Cheese Board for Sharing

Finally bought myself a cheese board! I’ve been wanting to for a while now. At some point I want to have my daughters over for some family time, and this will be a big hit. Who wouldn’t want to share the deliciousness with loved ones?

I love that this board has a place to keep crackers separate from the other foods on each side. I also love that you don’t necessarily need to have cheese on the board, though this arrangement has two goat cheese dips I’m sure you will love. (I’ll be sharing links to a few of these dips below.)

The combinations of foods to be placed on a cheese board seem endless, and I promise you I will be trying many. I might even share some more with you here on the blog. I can’t wait to use this at future get-togethers with family and friends.

Try to use organic foods when possible. Rinse and dry produce before use.

NOTE: I prefer goat cheese over that made from cow’s milk. I have an intolerance to cow’s milk, and am so happy to have an alternative cheese. Regardless, I don’t eat cheese all the time. It’s a real treat for me.

Fruit & Vegetables Cheese Board

1 cucumber, sliced

1 apple, sliced

1 pear, sliced

1 or 2 carrots, cut into sticks

1 or 2 celery stocks, cut into sticks

1 orange, sectioned

grapes

pineapple chunks or tidbits

Paleo crackers

1 or 2 goat cheese dips: Fig & Goat Cheese Dip, Almond & Goat Cheese Dip, Fig & Almond Goat Cheese Dip, Blueberry & Goat Cheese Dip.

All you’re doing is placing the food onto the cheese board in a pleasing manner. You can use my photograph as a guide, and experiment.

Tips

  • Use your favorite fruits and vegetables.
  • Try different types of dips and sauces.
  • Leave the peels on apples, pears, cucumbers, and the like, for added nutritional value.
  • On rare occasion, I order Chinese from a restaurant near work. It’s not the healthiest, but it is convenient. Every time I order, they send me at least four of the spoons that are used in the photo. I finally found a good use for them!
  • Make your own Paleo crackers. Use a recipe you find online. They will be healthier than traditional crackers.
  • If it will be a bit before you eat, dip apple & pear slices in lemon juice for about 30 seconds.
  • Growing grapes, celery, and carrots, or other fruits and vegetables, will save you a good deal of money.
  • Cheese boards would be great for any celebration.

Enjoy your cheese board!

~ Shannon

 

 

 

 

Blueberry & Goat-Cheese Dip

I can’t get enough of these goat cheese dips. I’ve shared three so far, and this will be the last. At least for now. To try making the others:

Almond & Goat Cheese Dip

Fig & Goat Cheese Dip

Fig & Almond Goat Cheese Dip

I bought some blueberries because, well, I love them. What more perfect food to add to one of these dips? And the color is simply beautiful.

The consistency of this dip will depend on how juicy the berries are and how much honey you use. Mine was pretty thick, but great for scooping.

Blueberry & Goat Cheese Dip

(I didn’t measure anything out. I just put some ingredients in a bowl, mixed it up, and called it good. Make this dip by trusting your taste buds!)

blueberries

honey

goat cheese

  1. Put it all in a bowl and mix with a fork, while also smashing it all together to break up the cheese and combine everything. Don’t worry about getting all the little chunks of cheese smoothed out. They add texture and taste great!
  2. Place in a small decorative bowl.
  3. Store leftovers in refrigerator, to have with crackers for a snack.

Easy-peasy!

Tips

  • Look for sales on the cheese to save money.
  • Couple coupons with a sale to save more.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with apple or pear slices.
  • Serve on a cheeseboard with fruits, vegetables, and Paleo friendly crackers.

Enjoy!

Shannon

 

Fig & Almond Goat-Cheese Dip

I’ve written about how I recently came to try goat cheese for the first time, and offered a couple of goat cheese dip recipes for you to enjoy:

fig & goat cheese dip

almond & goat cheese dip

This recipe is the third experiment, and is just a mash-up of what I’ve already done. I like the flavor combinations.

The consistency of this dip will depend on how much liquid you use.

