It’s officially Wine and Cheese season!

And to help you eat and drink your way through it, I’m showing you How to Pair Wine and Cheese like an expert. We’ll start with the Basic Guidelines for How to Pair Wine and Cheese, then share specific pairing examples using the wines and cheeses I tasted and picked up on my exploration of the Central Coast with California Wines during California Wine Month.

I know what you’re saying. “But every season is Wine and Cheese…” I know. Just like “every month is California Wine Month!” which if you’ve spent even 12 seconds around here, you know is absolutely true.

But hear me out.

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ultimate game day snack board

Game Day Board Love Goes Way Back

In most normal places, when September rolls around, the air gets cooler, the days get shorter, and slowly but surely, summer slips into autumn. Not so in southern California. September and October are warm enough to have a night-time wedding reception outdoors without heatlamps. Our fall season doesn’t really get started until November. We have “winter” for about two weeks in February, and that’s only because we want to stay cozy inside, curled up next to our wall-switch-to-turn-it-on fireplace when it rains. Then the weather turns right back into spring and summer. [click to continue…]

halloween cheeseboard

As with sandwiches, salads, and bowls of cereal, I am of the belief that cheeseboards don’t require a recipe. What kind of instructions do we really need to put together a cheese board?! You buy some cheese. You buy some crackers. You put them on a board. Maybe for the sake of Mindy Kaling there’s a 12 paragraph introductory story about how your great grandfather wore shoes made out cheese to walk 40 miles to school but other than that, you don’t really need a recipe.

The Grocery Shopping List includes a brainstorm of orange, green, purple, and black ingredients to get you started. Not everything on the Grocery Shopping List appears on the board in the photo above. It is… a lot.

That being said, visual guides and grocery shopping lists have always been helpful for me when planning and putting together a cheeseboard for a certain occasion or holiday. So here are the visual guide above made together with @psimadethis and @ainttooproudtomeg, a grocery shopping list categorized by color and category, and resource links to helpful tools and equipment to put together the Ultimate Halloween Cheeseboard.

And because it’s Halloween, an extra treat: an all sweet candy board shaped like, what else, a Jack o’Lantern. For that, you really don’t need a recipe. The cute Halloween-themed gummies can be found at most grocery stores around this time.

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What’s an Avocuterie Board?

“What’s an Avocuterie Board?” you ask? It’s exactly what it sounds like: avocado + charcuterie. Avocuterie is avocado sliced and served like different cheeses and charcuterie on a board. Don’t worry, I’m going to show you how to cut an avocado in all the different ways. [click to continue…]

fry board with dips

How-to make a Fry Board first, followed by Shopping Resources and Additional Tips. My rambling thoughts and opinions that no one asked me about Fry Boards, this year’s “hot new trends,” social media virality, and whether a TOT is a FRY at the very end. make a French Fry Board

italian antipasto date night in board

Kind of feeling like a Date Night out at the favorite Italian restaurant all dressed up; but kind of also feeling like a comfy Night In on the couch wearing sweats. The Italian Date Night In Board does double duty and serves up all the favorites on a board or platter that you can set down on the table—dinner table or coffee table, depending on the vibe! This version of the Italian Date Night In Board stars Pomi Marinara Sauce, which is made from 100% fresh Italian tomatoes and is ready to heat and serve right out of the box.

Italian Date Night In Board recipe with Pomi Marinara Sauce two ways immediately below, cooking notes and resources follow.
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cheeseboard accompaniments dried fruit and nuts

What. You don’t have a well-stocked, meticulously organized “Cheeseboard Pantry” in which you keep all the dried fruit, nuts, spreads and other (mostly) shelf-stable or at least long-storing accompaniments to go with cheese and charcuterie?! [click to continue…]