How to Build the Perfect Cheese Board

How to Build the Perfect Cheese Board

I love a great cheese board or plate and here are my tips for building the perfect one.

First, pick out the tray you would like to use. I prefer white, but any tray or even a wood cutting board will do the trick.

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Start off with your favorite cheese.  Right now mine are the Sartori line of cheeses.  With flavors like merlot, rosemary, raspberry and balsamic it is hard to beat.  Whole Foods Market carries most of their cheeses and I wish to thank Whole Foods Market for supplying me with a gift card to purchase the ingredients for this dish.

Once you have picked out the cheese it is time to build around it. Just like wine some cheeses pair well with other things but I am not that picky and really like an assortment of choices.

sartori cheeese

Add some fruit.  Grapes are probably the most common but have fun with this and use what is in season. Apples and pears are divine in the fall while berries should be your go to fruit in the summer. Dried fruits work nicely year around. Try dried apricots or cherries.

Next add a little salt.  I love Castelvetrano olives.  They are slightly salty but also very mild and their bright beautiful green color is hard to beat. You could also add a few slices of cured salami or meat of choice.

Your going to want some crunch and that is where the nuts come in.  I really like walnuts but any nut will do. You can also throw in some crackers for added crunch as well.

Lastly is chocolate, dark is best but you can put out whatever kind you like. That is the beauty of putting together your own.

sartori cheeese

Cheeseboards can be terribly romantic, especially this close to valentines day.  Stay in this year and share a bottle of wine over your own cheeseboard creation. And then if you are still hungry, check out my recipe for Rosemary and Garlic Crusted Filet Mignon. With these two dishes up your sleeve, you may want to stay in for date night all the time!

The next time you are in charge of bringing dish to a party or hosting your own, cheese plates and boards could not be any easier, they look elegant and are absolutely delicious.

Below are some tips from Whole Foods Market on pairing the Sartori line of cheeses. Have fun trying different combinations and in no time you will have mastered your own perfect cheese board.

Sartori is a family-owned fourth-generation artisanal cheesemaker from Plymouth, Wisconsin. Each of the varieties below are based off of their BellaVitano Gold, a creamy, nutty, Parmesan-inspired Italian farmstead cheese.

Rum Runner – A Whole Foods Market Exclusive!
Buttery and slightly sweet, soaked in locally made rum.
Pairs with: Dark beers, smoked meats, and red grapes

Merlot BellaVitano
Berry and plum notes!
Pairs with: Crusty bread, dried fruit, and hoppy beer

Raspberry BellaVitano
Bright notes of raspberry combine with hazelnut and brown-butter flavors.
Pairs well with nuts, chocolate, or light Italian red wine

 

 

Holiday Sangria

Holiday Sangria

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This Holiday Sangria is light and delicious and of course and will add a festive touch to your holiday table with the touches of cranberries and rosemary.  For added festive flair you can coat the cranberries and rosemary in sugar to give them a wintery frosted look.

Find that recipe here.

 

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As an ambassador for Whole Foods Market we are given content to share with you each month. This month is cocktail and holiday treats. So I decided to share my holiday sangria recipe with you.

INGREDIENTS

1 granny Smith apple
1 honey crisp apple
1 heaping cup fresh cranberries
2-3 Large sprigs of rosemary
1 bottle Pinot grigio
½ cup white grape juice
¼ cup sugar
1 can club soda

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Chop apple into small pieces. Then combine all ingredients in serving pitcher. Mix well.  Fill serving glasses with sugared cranberries and rosemary if desired and pour sangria over top and enjoy.

Find more holiday cocktail recipes here.

 

 

New Winter Menu and $25 to try it at Bonefish Grill

New Winter Menu and $25 to try it at Bonefish Grill

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The New Winter Menu is now available at Bonefish Grill and I’ve got $25 towards your meal to giveaway for you to try it!

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I recently had the chance to use one of the $25 Bonefish cards to check out the new menu and I have to say that although it is only usable on food items, I recommend you splurge a little and get the new Winter White Cosmo! It is so delicious.  My girlfriend and I met for lunch and started the meal with a couple of these beauties.

The white cranberry juice cocktail is studded with real red cranberries that add a festive touch for the holidays.  Not to mention those little gems soak up some of the drinks goodness which makes the entire cocktail edible.

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When it came time to decide to have another or not, my girlfriend admitted that if she did it would most likely turn her into a day drinker so we decided to move on to the main course.

With the both of us not being huge seafood fans we went for salads.

I chose the Florida Cobb Salad with wood-grilled chicken, avocado, mango, tomatoes, Blue cheese and citrus herb vinaigrette. My girlfriend ordered the Cilantro Lime Shrimp Salad  with roasted corn, black beans, Feta, grape tomatoes, red onion and cilantro lime vinaigrette. When she asked the waitress if chicken could be used instead of shrimp the answer was an astounding yes.

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The salads were fresh and delicious.  I loved how the mango on the Florida Cobb is sweet and pairs nicely with the salty blue cheese.

