Wait – how did we get here so fast? My pregnancy is passing by so quickly and though I had every intention of writing more regularly about the experience, (and blogging in general – ha!) I guess it’s taken me until now to get my thoughts together. 29 weeks in, 11 to go – and we’re growing more and more impatient by the day.
Pregnancy has been one of the hardest and most incredible things I have ever gone through. I think because it took us so long to get pregnant, it’s been filled with an interesting combination of overwhelming gratitude and intense fear and anxiety. For nine months I’m acting as a house for a little human and all of my decisions affect her in very direct, physical ways. There have been many anxiety-ridden, tearful nights and moments where I become overwhelmed with panic and fear. I get so scared that everything will go wrong. That my dream of being a mother to this sweet baby will go away, that it’s not real, that I don’t deserve good things.
And yet, there are so many sweet, precious moments of immense gratitude and insurmountable joy. I feel my baby kick, the most surreal and indescribable feeling, and I know that it’s all going to be okay. I remind myself that I get to be happy and that happiness is real and palpable and imminent and all-encompassing. I look at the ultrasound images we get from our doctor appointments (how amazing is technology?!) and marvel at the fact that there really is a little person growing inside of me with cute cheeks and my nose and my husband’s forehead and it blows my mind – how is this possible?! I get to be a mama. And I get to be a mama real soon – and I just have to keep telling myself that and believing it because it’s happening and it’s true and I deserve good things, too. And we can’t forget about my dear, sweet Brig, who has been (of course) the most wonderful, loving husband through it all, giving me everything I could ever need and more. He is the best support ever, and is going to make for one rockin’ dad.
I really haven’t been into sweets this pregnancy, which, as I’ve mentioned before, is totally crazy. Give me anything and everything salty, savory, or spicy, man. And don’t get me started on cheese – I freaking love it. Truth be told – I’ve never created a *real* cheeseboard before now. (And by real I think I mean something thoughtfully and artfully put together instead of heaps of pretzels, apples, and cheese mounded onto a plate before movie night, because heaven knows how many times I’ve done that…like 4,226.) And it’s probably mostly due to the fact that the handsome man I like to spend all my time with does not like cheese very much at all, so if I were to make a fancy, artsy cheeseboard…I would end up being the only person to eat it (though is that really a bad thing??) After being inspired countless times by cheeseboard geniuses like How Sweet Eats and What’s Gaby Cooking, I couldn’t take it any longer and decided to create my perfect, somewhat miniature autumnal cheeseboard – and I really love how it turned out. And I really didn’t mind all that much that it was just for me…and of course, you.
Funny enough, every single part of this cheeseboard is from Trader Joe’s. Well, except for the board itself – that’s from Target, my other favorite place on earth. Since what I’m sharing with you today isn’t really a recipe, I’m going to tell you what I chose to put on my board and hope it inspires you to create a similar (or different!) seasonal cheeseboard of your own. Here’s what I used:
- Trader Joe’s roasted & salted marcona almonds with rosemary – just pray these actually end up on the board before they all accidentally fall into your mouth. They are incredibly addicting, perfectly seasoned, and go sooo well with the fall flavors on this board.
- Trader Joe’s dried apricots – is it necessary that you purchase your dried apricots from TJ’s? Well, no, but I swear they have the best, juiciest dried apricots around…so it’s up to you. I really love combining dried fruit with my carbs n’ cheese, and I think apricots make for a delightfully chewy, tangy cheeseboard participant.
- Trader Joe’s freeze-dried fuji apple slices – again with the whole fruit thing, I love this sweet, crunchy component.
- Trader Joe’s whole grain crispbread – these super seedy crackers are delicious and totally essential.
- Trader Joe’s pumpkin cranberry crisps – these crisps are both sweet and savory, with hints of cozy spices like turmeric, nutmeg, cinnamon, thyme, & rosemary – swoon. They’re the perfect seasonal cracker for your board.
- Trader Joe’s unexpected cheddar cheese – oh, I should really devote a whole post to TJ’s cheese section one day. Their cheeses are flavorfully adventurous, very reasonably priced (while still maintaining excellent quality), and absolutely delicious. This is one of my favorite cheddars – there are sharp, sweet hints of parmesan throughout and I love it.
- Trader Joe’s cheddar cheese with caramelized onions – because the only thing that would make a block of their cheddar cheese better would be swirling some caramelized onions into that goodness. Yeah, baby.
Feel free to make this your own! Let this be merely a springboard for your own appetizer dreams. Want to add some more cheese? Go right on ahead. I only chose two for this plate, but of course another 1-2 wouldn’t hurt a thing. Pretzels would make for a lovely crunchy addition or sub, or maybe an olive cracker! Dried cherries or golden raisins would be sublime dried fruit additions, and a smoky, salted nut would be delicious, too…
Remember, the world is your
oyster cheeseboard. Now go out and make one – even if it’s just for you.