Charcuterie boards have become super popular in the past couple years. Some of my favorite local restaurants have the best boards and it's so fun to order exactly what you want from a wide variety of meats, cheeses, spreads, etc. BUT what's even more fun is making your own board at home! Not only are your options completely endless, but you can incorporate a lot more fruits, veggies and fun things to dip in your different spreads!
Charcuterie boards are also THE BEST thing to serve at a party or holiday gathering. What's better than serving up a huge tray of food that will feed a crowd, but you don't actually have to have a recipe to follow? I'm excited to share some "tips" on building a board, but just know that there isn't a right or wrong way with charcuterie!
There also isn't a right or wrong chip to serve with your beautiful board, but I want to tell y'all all about Simply 7 Snacks. They quickly became my favorite chip brand a couple years ago after learning about their 7 Simple Standards. Their gluten free chips only have clean ingredients you can actually pronounce, have zero grams trans fat, no preservatives, artificial colors or flavors and are simply delicious. Did y'all catch all that? Clean chips that actually taste good and don't have a bunch of wonky things you're worried about your kids or yourself eating! That's what you call WINNING and Simply 7 snacks are my go-to chip to include when serving charcuterie for friends and family!
So let's talk about 5 easy steps to building the perfect charcuterie board!
1.) Select at least 5 different protein sources, including a variety of animal and plant protein sources (unless of course you or your guests are vegetarian/vegan). Some options include prosciutto, salami, pepperoni, ham, turkey, dried sausage, hard or soft cooked eggs, assorted cheese cubes (muenster cheese is my fav!), hummus and nuts.
2.) Select at least 5 different fruits and veggies, including ones ideal for dipping! Cucumbers, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, tomatoes, assorted berries, grapes, peach and pear slices. Pickled vegetables and roasted fruit also make for an especially nice touch!
3.) Include some healthy fats. Olives, a variety of nuts (pistachios, cashews, macadamia nuts, and walnuts, just to name a few), hummus and avocado (sliced or mashed) are excellent healthy fats to make your board extra hearty!
4.) Include a variety of fun and flavorful dippers, like Simply 7 chips. With 24 different chip options, they have everything from lentil to quinoa to kale to hummus to veggie chips! There are numerous flavor options, but my three favorites are the Quinoa Sea Salt, Quinoa Barbeque and Lentil Jalapeno. I love having a balance of mildly flavored dippers and some bold options. I'm not usually a huge fan of jalapeno, but they nailed the flavor!
5.) Serve more than you need and serve with wine. Okay, maybe you don't have to have wine, but I would highly recommend it ;). Definitely serve extra though because it's hard to predict how much people will eat AND the leftovers are seriously perfect for bento box lunches for both kiddos and adults!
If serving charcuterie for a large gathering, you may want to consider having multiple boards based on food preferences or allergies. For the most part, your guests will probably just pick and choose what they want, but if you know someone has a nut, dairy or egg allergy, I would suggest having a separate board or bowl for those ingredients. And if you're looking for better-for-you dippers that are allergy-friendly, you can rest assured that all of Simply 7 Snacks are free of the top 8 allergens! None of their chips have GMO ingredients, they have many vegan-friendly options AND their snacks have up to 18% less calories, 30-50% less fat and more vitamins than standard potato chips. Like I said earlier, WINNING.
I hope y'all are more excited than ever to build your next charcuterie board! Happy eating, happy entertaining and happy Fall! Follow me on Instagram for more charcuterie inspiration! <3 Shannon
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I've been wanting to write this post for a while, but I didn't quite feel like I was out of survival mode yet! I *think* I'm starting to get my head a teeny bit above water (granted we haven't hit the dreaded 4 month sleep regression yet) and feel like I have enough clarity to share a few things that have been super helpful during the past 3+ months.
