adventures in entertaining/the cheese plate

This past Friday, me and Darrell had a very exciting date night that consisted of a trip to the grocery store, and a movie watched on our couch.    

I know - you notice the word "exciting" in the sentence above, and you think it's misplaced.  Sometimes, though, you just want to have a dinner and a movie date that doesn't cost $100 and doesn't require putting anything but yoga pants on!  

(Seriously.  Two Friday night movie tickets are $25 + popcorn & soda $25 + dinner $50 = $100!!)  

We decided on a Woody Allen movie, so we had to get a little pretension going with our snack choices.  Popcorn wasn't going to cut it.  

Wine & a cheese plate it is!  

Luckily, I had this all planned out, and our grocery trip included some fancy cheese plate supplies, and a genuinely wonderful $8 bottle of red wine they were sampling at Trader Joe's.  

So here are my instructions to assembling the perfect cheese plate, which I may actually prefer to popcorn now as the perfect movie snack.  

1.  Head to the store - I recommend Trader Joe's, because they'll let you try pretty much anything.  Whole Foods or your nearest wine & cheese store are also great,  if you're feeling spendy.  Whole Foods will also pretty much let you sample anything.  You gotta try them first....there are some WEIRD cheeses out there.  I generally love a mix of a somewhat mild blue, an extra creamy brie, a tangy goat cheese, and a little hard parmesan.  

2.  If you're at Trader Joe's, head to the snack aisle and grab a box of Raisin & Rosemary crackers, and a french baguette.  If not, just grab the baguette.  And some wine.  You should feel pretty adorable by now, walking out of a store with wine, cheese, and a baguette.  I mean, you may as well grab some flowers at this point too.  

3.  When you get home, put those flowers in a vase.  Then retrieve the cheeseboard someone bought you as a wedding gift.  Seriously, you know you got one.  Dig around, a little further back in the cabinet........yup, there it is.  Maybe give it a rinse first.  

4.  Throw 1/3 of the baguette in the oven to toast it, at about 350 degrees.  While it's warming up, slice off a 3oz or so wedge of each cheese.  Lay out the crackers, and make a little pile of walnuts, pecans, or whatever nuts you have in the house.  A few blueberries or figs are great, as well.  Put out a little bowl of with a pretty spoon.  Take out the bread and slice it into little rounds.  

5.  Serve it up with your wine!  Nibble throughout the movie, making sophisticated commentary about the wine's body and floral notes, and the flavor profiles of the cheeses.  Or don't, and just really enjoy eating a bunch of cheese and crackers for dinner.  

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