Fig & Almond Goat Cheese Dip

(I didn’t measure anything out. I just put some ingredients in a bowl, mixed it up, and called it good. Make this dip by trusting your taste buds!)

almond butter, and a little of the oil from the top of the jar

2 or 3 figs, processed in the blender

honey

goat cheese

  1. Put it all in a bowl and mix with a fork, while also smashing it all together to break up the cheese and combine everything. Don’t worry about getting all the little chunks of cheese smoothed out. They add texture and taste great!
  2. Place in a small decorative bowl.
  3. Store leftovers in refrigerator, to have with crackers for a snack.

Easy-peasy!

Tips

  • Look for sales on the cheese to save money.
  • Couple coupons with a sale to save more.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with raw cauliflower.
  • Serve on a cheeseboard with fruits, vegetables, and Paleo friendly crackers.

Enjoy!

Shannon

 

Almond & Goat-Cheese Dip

I mentioned the other day that I was experimenting with making flavored goat cheeses. If you missed it, check out how it all came about in that post. Sometimes mistakes turn into good things.

This is the second recipe I tried. I must say I’ve enjoyed creating these recipes. And I’m happy to have something new to share with you here on the blog.

The consistency of this dip will depend on how much liquid you use.

Almond & Goat Cheese Dip

(I didn’t measure anything out. I just put some ingredients in a bowl, mixed it up, and called it good. Make this dip by trusting your taste buds!)

almond butter, and a little of the oil from the top of the jar

honey

goat cheese

  1. Put it all in a bowl and mix with a fork, while also smashing it all together to break up the cheese and combine everything. Don’t worry about getting all the little chunks of cheese smoothed out. They add texture and taste great!
  2. Place in a small decorative bowl.
  3. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

Easy-peasy!

Tips

  • Look for sales on the cheese to save money.
  • Couple coupons with a sale to save more.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with cucumber slices.
  • Serve on a cheeseboard with fruits, vegetables, and Paleo friendly crackers.

Enjoy!

Shannon

Fig & Goat-Cheese Dip

While trying to stay away from regular milk products, I’ve been discovering other things to use instead. I was shopping with my daughter Skye one evening, trying to hurry and not really paying attention, when I came across goat cheese. I bought three:

plain

blueberry, lemon, and thyme

cranberry, orange, and cinnamon

Imagine my excitement. I’d been looking for a substitute for the cow’s milk cheeses and decided I would try these. When I got them home I looked more closely at the label.

The ingredients are simple, which is great. However, the flavored cheeses had sugar in them. 😦 Well, I had paid almost $5.00 each, so you know I ate them. And they were delicious! All three of the cheeses were. I don’t know why I never thought to try goat’s milk cheese before.

As much as I would like to take the easy way out and just buy the flavored ones, I decided to be good and do some experimenting. I’m trying not to eat sugar. I went out and bought blueberry’s, figs, nut butter, and honey and started whipping up some of my own flavored goat cheeses to pair with fruits and vegetables.

The results? Three great dips using plain goat cheese as the base.

Fig & Goat Cheese Dip

(I didn’t measure anything out. I just put some ingredients in a bowl, mixed it up, and called it good. Make this dip by trusting your taste buds!)

2 or 3 figs, processed in a blender

a little honey

goat cheese

  1. Put it all in a bowl and mix with a fork, while also smashing it all together to break up the cheese and combine everything. Don’t worry about getting all the little chunks of cheese smoothed out. They add tecture and taste great!
  2. Place in a small decorative bowl.
  3. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

Easy-peasy!

Tips

  • Look for sales on the cheese to save money.
  • Coupling an in-store coupon with a sale will save you even more.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with carrot and celery sticks.
  • Serve on a cheeseboard with fruits, vegetables, and Paleo friendly crackers.

Enjoy!

Shannon

Homemade Food Gifts: The Cooks’ Gift

If you’ve taken the time to make the homemade vinegars, oils and butters that have been featured here on the Frugal Recipes blog, then you have a great base for a cooks’ holiday gift. If you have made dried herb gifts, you will be able to add them to this. All of these items, combined with some homemade baked goods, will make a great gift.

Place a combination of these items in a large gift basket, over a dish or tea towel, or other fabric. Tie a bow on, and add a tag.

