|
July 19, 2017

How to Make an Epic Cheeseboard (with Trader Joe’s Items!)

How to Make an Epic Cheeseboard with items from Trader Joe's! See more on Shutterbean.com

For the past few years, I have cheese board duty whenever my parents have a big get-together at their house.

FACT:

Once you make an epic cheeseboard, you can pretty much count on being bringing one to every party you attend.

It’s important to make a good cheese board because that’s what gets a party started! You need a variety of things…all spread out because we all need a little space when we’re hovering around a table, mindlessly eating before someone figures out how much of the good salami we’ve eaten.

Let me show you:

How to Make an Epic Cheeseboard with Items from Trader Joe’s!

First, we start with all my favorites. Here’s what I picked up for my last cheeseboard:

How to Make an Epic Cheeseboard with items from Trader Joe's! See more on Shutterbean.com

Let’s talk about CHEESE:

I always like a brie, a goat cheese log (you can make this and this with it!), port salut (very popular), black pepper cheese (Cooper and my dad LOVE this cheese) and I always try to throw a wild card in there, hence the bacon cheddar.  This past time I realized that bacon cheddar is not a good option if you have vegetarians around and you’re not there to warn them what’s up.

My parent’s both like Pâté, so I usually end up buying some for them. I think it adds a little variety to the board. People are always curious about it. It’s a conversation starter for sure… it usually starts with the “do you eat the gelatine top?”

I don’t and it seems like no one else does. It’s a protective barrier. At least that’s what I tell people.

Correct me if I’m wrong, internet.

How to Make an Epic Cheeseboard with items from Trader Joe's! See more on Shutterbean.com

Let’s talk about CURED MEATS:

Everybody loves a selection of meats. The dudes at my parent’s parties are always hanging around that section the longest. Trader Joe’s has some really good varieties. I tend to eat more meat because my stomach can’t handle too much cheese (wahhhhhhh poor me/getting old kinda sucks sometimes).

How to Make an Epic Cheeseboard with items from Trader Joe's! See more on Shutterbean.com

Here’s where we bring in the color. FRUITS! ROSEMARY GARNISHES!

I always include them because we need to take breaks from chowing down on meat, cheese & crackers.

Let your guests graze on some fun/colorful things.

Rosemary is one of my favorite garnishes. It holds up to any heat and it adds a pop of green.

How to Make an Epic Cheeseboard with items from Trader Joe's! See more on Shutterbean.com

Let’s talk about NUTS:

Everybody goes nuts over the Marcona almonds. Sometimes I do the rosemary ones and sometimes I do the truffle ones. Nuts are a great addition for people who are low-carb /gluten free.

Those salt & pepper pistachios are my son’s favorite.

How to Make an Epic Cheeseboard with items from Trader Joe's! See more on Shutterbean.com

But you know, carbs are key.

How to Make an Epic Cheeseboard with items from Trader Joe's! See more on Shutterbean.com

If I put these Pita Bite Crackers out, THEY ARE GONE IN MINUTES.

Mostly because my child is obsessed with them. Don’t let him anywhere your cheese plate if you have these on them. Consider yourself warned.

Can’t say I blame him…

How to Make an Epic Cheeseboard with items from Trader Joe's! See more on Shutterbean.com

If you’re going to make an epic cheeseboard, you need some serving tools.

These are the usual suspects:

How to Make an Epic Cheeseboard with items from Trader Joe's! See more on Shutterbean.com

LET’S GET STARTED!

To start, arrange your cheese on the tray. You want to get a sense of how much space it will take up.

This is your foundation/your base.

Also, everyone asks me where I got my cheeseboard.

Confession time: It’s actually a boot tray I got from Target.

I’ve never used it for boots…just cheese boards because IT HOLDS A LOT.

How to Make an Epic Cheeseboard with items from Trader Joe's! See more on Shutterbean.com

Now, start arranging your cured meats.

I like to fan them out/kinda scrunch the pieces up to break up that “I’VE BEEN LINED UP IN A PACKAGE MY WHOLE LIFE” look.

How to Make an Epic Cheeseboard with items from Trader Joe's! See more on Shutterbean.com

I mean, this doesn’t look like it’s from Trader Joe’s, right?

Your guests will think you picked it all up in a fancy deli.

How to Make an Epic Cheeseboard with items from Trader Joe's! See more on Shutterbean.com

Now we start adding in the fruits for pops of color.

Do I need to tell you to take off the cheese wrappers?

ALSO- you can cut up an index card and label your cheeses if you want.

It’s a good idea if you aren’t around to tell people which cheese is which.

