Build the Perfect Cheese and Charcuterie Board

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WelcomeToIndiana #CollectiveBias

Tips for setting up the perfect cheese and charcuterie board. Use this recipe to build a cheese platter that’s simple to make, looks stunning, and tastes out of this world! #Collective Bias #WelcomeToIndiana #ad

It seemed like such a fantastic idea at the time. I was hosting my first grown-up housewarming party, and it only seemed fitting that I serve sophisticated and beautiful cheese and charcuterie board, as all adults do. It was perfectly executed in my head. Standing at the cheese counter, surrounded by an array of cheese, I found myself overwhelmed and confused. Unlike picking up a pre-prepared tray or cooking a tried-and-true dish, there is no recipe for the perfect cheese and charcuterie board. Or is there?

A cheese and charcuterie board always sounds wonderful, but when it comes to creating one on your own it can be intimidating. What kind of cheese should I buy? How much should I buy? What pairs well together? Through trial and error, I’ve discovered a no-fail recipe for a cheese and charcuterie board. It’s easier to put together than you think and it fulfills the party trifecta: simple to make, looks stunning, and tastes out of this world.

Tips for setting up the perfect cheese and charcuterie board. Use this recipe to build a cheese platter that’s simple to make, looks stunning, and tastes out of this world!

In the past, following my recipe created a delicious board. Unfortunately it also created a hassle: finding all the ingredients to compose a cheese and charcuterie board meant driving to several different stores. But not anymore! A few weeks ago I attended the grand opening of a new kind of store in central Indiana. Market District, located at 11505 N. Illinois Street in Carmel, is more than a grocery store. It’s a food-lover’s destination shopping experience. There’s nothing else like it in Indiana. In the 120,000-square-foot store shoppers will find a fine-dining restaurant, a café, a full-service bakery, an extensive meat, seafood and produce department, and a grocery store with the traditional products and aisles.

Market District Cheese Shop Carmel Indiana

Market District Cheese Shop Carmel Indiana

What drew me in and blew me away, however, was the Cheese Shop. Containing more than 400 artisan, local and imported cheeses, over 100 varieties of deli meats and a tasty assortment of imported olives and antipasti, I’d finally found my one-stop shop for the perfect cheese and charcuterie board (and every other party need as well)! Even better, the Market District Cheese Shop is so very helpful when it comes to the intimidating task of selecting cheeses. Not only are they friendly and knowledgeable, but they are happy to let you sample cheeses and encourage you to try before you buy.

Tips for setting up the perfect cheese and charcuterie board. Use this recipe to build a cheese platter that’s simple to make, looks stunning, and tastes out of this world!

Here’s what you’ll need to build your very own cheese and charcuterie board:


  • Platter or cutting board: I use a thick wooden cutting board. The goal here is to build your cheese and charcuterie board on something that provides a pretty backdrop as well as a sturdy surface to cut harder cheeses. Hefty platters (not your finest china) work well, as do marble, wood or slate boards.
  • Small bowls and jars: For holding toothpicks and accompaniments
  • Toothpicks
  • Appropriately sized serving spoons and knives: If you don’t own a special set of cheese knives, don’t panic! You can make do (as I’ve done) with small forks, spreaders and knives.

Tips for setting up the perfect cheese and charcuterie board. Use this recipe to build a cheese platter that’s simple to make, looks stunning, and tastes out of this world!

Hard and Soft Cheeses (3 to 5 varieties)

I’m not sure where I first heard it, but when choosing cheeses I like to follow the formula “something old, something new, something goat, something blue.”

  • Old: When selecting an old cheese (which tastes way better than it sounds!), think along the lines of something firm and possibly crumbly, with lots of flavor. Examples of such cheeses are cheddar, manchego or gouda.
  • New: A new cheese is usually softer and hasn’t aged long. Some common new cheeses are mozzarella, burrata, and ricotta.
  • Goat: Goat cheese is made from goat’s milk. Most people think of chèvre (soft goat cheese), but there are many other types as well.
  • Blue: Blue cheese can range from mild to very strong. The blue comes from the cheese being inoculated with mold and allowed to age.

There are no real rules, though. If you hate goat cheese of any kind, skip it! The goal is to have a beautiful board that reflects your tastes. When estimating how much cheese to purchase, assume 4 oz of cheese per person.