You can add to this gift if you have affordable ways of obtaining certain other items. For instance, why not add some homemade knitted or crocheted dish cloths to the gift. (My sister makes me a couple of these each year, and I just love them.) A dollar store will net you wooden cooking spoons and rubber spatulas, or even dish towels. I once found two large metal pots at a yard sale for .50 each. They were used, but looked almost new. A thrift shop may net you a hand grater for a quarter, or a couple of whisks. If you’ve been lucky enough to find such deals, create gifts with them.

This would be an easy project for children to put together, as they aren’t really preparing any of the foods themselves.

Tips

  • Combine in a container. No need to wrap.
  • If you choose to use a basket, they can be found affordably at thrift shops.
  • I once found four large baskets at a yard sale for $1.00 each.

What food gifts do you give at the holidays? Please share with us in the comments below.

Shannon

Note: I know sweets and many baked goods are not healthy, and that we really shouldn’t be eating them, but I have family members who don’t limit such things. So yes, I give these items at the holidays. Also, I don’t think it is necessarily bad to treat yourself once-in-a-while. You just don’t want to make a habit of it.

Homemade Food Gifts: Herbed Butters

Purchase sweet butter in large packages, preferably on sale. Generic and store brand butter is fine. Use a coupon if you have one.

Herbed butters are simple to make, and can be made up to three months before the date they will be given as gifts. Simply freeze them in 1/2 or 1 pint canning jars, or other thick jars that have been saved and cleaned for this purpose. Be sure to sterilize the jars before using them.

Two days before you wish to give the gifts, take the butters out of the freezer and place them into the refrigerator. The next day, you will want to tie a square or round of fabric over the jars’ lid with raffia or twine. Add a tag or a sticker with the name of each butter and its’ ingredients, as well as a line that reads ‘From the Kitchen of (Your Name).’

RATIO: 1/2 cup butter to 1 Tablespoon of herb or herb combination. Mix it all up well. (May need to be remixed before giving as a gift.)

USE: Herbs fresh from the garden or pot. Wash and mince them before use.

Variations:

  • Dill and mint
  • Garlic and marjoram
  • Parsley

Experiment with different herbs and combinations of herbs.

NOTE: These jars of butter do not need processing.

What combinations of herbs do you use when making butter? Please share your experiences with us in the comments below.

Shannon

References:

Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs (1987, Rodale Press)

Our Favorite Cheesecake

This is a favorite at all holiday and sabbat celebrations in our home. Everyone loves it, even though it’s not your traditional cheesecake. Anyone can make it, even a child. It is quick and easy to make, and tastes so good.

This recipe is for two cakes, but you can halve everything for one if you don’t need that much. We always make two so that there is sure to be enough for everyone.

Ingredients:

2 packages of cream cheese

16 ounces of whipped topping

2/3 cup sugar

2 graham cracker crusts

  1. Combine the first three ingredients in a large bowl with an electric mixer.
  2. Pour the filling between the two crusts, and smooth out to the edges.
  3. Place the crust pan covers over the ‘cakes’ and place them in the refrigerator for an hour, or until you need them.

Tips

  • To save money, I buy all store brand items for this recipe.
  • Sprinkle mini chocolate chips over the top of the cheesecake.
  • Add strawberry slices around the outer edge, and a whole strawberry in the center.
  • Place cherries around the outer edge, and a dollop of whipped topping in the center. Place another cherry into the center of the topping.
  • Purchase mini graham cracker crusts for making mini cheesecakes so that each person can have their own. Top these with cherries, strawberries or kiwi, and a dollop of whipped topping.

For the holidays:

  • The holiday cheesecakes I made (pictured) have five dollops of whipped cream, one at the center.
  • One cheesecake has peppermint Hershey’s kisses pushed into the dollops, and dark chocolate shavings covering the top.
  • The second cheesecake has Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate (half) squares pushed into the dollops, then a drizzling of chocolate syrup.

What toppings do you enjoy on your cheesecake?

