Charcuterie and Camaraderie

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Charcuterie boards have become much more than meats, cheeses, and crackers, especially when you make it a fun girls’ night activity! That’s exactly what some good friends and I did on the first night of our long-awaited girls’ weekend away at the beach.

Each of us prepared a different course to contribute to dinner and displayed it on the charcuterie board. One of my friends even found disposable charcuterie boards! Who knew!? 

We tasked ourselves with doing something other than the norm. We were excited to share our creative ideas and individual results and dig in! 

There’s an App for That Board: Our chef needed two boards! One board had Swedish meatballs and a block of cream cheese covered with red pepper jelly served with crackers. The other had cheese wontons, chicken pot pie balls, cheese and bacon perogies, parmesan and cheddar crisps, and red pepper jelly and sweet and sour sauce for dipping. Grapes were for garnish on both. The red pepper jelly was such a favorite that it had to be used twice!

The Veggie Good Board: Celery, carrots, cucumbers, cauliflower, broccoli, peppers, olives, grapes, tomatoes, mozzarella balls, crackers, cheese slices, and ranch dressing.  

Charcuterie Vegetables

Finger-Lickin’ Good Chicken and Waffles Board: Fried chicken tenders and thick buttermilk waffles with honey and traditional maple syrup for dipping. Glazed apples and cherry pie filling (both from a can and heated).

Smokin’ and Sliders Board: Barbecue ribs (Lloyd’s precooked), cornbread, and buttermilk biscuits (canned). Pulled chicken and brisket (Jack Daniel’s readymade) and sweet Hawaiian rolls for do-it-yourself sliders. All are quickly cooked in the oven or microwave. The pickles, onions for toppings, and a scrumptious maple bacon cole slaw are not pictured.   

Frites Galore Board: Various frozen fries – curly fries, steak fries, waffle fries, seasoned wedges, tater tots, and sweet potato fries. And although not potatoes, onion rings too because somehow they fall into the same category. We also served a variety of dipping sauces – ketchup, brown gravy, cheese sauce, chili, malt vinegar, ranch dressing, honey mustard, BBQ sauce, and sweet and sour sauce. Each sauce container was labeled. Even with all the dipping choices, the classics of cheese, gravy, and chili remained the faves.

The Calories Don’t Count on a Girl’s Weekend Board: Homemade mini apple pies and chocolate chip cookies, Nilla Wafers, and Pirouette Pepperidge Farm Cookies, with cantaloupe, pineapple, and strawberries. Served with a cream cheese fruit dip (store bought) and brownie batter dip (also homemade, not pictured.) 

Charcuterie Dessert

As a self-declared noncook, I was slightly nervous but quickly realized that making a charcuterie board did not have to be overwhelming. It was a fun and enjoyable (and delicious) way to kick off the weekend. 

Except for the weight of some of the charcuterie boards, there was not much heavy lifting. Some cooking from scratch, but most of the boards were a combination of frozen foods, precooked items, off-the-shelf goods, and fresh produce.  

Everyone stayed around the kitchen while others manifested their masterpieces. A crazy variety of food choices was prepared, which was ideal to meet all of our tastebuds. 

The best part of it all was the company. Tasty food, beautiful memories, warm weather, and hysterical laughter. Truly nothing like a weekend away with good friends to relax, rewind and refresh. 

Oh, and the discovery of red pepper jelly and cream cheese was an added benefit. Look for that to be a staple for any gathering I host at my home moving forward! 

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Melissa is a Bronx native who moved to Westchester County after she and her high school sweetheart got hitched in 1997. She and her husband live in Mount Kisco with their son Corey (2004) and daughter Mia (2007). Melissa spent many years working in Human Resources and currently works in enrollment and marketing for a child care organization. Melissa is a two-time survivor of Postpartum OCD. She initially became interested in writing to raise awareness for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders but has discovered that writing is a newfound aspect of her life that she thoroughly enjoys. Melissa is excited to write with the Westchester County Mom team and hopes you’ll enjoy her stories of the trials and tribulations of a born-n-raised city girl raising teenagers growing up here in Westchester.

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