Beautifully Styled Buffet
The holidays are already a busy time of year, then we add in the extra pressure to decorate our homes, and then to gather and entertain. Or maybe we don’t feel we can pull it off, so we put it off for another year and feel guilty. Instead let’s put together a big tray of pantry-ready items that you keep on hand and let that do the decorating for us. Seriously, we can do this with a charcuterie board and you can gather friends and family, get rid of the guilt and just enjoy time together.
1. Wooden Tray
I start with a nice wooden tray (I bought this one in two sizes - large and jumbo at containerstore.com) and I love that it has handles that make it so easy to transport. In summer months I use an assortment of metal or acrylic trays to take on my porch or patio.
2. Mini Latte Bowls
I kind of have a thing for bowls, and pitchers and platters…but these little latte bowls are so handy for adding to a tray or just sitting around with little bits of goodness to snack on. I got these from worldmarket.com.
3. Meat & Cheeses
I talk more in depth about what I include on my charcuterie board in another post, but I make sure to have an assortment of hard and soft cheeses, and a variety of hard sausages, rolled meats and jerky or pate.
4. Fresh & Dried Fruits
I have grown to love the taste of fresh fruits like grapes, apples, and pears or blueberries and blackberries with various cheeses. And I could eat salty yet buttery olives all day long with or without the cheese and meats!
I like to tuck in my cloth napkins right on the tray when there will only be a few of us, but for larger crowds, I’ll use small paper napkins for guests to use with their bites.
I’ll lay a bar towel down across the table or buffet because if I haven’t decorated, then that does it for me and it’s a great place for guests to put their drinks down while they are picking up bites from the charcuterie board.
7. Copper Mugs
I like to make both hot and cold cocktails and serve them in copper mugs. They are festive and practical since they are a great conductor, keeping drinks cold or warm.
These acrylic sticks are a fun way to say “drink stirrer” and they not only do that, but if you have an assortment then you can tell guests drinks apart from each others. 9. fresh herbs I love to tuck fresh herbs into the cocktails I serve and I use them to fill in gaps on the charcuterie board. Easy way to cheat and it looks pretty fancy without a lot of fuss.