How to Make an Epic Cheeseboard with items from Trader Joe's! See more on Shutterbean.com

Rosemary garnish. See how pretty that is??

Sometimes it’s good to break up the “canvas” with small bowls.

Notice how I put the marcona almonds in a small bowl?

If you’re going to add pistachios to the mix, make sure you have a bowl on the side for shells.

How to Make an Epic Cheeseboard with items from Trader Joe's! See more on Shutterbean.com

Crackers enter the picture.

How to Make an Epic Cheeseboard with items from Trader Joe's! See more on Shutterbean.com

And if you look in the top corner, you’ll see what I did with that goat cheese!

Place a hunk of goat cheese in a small bowl. Drizzle with honey and top with fresh thyme.

INSTANT ELEVATION. My husband went CRAZY for this and it made me think OH! I’ll just make this for one of our snack dinners on a weeknight. So much information in cheese board selections and favorites!

How to Make an Epic Cheeseboard with items from Trader Joe's! See more on Shutterbean.com

Fill allllllllll the empty spots with stuff. Let’s not see the bottom of your board.

Put the appropriate knives/spoons/forks out.

How to Make an Epic Cheeseboard with items from Trader Joe's! See more on Shutterbean.com

FEAST YOUR EYES ON THIS:

How to Make an Epic Cheeseboard with items from Trader Joe's! See more on Shutterbean.com

FOOD IS ART. Isn’t it???

How to Make an Epic Cheeseboard with items from Trader Joe's! See more on Shutterbean.com

Make sure you bring the soft cheeses up to room temperature before serving.

No one likes to cut into a hard piece of brie!

How to Make an Epic Cheeseboard with items from Trader Joe's! See more on Shutterbean.com

 

How to Make an Epic Cheeseboard with items from Trader Joe's! See more on Shutterbean.com

If you want to print this out to take with you to the store, click here to download a pdf!

If you want to go the Italian route, be sure to check out my post on Creating an Antipasti Platter!

I hope this inspires you to make an epic cheese board for your next get-together.

ENJOY!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
  • Jane M

    I had to keep reading over and over that all these products are from Trader Joe’s! So so great! I think your cheese board is INA worthy! No really! Great Job!

    • Tracy

      I wish Ina could come over and try my cheese board. DREAM COME TRUE

  • LJ

    those pita crackers are SO GOOD! i now live in a TJ free city and that’s what i miss the most from that store!

    • Tracy

      Oh gosh! I am not sure I could ever be without a TJs nearby!!!

    • Mandi

      LJ: If your city has an Aldi, I suggest checking it out as a TJ’s alternative. It’s a sister store and has many of the same items for less $, just in different wrappers.

  • Allison

    You win everything with this, seriously. Could this be any more helpful/informative?! It’s beautiful! And using a boot tray as your cheese board? Genius level. Thank you!

  • Carrie this fit chick

    THIS IS EPIC! I love TJ’s cheese and meat selection. Can I come over and eat this?

  • Heidi

    Delicious. Everything should start with a cheese board. Have you tried the Ash Rind Brie from Trader Joes? Holy buckets it’s good. There’s like this black ashy coating on the rind that makes it look exotic and cool, Perfect “hmmm what’s this little number?” element to a cheese board.

  • Molly

    Tracy, thank you!! This post is everything! I’ve been salivating over your cheeseboards in your Insta stories for months now. Thank you for sharing your secrets!!

  • Emily Gutman

    THANK YOU for this! I love making cheese boards, but am really bad with spacing and layout- this is the PERFECT tutorial!

  • Nicole G

    That is amazing!! Thank you for those beautiful visuals & great ideas. Can’t wait to try this.

  • Emily

    YES to this! Especially the pita crackers :) I also love the fig-rosemary crackers for a nice sweetish contrast to some of the sharper cheeses.

    For a veg-friendly wild card, their caramelized onion cheddar can be a HUGE hit–my friends always ask what it is/where I got it and they get so excited that it’s at TJ’s!

    And I do eat the gelatin top. I dunno, healthy fats or something like that 😉

  • Alicia

    This post sings to my heart!!!! I am so obsessed with making cheese boards that I even follow a few IG accounts dedicated to them. I live several hours from a TJ’s so I stock up on a lot of this stuff and have a cabinet in my garage dedicated to storing it. The prices really can’t be beat! I love adding something pickled to the mix-Safeway has pickled garlic in herbs that everyone just raves over, you can get it in the deli. Funny thing is that the first time I bought it I thought I was buying mozzarella balls! And one thing people usually really comment on that they like is the addition of something sweet, like TJ’s sea salt butterscotch caramels.