1.) ASK for help and/or make a list of things you need ahead of time and when someone asks what they can bring, tell them! My strong point is definitely not vocalizing my needs, but in this season of what felt like complete drowning at times, I found myself more willing to ask for help. The problem was I didn't always know what I needed or frankly have the mental energy to think about it. Looking back, I should have made a list of things I wanted/needed. Examples include making a list of favorite snacks, drinks, restaurants (even specific menu items at a restaurant) and household chores. It may sound ridiculous but if there's specific instructions for something in your house (i.e. washer/dryer), type them out and tape them up. There are usually a lot of people willing and wanting to help when a new baby comes home, but they can only help as much as you allow. Set everyone up for success by thinking about your needs ahead of time!
2.) A good probiotic. Seriously. 70% of your immunity is in your gut and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out it's easier to get sick when you're literally running on no sleep. I also had to receive antibiotics prior to delivery so all the more reason I loaded up on probiotics. My best friend even made me homemade bone broth when she was here helping for the week after we brought Joy home!
3.) Create a snack/hydration basket to always have nearby where you feed your baby. This is something EVERY mom needs- doesn't matter if you're breastfeeding, pumping or bottle-feeding, we all have a usual place we feed the baby and there should be some nutritious snacks and drinks there! I'm surprised I didn't figure this one out sooner, but I feel like every time I sat down to feed the baby, I somehow failed to have something to drink or eat. At first I just started stashing dark chocolate in a little bin (seriously), but then nuts, granola bars, and dried fruits and veggies joined the dark chocolate. It may sound a bit extreme, but we have a mini-fridge (that we already had- didn't purchase it specifically for this) next to where I pump/feed Joy. It's stocked with waters, La Croix and electrolyte drinks. I have zero excuse for not staying hydrated.
4.) Keep easy/healthy ready-to-eat items on standby, consider grocery delivery or even a mealkit delivery service and plan ahead!! The old motto of you either fail to plan or plan to fail is even more true when you're trying to keep a household going after bringing a new baby home. I was so fortunate to have my best friend stay with us the first week after Joy was born and she cooked up a storm! She left us with a freezer stocked full of frozen meals, but I learned the hard way that I still had to plan ahead to thaw them [duh]. That sounds so silly, but I would stumble into the kitchen at 5pm and think "We can eat the chicken and rice casserole for dinner...", but then realize it actually needs to thaw. Plan ahead- write a tentative meal plan out for the week. Even if that includes take out, at least you know ahead of time and that also helps you identify the best time for someone to bring a meal over when they ask what you need! And I can't stress enough how grocery delivery and curbside have saved my butt. We wouldn't have any fresh groceries if it wasn't for those options and I even wrote a post comparing Shipt, H-E-B curbside and Prime Pantry!
5.) Rely on sheet pan meals and freezer meals. Here are a few of my favorite KISS in the Kitchen sheet pan meals and also a round-up of 25 meals that are freezer-friendly!
Hope you found these tips helpful! Mamas, you are doing a great job and your little ones are so blessed to have you! <3 Shannon
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I'm excited to partner with Monterey Mushrooms, the largest fresh mushroom grower in North America, for this post. As always, all opinions are my own, and I only partner with brands and products I genuinely love using in my own kitchen.
You know what I love about football season? It means that cooler weather is right around the corner! It also means tailgating, game day parties and that we're getting close to the holidays. So basically, there will be many opportunities in the next few months to feed a crowd and come up with a fun party menu! These Mushroom Cheeseburger Bites are hands down my favorite appetizer. They also happen to be one of the easiest, fastest and require the fewest ingredients of all the appetizers I've ever created. Even if my favorite team doesn't win, I'm winning with this recipe!
Mr. KISS in the Kitchen has been eating Mushroom Cheeseburger bites as an appetizer, a snack and even for dinner one night. He also said "I wouldn't change a single thing about this recipe"- which is the ultimate complement considering he often says "it tastes great, but it needs more ______". And considering there are ONLY FOUR ingredients in these scrumptious bites, this one is a winner for sure.
