My Favorite Summer Cheese Board: Chickpea Salad Recipe and Sweepstakes!

This post was sponsored by Blue Diamond® Nut-Thins and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

Ready for a summer cheese board? This one is the BEST and is gluten free too! Also, a chickpea salad recipe and a fun #sweepstakes! #ad #NutThinsContest #IC

You know what I love most about a summer party?

If you’re thinking ice cream, that is certainly a big one. I do love a good dessert platter, but ultimately I am all about a cheese board or plate or platter. Whatever you want to call it, it makes me incredibly happy. And now I make my own!

What are my secret ingredients? Cheese, of course, and I use havarti and swiss and colby jack, and pretty much anything. Then I love pepperoni and salami. I pair it all with a chickpea salad (homemade, of course) and some antipasto – store bought or thrown together easily at home with provolone. When you have all that goodness, what’s the most important food pairing? This is an easy question. It’s crackers, of course. And that’s why I’ve found a love with Blue Diamond® Nut-Thins.

They are my go-to snack for the summer, and also for my summer entertaining, with July 4th, Labor Day, and all of our birthdays crammed into two months of parties. They make for a delicious snack that is crunchy and crispy like a potato chip, but sturdy enough for dips and toppings. That’s why it’s perfect for my summer gatherings because I dip them, put cheese and pepperoni on them, or use them as vehicles for antipasto and chickpea salad. This is important for many of my friends that they are wheat & gluten free, and made with real Blue Diamond® Almonds. There are no artificial flavors and there’s a crispy, crunchy texture that is oh so good. I love that there is a wide variety of flavors to try and enjoy as well.

Right now, Blue Diamond® Nut-Thins are giving away $3,000 in prizes! There’s the Nut-Thins 2 Win Scavenger Hunt – for the chance to win a $1,000 gift card, find Nut-Thins in any grocery store, take a selfie with the product on the shelf, and post it to your public Instagram or Twitter account using the hashtag #NutThinsContest OR upload it to NutThins2win.com!

Then we have the Nut-Thins 2 Win Sweepstakes. For the chance to win a $500 gift card to either Ahold, Kroger, Safeway, or Target, enter your information at NutThins2Win.com. Two ways to win up to $3,000 in prizes! Good luck!

Homemade Chickpea Salad:

What You Need:

2 cans garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup Edamame
1/2 cup red and green peppers
1/3 cup carrots, diced
2-4 Tbsp dried cranberries
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt & Pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp sunflower or grapeseed oil
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp sugar
Seasonings – basil, rosemary, thyme, etc.

What You Do:

1 – In a large bowl, combine your garbanzo beans, edamame, peppers, carrots, cranberries, and garlic.

2 – In a smaller bowl, combine the oils and seasonings and whisk until blended

3 – Pour the contents of the smaller bowl over the beans mixture and toss with salt and pepper

4 – Enjoy!

YUM, right? It is one of my favorite recipes. And I love that it goes perfectly with Nut-Thins. They are crispy and sturdy and every flavor holds my salad well, but I think the original flavor is my favorite to pair with it. They all work!

Ready for a summer cheese board? This one is the BEST and is gluten free too! Also, a chickpea salad recipe and a fun #sweepstakes! #ad #NutThinsContest #IC

What’s your favorite item on a cheese board? Other than cheese, of course!

Ready for a summer cheese board? This one is the BEST and is gluten free too! Also, a chickpea salad recipe and a fun #sweepstakes! #ad #NutThinsContest #IC

Getting Festive With Cheese: Christmas Tree Cheese Board

This post was sponsored by Heluva Good! Cheese as part of an Influence Central campaign and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

What's more amazing than my Christmas Tree Cheese Board? Nothing is! Feed your #CheeseAddiction with this most festive and beautiful party platter!! #ad #IC

Tis the season to make festive cheese boards – am I right?

The BEST part is that the party I was supposed to go to last night was canceled due to the snow, and I had a whole Christmas Tree Cheese Board to serve my family and neighbors. Not bad, right? This is exactly my speed – a little fruit, a lot of vegetables, a little meat, and a lot of cheese. You can say I have found my happy place and it consists of Christmas Tree cheese boards. If you think assembling Christmas trees out of food is fun, this is a great idea! Not to mention it’s delicious.

cheese board

What do I love? Cheese. I love cheese and crackers – without a doubt – but when it comes to assembling a cheese board/platter/plate for a holiday party, that’s when I get even more creative. Heluva Good!® is always my go-to cheese for such amazing recipes. It provides the ultimate snacking experience no matter the occasion. The flavor is mouthwatering – with taste delivered. The cheese is versatile – perfect for any occasion – but also suitable for every day. Especially if you make Christmas Tree cheese boards every day, because I’m starting to think that I should do that! Or at least some shape!

For my cheese board, I chose Special Reserve Extra Sharp Cheddar and Colby Jack. Heluva Good! offers an assortment of flavors, including the two I mentioned above, Pepper Jack, Extra Sharp Cheddar, Sharp Cheddar, White Extra Sharp Cheddar, White Sharp Cheddar, White Mild Cheddar, Muenster, and Monterey Jack. I love the variety of flavors – it’s FUN to choose.

Find Heluva Good! Cheese in the dairy aisle of your neighborhood supermarkets in New York (New York, Syracuse, Buffalo/Rochester, Albany), Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh, Harrisburg/Scranton, Philadelphia), Connecticut (Hartford), Massachusetts (Springfield, Boston), Ohio (Cleveland, Columbus), Rhode Island (Providence), Florida (Tampa/St. Petersburg, Orlando), Virginia (Roanoke), Maryland (Baltimore), Washington D.C. I get mine at Walmart right in my little city.

I always buy at least two Heluva Good! blocks. In my cheese board, I wanted to make the “star” on top of the Christmas tree out of Special Reserve Extra Sharp Cheddar, and I wanted to use Colby Jack for the “tree” part. Cheese boards are always so personal. I made mine with my family in mind. Usually I like to use strawberries, but it’s not the season for them, and raspberries were on sale. I have known people to use other vegetables for their cheese boards, but I think broccoli is perfect! Pair the cheese board with a great homemade dip, and you’re set. All of the flavors go well together.

This is one of my favorite dishes because it’s simple, delicious, versatile, and fun. Scarlet and Des helped me with the star of the tree, and with choosing the ingredients. I think blueberries or dried cranberries would also go well with it, as well as salami. You can’t go wrong. And you can know for sure the cheese is the star of the show. That’s where I put the most care.

In fact, that’s why they call it a “Cheese Board,” isn’t it? Choose wisely. Choose this:

HeluvaGoodCheese

It’s Gluten Free, made with milk, a good source of protein, an excellent source of calcium, and with 0 grams trans fat per serving. Right now, enjoy this Heluva Good! Cheese at Walmart Ibotta Offer. Limited quantities are available. Offer HERE.

What's more amazing than my Christmas Tree Cheese Board? Nothing is! Feed your #CheeseAddiction with this most festive and beautiful party platter!! #ad #IC

Enjoy!