Friday Fab Four: Fromage 🧀 , Boots, & More

Book cover: Cheese Boards to share. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

1 – le fromage

Last Saturday as I was out running errands, I happened to catch Evan Kleiman’s show “Good Food” on KCRW. Her guest was Thalassa Skinner, the author of Cheese Boards to share (pictured above). Being the cheese hound that I am, I listened to the entire segment. I love her less-is-more approach to creating cheese boards (don’t overwhelm with too many choices, don’t try to make it “too perfect”). I can’t wait to get a copy of the book, and think it would probably make a nice gift.

Parchment paper leaves for serving cheese. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

It also reminded me that with the holidays fast approaching, I’ve been meaning to re-order some of these French parchment paper leaves. They’re great for serving cheeses, patés, and charcuterie, especially on wooden or stone boards.

Dirt Lover sheep's milk cheese. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

If you’re looking for a new cheese to try or serve your guests, this is a new favorite of ours, discovered during our recent wine country visit. It’s a sheep’s milk cheese called Dirt Lover, and has a nice nutty earthiness while not being too strong for most palates.

2 – Boots!

Taryn Rose Sage weatherproof booties in Bark. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I’m working on a roundup of this season’s weatherproof ankle boots, but couldn’t wait to show you these. They are just SO good. Cute, comfortable and easy to style! They’re available in multiple colors too. Run true-to-size and width, with good arch support. I’ve worn these for hours at a time with no discomfort. And they’re weatherproof!

3 – An early holiday gift, from me to you…

As a way of saying Thank You to all of you who read, share, and comment here, I’ve arranged some fabulous giveaways! Look for the first one to launch early next week. If you want to be sure not to miss any opportunities to enter, subscribe by email using the form at the bottom of this post 👇or in the sidebar 👉.

4 – Best Of This Week’s Sales…

Nordstrom Signature navy floral print silk dress on sale.

This pretty navy silk dress (with sleeves!) is one of many currently marked down at Nordstrom.

Anthropologie25% off pants & jeans

Banana Republic – “Everything’s On Sale Sale,” up to 50% off

Bloomingdale’s – Private Sale, take $25 off every $100 you spend, code PRIVATE

J.Crew35% off dressed-up styles, 25% off almost everything else. Code PARTY. (Some cute dresses with sleeves in this mix!)

J.Jill30% off all full-price styles, free shipping on $125 or more. Code NOVEMBER

Neiman Marcus – New Arrivals on Sale, up to 40% off.

Net-a-Porter – Friends & Family Sale, 25% off selected items.

Nordstrom – Fall Sale, up to 40% off.

Shopbop – Big Fall Sale, up to 50% off.

Bon weekend, and don’t forget to subscribe to receive new posts!

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19 Comments

  1. November 15, 2019 / 3:37 am

    I love those leaves for cheese. (Typed between bites of cranberry-topped goat cheese from a local farm, spread on our village baker’s truly heavenly baguette…I could live on cheese.)
    What my French friends tell me about the cheese course: something soft (Brie, Camembert, certain goat cheeses), something hard (Cantal, Comte), something in-between (tomme, Morbier, other goat cheeses). A mix of cow, sheep and goat. Something for everyone but not too many choices, either. Often for dinner parties of six guests, there will be just three cheeses. Also: Good bread is a must!!!

  2. Katrikna
    November 15, 2019 / 4:16 am

    I LOVE those boots! I’ve been looking for waterproof booties to add to my wardrobe as that’s one gap I have and need them for travel. I wear a size 9 and solid vamps elongate the foot making them look like small canoes. I love the metalwork at the toes to break up the vamp with horizontal lines. Thanks for this great option!

  3. Ainsivalavie
    November 15, 2019 / 5:16 am

    My brother’s partner is a stellar and accomplished host and I asked her about the problem of left over cheese. I find regularly replenishing the cheese cupboard with large cheeses over the holiday season can be expensive and don’t like to re serve an already used cheese…her suggestion was to serve smaller pre cut portions on the board along with olives, a chutney or pickle and a few grapes. Or do the same for a post dinner cheese course with a small piece of honeycomb, some candied nuts, dry fruit. she has found that putting out large portions of cheese prior to the meal looks lovely but can ruin appetites for the meal ( people eat too much) and after the main, guests are looking for ‘just a taste’. Her method prevents waste and, being a bit of a germaphobe she is inclined to pitch out the left overs and ultimately finds this way of serving more cost effective!!!
    She also subscribes to the less is more philosophy when serving a full on cheese board with maximum of four cheeses and points to those overloaded Pinterest cheese boards as looking like ‘food troughs’. For a larger group she sets up a few boards around the room, sometimes each board highlighting certain cheeses such as a Bleu, cheddar or Brie board.
    Must tell her about those cheese leaves!! Bon week-end!

