Make: Meat & Cheese Platter

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Crate & Barrel platter // Pottery Barn dishes // Cowgirl Creamery cheese knife

Josh and I cook pretty much every night. We're not big into takeout, but we still like mixing things up. It gets hard, though, to keep things interesting when you cook 6-7 nights a week. We recently got Williams Sonoma's chicken cookbook, which has so many great ideas for quick, weeknight meals. Lately, though, I've gotten lazier and lazier and have just wanted to throw some snacks on the table. Enter: the meat and cheese platter.

With this dish, presentation is really anything. A bowl of grapes isn't anything special, but a marble platter with great presentation and lots of finger foods is an appetizing weekday meal. My mom taught me well (she makes a mean spread) and I've learned to incorporate a few key ingredients. First, you always need meat, cheese and crackers. I go with one soft cheese (boursin is my fave) and one hard (pictured above is gruyere). For the crackers, I prefer Wheat Thins, but choose whatever goes best with your cheese. I also pick up an easy meat platter at Whole Foods with a few different kinds of meats for everyone.

Lastly, I always be sure to add little additions that people love -- grapes (or any other fruit -- apples go great on this platter, too) and olives. Lastly, my two tips are: 1) make it special with the presentation (that way it's not just hunks of cheese and meat on a paper plate) and 2) pair your platter with some good wine to make it a fun, special weeknight meal.

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