Talk about SUCCULENT! You may have noticed the latest appetizer trend at bistros and dinner parties is the fancy-named Charcuterie (shahr-cute-uh-ree) board. But this is not a new thing – Charcuterie can be traced back to the first century in France as a variety of unrefrigerated meats, primarily from pork.
There’s several ways to put together this easy appetizer. Focus on a few meats such as prosciutto and salami, then add in cheese, pickles and spreads. I also like to add in grapes or thinly sliced apples for even more variety and texture. A quick trip to the deli counter and farmers market, and you’re ready to go.
I purchased a large butcher block board on Amazon like this one, and use it only for charcuterie. You can also use interesting baskets for bread, or additional smaller boards. Add in branches from a lemon tree, wild mint from the garden, or any edible plants you have growing in the yard such as a sprigs of rosemary or flowering nasturtiums. Think about color and contrast when developing your plate.
Here’s a quick list of ingredients you can use. Focus on about 6 – 8 items. Simple boards for smaller parties might just have 4 items. Stock up on olives, pickles, and other pantry-ready items, so you can put something together in a few minutes!
- Meats: Prosciutto, Salami, Mousse or Pate, Pepperoni
- Cheese: Hard Cheddar, Soft Brie, Goat Cheese Log, Spicy Swiss
- Bread: French Bread, Toasted Pita, Crackers, Toast Triangles
- Fruit and Vegetables: Grapes, Sliced Apple, Dried Apricots, Thin Sliced Radishes
- Pickles and Olives: Cornichon Pickles, Stuffed Jumbo Olives, Black Kalamata Olives
- Spreads: Whole Grain Mustard, Honey, Fig Jam
- Nuts: Spicy Almonds, Macadamia Nuts, Salted Cashews
This easy appetizer is super easy to assemble for any party. Use what you have on hand and make it simple! The most important thing is to have fun and make your Charcuterie Board your very own!
Packed up and ready to go!
Maid of honor and bridesmaids with succulent bouquets.
Wow, we just married off our youngest daughter and the wedding was amazing! Lots of wonderful little personal touches that made it intimate and reflective of their tastes and message. We worked in conjunction with her florist, Collected with Love in San Clemente, to grow most of the succulents that would be the base for the bouquets, boutonnieres, and center pieces. 20 bags of potting soil, 200+ plastic starter containers, 25 plastic trays later, we were ready. The yard was also used to trim, fill, and add to the array of plants. I can happily report that two months later, it is back to full glory – although it was very well sliced back to the point in which I wondered why I had offered 🙂 Honestly, trimming things in the summer does do wonders for the fall blooms of succulents.
Here’s a few photos of the wedding prep and in the next post, I’ll show you the wedding photos with all the succulent amazement.
Time to give a refresh to potted succulents past their prime. With the exception of the pink Speedwell ‘First Love’ perennials, all the other plants are cuttings or replants from other areas of the yard. The two-colored aeoium or Saucer Plant is an especially easy to grow succulent from cuttings – old plants make new plants. Cut and dip in rooting hormone (I use Miracle-Gro Fast Root) but don’t often wait for the stem to callus over. Also seen here, an aloe which had outgrown it’s pot. Adding some summer interest like flowers can be a little tricky, as they might require more water than the succulents. Have fun planting! Send us your weekend re-pot.
One of my new favorite places in town is a store called Mak & Jill at the Abode. Formerly Humble Abode, it’s located in a charming Spanish cottage right in the heart of downtown San Clemente. Each room is filled with unique finds, ocean-inspired art, antiques and painted furniture. The backyard is a succulent-lovers paradise with chalk-painted beach chairs, arranged containers, and nautical accents.
The two owners, Mak and Jill, have been friends since childhood, and merged their creative take on interior design and love for everything re-purposed. The place has been transforming week by week into a haven for beach-goers and shoppers looking for items that are unique and non-traditional. They are also stockists of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and offer workshops in furniture painting.
With reasonable prices and tons of inventory, we are wishing them tons of success this summer. If you are planning on coming to San Clemente, this is a great stop. With plenty of restaurants, boutiques, farmers market (Sunday 9am – 1pm) and art show the first Sunday of the month, you can get a lot of beach fun packed in to a few hours.
MaK & JiLL at The Abode
Store Hours: Mon – Sat 10 – 6, Sun 10 – 5
228 Avenida Del Mar,
San Clemente, CA 92672
For more info, you can call the store at 949-303-5460
The new Abode
A sofa full of succulents
Great little finds displayed in the yard
Letters – design your own
Lots of succulents in unique containers
Monthly classes in furniture painting
Great chalk-painted sand chairs
I love Bon Appetit magazine – it helps me to think outside the box and cook things with a little more flair and elegance. Cooking boxed mac and cheese for ten years can really shut you down. While thumbing through a recent issue, it was the photo of the whole cauliflower that caught my eye, not so much the recipe. Here was a whole roasted cauliflower prepared like I had never seen before. Because I am on a lighter diet, I changed it up, left out the sugar, and really modified the goat cheese dip, but it was such a treat! I served it with blackened tilapia and a green salad, a simple dinner but so amazing. You gotta try this!
Here’s my variation, but all the credit goes to Bon Appetit.
- 2 1/2 cups dry white wine
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes1 bay leaf
- 1 head of cauliflower, leaves removed
Goat Cheese Dip
- 4 ounces fresh goat cheese
- 4 – 6 tablespoons non-fat greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup non fat milk
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Coarse sea salt (for serving)
Preheat oven to 475°. Bring wine, oil, kosher salt, juice, butter, red pepper flakes, bay leaf, and 8 cups water to a boil in a large pot. Add cauliflower, reduce heat, and simmer, turning occasionally, until a knife easily inserts into center, 15-20 minutes.
Using 2 slotted spoons or a mesh spider, transfer cauliflower to a rimmed baking sheet, draining well. Roast, rotating sheet halfway through, until brown all over, 30-40 minutes.
Goat Cheese Dip Assembly
While cauliflower is roasting, blend goat cheese, yogurt, milk, and oil in a small bowl until smooth; season with sea salt. Transfer cheese mixture to a serving bowl and drizzle with oil.
Transfer cauliflower to a plate. Drizzle with oil; sprinkle with sea salt. Serve with goat cheese sauce.
DO AHEAD: Whipped goat cheese can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.
Read More http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2013/05/whole-roasted-cauliflower-with-whipped-goat-cheese#ixzz2TJP8eJv1
One of my favorite succulents is called Stacked Crassula. My sister-in-law, Ruth, gave me a one a few weeks ago, and I just repotted it. Stacked Crassula are very hardy and require very little care, and make a great companion to other potted succulents because of their pyramid like appearance. I like how some stand straight and others meander over the side of the pot. Here they are combined with Flapjack or Kalanchoe luciae and blue senechio in an old fashion tin french flower pot. This cost me NOTHING! The gift combined with other slips from the yard – done!
You’ve seen them at yard sales…old tool boxes in all sizes and colors. I love that rusty tin! I had Tom drill a couple holes in the bottom for good drainage, added regular potting soil, and snipped some succulents from the yard. I dipped them in a bit of rooting hormone (I like MiracleGro FastRoot from Lowes) and then plugged them in to damp soil. Don’t be afraid to crowd things in. Looks great in that little corner of the yard or on the patio table.