Island Graze Craze – Transform your Island into a charcuterie dream
Your guests left abandoned to sit in the swivels awkwardly, painfully pretending to be comfortable while you scamper back and forth to your kitchen. No, No, No! That is sooo yesterday!
Come on, wake up, Island Entertaining is THE New Rage!
Time to forget what mom said, guests Should be in your kitchen. After all, you are not entertaining unless there in as an audience and what better way to keep the party rocking than hosting charcuterie on your island. Heck, that’s What Your Island Was Meant For! Embrace it!
So how do we “BRIE” up your island and make you the mistress/master of friendtainment?
Lesson starts here. Let’s play ☺
1st Things 1st
Butcher's paper, that’s your foundation. Roll it down with purpose and tape it tightly under your counter edges. This makes disappearing the after-party mess a breeze.
All Eyes on The Center
Start in the middle and strategically work your way out…
Eucalyptus garland from Michaels or Hobby Lobby gives the beautiful fresh green backdrop
Flowers, candles, pinecones, pumpkins, glass cylinders packed with ornaments and lights or truly whatever you want to be your statement piece. Not only will it properly space and segment your presentation but adding a little height is always pleasing to your guests’ eyes. And looking good is just as important as tasting good.
Now for the Non-Edibles
Small bowls for dips, jams, mustards, crumbly cheeses, etc. Elevated platters and stemmed bowls create dimension. You can place them as you go & fill in the spaces as needed.
Lastly, cheese knives, small serving spoons, baby tongs. More is better and you’ll need more than you think!
The Good Stuff!
Food! Get a head start, about 90 minutes before your guests will arrive. The least perishable items go down first.
Cracker varieties (Costco celebration packs come with 6 varieties). Plan on at least a sleeve for every 10 guests.
Skinny cracker breadsticks and random crackers like cheddar twists & rosemary/raisin crackers from Trader Joe’s. Anything that looks different than a normal cracker. You are shooting for a variety of shapes, dimensions and textures.
Fresh baguette slices, pita bread cut in triangles
Mixed nuts, candied nuts, shortbread cookies
Chocolate covered pretzels; chocolate covered acai berries
Dark chocolate bars broken up
Dried apricots, dried figs, dried mango slices
As party time approaches start putting the perishables on display.
Green olives, cucumber slices, pickles
Red & green grapes, strawberries, blackberries
Hummus, blueberry jam, apricot jam, fig jam, red pepper jelly, truffle mustard
Next, 30 minutes before guest arrival, time to unveil the cheeses…
Boursin soft cheese 3-pack (Costco)
Brie wheels (Slice each wheel into thirds)
Blue cheese (Crumbled in bowl)
Blueberry encrusted goat cheese (sliced)
Beecher’s Marco Polo black pepper cheese (cubed)
Gouda / Swiss (deli thicker cut slices – arrange on long edge)
And for the grand finale, have a little fun with your meats… THE BEST PART!
Italian dry salami, Italian prosciutto
Pieces need to be separated & arranged into rows, skewered with cheese, olives, tomatoes, and/or made into meat roses – THIS IS A MUST!!!
HOW TO MAKE A SALAMI ROSE:
Bonus: Looking for Holiday fun and inspiration?
Try some of these holiday themed charcuteries and fill in your blanks with tall glass bowls with Christmas ornaments, greenery, candles, baby Christmas trees, wooden Santa’s, etc.
For other holiday ideas, check out Boards That Sleigh, including my Charcuterie Chalet , Oh Christmas Brie, and Charcuterie Wreath