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Cooking with Karina: Cheese, Please!

Karina Arnold
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Cheese plate

Karina Arnold creates a beautiful cheese plate on a budget.

Karina Arnold is a senior at the University of Oklahoma who’s passionate about healthy cooking. She provides creative, healthy recipes and tips on clean eating.

A great woman once said, “Cheese plates are like an edible artist’s palette.” That great woman was my friend and fellow foodie Megan Mueller. I couldn’t agree more. The two main ingredients are cheese and a platter. With these basic tools, you decide what direction you want to take your dish. Cheese platters put bread baskets to shame. I find it more enjoyable to comb over a restaurant menu while sipping wine and sampling cheese.

You too can make an appetizing cheese platter. Your cheese plate can be an expensive, involved presentation for a classy dinner party or a cheap, simple array served at a watch party. My favorite combination is my Fall Mediterranean Cheese Plate where you can make your own hummus or buy it pre-made. This plate is the perfect appetizer before dinner or can be used as tapas during brunch. For a more fall Texan flavor, try this spicy dip for a winter kick on your cheese plate. This Jalapeno and Cranberry Jelly pairs deliciously with plain crackers and crumbled goat cheese or brie.

Although cheese platters can be complex, they can also be beautifully simple. Throw a bowl of trail mix, crackers and cheese cubes on a platter. Simple, dip-free cheese plates are perfect for rowdy game-day celebrations or sticky child fingers.

Like my friend Megan, I am ballin’ on a budget. I would love to use imported Swiss cheese and grommet cranberry crackers, but rent, bills and tuition use up my cheese money. My friend Megan makes a tasty, savory cheese plate using five dollars, Walmart and her imagination. You can see how she did it here

Whether you are going gourmet or winning at Wal-Mart, you can make a tasty cheese plate. You can also use vegan cheese for lactose-intolerant friends and use toothpicks to make your pickings less messy and more sanitary. Like art, a cheese plates are beautiful both complex and simple, organized and messy. What is your favorite cheese plate combinations that have your guests asking to “pass the cheese, please!” Comment below!

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