Here’s your shopping list & helpful tips to create the perfect picnic grazing boxes.
Food Network recently showed us a grilled edible cheeseboard. Whaaaat? That's right. The entire board is edible. Beautiful AND delicious? Sign me up.
I had to try this out for myself, but I decided to put my own unique spin on it. The Food Network chefs created theirs with pizza dough, and I opted for a buttery, flaky puff pastry. After creating a board of my own, I think the Food Network chefs had it right. Pizza dough is the way to go here. The puff pastry I used was delicious, but not sturdy enough to support the cheese when eating. I also decided to bake it instead of grilling, and that worked fine for me.
Who's going to try this edible cheeseboard trend with me?
I had the honor of surprising friends with a picnic to celebrate the groundbreaking of their new home, built by Providence Homes. I wanted to make it extra special for them, and not just throw out a picnic basket and blanket. So here's how I planned their perfect picnic.
I searched around the house and pulled out blankets, pillows, boxes, a small table, greenery, candles, lanterns, etc. I found 2 gray blankets, and 4 teal pillows. So I decided on a jewel tone color scheme.
Then, I set up the picnic in my living room to see how everything looked together. This took about an hour of arranging, then rearranging, taking pictures, over and over again until I had a layout that I was happy with.
When my mock up picnic set up was finished, I took a photo and saved it on my phone. This way, when it was time to set up the actual picnic, I didn't have to think about the design. I could just refer to the photo and focus on the set up.
For me, the star of the show was the purple alstroemeria flowers. They were gorgeous on the grazing board! I actually had more to use around the picnic, but I forgot them in my rush to get to the picnic site. I've found that with every event I do SOMETHING always goes wrong. The napkins aren't the right color, missing an ingredient, forgot to light the candles... it's always something. I've realized, though, no one knows but me. And nobody cares! So there's no need to stress out over every detail being absolutely perfect. Try your best, have fun, and be proud of what you created.
Grazing Board Shopping List
*I purchased everything at Costco & Publix*
I've already started planning my next picnic, and ways to make it even more special. I can't wait!
Making a grazing table can be intimidating, so I put together a few easy tips and a list of everything we used to create this beautiful spring grazing table.
*I purchased everything at Costco & Publix*
Here’s my Valentine’s Day grazing board! If you want a fun way to celebrate Valentine’s day, but don’t want to cook, put together a grazing board! It’s beautiful, delicious, and you don’t have to turn on the oven. For this board, I tried to incorporate flavors that go well together and a festive color scheme of reds and pinks.
To create the brie and pomegranate heart, just use a heart shaped cookie cutter. Make sure your brie is very cold, so it’s easier to cut. Otherwise you’ll have a gooey mess. As soon as you take it out of the refrigerator, unwrap it and use the cookie cutter to gently press out your heart shape. Once the heart shape is removed, drain your pomegranate arils and carefully spoon them in the space.
Here’s a list of everything I used to create this board as well as links to where I purchased them.
On the years where my stepson isn’t with us for Thanksgiving, I prepare Thanksgiving twice. Once for him so he can have a nice Thanksgiving dinner with family, and then I prepare a second feast on Thanksgiving day.
I take him to doctor appointments, go to parent teacher meetings, and make his meals. I teach him right from wrong, table manners, how to say yes ma’am, no sir and y’all. I take care of him when he’s sick, encourage him when he’s down, and I love him unconditionally.
To all of my fellow step parents out there… I see you. I know how much you carry on your shoulders and the heaviness in your heart. Don’t stop. Keep charging forward. Keep loving that child unconditionally. You’re making a difference.
Love. Never. Fails.
If you’re a stepmom and looking for support, I am a huge fan of Stepmom Magazine. It’s an incredible resource that talks about tough topics, helpful tools, support and encouragement. “Because even when it’s good… it’s complicated.”
We love tailgating at home while cheering on our favorite teams. There's something magical about the sound of the game echoing through the house, friends and family gathering together, the cool crisp fall air, and the delicious food.
Here are some of my favorite ideas for tailgating at home.
Everyone loves a good milkshake, but these are not your mamma’s milkshakes! These are epic milkshakes!
For anyone concerned about keeping a spotless kitchen, keep on scrolling, this isn’t for you. These things are super messy, but that’s part of the fun! So, if you’re ok with sprinkles on the floor and milkshake drips everywhere, let’s have a little fun.
