Mighty Life List
Jan 8 2009

Solution! Cheese Plate Jar

Since Hank came along, we entertain at home a lot more because we’d rather buy groceries for the week than fund a sitter for an evening.

This is our cheese plate jar, it’s where we keep snacks for impromptu hosting. We used to eat all the yummy snacks ourselves, and then have sliced fudgesicles and dry pasta curls when people came over. Now, once something goes in the jar, it’s for guests only.

You can stock it with all kinds of shelf-friendly snacks, but our favorites include:

  • Bars of Dagoba or Scharffenberger dark chocolate
  • Raw almonds, pecans, filberts
  • Roasted pistachios or pumpkin seeds
  • Dried apricots, cranberries, or mangoes
  • Crystalized ginger

If you happen to have some cheese in the fridge and a little drizzle of honey, you can make a killer cheese plate with that stash. If not, take three little dishes (we use sushi plates), and put out almonds, dried apricots, and chopped chocolate. You can put it together in five minutes with no cooking and no stress.

Look at you, so fancy.

38 Responses to “Solution! Cheese Plate Jar”

  • Desiree Fawn Says:

    That is a fabulous idea! I’ll have to adopt — and then hide it from my partner who will assume all those tasty treats are for him :)

  • Elena Says:

    Hmm, filberts – are you Oregonian? Haven’t heard that term much outside Oregon!

  • D Says:

    Love this idea! Party in a jar.

  • Gabrielle Says:

    Great idea! I always keep a bag of these stashed in the cupboard: http://www.amazon.com/Just-Off-Melrose-Crisps-Caesar/dp/B001HO1Z2A

    If someone stops by I throw them into a silver mint julep cup and voila! People think I just whipped up some fancy cheese crackers!

  • Dawn Says:

    Great tip, will put it into action cause the good stuff always seems to get eaten before the guest come . . .

  • Robin Says:

    What do you do with the crystallized ginger?

  • beth Says:

    Oh how I love to put things in jars! Makes it perfectly dog proof! And this is a grand idea. I love it.

    So… a filbert? is that like a hazelnut?

  • MLDina Says:

    Love that idea! I hate cooking, so anything I can put together quickly and easily is a must. Thanks for the tips!

  • Alyce Says:

    I say filbert, too.

    My grandparents (from whom I first heard the word) are from Minnesota, North Carolina, and Southern California respectively.

  • Philly Mama Says:

    Great idea. I have a toddler too, and so entertaining at home is a LOT easier than going out sometimes. Although like you I find that all the items I buy “just in case” we have company mysteriously disappear. Putting them in a jar, while simple, may be the barrier I need.

  • Jennifer Says:

    Brilliant! Also makes a great hostess gift.

  • Yolanda Says:

    That would also make a sweet handmade gift. A cheese party in a jar, just add cheese. Lovely.

  • Cristina Says:

    Good tip. What will I do with my half baggie of Skittles and free Saltine Crackers that I normally save for these occasions?

  • Clare Says:

    This is a great idea. My tack tends to be to buy stuff I don’t like myself (for instance, to keep boyfriend happy, I keep green tea, olives and fig rolls in the cupboard – he also likes chocolate and ice cream, but those things are gone as soon as he leaves the house) as I know it will stay put in the cupboard for when others come round!

  • Jami Says:

    Oh what a fantastic idea that I MUST try! Though, I have to say, most of the people who want to come to my house are so picky they bring their own food.

    No bitternes.

  • Shelley Says:

    Think like a Canadian – Try maple syrup instead of honey!

  • Aimee Greeblemonkey Says:

    Clever, you are.

  • wendi Says:

    You’re awesome.

  • Puanani Says:

    This method keeps it out of my grubby little hands!

  • Kimberly Says:

    That’s genius.

  • spoiledonlychild Says:

    Where is this alternate universe where people always have guests popping in expecting a plate of fancy appetizers and a cocktail to greet them? Every cookbook and women’s magazine seems to have tips for dealing with these mythical unexpected guests. Am I the only one who doesn’t have this problem? Maybe (probably) I am just unpopular.

  • Lizzy Says:

    What the heck is a filbert? And what do you do with the honey?

  • Kimberly Says:

    Spoiled Only Child, I encourage people to call when they are in the neighborhood and drop by. I think if your friends and family are confident that you like having them over anytime, they’re more likely to come with little or no notice.

  • Laura Says:


    Lizzy — Filbert=Hazelnut

  • tracylea Says:

    Perfect! of course I’ll have to have my daughter hide it so mummy and daddy don’t disturb it during a late night movie snack crave.

  • Michelle Says:

    That is a fab idea…I’m going to do that at our house. We don’t have a lot of fancy snack foods around because I will end up eating them but this is awesome in a pinch !!

  • A Friday Afternoon Fry-up - Slashfood Ate (8) | FuzzyClam.com Says:

    […] E­n­t­e­rt­ain­in­g at­ h­o­me­ is a gre­at­ w­ay t­o­ spe­n­d t­ime­ w­it­h­ frie­n­ds w­h­ile­ savin­g so­me­ c­ash­. C­h­e­c­k o­ut­ Maggie­ Maso­n­’s (q­ue­e­n­ o­f t­h­e­ M­ig­hty G­oods­/Ju­n­ior/H­au­s sh­o­ppin­g empir­e) chees­e pla­te ja­r­ w­hi­c­h mak­es i­mpro­­mpt­u ent­ert­ai­ni­ng a snap. […]

  • All About Food Says:

    What a great idea. How do you keep your hands out of that jar in between guests? I like to keep some good marinated olives and fruity Parmesan in the refrigerator at all times. Add some almonds and good wine — makes everyone happy!

  • amanda Says:

    I recommend dried cranberries as well. Dried cranberries and almonds taste delicious together. Might go make a snack of them myself right now….

  • Mistress B Says:

    That’s a great idea.

    I also am quite partial to dried apricots.

  • apathy lounge Says:

    Wonder how many times I’ll have to remind the kids that it’s just for guests. Unless I were to fill it with broccoli, of course.

  • Sunny's Brain Says:

    You get an A+ for that idea.Mahalo

  • Impotence Says:

    Огромное вам человеческое спасибо, очень актуальная заметка.

  • Professor Says:

    обязательно, будем заходить и читать!

  • michelle @ TNS Says:

    i am totally doing this. but then i am having my husband hide the jar, because if went too long without hosting people, the chocolate would not survive.

  • Natural Says:

    I think you are thinking like sukrat, but I think you should cover the other side of the topic in the post too…

  • jackie Says:

    TOTALLY LOVE this!! I actually went out and made one last week! thank you for the tip as I was part was there but you gave me the extra push I needed to have the right supplies on-hand!! =)

  • Cheese Plate Jar As Craft Idea? · Recycled Crafts @ CraftGossip Says:

    […] Maggie Mason consistently posts great ideas for making life (and craft) easier to manage. This cheese plate jar idea of hers is a great organizational idea for foodies, but I’m pretty sure we can adapt the idea to a great recycled craft idea. […]