Tips for setting up the perfect cheese and charcuterie board. Use this recipe to build a cheese platter that’s simple to make, looks stunning, and tastes out of this world!

Charcuterie (1 or 2 selections)

This is completely personal preference. I love all the cured meats! Common choices include salami, prosciutto, chorizo, paté or terrine.

Tips for setting up the perfect cheese and charcuterie board. Use this recipe to build a cheese platter that’s simple to make, looks stunning, and tastes out of this world!

Accompaniments (Choose bread and/or crackers, plus any others that strike your fancy)

  • Bread and/or crackers
  • Fruit (dried and/or fresh)
  • Nuts
  • Olives, pickles or other antipasti
  • Fruit spread or jam

Putting It All Together

Think of your board as a clean canvas and arrange your selections like art. I like to place the cheese around the board and then fill in with the charcuterie and accompaniments. Trust me – there’s no right way to arrange your board! Cheese and charcuterie should be serves at room temperature. If you’re worried about the cheese drying out, you can lightly cover it with a damp cloth until serving.

Tips for setting up the perfect cheese and charcuterie board. Use this recipe to build a cheese platter that’s simple to make, looks stunning, and tastes out of this world!

As for details on this specific board I assembled, I opted for a local theme. I was so pleased by the availability of many unique and delicious local cheeses and charcuterie at Market District that I knew I wanted to build a board around those items. I used:

  • Steckler Grassfed Bright Meadow Organic Chedder Cheese
  • Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese Barren County Bleu
  • Capriole Goat Cheese Wabash Cannonball
  • Jacobs & Brichford Farmstead Cheese Everton
  • Tulip Tree Creamery Trillium
  • Smoking Goose Gin and Juice Salame
  • Mixed olives from Market District Antipasti Bar
  • Dried figs and black pepper cashews from Market District Bulk Foods
  • Fig jam
  • Apples
  • Market District Petite Toast

A cheese and charcuterie board is a fantastic addition to your own party or to bring as a dish to share. Serve the perfect cheese and charcuterie board that’s tailored to your own tastes and budget at your next gathering and watch everyone’s eyes light up and mouths water! Just follow this simple formula and fill in with one-stop shopping at Market District’s Cheese Shop. Need more inspiration? Check out the Market District website for more information on their products, articles and recipes.

In the meantime, I’d love to know: what’s one thing you’ll fight people for on a cheese and charcuterie board?


Colts vs. Patriots: Fully Inflated, Partially Dejected

Welcome back to my weekly Indianapolis Colts recap. As I feared, this week’s post wasn’t nearly as much fun to write as last week’s. So let’s just make like a Band-aid and rip this puppy off.

Taylor's Bakery Tom Brady Courtroom Sketch Cookie

Indianapolis Colts: 27 New England Patriots: 34

My Seat:

Once again, I was watching from home. I was asked multiple times last week if I’d be at the game. Even if it wasn’t for the late start time, I knew I wanted to watch this one in the privacy of my own home, with my own people. I envisioned lots of pacing and screaming. I was right on both accounts. It did make me mad to see the mass exodus of fans early in the fourth quarter. Had I been there, I would’ve stayed until the fat lady Bill Belachick sang.

My Drink:

Perhaps this was the first of many mistakes of the evening: I didn’t have a drop of alcohol the entire game. To be honest, my stomach wasn’t right all day. I’d love to say I was under the weather, but I honestly think I was just that nervous about the game. By the end of the first half I was finally feeling better. By the end of the third quarter I was seriously reconsidering my alcohol-free viewing choice.

My Post-Game Analysis:

There are two things that really bother me about this game.

The Patriots didn’t beat us, we lost the game just fine on our own. The Colts came out strong. We scored a touchdown on the opening drive for the first time in over 20 games. When the Patriots scored, we answered. I don’t know what Coach Pagano said in that locker room at halftime, but it must’ve amounted to the worst motivational speech in the history of football. When the Colts came back out it was a completely different team. Perhaps Pagano left for a corndog and the Ghost of Patriots Past paid a visit to the locker room instead. Every time it looked like maybe we’d exorcised the Ghost, he’d come back just in time to horrifically botch a third down attempt. Or a field goal.

