Not wanting to fill-up my Thanksgiving dinner guests with piles of appetizers before the main event (i.e., turkey dinner with all the fixings), I made this Easy Party Cheeseboard from food I already had on hand. I wanted something my guests could nibble on, should I fall behind schedule and tummies started to growl; but, something that wouldn’t be so fabulously delicious that they would chow down on hors d’oeuvres and have no room left for dinner!
So, the day before Thanksgiving, I threw together this easy party cheeseboard in minutes, covered it with plastic wrap and voila’, it was done and ready for the next day! Here’s what I scrounged from my pantry and refrigerator:
- Goat cheese covered with fig jam
- Mozzarella string cheese wrapped in Italian salami
- Grape tomatoes
- Parmesan cheese cut into nibbles
- Pimento-stuffed green olives
- Smoked Gouda sandwich slices cut into fourths
- Leftover block of Swiss cheese cut into slices
Underneath all? Arugula leaves tucked in here-and-there. All of these little nibbles and bits were tucked on a small rectangular platter, like the one below, which is 14 inches by 7 inches.
And the crackers were in a similar, but divided dish like this one:
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So why am I sharing my Easy Party Cheeseboard from Thanksgiving with readers after Thanksgiving? Because Christmas is right around the corner and you may be facing the same dilemna – you want to have easy finger food at the ready, but you don’t want it so tempting that you’ll ruin your guests’ appetites! I’m not saying this Easy Party Cheeseboard isn’t delicious; it is. And, it satisfied all – from the youngest toddler to the oldest elder! A little sumthin, sumthin to hold everyone in check until dinner was on the table.
One other thing I have to tell you: I bought an appetizer magazine at the grocery store the other day. I’m a sucker for food magazines and cookbooks and can’t just walk away when I see a pretty and appealing cover. Inside this magazine was a Q&A article asking caterers for info and advice. One of the questions asked was how many appetizers should one make for a dinner (i.e., to serve before a full sit-down dinner) and how many to make if your party serves appetizers only.
Ready for the answer? Wait for it, wait for it…
The answer was:
- 4 different appetizers with 6 to 8 servings per person for the dinner, and
- 6 different appetizers with 12 to 15 servings per person for the appetizer-only party!
I was shocked! Do you realize for a party with 10 guests, that would mean a 60 to 80 individual appetizer servings for a dinner party and 120 to 150 for an appetizer-only party? Who does that? Not in my world. Maybe the “professionals” for corporate parties, but I can tell you this – if you follow this rule of thumb, you will have a boat load of leftovers!
Here’s the “recipe” for my Easy Party Cheeseboard:
- 20 butter crackers (such as Ritz)
- 20 wheat crackers (such as Triscuits)
- 20 rice crackers
- 4 ounce round of goat cheese
- ¼ cup fig jam (or any jam)
- ½ pint of grape tomatoes
- 20 to 24 green olives stuffed with pimentos
- 4 slices of smoked Gouda cheese, cut into quarters
- 4 ounces Swiss cheese, sliced into 1-inch squares
- 4 pieces of string (Mozzarella) cheese, cut into half lengthwise and then half again (so that you end up with 4 pieces from each piece of string cheese)
- 16 pieces of thinly sliced Italian dry salami
- 4 ounces Parmesan cheese, cut into ¼-inch to ½-inch nibbles
- 1½ cups baby arugula
- Arrange all ingredients on a platter.
- Tuck arugula into the spaces for a pretty presentation.
Need help and inspiration for your next party? Here are some posts from Toot Sweet 4 Two’s archives:
42 Things to do when Planning Your Next Party (includes a FREE printable checklist)
42 Party Supplies for Your Next Party (includes a FREE printable checklist)