’s fair. He wears joggers around the house a lot, too, and says these are soft and lightweight.
Fit Tip: I’m wearing an XS, true to size.
But let’s be real, the best part is the snacks! I used to be intimidated by cheese boards…I mean, they even have that fancy, hard-to-pronounce name…charcuterie! But once I started creating them, I realized how quickly and easily they come together.
Most of ours are usually just a random collection of what’s in our fridge and pantry. Because really, all that matters is feeding the people you love. But even though they’re so easy to assemble, there’s something so special about the presentation that makes others feel cherished.
You could use a simple dinner plate or tray, but I love any kind of wood board. This beautiful olive wood board is the perfect size for serving just a few people.
Sugarplum Tip: Use smaller boards to make the food appear more bountiful…the goal is to squish it all in! Obviously the larger the crowd, the larger the board…but keep the idea of ‘lavish’ in mind when it comes to a charcuterie.
How to Build a Charcuterie
The goal is to mix soft, crunchy, salty, and sweet, in an easy-to-grab presentation!
Cheese / Go for a mix of soft and hard, sharp and mild
1 Hard Cheese like parmesan or manchego. I’ll preslice or crumble so people don’t struggle trying to cut it.
1 Soft cheese like mozzarella, brie & cheddar slices
1 Creamy, spreadable cheese in a small bowl. Favorites include mixing tart cherry preserves with XX, or drizzling honey over ricotta.
Meats / Roll or fold them for easy grabbing
Salami, prosciutto, pepperoni…even deli turkey or ham in a pinch! Heck, I’ve even thrown leftover chicken nuggets on!
Fruits / Mix tart and sweet, fresh and dried
Apple slices are crunchy and tart, berries are easy to grab and usually available year-round, and grapes are sweet and an easy way to fill the gaps on a board.
Dried fruit like cranberries, apricots and cherries work, too, and are fun sprinkled throughout
Crackers / It’s all about the crunch!
Do a mix of flavored and plain crackers to pair with the different cheeses and spreads. I like hearty crackers that won’t break easily, too.
Mix the shapes for a more eclectic layout…round, square, long, sticks, etc.
Condiments / Make it feel fancy!
I keep a jar of fig preserves on hand and put a little scoop in a small bowl, or even directly on the board. It adds a nice touch of sweet to the tart. Orange preserves, black cherry and chutneys are a great option, too.
Add Ons / This is where your creativity comes in! Aka, clean out the pantry!
Nuts (mixed, salted, raw, chocolate-covered, whatever), chocolate squares or candies, popcorn, chips, olives, peppers, gherkins. Basically anything you can grab with your hands that you enjoy snacking on…others will enjoy, too! Add a little herb garnish like rosemary for extra fancy.
Patio sources here
The food spread does most of the talking, but I do keep an assortment of boards, small bowls, and serving pieces on hand to add to the presentation. I found all these pieces at Bloomingdales, and saved a bundle thanks to their big 25% off sale & clearance event! They have a fantastic selection of home and entertainment…perfect for the upcoming holidays!
Do you do date nights at home? Do you love a good charcuterie like we do? What are your favorites to include? I’m always looking for fun, new things to throw on!
[Shop Our Cozy Set-Up]
*Photos by the darling and talented Mary Summers. This post is created in collaboration with Bloomingdales and ShopStyle, but all styling, product selections, and cheese-gorging are my own. Thank you for supporting Hi Sugarplum sponsors!*