The other thing that really irks me today is that once again we’ve created some kind of diversion that makes it easy for the Patriots and their fans to laugh at us. Had we continued to play with, as Pagano so eloquently put it a few weeks before, with “grit” and “intestinal fortitude,” we might’ve still lost the game … maybe even by the same score. But we could’ve held our heads up high, knowing we’d come close to beating one of the very best, if not the best, team in football. (Sorry, Tom Brady’s dad. No 60 points for you.) But no. We had to get cute with what I will remember for the rest of my living days as the most idiotic play call in NFL history. Before it was deflated footballs. Now we’re the Dolts.

I’m not going to get all Chicken Little here. I hate losing to the Patriots more than anything, but we’ll beat them another day. It’s just a game, and there are things I saw in this game that I did feel good about. Plus, I finally made some money on FanDuel. But unlike my very delicious Hideous Tom Brady cookie from Taylor’s Bakery, this game will leave a bad taste in my mouth for a long time.

Next week we host the New Orleans Saints at home, and praise Jesus – it’s a 1 o’clock game. Until then, go Colts!


Tinker Coffee Co.

This post contains some affiliate links. Tinker Coffee Co. provided me with coffee beans, but all caffeinated thoughts and opinions are mine.

Tinker Coffee Co.

My coffee habits have changed quite a bit in the last year. I haven’t owned a traditional coffee pot for a few years now, as I’m the only coffee drinker in the family. Instead, I have a large, insulated French press, and my routine used to be to make a full batch of it (around 2 1/2 cups of coffee) every morning. But I found something interesting about this habit: it made me less productive! I have this thing where I prefer to sit and enjoy my coffee. And so I’d drag those cups out and either answer email or surf the web for too long. Because heaven forbid I get up and get moving if I still had coffee in my cup! At the same time, all that coffee with cream and sugar made me feel less than great by mid-morning. So one day I decided that the French press would be a once-a-week thing, saving it for Sundays when I linger over the paper.

Two years ago I participated in a Tassimo House Party and received a free Tassimo brewer. I’m happy to report that it’s still going strong, and it’s my brewing method of choice most days. I like it because it’s easy, quiet and quick – no need to grind beans at the crack of dawn or think about anything other than popping a disc in and waiting a minute or two for the coffee to brew. I can operate this machine in my sleep, and 99% of the time I’m barely awake when I’m operating it. (Coffee before talkie, right people?) The built-in bonus for me is that because the discs are more expensive than buying beans and I feel a little guilty about the environmental impact of using too many discs, I limit myself to one cup a day. Still, it’s not the best coffee I’ve ever had.


I treated myself last year to a ceramic coffee dripper and an electric kettle with a gooseneck spout so that I could make pour-over coffee from home. This is the ultimate coffee treat for me. Because it takes a little more time and concentration, I save this for when I want to simply sit, sip and savor really good coffee. (This is my favorite pour-over coffee tutorial, by the way.)

Tinker Coffee Co.

If I’m going to take the time to make a cup of pour-over coffee, I make sure I have excellent coffee beans in the house. This method really brings out the flavor in the beans, so if you’re starting with anything but the best, freshest beans you’ll likely be disappointed with the final product.

Tinker Coffee Co.

A few weeks ago a delightful package showed up at my door: two bags of premium coffee beans from Tinker Coffee Co. Tinker is a local coffee roaster right here in Indianapolis, specializing in finding the best coffee beans from around the world and roasting small batches of them locally.

Tinker Coffee Co.

Each bag they sell prominently features the origin and tasting notes of the coffee, as well as date it was roasted.

The website is very helpful, with suggestions on which brewing method best suits the coffee variety. If you’re local, you can take it one step further and attend a cupping class. There you’ll learn where coffee comes from, how it’s roasted, and participate in a coffee tasting. I think it would be a fun date night (if your significant other loved coffee, which sadly mine most definitely does not) or Girls’ Night Out.

Tinker Coffee Co.

I’m not sure I’ve ever had fresher coffee at my disposal, and it made a world of difference in the taste. I even drank a cup black with no sugar, which I NEVER do! It’s a lovely treat for myself, and one that I can feel good about indulging in.

Tinker Coffee Co.

If you’re local, check out the cupping class schedule. If you’d like to treat yourself or a coffee lover for the holidays, consider gifting a coffee subscription or a sampler of Tinker selections. Tinker Coffee Co. is offering Just Like The Number readers a special discount. Get 10% off your order between now and Friday, October 9, 2015 by using the code SIX at checkout.

If you’re a coffee drinker like myself, have your coffee habits changed over the years? What’s your favorite way to enjoy your coffee right now?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...