I am also pleased to tell you that the amazing Swordfish and Pumpkin Ravioli is still available. We got an order of this to share, sans the swordfish. You can read about how amazingly delicious it is here.

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The staff, food and service at Bonefish Grill is spot on and the is the perfect place to meet for ladies who lunch or really just anybody wanting a great lunch or dinner!

In addition to that fabulous Winter White Cosmo, the New Winter Menu features delights like NEW Lobster, Crab & Artichoke Dip with sweet lobster, lump crab and house-made tortilla chips and succulent Fresh Oscar Mahi Mahi. The wood-grilled fresh Mahi Mahi is topped with jumbo lump crab, freshly steamed asparagus and lemon butter.

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With dishes indulgent enough to make any celebration spectacular, Bonefish Grill’s Winter Menu also includes Misoyaki Chilean Sea Bass grilled over oak, then topped with misoyaki marinade and pickled ginger relish, on a bed of sautéed spinach, mushrooms and jasmine rice.

Enjoy pairing these dishes with the tasty Wiinter White Cosmo, featuring Reyka Vodka, Cointreau, St. Germain Elderflower liqueur, white cranberry juice and fresh lime juice – handcrafted to order.

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Guests can end their meal on a sweet note with seasonal Chocolate Crème Brulé, an indulgent twist on a classic dessert made in-house with a splash of delicious Grand Marnier.

chocolate creme brulee

If your looking for holiday gifts in addition to a great meal, receive a $10 Bonus Card for every $50 purchased in gift cards now through December 31. Plus, enjoy Free Gift Card Personalization with a greeting card and Free Standard Shipping when you purchase online, or pick them up at your local Bonefish Grill.

To score the $25 towards your meal at Bonefish Grill, just comment below on what New Winter Menu item you want to try.  Is is the Winter White Cosmo, The Mahi Mahi, Chilean Sea Bass, Lobster, Crab and Artichoke Dip or Chocolate Crème Brulé?

Contest is open for one week and will end Midnight, Sunday, December 18. Winner will be chosen using random.org and notified via email.

 

Giveaway ~ $25 Gift Card to Bonefish Grill and New Fall Menu Review

Giveaway ~ $25 Gift Card to Bonefish Grill and New Fall Menu Review

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If your a seafood lover, then you will love the giveaway for a $25 gift card to Bonefish Grill to try their new fall menu. Heck, even if you don’t care much for seafood, like myself you will still want this gift card to try out the new Fall Apple Martini and Pumpkin Cream Brûlée along with other menu items that feature chicken, pork and steak.

Bonefish Grill Apple Martini

Bonefish Grill Apple Martini

I was graciously sent a gift card courtesy of Bonefish Grill to try the new menu and the timing could not have been any better. My parents were in visiting from out of town and my daughter was home for the weekend from college so it was a lovely night out and also gave us a chance to try a variety of the dishes.

My husband went for the new swordfish and pumpkin ravioli dish which was quite good. I rarely eat seafood but knew I had to try a bite and to my surprise it was quite mild and almost reminded me of a pork chop. While one bite of the swordfish was enough for me, I could have eaten all of the pumpkin ravioli that was on the plate! The ravioli are filled with a tasty pumpkin filling and topped with crispy onions, crumbled feta and butter. The filling was slightly sweet and paired quite nicely with the salty feta.

Bonefish Grill Swordfish Pumpkin Ravioli

Bonefish Grill Swordfish Pumpkin Ravioli

Never having salmon as a child growing up in a household where mom does not cook fish, my daughter has learned through having it elsewhere that she really likes salmon. So whenever she gets the chance to order salmon, she is thrilled and the new cedar plank bourbon salmon dish did not disappoint her.  I cannot comment on how it tasted as I did not have any but the presentation looked great. The maple and bourbon glaze on top of the fish was perfectly caramelized and I would love to create that glaze for some chicken sometime.

Bonefish Grill Bourbon Cedar Plank Salmon

Bonefish Grill Cedar Plank Bourbon Salmon

I went for the lamb chops. Although, I love lamb I rarely cook it at home so it is always a treat to get it when I see it on a menu.  The lamb was tender and the garlic mashed potatoes paired perfectly. One thing I really like about Bonefish Grill is the ability to choose the sides you want. If your watching carbs it is nice to have quite a few vegetable choices like asparagus, steamed broccoli, sautéed spinach and green beans or if you happen to be carb loading you can go for both the au-gratin potatoes and garlic mash and maybe even some fries!

Bonefish Grill Lamp Chops

Bonefish Grill Lamp Chops

Speaking of au-gratin potatoes, my dad ordered the pork chop and got those yummy cheesy potatoes along side. Being the foodie that I am and of course wanting to tell you about the dishes it is my job to try a bite of everyones dish and I have to say the pork chop was tender and juicy.

Bonefish Grill Pork Chop

Bonefish Grill Pork Chop

My mom ordered Lily’s chicken which is a tender chicken breast with goat cheese, spinach, artichoke hearts and a lemon basil sauce. I don’t know who Lily is but I am glad she shares my love of goat cheese. This dish was my second choice if I had not got the lamb chops, so I was glad that my mom ordered it. iI was tasty as well and the creamy goat cheese paired with the spinach and artichoke reminded me of an elevated version of a spinach and artichoke dip.

