What is it about girls and cheese? It’s like it’s in our DNA to adore cheese. My perfect meal doesn’t just include cheese, it IS cheese. So naturally, when I have a party or a girls night, cheese is ALWAYS involved. Or if I’m invited to a party, I offer to bring cheese. What’s a good party without cheese? You get my point.

And do you know what today is? It’s Brandy’s (A.K.A. Nutmeg Nanny) birthday!!!!! SURPRISE!!!! Happy Birthday Brandy! Are you surprised? We love you and hope you have the best birthday, ever!

Brandy, since we can’t all be there with you to celebrate your birthday, we put together a little virtual dinner party. Well, Jessie put it together, thanks Jessie! Because it’s the big 3-0, a fancy schmancy dinner menu is in order. And what’s an fancy meal without a cheese course? Answer: not a good one. I think you agree, no? And we need champagne, to toast to you. So I brought a cheese plate, and champagne. I sort of have this feeling my contributions don’t surprise you??? Here’s the rest of the menu:

Soup Course- Healthy Green Kitchen
Salad Course- Living Mostly Meatless
Pasta Course- Cooking With Books
Meat Course- Farmgirl Gourmet
Cheese Course- Me (Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body)
Dessert Course- Creative Culinary

So about this cheese plate… I did some research on what the proper components of a good cheese plate are. It seems like basically, generally, it’s whatever you want. BUT, it also appeared that having 3 different types of cheese, minimally, was a good start. So I went from there…

I knew I wanted to use 3 different cheese, but selecting which cheese to use can be daunting. There are so many choices, where do you even start? And how much do you buy? Here are some ways to breakdown the selection process:

First, you’ll want about 2 ounces of cheese per person (that’s 2 ounces per variety of cheese). However, this can fluctuate based on what else you’ll be serving on the cheese plate, and what course the cheese is. For this meal, since the cheese is more of a dessert course and I’m serving an assortment of fruits and nuts with it, I’ll go with closer to 1 ounce per person. That’s 1 ounce of each type of cheese, per person.

Second, you have to actually make a decision and choose some cheese! You can choose by the type of milk (cows, sheeps, goats, ewes), the firmness (or softness), the region the cheese is from, the cost, etc. In the end, choose cheese that sounds good and that you’ll want to eat. For me, the stinkier the cheese, the better. But for some, a mild cheddar is preferred. No matter what kind of cheese you choose, allow the cheese to sit at room temperature for about an hour before serving.

Cheese plate components
3 types of cheese:
1. Goat: Chevre (with raspberry jam)
2. Sheep: Pecrorino Romano (drizzled with honey and fresh cracked pepper)
3. Cow: Blue Cheese (with sliced dates)

I also added some candied pecans, fresh blackberries and a little bread.

As far as the wine selection, that is purely up to you. If you prefer a white, or a red, or an oaky, or a sweet. Then pick that one. For this course, I chose champagne, because it’s for a celebration. And toasting with a glass of champagne is the perfect way to celebrate a birthday!

Great sources of information of how to build a great cheese plate:
Simply Recipes
The Kitchn
Martha Stewart
Ina Garten