Sharing my tips on making DIY grazing boxes; they’re like mini cheese boards in a box! This is a perfect COVID-friendly appetizer idea or a nice surprise for something you love. <3
Hi friends! How’s the week going so far? I’m so happy you liked yesterday’s workout – please let me know if you give it a try!
Since I’m officially in the holiday spirit, I wanted to share a fun appetizer idea if you’re planning for Thanksgiving next week or holiday celebrations. Usually in situations like this, I would just make an enormous cheese board for family and friends to share. Since we’re being more cognizant of individual servings/sharing, I thought it would be cool to make individual grazing boxes. It’s like a mini cheese board in a box! Not only is this perfect for holiday entertaining during these strange times, but would also be fun for a movie night, picnic at the park, or a switch-up from cookie boxes as gifts during the holidays.
DIY grazing boxes (COVID-friendly appetizer or easy holiday gift)
Cheese board in a box
This DIY grazing boxes are super easy to put together and you can customize them depending on preferences and what you find at the market. For example, I love non-dairy cheese and will always include them in my cheese boards, but that might not be everyone’s cup of tea. 😉 These little beauties are portable, can be made in advance, and are pretty dang awesome with a glass of your favorite wine. Since I made extras to take photos for the blog, I had so much fun surprising some friends with grazing boxes and a bottle of wine.
*Note: if you wanted to make them even smaller, you could put them in little Mason jars. JAR-ceuterie is a thing, and I’m so here for it.
How to make a cheese board
I feel like they can be intimidating because there are so many beautiful cheese boards out there, but my top tip is to make these often. You’ll get the hang out of how certain ingredients go together, how you like to plate or stack various options. Make sure to have a mix of meats, cheeses (different textures and at least one *fun* or different cheese), and different textures and flavor profiles.
* = from Trader Joe’s
My favorite cheese board ingredients
Meats: salami, sopressata, prosciutto, pepperoni
Cheeses: *Unexpected cheddar, Midnight Moon cheese, brie, parmesan, smoked gouda, *blueberry goat cheese, *caramelized onion cheddar, mozzarella
Briney: kalamata olives, green olives, castelvetrano olives, cornichons, olive tapenade, Dijon mustard
Salty: marcona almonds (the rosemary ones from Trader Joe’s are amazing), sun-dried tomatoes, grilled marinated artichokes, pistachios
Sweet: sliced apples, berries, persimmon, pear, grapes, pomegranates, hot and sweet pepper jelly, raspberry preserves, honeycomb, dried apricots, figs, medjool dates, chocolate chips, kiwi
Crunchy: nuts or trail mix, butter crackers, cheese sticks, *raisin rosemary crisps, flatbread, *Everything but the Bagel crackers, savory round crackers, crispbread
Extra touches: sprigs of fresh herbs (mint, rosemary, and thyme are lovely), pomegranate arils, super thin dried citrus slices, or edible flowers
To make my full-sized cheese board, I make piles of each ingredient, starting with the meat and cheeses. I fill in the empty spots with the remaining ingredients in piles so it looks neat. Finally, I add any finishing touches for aesthetics. For these boxes, I did the same thing!
It was REALLY tempting to use a ton of ingredients like I usually do, but the boxes were small and I didn’t want it to be too busy. In the end I decided on salami, pepperoni sticks, different crackers, raspberries, garlic-stuffed olives, cornichons, blueberry goat cheese, Unexpected cheddar, Chardonnay cheese, dried orange zest cranberries, and honeycomb.
I tied them up with a little twine, cinnamon stick and rosemary, and boom. Cute, portable, grazing boxes!
(Note: we had one left over and it was just as great the next day!! I just wouldn’t put the crackers next to anything that would make them soggy if you’re going to make these in advance, or just add the crackers right before serving.)
I used these 6×6 boxes from Amazon, but might try making some in 8×8 boxes and use tiny plastic cups for the dips and sauces instead of the glass or wooden bowls I use for full-sized boards.
So, tell me friends: What are you making for Thanksgiving this year? Any edible gifts you love to make for others? We always make different cookies, but might be doing more of these grazing boxes and wine instead. 🙂