seasonal

Summer Mezze Mama

Summer Mezze Mama

I recently met Marissa at the Wisconsin Cheeselandia event. I found out that we were neighbors and we have been making our own versions of cheeseboards. She is the creative genius behind @thatcheeseplate and @cheesebynumbers. So, OF COURSE, we had to collaborate!

We put together this gorgeous, summery board after picking up some of our favorite seasonal things. Think about apricots, cantaloupes, and berries! We combined our worlds together on this board. She made her signature #SalamiRiver while I added my signature Middle Eastern flair with hummus and labneh.

As always, I hope this inspires you to create and have fun making your own boards for your upcoming parties. And, if you are looking for more cheese board ideas, make sure to follow Marissa on Instagram, @thatcheeseplate.

Whole Roasted Halloumi with Tomatoes on the Vine

Whole Roasted Halloumi with Tomatoes on the Vine

I grew up eating seared halloumi like it’s my version of grilled cheese. I’ve noticed that halloumi has been getting a lot of attention lately, seeing it pop up on different menus everywhere. But, I was still shocked to find out that so many people have never heard of my favorite cheese, aka RuPaul!

For those who don’t know what halloumi is, it’s a brined semi-hard cheese, mixed with goat and sheep milk, that doesn’t melt, which makes it super versatile - you can fry, sear, and grill it. The taste of halloumi completely changes after it gets cooked. The salty flavors get more intense, and there is a contrast between a crispy outside and salty, creamy inside.

Since it’s tomato season, I added tomatoes on the vine to add an extra burst of flavors. Such a simple way of preparing side dishes for summer parties, and I hope this dish gets you addicted to halloumi even more!

Total Time: 20 minutes
Makes: 4 servings

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 whole halloumi

  • 1 pound tomatoes on the vine

  • 3 whole garlic cloves, peeled

  • a few sprigs of thyme

  • 3 tbsp EVOO

  • salt & pepper to taste

  • scallion to garnish

  • handful of arugula to serve

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Set the oven temperature to 450F.

  2. In a parchment-lined sheet tray, add the whole halloumi. Drizzle 1 tbsp of EVOO and roast it for 5 minutes.

  3. On the same sheet tray surround the halloumi with tomatoes on the vine, crushed garlic cloves, and thyme. Drizzle the rest of EVOO and season everything with a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast them for 8-10 minutes, or until the tomato skin pops and the tomato juice starts to ooze out.

  4. Serve this with a handful of greens, such as arugula. There should be plenty of garlic thyme infused olive oil from the sheet tray to drizzle on top of the green as a dressing.

All American Board

All American Board

Welcome back to my board series! I curated this board with all of America’s favorites, burgers & hot dogs.

This is a fun way to please the crowd, especially for the upcoming 4th of July parties. Put all the condiments and toppings, like onions, lettuce, ketchup, and more, into one place so that everyone can build their perfect plates. If you are not a big fan of burgers and hot dogs, you can easily swap the meat with other favorites, like ribs and fried chicken, if you want.

What’s great about this board is that everyone can enjoy the food in a DIY style, and this impressive presentation will be the centerpiece of any parties you host.

Pickled Board

Pickled Board

I’m back with another board series. For this time, it’s all about pickles!

I used my favorite seasonal fruits and vegetables, such as tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, and pineapple, to pickle. I paired the pickle board with fresh crudités, a few of my favorite dips, and some potato chips. Such a simple spread for lots of flavors.

Use my base pickle recipe to pickle your favorite veggies and fruits. Cauliflower, watermelon rinds, and even peaches would be excellent.

Stay tuned for more of my board series, and I hope you start having fun with creating your own incredible boards for your upcoming parties.

Mediterranean Cheeseboard

Mediterranean Cheeseboard

I fell in love with putting together boards from cheese and charcuterie one to get things started to a colorful fruit one to end the feast. My clients LOVE seeing my boards, and they always request one for their party! It’s a perfect way to showcase seasonal, colorful ingredients that will impress the crowd. After being inspired by so many great ones on Instagram, I am excited to share the beginning of my ongoing How To Make Your Own Board series.

I created this beautiful Mediterranean Cheeseboard to kick off. I used Mediterranean cheese, such as halloumi, feta, and labneh, along with fresh, seasonal ingredients, like scallions, cherry tomatoes, and strawberries! It can feed the crowd on a budget, is super versatile (feel free to swap in and out whatever you want!), and is perfect for summer entertaining!

Also, this is vegetarian-friendly so it will please everyone! A gorgeous centerpiece at the party that can feed the crowd. I mean, what else can you ask for more?

I hope this cheeseboard has inspired you to have fun and create your own gorgeous boards, and I will continue to share more boards here and my IGTV channel so that YOU can be the new queen of entertaining.