By now, many of you have seen and tried some of my other recipes with minimal ingredients, like these 5 Ingredient Blended Meatballs and Taco Stuffed Beef & Mushroom Peppers. They all have one thing in common (other than being delicious)- they use Monterey Mushroom's Let's Blend! Let's Blend is finely diced and pre-seasoned mushrooms that come in Classic, Italian and Mexican flavors. They're basically the #1 way I add flavor and nutrition to my recipes while also making a meal stretch further from the addition of the mushrooms. I use the Italian for spaghetti, the Mexican is perfect for taco night, and the Classic is ideal for hamburgers or these Mushroom Cheeseburger Bites! They take a stuffed mushroom to a whole new level and are a hearty, yet simple, appetizer.
Monterey Mushrooms is hosting one amazing sweepstakes now through September 17th for Texas residents! You can enter for a chance to win one of six PORTABLE GAS GRILLS and Picnic Tools! Click the photo below to enter this awesome giveaway!
NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Open to legal residents of TX, age 18+. Void outside TX and where prohibited. Starts at 12:00:00 AM CT on 9/5/18; ends at 11:59:59 PM CT on 9/17/18. Total ARV of all prizes: $2,340. Odds of winning will depend upon the total number of eligible entries received. For full Official Rules, visit https://www.montereymushrooms.com/grill-away-giveaway-rules. Sponsor: Monterey Mushrooms, Inc., 260 Westgate Drive, Watsonville, California 95075.
For those in the College Station area, Monterey Mushrooms will be at the new H-E-B from 3-7pm on September 12th-14th! Swing on by the new store (2818 FM 2154 College Station, TX) to try some Mushroom Cheeseburger bites and also snag a coupon for $3 off Let's Blend (which means it's almost free!).
These Cheeseburger Mushroom Bites are super flavorful, moist and are totally reminiscent of a good ol' cheeseburger! You could mix ketchup or mustard into the ground beef and Let's Blend mixture, but I like doing a drizzle on top instead since everyone tends to like different condiments on their burgers. This is also a great recipe to experiment with! You could easily make these BBQ Cheeseburger bites with the addition of some BBQ sauce or some guac and salsa for Tex Mex Burger Bites. My friend, Amber, with Homemade Nutrition just made Caprese-Stuffed Mushroom Cheeseburger Bites and I can't wait to try her recipe! And while you're there, take a peak around! She has plenty of easy, delicious and good-for-you recipes your family will definitely love.
Whether you're the one planning a game day party or organizing a tailgate menu, I guarantee you these delicious bites will be gone in a flash!
KISS Mushroom Cheeseburger Bites
Makes: ~3 dozen mushroom bites
Time: 35 minutes (~25 minute cook time)
24oz Monterey Mushroom baby bella mushrooms (about 30-35 mushrooms)*
1 package Let’s Blend Classic
1 pound lean (97/3) ground beef
4 slices cheddar or American cheese, cut in small squares
1.) Preheat oven to 400° and grease a baking sheet**.
2.) Rinse and dry Baby Bella mushrooms then remove stems. The stems should be completely pulled out, leaving room to stuff the mushroom.
3.) In a large mixing bowl, mix together the ground beef and Let’s Blend finely diced mushrooms, until well incorporated.
4.) Using a 1 Tbsp measuring spoon, scoop ground beef and mushroom mixture and stuff into Baby Bella mushroom caps. Place mushrooms on prepared baking sheet.
5.) Bake for 20 minutes, then remove from oven and place a cheese square on top. Bake for additional 2-3 minutes or until cheese has melted.
6.) Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Enjoy warm with ketchup, mustard or any of your other favorite condiments!
*I purchased 1 16oz package and 1 8oz package of Monterey Mushrooms Baby Bella mushrooms
** I like to use foil AND grease the foil for super easy cleanup!
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Welcome to KISS in the Kitchen! I'm Shannon, and my dad always told me "Keep it simple, Shannon". And that's what you'll find here- simple recipes and simple ideas to help you get healthier and happier.