DIY Holiday cheese platter

You know how it goes, on big holidays it seems like everyone is just waiting the whole day to stuff their bellies full of food! This year I was lucky enough to sit back and relax while a bunch of men did the cooking. I still felt like I should contribute in some way so I decided to make a cheese platter. 

It was a good thing too, because everyone was starving while we waited for the guy who cooked the bird to arrive. 

I was determined to make the biggest and best cheese platter imaginable so I made sure to get all of the essentials for a good snack tray, unfortunately I forgot to put the salami on the platter but it was still beautiful! 

Here’s what I used:

  • Brie cheese
  • Garlic and herb spreadable cheese -President brand
  • Pepper medley spreadable cheese – President brand
  • A French baguette 
  • Breton original crackers
  • Grapes
  • Strawberries 
  • Roasted/salted almonds 
  • Greek mix of olives and feta cheese 
  • Salami (not pictured) 

Get creative and add whatever types of fruit you like. I also thought it would be a good idea to make a dessert version with chocolate dipped strawberries and apples slices with caramel dip.. but I’ll have to save that for next time. 

It turned out to be a big hit and kept everyone satisfied while they were waiting for dinner.   


Chicken Tortilla Soup


This recipe is perfect for fall! I am a major soup lover and chicken tortilla is my all time favorite. I found a recipe similar to this a few years ago and have since changed it to become my own. Those who know me well are aware of my distinct hatred for tomatoes. It’s difficult to find a chicken tortilla soup recipe without tomatoes but this one has been a major hit with my family and friends plus Blake absolutely loves it.

If you decide to make this soup please read the recipe all the way through to be sure you get everything you need 🙂

Here’s what you’ll need:

Utencils- 1 Spoon, 1 Ladle, 1 Chefs Knife, 1 Peeler, 1 Large pan and 1 Large pot

2 Large Carrots,  1 Large Yellow Onion,  1 Large Anaheim pepper (I couldn’t find a large one today so there are two small ones in the picture),  2 Red Bell Peppers,  1 Yellow Bell Pepper,  2 Large limes,  2 Avocados,  1 Bunch Cilantro
2 Cartons of Low Sodium Chicken Broth, 1 Roasted Chicken (they have these hot and ready to serve at most supermarkets), 1 Pack of Small White Corn Tortillas & Shredded cheese (I recommend Mexican blend or pepper jack)

For flavor- Garlic Salt, Cayenne pepper, Chicken bouillon, Salt and Pepper

Step 1– Start by chopping the onion, bell peppers, Anaheim pepper, and carrots (I like to slice the carrots as thin as possible).


Step 2– Shred the roasted chicken.


Step 3– Fill your large pot with your shredded chicken, the 2 cartons of chicken broth and 1 & 1/2 limes juice then bring to a low heat. Add about 1 1/2  Table spoons of chicken bullion to your broth.


Step 4– Spray a large pan with non stick cooking oil and bring to medium heat. Add the chopped veggies and your remaining half of the lime’s juice. Be sure to stir every so often as the pan will be very full.  Add some garlic salt and cayenne pepper.


Step 5– Grab 10 white corn tortillas and start cutting them into strips, then put them in to your large pot with the broth.

Step 6– Once the veggies are cooked through (about 10-15 minutes or until the carrots are not longer crunchy), you can add them to your large pot.


Now that everything is together and heating up, you’ll start preparing your toppings.

The most important of which will be your tortilla strips.

There are two ways to do this, either in a pan on the stove or on a baking sheet in the oven. Today I used the oven strategy since the pan of boiling hot oil can be dangerous and messy.

What you’ll need:

1 baking sheet, 10 white corn tortillas, 1/4 cup Conola oil, 1 teaspoon paprika and salt.

Step 1– Preheat oven to 375, Mix oil and paprika in a small bowl.

Step 2– Brush one side of each tortilla with the oil/paprika mix.

Step 3– Stack and cut the tortillas into 1/2-1/4″ strips and sprinkle salt.

Step 4– Place strips on the sheet in one layer and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Add some more salt and paprika when you remove them from the oven and place them in a bowl.


Next, you’ll begin to chop your cilantro, dice your avocados

and shred your cheese if it was not previously shredded.


Finally, top off your soup with the toppings of your choosing and you may now enjoy your delicious bowl of perfection!