Simple Cheese Tray Ideas & Double Berry Chia Seed Jam
My simple cheese tray ideas and Double Berry Chia Seed Jam to make the ultimate party platter. Perfect for Easter or Mother’s Day gatherings!
Spring is in the air and that means lots of fun upcoming events… Easter, Mother’s Day, baby showers, bridal showers, bachelorette parties and weddings are several that come to mind. Whether you’re hosting or attending, I bet you’ll be faced with the dilemma of what to bring/make.
I can’t be the only one that stresses about what to make! A million thoughts go through my head- she doesn’t eat gluten, he doesn’t eat meat, what if no one wants to splurge on cupcakes. Please tell me, you’ve been there before.
A cheese tray with a variety of snacky foods is something EVERYONE loves… trust me. You’d better have extras ready! Oh and pair the cheese, crackers, jam, almonds and everything else with a favorite wine and there will be no worries about guests not being satisfied. 🙂
With a few simple cheese tray ideas and my yummy Double Berry Chia Seed Jam, you’ll be the hit of the party! Cheese trays are perfect for gatherings or parties for a number of reasons. For one, there’s a variety of foods to choose, so you can make those of us with a huge sweet tooth happy and there’s also plenty of options for people who like more savory bites. Also, you can satisfy everyone’s dietary needs. There are literally millions of combinations to make your cheese platter perfect!
The number one reason cheese trays are so great is how easy they are to throw together. You don’t need hours of cooking time or recipes and cookbooks. Enough rambling… pour a glass of Folie à Deux and let’s get going with those simple cheese tray ideas and my Double Berry Chia Seed Jam recipe.
1. It’s all about the cheese!
Purchase a few really high-quality wonderful cheeses. Don’t worry, you can find cheeses with lovely flavor that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. For my cheese board, pictured, I used one of my favorite brands, Castello. From tangy blue to complex aged Havarti, the cheeses are deliciously balanced and come together to create a gourmet cheese board. Castello offers a variety of creatively crafted cheeses- I like to include at least one soft, one semi-hard and one hard cheese to fully cover all bases. Plan to buy about 3-4 ounces of cheese per person. Be sure to serve cheese at room temperature, as it will taste much better. To do this, take the cheeses out of the fridge at least one hour ahead of time.
2. The Accompaniments
For a well-balanced platter, I suggest your 3 different types of cheese along with at least 3 sweet additions and 3 savory additions. And don’t forget a few types of crackers and/or breads. Jarred condiments are quick and fuss-free, but my Double Berry Chia Jam takes less than 20 minutes and is a must try. It will also pair well with plenty of other foods, like oatmeal, toast, sandwiches and so much more.
- Savory- nuts, marinated olives, marinated artichokes, roasted red pepper, cherry tomatoes, cured meats, spicy mustards, caramelized onions.
- Sweet- fresh fruit, dried fruit, jam, jelly, honey.
3. Get creative and have fun!
Keep it simple. All of the crackers, pictured, were already in my pantry. Before shopping for your cheese tray, raid your food stock. You may not need to buy as many goodies as you think. When deciding on the foods for my cheese tray, I try to consider the colors. I love having pops of color here and there on my platter. Fresh fruits, pretty jams and colorful olives are all eye catching ways to add pizzazz to your plate. Another fun extra is cheese labels- I didn’t have any when photographing my board, but you can usually find labels for cheap and they add a festive touch.
Don’t forget the wine! I’m sorry, but no cheese tray is complete without a bright and vibrant Chardonnay from Folie à Deux.
- 1 cup fresh raspberries
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- Set a medium saucepan, with fruit, over medium heat.
- When fruit comes to a boil lower heat and simmer fruit for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add maple syrup and chia seeds; continue to cook for 5-7 minutes more and stir occasionally. Mash fruit with your spoon as you stir, if preferred. I like to leave some fruit unmashed for added texture.
- Remove from heat and allow jam to sit and thicken for about 10 minutes.
- To store, place in an airtight jam jar or other container, and keep it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Can also be frozen for up to two months.
Frozen fruit would probably work, but I have not tried this. Also, any berries work. Try substituting strawberries and blackberries.
Replace maple syrup with honey, if preferred.
Something to think about….
Have you ever created a cheese tray? What are your favorite additions?
Something exciting- Castello is hosting a sweepstakes as part of the Cheese Board Challenge campaign. The prize is a trip for two a winery in Napa, California. Enter below to win!
Thanks to Honest Cooking and Castello for sponsoring this post and helping me to create an incredibly tasty cheese tray!