entertaining’

My FAVORITE 5 Cheeses for a Summer Party or Picnic

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Brie Cheese Plate

One of my favorite outings on the weekends is visiting the neighborhood cheese shop.  It’s truly like a candy store for me! I have the pleasure of purchasing the cheeses and savoring the samples that are given me by the shop’s cheese connoisseur.

With dinner parties and picnics on the summer social calendar, I’ve had several opportunities to bring my favorite cheeses to share with friends and family.  If you enjoy cheese, I hope the following list is helpful for your next cheese selection.

1. Il Boschetto al Tartufo = An Italian mild semi-soft cheese, a blend of sheep and cow’s milk loaded with white truffle bits.  The heady aroma and delightful flavor will be enjoyed by all and is ALWAYS a hit at my dinner parties.

2. Havarti = A Danish semi-soft cow’s milk cheese with irregular holes throughout.  Havarti is named after the farm in Denmark where Hanne Nielsen first made the cheese.  I like this creamy textured cheese in a decadent panini sandwich.

Petit Basque

3. Petit Basque = Originating from France, a sheep’s milk cheese that is tightly textured with a fruity, olivey, and slightly woodsy flavor. Serves well as a picnic cheese with wafer crackers or baguette slices.

4. Manchego = A Spanish sheep’s milk cheese with a firm and buttery texture.  It is mild, slightly briny and has a nutty flavor.  Shaved slices top off a summer salad wonderfully.

5. Brie = Is best known French cow’s milk cheese and has the nickname “The Queen of Cheeses.” It is a great dessert cheese; try pairing it with a blackberry or fig jam for a sweet taste.  Double and triple cream bries are definitely a crowd pleaser!


Michael Aram

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Michael Aram – Lotus Blossom Glass Tray & Tree of Life Serving Set

One of my favorite things to do at home is to host dinner parties with a group of good friends. I get SUPER excited for the visual set-up of my dining room table and which form of floral arrangement will be fitting for the theme of the party. I have to admit my husband thinks I’m crazy when I do mock-set ups the night before our guests arrive.

What I’ve come to realize over the years is that one can never have enough serving trays or sets when having a party. My lotus blossom glass tray is perfect for serving cheeses or cured meats and when it’s not in use, it’s a beautiful and modern decorative home accent on my buffet table. The tree of life serving set was a gift last holiday from a dear friend who truly understands how much I cherish home accessories.

Michael Aram is an American born artist who has lived and worked in India since 1989.  His work is a celebration of metalworking craft and handworking traditions where no pieces are ever exactly the same.