AUTUMN CHEESE PLATTER

There’s so much to be said about the simplicity of a cheese platter.  Whole foods like cheese, fresh fruit, nuts, and bread scattered about to create a feast for the senses.  There are no rules or recipes to follow (unless of course you make our candied bacon recipe below!).  Just arrange the goods on a platter (like our gorgeous Serving Platter) and let your guests do the rest.

For our cheese platter we started with four cheeses: one soft cheese (Brie), one aged cheese (Aged White Cheddar), one blue cheese (Stilton), and one hard cheese (Asiago).  While these are all great choices, don’t feel limited to these four cheeses.  We recommend visiting the market with the best cheese selection in your area, and poking around to see what they have. 

After the cheeses, we laid down some charcuterie including prosciutto, Italian dry salame, and our favorite, candied bacon.

Next, we tucked in a few stacks of crackers including a multigrain cracker and a plain cracker.  Don’t forget the baguette!  We left ours off to the side on a wooden board for easier cutting.

For the fruit, we went with an early autumn selection of fresh figs, red anjou and bosc pears, and black grapes.  Kalamata olives add a nice salty flavor to the mix.

We also scattered some nuts on our platter for a bit of crunch.  Our picks: roasted, salted pumpkin seeds or pepitas and honey cinnamon almonds. 

Last but not least, we added a jar of apple butter and some grainy mustard, which complimented one another very nicely.  Honey is another delicious option for this platter.

Candied Bacon
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Ingredients
  1. ¼ cup brown sugar
  2. 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  3. 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  4. 1 pound thick-cut bacon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix brown sugar rice vinegar, and maple syrup in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Place strips of bacon on a cooling rack set over a baking sheet and bake for 7 minutes. Turn slices and bake for another 7 minutes.
  4. Remove tray from oven and brush both sides of bacon with the brown sugar mixture. Return to oven and bake for 5 minutes.
  5. Repeat basting and baking for 5 minutes until bacon is browned and crisp, about 30 minutes.
Fiesta Dinnerware, Always Festive http://alwaysfestive.com/
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