Assorted Cheese and Crackers Tray
Make in any amount
An assortment of cheese and crackers is one of the easiest and most appreciated appetizers. It is especially useful if guests tend to gather in your kitchen while you are finishing dinner preparations, as happens in my house when I entertain.
Purchase several different cheeses, soft and hard, mild and sharp. Obviously, the amount of cheese you need depends on the number of people being served. Brie or mild goat cheese is always good. I prefer one with herbs and garlic. Cheese balls are also good, whether purchased or homemade. Cheddar is safe for those who do not care for exotic or pungent cheeses. I love a good Swiss, such as Jarlsberg or Gruyere. If you are more adventurous, try a blue cheese and a good sharp Italian such as Provolone or Asiago. You usually only need two or three different types of cheese.
You will definitely need some plain-flavored crackers, such as water wafers. You might also want some mild wheat or whole grain crackers, as well as store-bought or homemade wafers and toasts. Mix and match as you like.
To serve, place wedges or blocks of the cheeses on a large cutting board, each with its own knife, surrounded by the crackers and let your guests serve themselves. A bowl of nuts, dried fruits, grapes and/or olives make excellent accompaniments. See the recipes in the similar and related recipes links for some additional ideas.