Thursday, November 12, 2009

A plate of cheese, a Pip, and thou

On Thanksgiving, you have your traditionalists that must have a certain stuffing, must have mom's Pumpkin pie and you must make the gravy the way Grandma made it. Happily, with appetizers - you can play. I always had an Italian-American Thanksgiving (where pasta was served before the turkey; this terrified my husband in our early years - the ravioli was brought to the table and he thought there would be no turkey. He ate all and was full when the turkey arrived). This year one of my Italian touches will be the Italian Cheese Platter. It's no-cook (freeing up the stove) and easy to assemble plus - it's just plain Italiany, autumn-goodness, sweet, savory, splendiferous fun!

I treated my family to a "trial run." Gorgonzola, fresh mozzarella, asiago, boschetto with truffles, goat cheese, a piave, taleggio - what's not to like? I will be adding some provolone and buttery bel paese on Thanksgiving.
I scattered almonds, grapes, Sicilian olives, chocolate turkeys and pickled vegetables.

Raspberries, balsamic vinegar jelly and cranberry-fruit spread were the condiments.


The fresh mozzarella paired well with the sun-dried tomatoes on bread.


The asiago stood up to the salty Sicilian olives and pickled carrots.


Some balsamic vinegar jelly atop tangy, creamy goat cheese - brought together with some rosemary crackers from Panzanella.
The taleggio took all in stride: the berry fruit spread, the olives and the raspberries. Nutty, mellow as a cream-cloud, it was the first cheese to disappear.

I am looking at adding Celebrity's goat cheese with cranberries and cinnamon for Thanksgiving. Just the scent alone is worth the plating!
And our little mischievous feline Pip? He's back chasing the dog's tail, sliding cell phones under the stove and demanding snuggles and nuzzles. Cats with FIP have had decent success with holistic treatment. I am grateful for all.
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34 comments:

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Your appetizer tray looks so appealing. I agree, that is one thing you can play with on Thanksgiving. I've even had guests bring their own smashed potatoes because they had to have them "just the way their Mum made them," even thought I assured them I could make smashed ones they would like. Oh well.
Sam

Claudia said...

Oh Sam - I just laughed out loud. Over the years, people have brought me bottles and tupperware containers of "stuff." I always rewarm and serve with a smile! Sometimes I want to do say I said to my kids, "just try a spoonful of this that and the other thing. Just a taste!"

Katherine Aucoin said...

Give me your address, I'll Mapquest and I am so there. Forget tradition, I want to eat at your house!

OysterCulture said...

All the cheeses and nibbles look like my idea of culinary heaven. My MIL is Italian so we are the grateful beneficiaries of many of these wonderful and delicious plates. A personal favorite - this and a glass of wine and I am set.

Katy ~ said...

Your cheese tray looks crazy good. I'm having something similar for Thanksgiving as well. Great minds!

Glad Pip is doing so well!

Cinnamon-Girl Reeni♥ said...

Good news about Pip! How lucky your family is for getting a trial run! What a delicious spread. We always had lasagna or stuffed shells before our turkey too - but since my grandparents are no longer with us we don't do that anymore. I kind of miss it.

Donna-FFW said...

What an absolutely gorgeous cheese platter. Id be more than thrilled to see this at my Thanksgiving table. Its beautiful, Claudia!!

Wanda said...

Your appetizer cheese platter with all the extra good things would keep anyone satisfied till turkey serving time Claudia! Maybe I should do one!

Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

WOW! That tray is eye popping. Everything looks so wonderful!
I'm so glad to hear that Pip is back to his playful self. Do keep us posted!

5 Star Foodie said...

I'm absolutely loving all these cheeses! We have been on a "cheese break" lately, I miss discovering and tasting new cheeses!

Kim said...

That cheese tray is something to be proud about! It's beautiful. I could dine on the cheese tray alone and be happy:D I love the goat cheese with the cranberries and cinnamon - sounds yummy.

Sophie said...

Wow, Claudia, the food looks excellent! Very apart too!

I love the cheese, the olives & all of the rest!! Now, this food is the food I like a lot!

A fab cheese platter: Give me a good glass of red Italian wine & I am so happy!

Nancy said...

Beautiful! This looks like a perfect opener to whet the appetite before Thanksgiving dinner. I could happily make dinner of the cheese plate alone. Glad to hear Mr. Pip is recovering and back to his old self!!

CaptnRachel aka Tha Pizza Cutta said...

no holiday is complete with an antipasto platter, which of course, includes cheese. Raise your cyber hands if you've been yelled at as a kid for eating too much cheese and meats before dinner? :-)

Barbara said...

Funny story about your husband eating his fill thinking there would be no turkey!
Love your cheese platter!

Bunny said...

What a fantastic cheese platter! I love coming here, you always have things that are easy but elegant.

My Little Space said...

Yum, the cheese platter looks so inviting! It looks so good to serve as appertizer and must keep your hubby informed that the turkey is coming right up next!!!! hahaha....

reanaclaire said...

hello..greetings to u.. coming by to visit your blog and of course, the food.. they look so appetizing..

Barbara GF said...

Yay! for Pip. That is indeed something to be grateful for.
And I would love to start Thanksgiving at your house, Claudia. What a beautiful cheese platter that is. I'll bring the wine!

girlichef said...

Oh, this looks delicious...I would love to share in this platter! And you know I love making my own cheese :D

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Hi Claudia
I love all cheese! Creamy, soft, hard, stinky and salty ...love them all!
My husband's family always served lasagna and a capon (no turkey!) for Thanksgiving....needless to say I took over cooking for the holiday as soon as we were married.

the ungourmet said...

Oh my goodness, what a feast of goodness. I love all of this cheesy, salty,tangy deliciousness!

I have trouble with my Thanksgiving dinner too. I do so much grazing while cooking that by the time the turkey is ready I'm stuffed! :D

gaga said...

Wow, what a great plate of food. Can I come over?

comfycook said...

Everything looks so delicious. What a great blog you have.

figtree said...

What a perfect beginning to Thanksgiving!! On turkey day as long as I have my moms stuffing Im good. This plate of cheese sounds like a 'kust have' as well.

Miranda said...

This looks super yummy. I love a good antipasta plater

I am glad Pip is well.

Chow and Chatter said...

oh wow this looks amazing what a fab idea

janet said...

That platter looks wonderful, I could easily make that my meal!
So glad to hear the kitty is doing better.The pets are like children.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I love that appetizer for Thanksgiving and think I'm going to do something similar. I think I could skip the turkey after that spread. To answer you, yes, you can use the torta di ricotta recipe. Just a warning - it's not real sweet like most cheesecakes.

Bridgett said...

Oh wow, I love the Italian cheese plate and you did an absolutely gorgeous job. I am loving your blog and look forward to reading more! I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.

Velva said...

Claudia- If I bring a good bottle of red or maybe even a bottle of champagne, do you think I can pull-up a chair and enjoy that beautiful Italian platter with you? Just beautiful! Love it.

My Little Space said...

Hi Claudia, don't forget to pick up the appreciation award. Thank you.

joe@italyville said...

Hi Claudia... loved the photo of the bushel of tomatoes on the header! made me smile. All looks wonderful.

pegasuslegend said...

Hi Claudia my name is Claudia too!! although you will see me as pegasuslegend.... I really can totally relate to everything you do...love your traditions and family values, Your webpage make me feel like I am at home! love it Happy Thanksgiving!