Holiday Spreads

Waiting On Martha’s Build-Your-Own Charcuterie Board

With my very first ever designed product I wanted to put the easy back in entertaining!
Filed Under > "Hostess with the Mostest"

In the 8 years that I’ve had my Blog I’ve written a lot of great posts, I’ve had a lot of amazing partnerships, and I’ve traveled to a lot of dreamy places. Truly, this blog has allowed me to do, see and experience things I never would have imagined in a millions years. But today my Friends, today is one for the books. Today, I’m thrilled to be sharing my first ever designed product; a Build-Your-Own Charcuterie Board. Yep, you heard me right I’ve created a map to the perfect meat and cheese board.

With my first EVER designed product I wanted to put the easy back into entertaining! And there’s nothing more entertaining than a great charcuterie board, but easy they are not. Especially lately when it seems boards are becoming larger and more intricate than ever. So I thought, why not create board that had it all laid out, a map if you will. So thats just what I did, with a little help of course.

First we started with my favorite board that we sell at Waiting On Martha Home, a beautiful 30 x 10 maple wood board from Maple Leaf Designs Texas. We then had the map hand stamped/engraved on to the board in our handwritten font that was made just for Waiting On Martha.

Finally, we had the board fired in the kiln until it reaches a deep walnut brown coloring and finished off with butcher block conditioner. While I originally wanted to keep the board its original light maple color I quickly realized it gets messy. By darkening this thermal ash board you can lay everything directly down on the board then simply wash it away at the end of the night keeping it as functional as it is beautiful.

And that’s it, simply follow the step by step instructions engraved on the board and you’ll have the perfect appetizer board every time! And trust me when I say it will be perfect as I tested it many, many times even measuring out cheese wedges to try to make everything the perfect size. And if you consider yourself an expert we’ve got you covered too. The engraving is easily covered up as so you can feel free to get creative. However, you will find plenty of suggestions and definitions on our map such as: olives, vehicles (with suggestions for different crackers & breads), stinky cheese (with a listing of some of our favorite stinky cheeses), honey, sliced fruits (with suggestions of different fruits), salami with definition of salami, seasonal (with some ideas for seasonal foods), hard cheese (with a listing of some of our favorite hard cheeses), jam,  (with suggestions for different crackers & breads), soft cheese (with a listing of some of our favorite soft cheeses), nuts,  and prosciutto with definition of prosciutto.

This really is the perfect gift to give to yourself or to the host you love the most this holiday season. And from the bottom of my heart thank you to all that have supported me on this journey. It’s been a ride! xo, MKR

Thanksgiving Dinner Made Easy

Making the holidays enjoyable again with Whole Foods
Filed Under > Entertaining

Between juggling the shop, the blog, travel, and everything else that comes with the season, this year I decided to make Thanksgiving easy. No three-day food prep, no failed recipes, no arguments in the kitchen. No none of that. This year, I was going to actually enjoy the only day I have off and let Whole Foods do the heavy lifting for me.

You see, Whole Foods is just waiting to make all of your holiday dreams come true with their massive holiday menu! From charcuterie boards and bacon wrapped apps, to turkeys, hams, pies, and all the sides you could dream up, Whole Foods has the holidays covered.

They cook it, and all you do is finish it in the oven and place it onto the table.  It’s that easy.  But seriously, it’s that easy.  They send you on your merry way with very detailed instructions that even someone who’s never cooked a day in their life could handle.  And I loved the fact that while Whole Foods takes you 90% of the way there is a little work that you still have to put into it so I felt as if I had actually cooked the meal.

As far as the meal itself, I went with the Festive Feast for 12, and it was a feast.  Every single thing was delicious, and we had leftovers for days. But if I was playing favorites I’d say it had to be the ham, the creamed kale and spinach, and the apple pie. The next day I poured the creamed kale and spinach over tortilla chips and added a little salsa and it was like heaven.  Highly recommend that little leftover.

While I did go with the Festive Feast for 12, I love that you don’t have to go with a full feast and can just pick and choose, truly creating your own custom menu. So if you love baking pies, or the turkeys your thing, but don’t want to mess with the sides you can just get Whole Food’s sides.  If the sides are your thing, but you don’t want to mess up that big glorious bird, you can just order the turkey.  Whatever will make your Thanksgiving enjoyable again, you can make happen with a little help from Whole Foods. 

