Easy Holiday Cheese Board


So I was annoyingly stressed out these past two weeks thinking about all the holiday events coming up and all the things going on at work to get prepared for the holiday season that I didn't even want to do Friendsgiving. GASP! Friendsgiving is one of my favorite traditions of the past couple years. First headache was gone when my sweet friend Lexy said she would host. Second headache was gone when I decided to bring the easiest cheese board thanks to Hickory Farms


Quick story time. Me and Hickory Farms go way back. Every year growing up, one of my dad's co-workers would gift his fellow employees with a Hickory Farms gift box. My sister's and I would anxiously await the evening when my dad would come home with the coveted Hickory Farms gift box. We would rip open the box, fight over who got to eat the little strawberry hard candies and then start sampling every meat, cheese and spicy mustard, completely ruining our dinner. 


I'm often asked what my favorite food is, and struggle to muster up an answer. I could never answer that question with just one thing, but recently I've really been trying to nail down at least my top five favorite foods. So far chili has been put on my list, and after making this epic holiday meat and cheese board for Friendsgiving, it became apparent that cheese boards are also in my top five favorite foods. 

Not only do I love eating meat and cheese boards, I also love making them. But, I will admit going to the store and wandering the cheese aisle can be super daunting. With a million options, textures, colors, names etc. it's overwhelming deciding what cheese and meats to pair. With Hickory Farms Signature Party Planning Gift Box  the stress is gone. Cue the "easy" part of this holiday cheese board.


Hickory Farms perfectly curates their boxes to make for a perfect holiday cheese board. The Signature Party Planning box consists of four cheeses, three meats and assorted mixed nuts. Exactly what I would purchase if going at it by myself at the store. These amounts will serve about 12 people. Or 10 hungry 20-something girls at Friendsgiving...oops!

My cheese board assembly tips:
-Cut each cheese a different way. Cubes, triangles, slices, crumbles...
-Bring in different textures such as mixed nuts, fruit, crackers, olives or pickles
-Be colorful. Use cheese and meats of different color to keep it visually pleasing.
-Get your greens in. Some kind of fresh herb to contrast all the orange and cream. I used bay leaves because they were on hand. 
-Include some kind of mustard, jam or spread


Take a slight bit of the holiday stress off buy purchasing a Hickory Farms gift box for your next holiday gathering. Wow your friends and fam with this easy (and epic) cheese board when you show up for Thanksgiving. P.S. If you are last minute and don't have time to order something, and you are local to the OKC area, I know for a fact there is a Hickory Farms kiosk set up right now in Penn Square Mall. It is stocked with tons of meats, cheeses, mustards and pre-selected gift boxes. Cough Thanksgiving is in less than a week cough cough.

Happy holidays from my easy cheese board to yours!


Thank you to Hickory Farms for kindly sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.

Avocado Toast Grilled Cheese

Last week on my Facebook page, I asked for your feedback on what kind of posts you wanted to see on Take A Bite. One request was for "trendy grilled cheese." I can handle that, I thought. (Not to mention I've had a random weird craving for a grilled cheese and tomato soup).

I wanted to come up with something relatively simple, but something original. I'll be honest I'm not a huge sandwich person, but I do love a good piece of avocado toast. It hit me one day while I was on a walk. An avocado toast grilled cheese!!! I went speed walking home to go research. Not very productive for my workout but whatever, grilled cheese were more important at the time. 

I took a piece of the ever so trendy avocado toast and paired it with cheddar and pepper jack cheese. I wanted the classic orange color from the cheddar, but the spice from the pepper jack. The avocado doesn't take away from the cheese flavor but instead sort of melts into this buttery smooth layer. It's kind of amazing. 

Avocado Toast Grilled Cheese
yields 2 sandwiches

4 slices of your favorite bread (this is what I use)
1 cup grated pepper jack (buy a block of cheese then grate it)
1 cup grated sharp cheddar
1/2 avocado
red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
olive oil

Turn on your panini press or heat a grill pan over medium heat. 

Using a box grater, shred both cheeses and set aside. Take each slice of bread and brush olive oil on one side. Olive oil side down, pile a mixture of the cheeses on 2 slices. Mash 1/4 of the avocado on the remaining 2 slices. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. 

Top the cheese bread slices with the avocado bread slices. 

Put on the panini press until golden brown and the cheese is melted. Cut diagonally and serve. 

So William Webster does this satisfy your trendy grilled cheese request?


Get Your Own Box!

Homemade Cheez-Its - actually so worth it and honestly don't take much effort. 

I have seen recipes for homemade Cheez-Its before, and they have always floated around on my list of things I want to make. I finally put them into action after one of my friends was talking about how they were her favorite food. Ironic that she loves them so much because she actually despises cheese, but I think we can all agree Cheez-Its are delicious and insanely addicting. These homemade Cheez-Its are just as delicious and also insanely addicting. 
Homemade Cheez-Its
yields about 70 little crackers
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temp.
1/2 cup all-purpose flour*
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour*
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. ice cold water
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix your grated cheese and butter in an electric mixer. Add in your flour and salt to combine. Dough will be crumbly. Add your ice cold water 1 tbsp. at a time until the dough comes together. 
Roll your dough out on a floured surface to about a 1/8 inch thickness. Using a sharp knife, cut into about 1 in. x 1 in. squares. I used a toothpick to create the signature hole in the middle of the cracker. The crackers don't really expand when they bake, so I was able to fit all of my crackers on one large baking sheet. Sprinkle with a tiny bit of salt then bake for 12 minutes.
**You can use 1 cup of all-purpose flour if you don't have whole-wheat on hand. I like the combination of both to give the crackers a more nutty and baked taste!

The end result tasted exactly like a Cheez-It, if not better. Full of real cheese flavor and that salty baked taste just like the real thing. Mine came out a little soft and puffy which I loved! 
My Cheez-It friend loved them and we snacked away Sunday night while I "studied" for a Marketing test. Like the Cheez-It slogan states, you'll want to "get your own box" of these homemade treats!