    • RoseAG
      November 16, 2019 / 7:24 am

      Excellent hints. I have the problem of leftovers and what to do with them. If one can bunch up entertaining then a big hunk of cheese can be portioned out over several gatherings.
      Some years ago my husband had a bone marrow transplant and the preparation for that included information about what lurks in food stuffs that have been handled. Husband is in great shape now, but those lessons about keeping food safely have stayed with me.
      So don’t put out what you aren’t willing to toss afterwards.

      • Ainsivalavie
        November 18, 2019 / 5:15 am

        I work with heart transplant ( pre and post) and food safety tips are part of our post surgery education package…especially buffets, pot luck meals, food storage etc. Patients and their families are always surprised that they have to be so careful but the recipient is vulnerable and fragile in that period after the transplant. So glad your husband is doing well.

  4. Elizabeth
    November 15, 2019 / 5:35 am

    Such a timely post, and what helpful tips from my fellow followers. Cheese boards can be tricky – it’s so easy to offer either too few options or way too much overall. Thank you, one and all!

  5. Clarissa C
    November 15, 2019 / 6:08 am

    I have followed your blog for several years, and I am not sure I have posted more than once or twice. What a delightful pleasure to read your posts throughout the week! The cheese board book and accessories are just the inspiration I need for an upcoming birthday gift for a treasured family member.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      November 15, 2019 / 7:51 am

      Thanks so much, Clarissa! I’m glad you found it helpful.

  6. Jane
    November 15, 2019 / 6:17 am

    One of my favorite posts! Thank you, Susan! Do you have a favorite local cheese shop? We are “neighbors”!

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      November 15, 2019 / 6:26 am

      Hi Jane, thanks! We love Kustaa Cheese & Wine on Washington Blvd. Friendly & knowledgable folks, and always have a good selection.

  7. Robyn
    November 15, 2019 / 7:10 am

    I just read a brief article from Cook’s Illustrated regarding storing cheese. From their tests the best method is to double wrap the cheese, first in wax or parchment paper, and then aluminum foil. The wax/ parchment paper decreases the amount of moisture adjacent to the cheese that allows mold to grow, and the foil retains enough moisture so the cheese doesn’t dry out. Sounds reasonable, and doesn’t involve plastic. Thanks as always Susan for a great post!

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      November 15, 2019 / 7:53 am

      Great information, thanks!

    • Anon
      November 15, 2019 / 8:35 am

      One of my favorite things after the holidays is to make homemade mac and cheese with leftover cheese. Yes, even the bleu can be added, in small amounts. It’s always good, and never the same twice. Fantastic on New Year’s Day for a quiet family dinner.

      • Diane
        November 15, 2019 / 8:57 am

        What a great idea! Thank you,

      • Lee Ann
        November 15, 2019 / 11:54 am

        My mother-in-law makes amazing pimento cheese with cheese leftovers. Anything goes in. We call it “pitch and fling,” and it’s always yummy. Alas … there really is no recipe, so each batch is new!

      • Kelly
        November 15, 2019 / 2:14 pm

        Yum! I like making the French “fromage fort” but a mystery mac & cheese sounds delicious!

  8. Stephanie J
    November 15, 2019 / 8:14 am

    Love those boots and this post and the comments, especially the tip about wax paper and foil. Saving!

  9. Susan W H
    November 15, 2019 / 5:04 pm

    Love the boots but couldn’t find them in my size. Did find another pair, but not weatherproof. Right now most important factor is comfort, so we’ll see.

    Thanks for the ideas on cheese–I’m bringing a cheese appetizer plate and the wine to Thanksgiving. This will make it better.

    • Ainsivalavie
      November 18, 2019 / 5:24 am

      Did you look at Blondo? I have several pairs. They are comfortable and available in widths too. Waterproof too. Aquatalia are great too but $$$.
      Check Naturalizer as well. In Canada they carry a waterproof line that I believe is made by Blondo. I own a pair and can vouch for comfort and waterproof too.

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