This weekend I had my ladies over for a graze and chill day.
What does that even mean?
Well it means that a bunch of hungry ladies sans kiddos hole up at another lady’s house for a few hours and munch on a variety of nibbles through out the day while catching up and spending quality time without the time limit of a restaurant and the fuss of cooking all day if you are the host.
- There are no chafing dishes
- Food items that need to stay hot are not included.
- No one has to deal with a substantial amount of food to prepare.
So now that I’ve sold you on the grazing table, here are 10 tips I have for you, a rather step by step guide to putting one together so that it’s easy and effective!
- Use a big table as your canvas Make sure it is clean and free of any plastics as some of your food can go directly on your table.
- Use craft paper to line the table or put it down the center to create a runner. This will also give you the space which you have to fill with your selection of nibbles.
- Add your anchor. This is the starting point of your table. It could be a centerpiece or a large non edible element. (maybe a whole pineapple, this is what I used)
- Add platters at various heights, this doesn’t mean you need a whole lot of dishes and tiered platters – no – it means that you want to add a little variation in the landscape of your grazing table.
- Add your larger elements. Place a wheel of cheese, I used brie topped with some cubed varieties of cheese and a compound cheese spread. Some chopped veggies in groupings (celery, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, carrots, radishes). Some larger fruit, like cantaloupe that has been cut into bite sized pieces. These are going to take larger portions of the space and you can repeat grouping of the same item at another area of the table, it creates continuity and visual impact.
- Add the meat. Rolled up deli meats are awesome. You can do shaved meats in carefully placed bunches, saute some sausages and cut on an angle to create interest and put them on smaller dishes. I may even get a little adventurous and add some deep fried chicken wings to add a little substance.
- Dips. Dips. and Dips. Pick a selection of dips that can go with several elements on the table. Make sure the appropriate dip is by the item you wish to dip into it.
- Baked goods, I like to put a gathering of baked savories like pockets or quiches or mini tarts.
- Breads, crackers, pretzels & nuts (optional) will be used to cover any visible space because the goal is to be a full table.
- Greenery and herbs. If you still happen to have any more space available, consider getting some herbs on the stems to add some green elements.
Voila, you have a table that your guests will hang around for hours, well because… graze and chill.