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How To Make A Kid-Friendly Fall Cheese Board

 

 

 

 

Mary Beth Johnson is a writer based in Atlanta, GA. She is currently writing her first book in between school drop off and laundry piles. She can be found every day on Instagram and at the local coffee shop.

Contributor post by Sweet Marybeth! 

The minute I get a whiff of Autumn I start planning family dinner parties in my head, complete with bistro lights on the deck, apple cider, and a fun kid-friendly fall cheese board. The cooler nights are a great excuse to invite the neighbors over, or to get together with friends who’ve been traveling all summer. When you’ve got lots of little ones running around you’ll have to think ahead, which is precisely why I love putting together a cheese board. A cheese board covers a variety of diets and keeps everyone satisfied while you, the host, make last-minute preparations for dinner. The best part about this is that it can be prepared ahead of time (everything to a busy mom) and customized for your guests.

mini dried pumpkins on linen tablecloth

How to make a kid-friendly fall cheese board

With the holidays coming up, I thought it would be fun to show you how I put together a kid-friendly fall cheese board. To get started, you’ll need some basic items: a platter or cheese board, small bowls, and a set of cheese knives, though a set of small knives will work just fine. I used a wooden platter from TJ Maxx, dark bowls from the Hearth and Home line at Target, and some cheese knives I found similar to these at Anthropologie.

kid-friendly fall cheese board with dates, black grapes. maple glazed pecans, olives, and mini grilled cheese sandwiches

Add kid-friendly cheese

To make a kid-friendly fall cheese board, start with the cheese and build your flavors and textures around that. While all kids are different, most kids are going to avoid cheese that challenges their taste buds. Any type of blue cheese, goat cheese, or sharp cheese will be a stretch for most kids. Instead, opt for milder tones, such as cheddar or havarti. My kids love cheese and their favorites come from Trader Joe’s: Unexpected Cheddar and Creamy Tuscano Cheese Soaked in Syrah. To please a wider variety of eaters, add in a wedge of goat cheese or gorgonzola for the adults. You just might be surprised at what kids will try if it’s put there in front of them.

Kid-Friendly Cheese Options

  • Sharp or Mild Cheddar
  • Swiss
  • Havarti
  • Parmesan
  • Mozzarella
  • Provolone

dates in small wooden bowl on fall cheese board

Add naturally sweet treats

To contrast the sharp taste of cheese, add a little something sweet. Kids and adults will both appreciate fresh fruit, so add seasonal produce such as apples or pears, to stay in theme. You could pair the apples with some caramel dipping sauce or caramel popcorn (not naturally sweet, but kid-friendly), or provide a small bowl of apple butter on the side. Dark fruit, such as dates and black grapes, also goes particularly well with a fall-themed cheese board, contributing to the rooted, earthy tones of the season. For additional sweetness, I roasted some pecans in maple syrup, coconut oil, and brown sugar, thanks to an idea from Sara’s fall cheese board (look at the bottom of the post for the full recipe).

Naturally Sweet Additions

  • dates
  • black grapes
  • apples
  • pears
  • maple syrup

Add a salty side

Nothing keeps people picking at a cheese plate like a salty side. You could add pickles or salted nuts, but to stay within the fall theme I added cheddar popcorn (a huge hit!) and some dark, earthy-toned olives (a hit with the adults).

Salty Sides

  • pickles
  • olives
  • cheddar popcorn
  • salted nuts
  • preserved meat, such as salami or prosciuttomini pimento cheese pumpkins on cheese board with maple glazed pecans, black grapes, olives, dates, and popcorn

Add little dippers

You’ll want to have little dippers to serve as the base for all the delectable cheese. I try to keep in mind the variety of dietary limitations that may be in attendance and offer gluten-free and vegetarian options. I am obsessed with Trader Joe’s beet crackers, but Costco also has some gluten-free cracker options if you have a store near you.

Little Dippers

Add extra touches

While I really wanted to keep this board more about assembling and less about fuss, I did put in the extra time to make mini grilled cheese sandwiches with a sliced baguette, apples, white cheddar, and a little mustard. I also placed a tub of pimento cheese into the freezer for about 30 minutes (looking back, I’d recommend pub cheese instead). I shaped the super cold cheese into mini pumpkins, with pretzels stuck into the center as the stem. My kids loved this!

Extra Touches

  • fresh herbs, rosemary or thyme
  • mini apple melt sandwiches
  • honeycomb
  • pub or pimento cheese shaped into pumpkins
  • flavored popcorn

mini dried pumpkins near fresh rosemary with beet crackers

Mary Beth Johnson is a writer based in Atlanta, GA. She is currently writing her first book in between school drop off and laundry piles. She can be found every day on Instagram and at the local coffee shop.

Mini Apple + White Cheddar Grilled Cheese & Mapled Pecans

10 minutes

10 minutes

20 minutes

Mini Apple + White Cheddar Grilled Cheese & Mapled Pecans

Ingredients

  • Mini Apple + White Cheddar Grilled Cheese
  • 1 baguette
  • 2 crisp apples, cored and sliced thin
  • 4 ounces of white cheddar, grated
  • Dijon mustard
  • Butter or olive oil, for cooking
  • Slice the baguette into thin slices.
  • ______________________________________________________________
  • Mapled Pecans
  • 1 Tbsp. butter or coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup walnut halves, roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. For the mini sandwiches....
  2. Heat a slick of butter or olive oil in a pan over medium-low heat. On a slice of bread, give it a swipe of Dijon, a generous sprinkle of white cheddar, a few apple slices, another sprinkle of white cheddar and then top with another piece of bread. Griddle the mini sandwiches for about 2 minutes on each side until the crust is golden and then cheese is melted. Repeat in batches with remaining ingredients.
  3. These can be made in advance and warmed in a 250’ oven for 5 minutes before serving to refresh them.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350’ for your pecans. Line a small baking tray with parchment paper. In a small saucepan, warm the butter, maple and brown sugar together till combined. Add the pecans and stir to coat. Spread them on the baking sheet and roast for 5-6 minutes until dried and just toasted. Remove to cool completely to crisp up. These can be made up to a week in advance and kept covered until ready to use. (Also great in salads!)

Notes

Source: Sprouted Kitchen

https://thewiegands.com/2019/08/kid-friendly-fall-cheese-board.html

Recipes

August 28, 2019

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