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August 16, 2009

Entertaining : Cheese Platter with Grapes & Pears

Last Friday night, I got together with some friends to see Chicago at Starlight Theater (in Kansas City).  The plan was to meet at our friend's home for a couple glasses of wine and a few bites to eat before the show. I had promised to bring a sort of hors d'oeuvres, but I had had a pretty long day and I wasn't in the mood to spend any time in the kitchen or much money at the store.  My solution?  A cheese platter with grapes, pears and crackers.  $15  Looks like a lot more, doesn't it?! 

Shopping List :

Havarti Cheese - $3.50
Extra Sharp Cheddar - $3.50
Table Water Crackers with Sesame Seeds - $2.50
Red Grapes - $3.50
Bartlett Pears - $2.00
Total = $15.00

Tips :

*Anytime I assemble a platter I think about color.  I always have something green - in this case the pears, something red usually berries or grapes, and two colors of cheese.  If I use a soft goat cheese, I roll the log in chopped parsley to give it color.  

*When I want to save on the budget, I don't go to the gourmet cheese area - I go to the pre-packaged cheese section, then look for the cheese that were wrapped by the deli.  These cheeses are usually cut from the deli's large blocks of cheese, therefore they are a higher quality than the Kraft type cheese, but much less expensive than the specialty gourmet cheeses.  And guess what?  When presented on a platter like this, no one will be the wiser.  

*I love the really simple Carr's Table Water crackers with sesame seeds.  They are elegant and the perfect compliment to a flavorful cheese.

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