Valentine Charcuterie Boards

What is Charcuterie you ask?  Well, it is a beautiful way to graze on delicious food, which means you will love it as much as we do!  You pronounce it as (shahr -ku-tuh-ree).  It is a very trendy art of preparing and assembling foods, both savory and sweet.  If you go to my Pinterest Board  you will see amazing displays for all types of parties and gatherings.  

For today's KUTV Fresh Living  we are making a Valentine's Day Charcuterie Board with lots of yummy treats and a few healthy ones too.  To begin any Charcuterie Board you need first a board.  You can use a long cutting board, a slab of clean wood, or even a sheet of bakers paper down the center of the table.  The one that I am using today was purchased from my Amazon Shop.  It is large and finished so beautifully, it is my favorite board to use.

The second thing you will want to do to create a fabulous Charcuterie Board is to create elements that rise and give "depth" to your food design.  A simple way to do this it to add small bowls of dip, or a mini-cake stand, a cup of bread sticks, etc.  

For this Valentine's Day Charcuterie Board I added two small heart shaped bowls filled with marshmallow fluff and chocolate ganache (of course sprinkled with "love dust").  Once your elements of height are added, you can begin to see a flow to the design.  This is where the art of display comes in.  I added the milk glass vase with three heart shaped rice crispy pops, the two bowls of sweet dip and then .... 

...the cluster of cupcakes and cake pops.  I then swirled the cookies across the tray to give a solid shaped curve and echoes the same curve with the candied popcorn.  I then added the chocolate covered pretzels, and strawberries (with their green tops up).   If you were putting together a savory Charcuterie Board you would fan out cured meats, cheeses, spreads, baguette slices, crackers, etc.

This is an important note when putting together a Charcuterie Board.  You want different textures and colors throughout the display, so adding the strawberries with their clean, bright green tops upright, added a fresh color pop to a very sweet pink and red display.

With those large swirled-curved elements in place the board was beginning to take shape.  I then went and added little elements like the yogurt covered cranberries and the chocolate kisses in spaces that were bare. If you were making a savory Charcuterie Board you this would be a good time to add small nuts and dried fruits or any other small item.  You would also want to add fresh fruits and vegetables sliced or whole.  It is fun to have a pop of a large red apple or a beautiful cluster of grapes...kiwis sliced add lots of green pop as do broccoli florets.  

 Now with just a couple of spots left to fill, I decided to add a couple of semi-homemade treats to the board.  I took a few Oreo Cookies and melted some white chocolate...dipped them and sprinkled some red and white candies for extra love.

 I also melted some milk chocolate and dipped the tips of strawberry filled wafer cookies. the melted yumminess.  You can find the melting chocolates in most baking isles.  They are inexpensive, and fast to melt in your microwave.  Just add them to a ceramic, microwave safe bowl and microwave for 2 minutes.  Lift out of microwave and stir to get the chocolate discs soft.  Put back in the microwave and heat for 1 to 2 more minutes.  Stir again until the discs are melted smooth.  Do not over heat, or they will turn dry and hard, not silky smooth.

I placed some parchment paper on the counter and dipped the tips of the wafers in the chocolate, using a spoon to get the chocolate "line" even.  Placed them on the paper to cool and added a little "x" or "o" to the tip.  When cool and dry, I added them in layers with the decoration showing in a fan type swirl out to the edge of the tray. 

 I hope this little lesson on Charcuterie Boards has inspired you to get a little creative with your next gathering, or even your next movie night!  The total cost for this Valentine's Board was $65.00 not including the tray...and I have so many left overs!  It really is a simple way to make a big impact without spending a ton!

You can catch my Charcuterie Board segment on KUTV Fresh Living today and if you miss it watch my You Tube Channel for the segment soon.  Enjoy!

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