Ham, sliced or shaved
Olives, as exotic as you like
Wine of your choice (optional)
1. Take a cracker.
2. Spread cheese on it.
3. Cut and flatten olive into cheese.
4. Cover with a piece of ham.
5. Enjoy followed by a slurp of wine.
How I chose my ingredients:
Crackers - My sister likes crackers with lots of fiber. She will stand and compare fiber content for way too long. I pick a cracker by the picture of it on the box. I like them round with seeds and grains. If they look like cardboard they probably taste like it. There is a reason cardboard isn't considered a food.
Ham - I don't like water-logged ham. I'd rather go to the deli counter and have them slice it fresh. I like honey baked and black forest. Roasted or smoked turkey breast is also good if your like my friend Jtran who "don't do no ham".
Spreadable cheese - I'm really not a cheese snob...ok, I am. However, today I was looking for that processed cheese in the cute foil triangles with the bit of plastic that you pull, but the goat cheese was actually on sale for less. And I am trying to choose things with less additives and processing. If you do get goat cheese, make sure it's the spreadable kind.
Olives - I love them--as long as they aren't spicey. Tonight, though, my eyes were glazing over staring at the rows upon rows of olive jars. I remembered the deli counter had some and got just a few of three different kinds: baby kalamata, green with minced garlic and green with pimento. I got about 15 olives for just over $1.
Note: If you don't like to enhance the flavor of your food with wine, you can stop reading here.
Wine - I am currently taken with Chardonnays, but tonight I wanted a red. I'm trying to learn to like them because they say the antioxidants are higher. I do avoid cabernet savignon and merlot because I find them to be too acidic. Also, I don't like to spend more than $10 for a wine I picked up at the grocery. Today I got a great one for $5. It's a California Shiraz from Barefoot and according to the sticker, it's an award winning wine. I read the description on the back and liked the flavors mentioned. I'm glad to pronounce it a success!
Just a couple notes on red wine: don't serve it too chilled. I took it from the shelf of an air conditioned store, so I when I got home I went ahead and served myself some. I swirled it a bit and let it sit while I made my tray of food. It's supposed to "aerate" or breathe. Ask.com explains it like this:
By allowing wine to mix and mingle with air, the wine will typically warm up and the wine's aromas will open up, the flavor profile will soften and mellow out a bit and the overall flavor characteristics should improve. http://wine.about.com/od/winebasic1/a/breathe.htm