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When we began planning our Wine Exchange Party, we knew we had to have appetizers, including a cheese board. Now we certainly are no cheese mongers, but we’ve tasted our way through the Trader Joe’s cheese section a time or two and we know our favorites. I always like to know what other people pick from Trader Joe’s and this seemed like a great way to share our favorites with our friends, even though it probably wasn’t the “appropriate” pairings. We also knew people would need more than cheese to eat, so we brainstormed a few of our favorite appetizers to put together a little spread. We were only hosting about 15 people so we didn’t want to get too crazy.
You’ll notice my roll of kraft paper made a comeback. You may recall how I didn’t read the Amazon listing an order way too much and now it is my life mission to finish this gigantic roll of a paper without wasting it. I loved the Thanksgiving tablescape I did so much, I decided to put a holiday spin on it. I even spray painted some of the eucalyptus leaves rose gold and it’s pretty much my new favorite thing. I added in the mini Christmas trees that I also found at Trader Joes and mixed in some glitter bulbs.
My go to is always Port Salut. I think technically it’s a dessert cheese to serve with a sweeter wine, but like I said, I’m not a cheese monger. If you haven’t had Port Salut, stop everything and get it on your next TJ’s trip. It tastes just like a Handi Snack, but, ya know, fancier.
The New Zealand Grass Fed Sharp Cheddar is one of my favorite cheddars. It’s got such a sharp, unique taste.
Cheese boards (Home Goods) // similar
The mushroom brie and cranberry goat cheese are personally not my favorites, but I wanted to appeal to a wide variety of tastes. I know these are crowd favorites with a semi cult following, so they had to be added.
This salami is a newer product. I like it because it’s thinly sliced and not too salty. I’m not a big prosciutto fan, but love me some salami.
With those staples in mind, I started to build in the extras.
For crackers, I went with the breadsticks (which are a favorite amongst the Okayest Kids), brioche toasts and these rosemary crackers that are actually from Costco. The rosemary flavor is really subtle and perfect for some of the smoother cheeses.
If you haven’t had these rosemary marcona almonds, add these to your list too. The bourbon glazed walnuts are a seasonal item that I thought would be fun to throw in. They have a stronger taste, so you definitely need to enjoy bourbon to enjoy these. I threw in these two types of olives and some dried apricots to round it out.
I had every intention of adding some green grapes to round this out, but totally forgot about them and left them in the fridge (after guarding them from my family all week!) as we were getting ready for the party. #okayest
We also served the frozen baked brie bites from TJ’s. These were so amazing and easy to prep just before guests arrived. We also did some pigs in a blanket (These had been tempting me for a while and I wanted an excuse to get them!), spinach dip, cream cheese bean dip, and veggies and dip.
Cake Plate (Home Goods) // similar
What are your favorite things Trader Joe’s items or go to appetizers to serve at a party? We’re always looking for new things to try!