Christmas is just days away now and I’m so excited! Whenever my heartmate and I entertain, whether on the Big Day itself or anytime during the busy holiday period, I always make simple recipes that are delicious despite only taking minutes to pull together. Preparing to entertain take so much prep and time that I wanted to share these two recipes with you to try and help streamline any holiday parties you may be hosting in the next couple of weeks! One is my quick and easy Cheese Board and the other is a delicious bruschetta recipe, which is always a favorite in our house – we even had it at our wedding celebrations!
If that’s not all, my friends at Castello Cheese, who I partnered with on this post, are giving one of you guys the chance to win a hamper full of their yummy cheeses, plus other Castello goodies including a cheeseboard and knives, wine glasses, candles, cocktail napkins and even a grocery store gift card so you can buy crackers, nuts and everything else for your cheeseboard. Carry on reading and I will tell you how to enter at the end of the post!Here are my top tips for a creating a stylish and delicious cheese board without the hassle:
1) Variety is key – Cheese can be very personal so make sure to have at least three different types. I always ensure there’s something light and mild; here I included Castello’s Gouda as it’s always so popular. Then, for a blue cheese option, I had Castello’s Danish Blue and for something a little more unusual I included Castello’s Havarti with Jalapeno (my personal favorite!).
2) Use containers – A super easy way to make a cheese board come to life and appear more elevated is to add accompaniments such as olives, pickles, chutneys. Grab a small dish or vessel that contrasts with the cheese board – white marble pairs perfectly with this olive wood board – and it will pop against it. Also, it’s practical as it stops smaller accompaniments from rolling all over the board and cheeses.
3) ‘Plate-free’ options – Don’t forget to include some easy to grab items that don’t require cutting or ‘building’. Often guests can be unable to dive into a cheese board because they are busy talking, so I like to include small cubes of Castello’s Havarti with Herbs and Spices as an option that people can pick at with cocktail sticks rather than having to have a plate.Alright, so your cheese board is sorted but if you still need a quick and easy appetizer to pass around your party then I have the perfect recipe for you. It’s a simple tomato bruschetta with two quick twists that make it a little special. These bruschetta are perfect for parties because no plates are needed so it’s easy for everyone to help themselves (and saves on the post-party washing up!). In this recipe I add thyme to the oil to add some more flavor – plus I add Castello Vintage Havarti on top, too! The sharp and bold flavour of the cheese pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the tomatoes. Plus, as you will see below, they are so how easy to make!Ingredients:
1 Punnet of sweet grape tomatoes (multicolored is preferred)
1 x Bunch of thyme
2 x Tablespoons of olive oil
1 x Pinch of kosher salt
1 x Pinch of cracker black pepper
Pack of crostini (or slice a baguette and bake the slices for a few minutes until dry)
2½ oz Castello® Vintage Havarti, or Extra Matured Cheddar, shreddedRecipe:
1. In a pestle and mortar smash the thyme leaves with the oil, salt and pepper.
2. Halve the tomatoes and then mix with the oil and thyme leaves.
3. Arrange the tomatoes onto the crostini and then grate the Castello Vintage Havarti on top.I hope these ideas have been helpful and if you want to find the cheese near you then you can find it here. OK, fancy wining a Castello Cheese hamper? Here’s how to enter: just leave a comment below before Dec 22nd 2018 and include your Instagram handle. I will pick one lucky winner at random, for full contest terms and conditions see the disclosure. Happy entertaining, and good luck!// Photography by Will Taylor