If I had to choose one grocery store to live off of for the rest of my life, it would be Trader Joe's. So for my first blog post, I had to share details on my Christmas themed TJ's board.
You can download the shopping list PDF by clicking the link at the bottom of this page. The cheese board I used is from Target for $21 and I HIGHLY recommend it. Here is my creation, and I'm going to break her down for ya step-by-step below:
Animals diets change from season to season and, as a result, so do cheese profiles. Winter cheeses are either creamy, rich + have a high fat content OR from milk that was taken in spring/summer then aged until winter - think blues, bries, camembert, gruyere, comté, spruce-wrapped cheeses.
I wanted to highlight the variety of winter cheeses so I included a 12 month aged gouda, a blue and a camembert (brie-like + creamy). Royaal Grand Cru by Beemster is a firm yet smooth gouda that melts in your mouth. Le Rustique is a creamy and rich camembert from Normandy. If your TJ's has Harbison by Jasper Hill Farm, BUY THAT INSTEAD and then make sure to leave that cheese out 6-8 hours prior to serving. Last but certainly not least, we've got Trader Jblue cheese that is aged in a sandstone cave in Minnesota for 75 days
If you have seen my IG, you know that I tend to use the same charcuterie - Calabrese Salami by Columbus Meats. There's 3 reasons:
Price is on point - a 5 oz package of pre-sliced meat is $2.99. I have yet to find a better bang for my buck that tastes as great as this salami does.
The size is perfect - I used the entire package for this board.
Prosciutto is SO good and a crowd pleaser, but a majority of the packages I see in the grocery stores in Charlotte, NC look brown (aka spoiled) or cost $8 for 3-4 oz of meat. The best looking packages I find usually have a meat variety (sopressata, prosciutto + salami), cost ~$8 and don't end up being enough meat for my boards.
Keep it short 'n sweet: raspberries, Persian cukes, pomegranate + green grapes. 2 green items, 2 red items. FYI you will likely have cukes and grapes left over.
Pomegranate + pistachio crisps, walnuts, hazelnuts, peppermint pretzels, rosemary marcona almonds, caramel stroopwafels. I tried to keep it a mix of sweet + savory.
No board is complete without some fabulous pairings. Pair the Grand gouda gal with a stroopwafel to play on the creamy, caramel notes. Contrast the intensity of the cave-aged blue with a drizzle of honey. Slather a thick slice of camembert onto a pistachio + pomegranate crisp.