Bonefish Grill Lily's Chicken

Bonefish Grill Lily’s Chicken

My husband and daughter took advantage of the Dine and Discover menu where two can dine for $50 which is a special going on right now. This includes an appetizer of their famous bang bang shrimp to share, 2 entrees off of the new fall menu and dessert! I do not know what they put in the creamy spicy sauce that tops the bang bang shrimp but I like it!

Dessert included their new pumpkin creme brûlée, which is perfectly fitting for the season. The filling is comparable to that of the classic pumpkin pie and the toasted sugar crust  and house-made whip cream adds just the right amount of sweetness. And although, it is now fall, I cannot help myself when it comes to key lime pie and will order it year around.  All of the desserts at Bonefish Grill are house-made and the key lime filling is creamy and balanced with being sweet and tart at the same time.

Bonefish Grill Pumpkin Cream Brûlée

Bonefish Grill Pumpkin Cream Brûlée

Well hopefully I have made you hungry and now is your chance to try Bonefish Grill for yourself by entering to win the $25 gift card! To enter just comment below if you have ever been to Bonefish Grill and what your favorite dish is there. If you can’t wait for the gift card giveaway and want to make a reservation to try the new menu now, visit the Bonefish Grill website.

Contest will end midnight Friday, November 4 and winner will be chosen using random.org. Please be sure to include a valid email with your entry as that is how the winner will be notified. The folks over at Bonefish Grill will then mail out the gift card to the winner.  Good luck and Enjoy!

In Good Taste,

Sharm

 

Dine and Discover Menu at Bonefish Grill

Dine and Discover Menu at Bonefish Grill

 

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Cedar Plank Maple Bourbon Salmon

The new Dine and Discover menu from Bonefish Grill is the best deal in town, where two can dine on a three course dinner for only $50. In celebration of National Seafood Month in October, the new Dine and Discover menu from Bonefish Grill features items from their new fall menu.

 

This menu is only available for a limited time starting October 4. I’ve got a reservation to try out the new menu later this month so keep an eye out on a post that will describe my experience and a gift card giveaway to Bonefish Grill.

The Dine and Discover menu features a three-course dinner for two priced at $50 featuring a choice of entree, complemented by signature appetizer Bang Bang Shrimp and a delectable dessert to share. Entrees include fall favorite Fresh Swordfish with Pumpkin Ravioli, NEW Wild Snapper & Shrimp, NEW Cedar Plank Maple Bourbon Salmon and regional wood-grilled fish selections.

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Fresh Swordfish with Pumpkin Ravioli

To accompany the seasonal dishes, a selection of wines given top 90 point ratings by well-known wine experts are available for $9 per glass to please even the most discerning palates. A 90 point rating indicates that a wine is outstanding and of superior character and style. Guests can enjoy Trapiche “Broquel” Malbec, Charles & Charles Cabernet Blend, Eroica Reisling and King Estate “Signature Collection” Pinot Gris, or choose from handcrafted cocktails including the seasonal Fall Apple and Fresh Pear Martinis, filled with the flavors and aromas of the season.

pear-martini

Fresh Pear Martini

Visit Bonefish Grill online to check out their full menu, find the location nearest to you or make a reservation.

Photos courtesy of Bonefish Grill.

 

 

 

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Chipotle Cultivate Festival Coming to Kansas City

Chipotle Cultivate Festival Coming to Kansas City

 

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On Saturday, July 23, Chipotle’s Cultivate Festival is returning to KC’s Penn Valley Park to celebrate music, food and ideas. Chipotle Mexican Grill’s annual summer event series brings together chefs (locally and nationally renowned), brewers, wine makers and musicians to create an engaging environment and inspire conversation about food and sustainability. To learn more about this FREE festival, check out this video.

Celebrity Chefs – Musician talent will be announced in early summer. Chefs include Andrew Zimmern (three-time James Beard Award-winning TV personality, chef, writer and teacher); Carla Hall (Chef and Co-Host of ABC’s Emmy Award-winning “The Chew,” chef at Carla Hall’s Southern Kitchen and author); Colby Garrelts (Chef/Co-owner of Bluestem and rye Restaurants, co-author of “Made in America” and “Bluestem” cookbooks); Gerard Craft (chef/owner of Niche Food Group: Niche, Pastaria, Porano Pasta, Brasserie by Niche and Taste Bar); and Michael Corvino (executive chef and general manager, The American Restaurant).

Eat – Chipotle will serve freshly-made burritos and tacos – including the return of Chorizo! – plus, ShopHouse Kitchen and Pizzeria Locale will serve up delicious food.

Drink – Chipotle has partnered with Boulevard Brewing Company of Kansas City, Mo.; Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company of Gilbert, Ariz.; and Cigar City Brewing from Tampa, Fla., to brew an original Mexican Lager that will be served exclusively at each of the Cultivate Festivals.