There’s nothing healthy about these cheesecakes. They’re made only for special family occasions because people love them. They are not a typical dessert item for me. I do make allowances for special family recipes once in a while, when an occasion calls for it, even though I try very hard to eat healthy most of the rest of the time.

Enjoy!

Shannon

Simple Chocolate-Coconut No-Bakes

I love super easy recipes, especially when they involve chocolate and coconut. And this recipe is as easy as they come. I’m sure you’ll enjoy these cookies as much as I do.

And the health factor? Regular no bakes have so much sugar in them, not to mention the sugar in the peanut butter. I’m happy with these, even with the sugar in the chips. If I could afford the expensive healthier stuff, I would certainly buy it. Unfortunately, I don’t have that kind of money in the budget.

I don’t make these all the time anyway, maybe a few times a year. So, I very much enjoy them when I do.

Ingredients

12 ounces dark chocolate chips (If there is extra melted chocolate, I use it to dip fruit into later. May need to be re-melted.)

2 or 3 tablespoons chocolate almond or cashew milk, or a tablespoon or so of organic coconut oil

3 cups organic unsweetened coconut flakes

  1. In a pot, melt 12 ounces of dark chocolate chips with the milk or coconut oil. Stir every so often to begin, and then almost continuously once the chocolate is really melting.
  2. Pour all 3 cups of unsweetened coconut flakes into a bowl.
  3. Pour half of the chocolate over the coconut, and then mix it all together.
  4. Add a little more chocolate at a time while stirring, if necessary, until there is enough to coat all the coconut.
  5. Pour leftover chocolate quickly into a canning jar and set aside.
  6. Spread out a sheet of parchment paper on a table or sideboard. Use a tablespoon to spoon the coconut mixture onto this sheet.
  7. Let the cookies sit until set.

Tips

  • Cover the remainder of the chocolate and set aside for use with fruit.
  • Do NOT put the no-bakes in the refrigerator if you can help it. They may get very hard, making them difficult to bite into.
  • Use whatever you have on hand for chocolate.
  • Add dried fruit, such as cranberries.
  • Add slivered almonds.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with a cup of organic almond or cashew milk.
  • Make a few batches and serve during your next get-together.
  • Serve with Paleo hot cocoa, while sitting on the porch watching the night sky this fall.

Enjoy the treat!

Shannon

Patriotic Holiday Recipes: A Simple Food Platter Idea

What would a Fourth of July celebration be without a food representation of the US flag? This simple platter is placed out at the beginning of the party or picnic, for everyone to snack on until the main foods are brought out.

You are simply going to fill a rectangular food platter with red, white, and blue foods, in such a way that finished platter resembles the US flag.

Ingredients

1 pint blueberries

small watermelon

1 pound strawberries

2 pints raspberries, or another red berry

cheese cubes, enough to fill white lines – mozzarella/provolone/another type

  1. Cut the watermelon into slices. Chop into (about) 1 inch squares
  2. Rinse the berries, and use a towel to gently pat them dry.
  3. Hull the strawberries, and cut them in half.
  4. Place the blueberries into a square, white bowl, just big enough to hold them. Put this bowl in the upper left corner of the platter.
  5. Cut a few cheese cubes into quarters, to place on the berries to act as ‘stars’.
  6. Beginning next to the bowl, at the top of the platter, you are going to add lines – red and white stripes. Start with a line of watermelon for red, then a line of cheese cubes. End with a line of watermelon for red, and a line of cheese cubes above that. In between, use the strawberries as red lines, raspberries as red lines, and watermelon if you need to. Do these separately, so only one type of fruit is in each line. (The order does not really matter.) The white lines will all be cheese cubes.
  7. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Tips

  • Place on a table and let everyone enjoy while hanging out.
  • Cut expenses where possible. Look for coupons on cheese. If you notice a sale, most cheeses freeze. A sale combined with coupons will save a lot of money. Some fruits, such as watermelon, can also be bought when on sale and frozen.

You may also be interested in

Patriotic Holiday Recipes: Fruit Salad

Patriotic Holiday Recipes: Berries and Cream

Easy Burger Options

Enjoy the holiday weekend!

Shannon