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Cheese, please

<p>Planning an evening for two? Or is there a children’s party in the works? Here are some suggestions for including cheese.</p>

Dairy treat can be a tasty addition to party platters



Serving wine and cheese is one of the easiest ways to treat guests to something almost everyone enjoys.





Planning an evening for two? Or is there a children’s party in the works? Here are some suggestions for including cheese:





ROMANTIC PLATTER





Use brie, Oka and aged cheddar. Set a pot of honey in the middle of the platter to set off the taste of the cheese. If needed, honey can be warmed first for a few seconds in the microwave until runny.





While the cheeses are still cold from the refrigerator, cut them into bite-sized lengths (the width of a finger). Serve when they reach room temperature.





Fruit pastes are intensely flavoured and an ideal accompaniment to cheese. Try quince, plum or a combination of fig and almond, pear and hazelnut or apricot and pistachios.





Presentation: You need one platter and two forks. The two of you will be sharing, so choose a platter that is longer than it is wide. A simple glass serving bowl on a white platter will showcase the warm amber tones of the cheese and honey.





Serve with figs, quince or guava jam and bite-sized pieces of dark chocolate. Breads include pumpernickel and water crackers.





CHILDREN'S PARTY PLATTER





On short wooden skewers, alternately thread cubed marbled cheddar, havarti and Gouda, cherry tomatoes, cucumber wedges, red peppers, seedless grapes and starfruit.





Serve with your child’s favourite dip such as mayo and chili sauce or warmed-up apple jelly. For added punch, cut cheese into shapes.





To serve ham and cheddar wrap rolls, spread a bit of cream cheese on a wrap. Top with a slice of luncheon meat (ham, chicken or turkey) and a slice of marbled cheddar. Add shredded carrots, a piece of lettuce and roll it. Cut in half and stack on party tray.





Presentation: Start with a serving tray that has bright primary colours. For something different, wrap a cutting board in gift paper and line with plastic wrap or try using a toy with a flat surface (a toy dump truck, for example) as the serving tray. Remember to wash it in hot water first and line the serving surface with waxed paper for hygienic purposes. Decorate with party favours.





Cut each cheese into a different shape to suit the party theme. Cheese can be deli sliced 5 mm (1/4 inch) thick and cut with a 5-cm (2-inch) cookie cutter. For thicker shapes use 1-cm (1/2-inch) thick slices of cheese and mini cookie cutters.





Accompany with whole-wheat crackers or baguette slices and pretzel sticks. Unpeeled apples or pears sliced into wedges are a good complement to cheese.



 
 
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