Holidays can be a busy time for entertaining and let's be honest most times you don't have the time (or the energy) to throw a big sit down meal together. After starting out trying to have great sit down dinner parties and stressing myself over them I have come to realize that platters can be a life saver!
Platters and shareables are an easy yet beautiful way to present the food and it can be put together very quickly. it has become our goto when entertaining our friends. All you need is to have your favourite cheeses and meats handy, it is always good to have some in your fridge ready just in case you get unexpected company.
With the cheeses, have at least 3 different kinds to give a good selection. I would suggest you have at least one unique cheese for the adventurous to try along with the safe bets (like a soft brie and sharp cheddar). For the meats I would say have at least 3 or 4 to give a good variety and try to pick so you can have different textures.
When buying your meats and cheeses always go for quality, you will taste the difference! For me the Cheese Boutique out in the west end has become our default shop for the best variety and quality. It deserves its own post so I won't go into detail here but be sure to check them out www.cheeseboutique.com.
Something to keep in mind when you are putting the platter together remember people eat just as much with their eyes just as much as they do with their mouths. You want to place and cut up the meats and cheeses so you have interesting arrangements. Then garnish it with fruits, nuts and preserves, the devil is always in the details.
Once the platters are set you can always complement them with a selection of breads, crackers and dips. The same applies with these as well, you want to have different textures. If you have the time I would recommend having one or two shareable hot dishes but it's not a must. There you have it, an quick and easy way to set the food without all the worry and stress.
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