  • Meghan of Life Refocused

    Perfection. And now I’m starving.

  • Sarah

    I love building my boards using TJ’s ingredients! Love what you did with the goat cheese + honey + thyme situation – I can’t wait to use that on my next board. One of my favorite things to do is make homemade jams and set those out with the brie – always a hit.

  • Eleni

    This is beautiful! Thanks for all the recommendations and ideas. Those salt and pepper pistachios are my fave as well… so good. Cooper’s Derp IG stories always make me laugh! Too cute!

  • Erin

    Tracy you are amazing – I love this recipe! My crew – we are vegetarians – what would be good swaps at tjs for the meats? I don’t want to over do the cheese – just up the cheese a bit a add more fruit/nuts/carbs or would you suggest another category?

  • Abby

    Beautiful!

    My husband eats the gelatin on that pate, but I think it’s gross! He’s always teasing me for not eating it as though he’s not outnumbered by the people who don’t.

  • Leslie

    Beautiful! How much do you typically spend on ingredients? I feel like this is something for a special occasion, not a potluck where someone else brings a bag of Tostitos and a jar of salsa. Ya know?

    • Tracy

      It depends on how many people are coming. This one fed 15 guests, so I went a little nuts.

  • Rachel

    Mmmmm mmmm, I love me a cheese board! My hubby and I are big fans of snack dinner. Your board is EPIC! I’m also with Cooper about those pita crackers, they are so tasty!

  • Sarah

    This is the best thing I’ve seen on the internet in a long time. I am DOING THIS!! Thanks, Tracy!

  • Jamie

    Thank you for the PDF! I am not only inspired, I am also prepared.!!!

  • Marget

    The boot tray is not food safe . Do you out parchment under the food ?

  • Megan

    Ahhhh– this cheeseboard is indeed epic!! Seeing it reminds me of going to Cosentino’s market with my grandparents when I was a kid. My grandpa would camp out at the deli counter for what felt like hours, sampling all the meats. I totally needed this handy guide — thanks for sharing!

  • Diane

    The gelatinous stuff on top of paté is usually some kind of aspic (basically gelatin made from stock and other savory flavorings), and you can definitely eat it! It’s a traditional part of a charcuterie spread, but I think lots of people feel kinda weird about it here in the US.

  • jess larson | plays well with butter

    i don’t know if there has ever been a post that’s made me as happy as this one does, like ever. this speaks to me spiritually! tj’s is my weakness, so is cheese, so are meats, so is snacking…& you’ve hit the nail on the head with your tj’s finds! i noticed those goat cheese medallions the other day and you’ve convinced me that i NEED them. also, thank you for breaking down building a beautiful cheeseboard. they look so intimidating as a finished product, but your steps really help break it all down in a simple process. what can i say – i’m obsessed & am doing this ASAP!!!! xx

  • Sheryl

    That is one amazing cheeseboard. We’re having a graduation party soon, We are thinking about having a fruit and/or cheese tray. There will be a taco truck, elote, and probably a Mango & Avocado salad along with the street tacos, guac etc. What cheeses would you serve with melons and berries? Or would you skip the cheese and just do a melon, grape, and berry tray?

  • Currently Crushing On. | How Sweet It Is

    […] how to make an epic cheeseboard with only trader joes items. […]

  • Currently Crushing On. – Fruitide

    […] how to make an epic cheeseboard with only trader joes items. […]

  • TiffanyK

    This is beautiful! I’m gonna commit to a snack dinner once a week! Sometimes I’d rather just snack than knife and fork it! Only thing worse than cutting into cold hard cheese is trying to grab grapes off a large vine. I’d recommend cutting the vines in smaller bunches so that it’s easier to grab instead of trying to take individual grapes off the vine.

  • Amy W

    Love this! Wanted to add that I’m also a really big fan of a couple jams on the board too. 😉

  • Amanda

    This looks incredible! Can’t wait for an occasion to replicate it! I’m going to Pin it for future reference.

  • Belinda

    About how many people does is this epic cheeseboard serve, if this was the only thing offered?

  • Tony

    OMG this is my lucky day: I just discovered your website!!!!
    Your recipes are amazing, the pictures are amazinger!
    I think you deserve a pension from US the government for being so great. And at least ONE statue!
    When it comes to pâté, I’m French and you don’t eat the gélatine. Also, to plant the cheese knife into the cheese is SO bad form it can actually be interpreted as humor or as some kind of political statement! But your cheese tray is so beautiful… Actually I know what it reminds me of: Arcimboldo! Thank you so much!!!

Leave a Comment