I’m gonna keep it real. I am far from rich. Like far far. I am a broke queen who loves to entertain. Over the years I have learned all kinds of tricks to treat my guests despite my lack of lack of infinite entertainment funds. Here are some tips that I thought up to help you make your broke ass look real fancy while hosting your friends and family.
Appetizers are really important. Do you know why? Because it keeps nosey, greedy people out of your kitchen while you are putting the final touches on your meal. I do not want to be adding garnishes while my hungry ass cousin is hovering over me asking questions and breathing all over my damn stove. There is a simple solution for this. I call it….the cheese platter. You can make it happen for 25 bucks.
We have made some pretty epic cheese platters for parties and now it has become a sort of competition. Who can spend the least but make it fancy AF. I can’t tell you who is winning (Cough) but, (cough cough)….Its me.
First step, go straight to the cheese section at Aldi. Aldi has an amazing (AND AFFORDABLE) selection of gourmet cheese. You’ll want to grab a variety. I like to get Aged Cheddar, Smoked Gouda, Goat Cheese, Marinated Mozzarella….the possibilities are endless here. Just go for it. Grab 3-5 types of cheese. I like to mix up some funky with some smoky, some sharp with some sweet. Cheese makes people happy. Or it should. Don’t trust anyone who doesn’t like cheese.
Next, take a step to your left or right. You should see the deli section. Grab some peppered turkey, Chorizo, Salami, Sausages that you can grill and slice right before everyone arrives. This is an area where you’ll need to know your guests a bit. I never put pork on the cheese platter if I know my husband will be eating from it. I do that same in terms of any meat if I know I am hosting vegetarians. Just keep this tip in mind to avoid upsetting your guests.
My very next stop in Aldi is the produce section. I like to grab apples, grapes and dates. Slice the apples and toss them in lime juice right before putting out the cheese platter. That will keep them from turning brown. The fruit will freshen up and lighten up your platter while adding color and variety. Everyone loves to be able to grab what they want and mingle.
What’s next? At this point you’re just filling in gaps. I like to add olives, dried fruit, pepper jelly, crackers and Stella Dora Breadsticks. Here’s the story behind the breadsticks cause I know you’re like “what the fuck?”. When I was little I remember seeing Stella Dora breadstick commercials and thinking “Damn that’s fancy”. I had a foul mouth as a child. If you met my mom you’d know why. Anyway I always try to grab these because I think they’re so freaking bougie. Ok story over. Back to business…
You now have everything you need for a dope cheese platter. It’s a good time to figure out how you want your platter to look by checking out Pinterest. Everyone needs a little inspiration. I actually pin cheese platters in my free time. Yes, it is weird. No, I don’t care. It’s my thing. You have your things. I have my things.
To prep for the party: Leave your soft cheeses (like brie, goat cheese, blue cheese) in their original packages. You can deal with these right before the party. I like to slice my firm cheese a day ahead and place each type in a zip lock bag in the fridge. Wash you fruit the day before too. This way if all hell breaks loose the day of I know that I can get that damn cheese platter on a table and keep everyone out of my damn kitchen while I get my shit together. Sometimes shit goes off the rails and you have to recover. At least this way guests won’t be starving.
Your best bet is to get your cheese platter set up an hour before the party. Put that beautiful piece of art far, far away from where you are cooking. It sounds silly but, seriously. Put it far enough away from the bar area to avoid gridlock but close enough for people to be able to see where the booze is at. Once your platter is out; breathe. You made a good first impression. The rest is easy.