OK, step one, make your milkshake. Find your favorite flavor ice cream, add a little milk, and blend it up in the blender until smooth.
Now for the fun part… toppings! The more toppings, the more epic the milkshakes!
Get all the usual toppings:
Aaaaand now for the epic toppings:
Nerds (these are great because they’re like jumbo sprinkles)
Pirouettes (the chocolate filled wafer cookie straws)
Peanut Butter Cups
And pretty much any other candy you can think of.
Roll the top part of the glass in (or brush on) chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, or peanut butter. Then roll it in sprinkles, nerds, cookie crumbs, chocolates, etc.
Decorate the inside of glass by swirling chocolate sauce or caramel sauce inside. Add your milkshake, and top with all the toppings you want. Go crazy!
It’s going to spill over onto the counter. It’s going to get messy. Embrace it. Go nuts and have fun!
Charcuterie boards are one of my favorite things on the planet, but my friends typically make a face when I say “charcuterie.” Charrrrr… what? So, let’s call it a grazing board. K? K.
I’ve had several people ask me how to put a board together, so I created a demo. This one isn’t perfect or fancy, but it gives you a basic idea of how I put one together. Here are the things I typically include in my boards, and usually have them on hand so I can easily throw one together if someone drops by.
This is probably my favorite cheese y’all, and if you serve it right, you can taste the little salt crystals inside. DO NOT slice this cheese. I will come over there and smack your hand if you try to make slices out of this. Take the point of a knife, insert it into the cheese near and edge and twist off a hunk of cheese. Let the cheese break apart naturally. (see demo)
Cause, duh, it’s delicious, and a little stinky. Any kind will do. I like to leave it in a big wedge and let a few crumbles cascade down a corner. If you don’t like the bite of blue cheese, try drizzling honey over it. If you don’t like that, leave it off. It’s your board baby! Do you!
Mild and creamy. I like to stack them to create some height on the board. And do you see how cute that little one is? The cutest.
You can use any cured meat, but this is a simple easy to eat option, and most people like it.
Another crowd pleaser. I like to use the large thin cut pepperoni that you would find on an Italian sub. You can fold them into little pepperoni flowers (also shown on demo) which gives the board a fun texture and pop of color.
Crunchy, salty, and a mild rosemary flavor.
Fig Raincoast Crisps
These crackers also come in cranberry and orange, but this one is my favorite. It’s delicious with the blue cheese.
For this demo I used grapes, strawberries, and blueberries, but I also like to use figs, raspberries, pears, apples, and citrus.
Dried cherries are my go to, but I also use dried apricots, apple chips, and coconut chips. You can also use dried cranberries and raisins.
You can use any nut you like, but I like to use shelled pistachios and seasoned almonds.
Honey or honeycomb are a nice addition to any board. I also like to include some kind of jam or spread like fig or strawberry.
Garnishing your board with fresh herbs gives it a finished look to fill in any empty spaces, and they smell lovely.
What occasion is appropriate for a grazing table? Ummm… all occasions! (giggle) Seriously, though, they’re pretty simple to put together, and they’re always a show stopper. I’ve done them for multiple occasions and they never disappoint.
You should know, though, there is a wrong way to do these, and trust me, I’m speaking from experience. Here are a few tips to help get you started.
TIP 1: Use parchment paper that matches or compliments your surface. If it’s brown, use brown. If it’s white, use white. Also, it’s best to select a surface that is flat. If you’re working with a textured table, it can get pretty messy. You don’t want to be scraping blue cheese out of the grooves in your table.
TIP 2: Pick a theme. Your theme can be a color scheme, a holiday, a type of food, etc. Just make sure that everything goes well together.
TIP 3: Fill in the gaps. Use something small like edible flowers, popcorn, nuts, candy, etc. to fill in any random gaps in your grazing table. You want it to look full and bountiful.
TIP 4: Be careful not to overdo it. Stick to your theme and keep it simple. I recommend you choose 1 or 2 at the most of your filler (see tip 3), otherwise it can start to look junky. You want your table to be artfully arranged, not a table that looks like you dumped out your grocery bags.
TIP 5: Lastly, if you don’t know how to arrange your table, copy one from a photo! There’s no need to reinvent the wheel here. There should be no shame in your game! No one is going to walk in, see your epic grazing table, and search the internet to find out who you copied. Well, Karen might. Just don’t invite Karen. So, find one that you like, and copy it the best you can. You’ve got this. (and your secret is safe with me)