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Charcuterie & Cheese Board

My favorite get-togethers are those in which one can eat, drink, and be merry! For me that means no crappy college drinks or last minutes shots. Personally I am a sucker for some good prosecco, some good quality snacks, and stimulating conversation. I have found that parties with charcuterie and cheese boards achieve a more mature and tame type of gathering. So… if that is what you’re aiming for, this little guide should help you effortlessly pull together the perfect charcuterie and cheese board for an exciting little party!

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Step 1) Make it pretty: As I have stated before, we eat with our eyes. Aesthetics are key… make your charcuterie and cheese board pretty. Basically pick yourself out a nice wooden serving board that is large enough to display your treats, and display them in a way that is appealing to the eye. You will need a cheese knife as well.

charcuterie 101, charcuterie, charcuterie board, cheese board, party snacks, meat and cheese board, charcuterie and cheese board, appetizer, caroline culwell, life eclectic

charcuterie 101, charcuterie, charcuterie board, cheese board, party snacks, meat and cheese board, charcuterie and cheese board, appetizer, caroline culwell, life eclectic

Step 2) Charcuterie: Time to pick the meats that you will be placing on the board. I prefer a simple proscuitto and a peppered salami. I also love a hot soppresatta or any other salami. Typically I like a thinly sliced cured meat that can be easily layered on crackers or breads, and one other thicker meat that carries heavier flavor. You can buy them at most grocery stores, they taste amazing, and are decently priced. When I cut my salami I slice them into cylinder pieces, then I half them to make them more bite-sized. Then I arrange them at one end of the board right next to each other.

charcuterie 101, charcuterie, charcuterie board, cheese board, party snacks, meat and cheese board, charcuterie and cheese board, appetizer, caroline culwell, life eclectic

Step 3) Cheese: I am actually not a cheese fan… honestly, I hate cheese. Crazy I know, so my suggestions are based off of what my cheese-loving family typically puts on their cheese boards. From my observations, I think a nice brie (1 soft cheese), a gouda (1 semi-soft cheese), a blue cheese (maybe a veined cheese), or a parmesan (1 hard cheese). If you’re wanting to keep it simple, I’d go with one soft cheese (brie) and one hard (parmesan).

charcuterie 101, charcuterie, charcuterie board, cheese board, party snacks, meat and cheese board, charcuterie and cheese board, appetizer, caroline culwell, life eclectic

Step 4) Bread or Crackers: When it comes to charcuterie and cheeses you will need something that helps you get your treats from the tray to your mouth in a socially acceptable manner! Since the meats and cheeses already carry a dominant flavor, it is important to use a bland bread or cracker to not compromise the integrity of the charcuterie and cheese flavors. I really enjoy sliced french bread that is lightly coated with olive oil and grilled for crunchiness. Pam olive oil spray makes works very well for this. Otherwise Carr’s water crackers are perfect.

charcuterie 101, charcuterie, charcuterie board, cheese board, party snacks, meat and cheese board, charcuterie and cheese board, appetizer, caroline culwell, life eclectic

Step 5) Extras: It’s always nice to have some extra treats to garnish your charcuterie and cheese board. They not only add some color, but they add a variety of flavor that compliments the salty and strong tastes of your charcuterie and cheeses. Arugula is not something you would normally see on a charcuterie board, but I love the crunchiness and peppery flavor paired with the meat! To add a little sweetness I recommend dried apricots and oven-roasted/salted almonds (or other nuts of your choice), and if your feeling fancy then you can add a jam. To finish it all off, tiny pickles and olives are a must for your board and a nice stone ground mustard to dip your meats in is always apprecitated.

charcuterie 101, charcuterie, charcuterie board, cheese board, party snacks, meat and cheese board, charcuterie and cheese board, appetizer, caroline culwell, life eclectic

charcuterie 101, charcuterie, charcuterie board, cheese board, party snacks, meat and cheese board, charcuterie and cheese board, appetizer, caroline culwell, life eclectic

Step 6) Beverages: Ahh, prosecco, my go to drink! Prosecco is the prefect beverage to serve with your charcuterie and cheese board- it’s light, bubbly, and delicious! Also any other light whines, especially white wines like a Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc, will go great… It all depends on your personal preference! Just like any other choice you make for your charcuterie and cheese board, whether it’s your favorite cured meat, some /conversation-starting’ cheese, or even candied almonds, anything you throw together will be very much appreciated by your guests- go ahead, get creative!

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Handmade Jewelry

caroline culwell, the life eclectic, DIY necklace, handmade jewelry, handmade necklace, DIY jewelry

With summertime giving me so much extra time, I have gotten to experiment with some different beads while making jewelry. I love the quartz crystals and the color of the turquoise and coral beads as well. They are all pretty simple so I can wear them with almost anything.

caroline culwell, the life eclectic, DIY necklace, handmade jewelry, handmade necklace, DIY jewelry

I love having a few simple, long necklaces that I can throw on while running out the door to happy hour with friends. They are effortless and compliment all my summer outfits! Not only is it nice to own some more fun things, its awesome to have a hobby to keep me busy with my free time. It relaxing and fun and I really get to explore with the styles that I love!

caroline culwell, the life eclectic, DIY necklace, handmade jewelry, handmade necklace, DIY jewelry

These were not too difficult to throw together either… I just looked up a local beading store in Fort Worth and went and picked out a few strands of cool beads and got to work. It has become such a huge hobby in my lazy days of summer. My guilty pleasure has been enjoyed some Delirium Tremens as I craft my days away, ha!

caroline culwell, the life eclectic, DIY necklace, handmade jewelry, handmade necklace, DIY jewelry

I plan to go back to the store to buy more supplies and to experiment with some different types of stones, beads, and quartz crystals. I think even finding some statement pendants could make for a few unique pieces as well! These also make for great gifts which is nice because I have accumulated a large amount of necklaces after the past few days of beading!

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Quartz Crystal Necklace

DIY, handmade jewelry, quartz crystal necklace, handmade necklace, the life eclectic, caroline culwell

DIY, handmade jewelry, quartz crystal necklace, handmade necklace, the life eclectic, caroline culwell

DIY, handmade jewelry, quartz crystal necklace, handmade necklace, the life eclectic, caroline culwell

I don’t know about anyone else, but I was beginning to get pretty bored with the post-holiday lull. With my sisters out of town and a lack of holiday parties to attend, I decided I needed a project to keep me busy! I had been wanting to make some sort of jewelry with quartz crystals and bullet shell casings. Before I get that advanced I decided to go buy some basic jewelry making supplies and experiment with them by making simpler jewelry. After fiddling around with my supplies for a few hours I came up with an idea and created the necklace in the picture above! It’s simple yet different and can be layered with other long chained necklaces as well!

If y’all are looking for a fun DIY project I encourage jewelry making! You can find great mini pliers at Home Depot for a low price. As far as finding the jewelry supplies, you can search the internet for local stores that you can find the rest of your supplies!

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