And of course, Whole Foods being Whole Foods, they’ve got plenty of options for vegans, vegetarians, grain free, Keto-friendly, and whatever else seems to be the diet trend this year.

And I’d be amiss if I didn’t mention the cost.  I knew, being Whole Foods the food quality would be bar none, but what shocked me was how reasonably priced everything was.  It was the least expensive Thanksgiving dinner I’ve EVER hosted.  Ever!

So, the only question left to really answer is are you going to make Thanksgiving stressful this year, or are you going to be like me kicked back with a glass of wine and actually enjoying the day! Truly, MKR

Photography, Rustic White Interiors | This post is in collaboration with Whole Foods, a brand I love and adore.  Opinoins and images are 100% my own.

Homemade Halloween Chocolate Candy Bark

This easy, 15 minute DIY Halloween Chocolate Bark is the perfect way to use up all that leftover Halloween Candy!
Filed Under > Desserts

Homemade Halloween Chocolate Candy Bark

When I was thinking about what I wanted to make to celebrate the haunting season I thought why not make a homemade Halloween Chocolate Candy Bark with all of the Halloween candy I have sitting around tempting me on a daily basis.  I love Homemade Chocolate Barks for a multitude of reasons.  The main one being that chocolate barks look way more difficult to make than they actually are.  I also love that the possibilities of bark combinations are endless.  Plus candy barks make the cutest homemade food gifts! So for all those reasons and more, I’m thrilled to share my Homemade Halloween Chocolate Candy Bark with ya’ll today! 

As stated above, candy barks are incredibly easy to make. All you need to create this homemade Halloween Chocolate Candy Bark for yourself is baking chocolate, candies of your choosing (I used Mini Kit-Kats, Peanut Butter Cups, M&Ms, Rolos, Sprinkles, and Candy Eyeballs), parchment paper and a sheet pan. 

Homemade Halloween Chocolate Candy Bark

When it comes to the actual creating, the trick to creating a perfect homemade Halloween Chocolate Candy Bark every time relays on 3 different things.

First, have your candy prepared and ready to place because you’ll need to work fast so the candies don’t melt into the bark.  The easiest way to do this is plan out in advance what candies you want to use, color themes you want to stick with, and most importantly have everything unwrapped and ready to go.  

Second, when spreading the chocolate out to create the bark base make sure to go thin. You’ll want the chocolate to completely cover the parchment paper, but just barely. This was my mistake the first time in trying this recipe. I made the bark way too thick which makes the chocolate bark taste too sweet, difficult to cut into pieces and incredibly hard to eat. 

Lastly, you need to let the chocolate cool for just a few minutes. If you begin placing the candies the second you have your bark spread out they’ll begin to melt. Wait 2-3 minutes and start with the non-chocolate candies that won’t melt like the candy eyeballs in this case. Candy Corn is also one of those great non-melting candies to try.

Homemade Halloween Chocolate Candy Bark

After letting the bark cool in the fridge for at least 10 hours (I prefer overnight), you’re ready to cut it into pieces.  There’s no particular rhyme or reason to this, but I found the easiest way is to lay the bark out on a completely flat surface and with a very sharp knife start with the edges.  Your edges won’t have a finished look to them, and sometimes that works out to look great, but sometimes you’ll need to trim them. Next, cut the bark in half. It doesn’t necessarily have to be directly cut in half across, but by dividing the bark into two larger pieces it will make it easier to slice. Then try to either cut around the larger pieces or make it so you cut the larger pieces in half. 

And as best you can avoid touching the chocolate too much with your fingers.  Because the chocolate bark is thin your body heat will naturally begin to melt and smudge it if you touch it too much.

Once you’ve cut all the pieces, put the Halloween Bark back in the fridge for an hour to completely let the chocolate set and re-harden from any softening that may have happened while cutting.

Homemade Halloween Chocolate Candy Bark

And voila, the cutest, most festive homemade Halloween Chocolate Candy Bark you’ve ever seen! I love whipping up a couple batches of this to gift to my neighbors and take into work. And how cute would this bark be served on this itsy bitsy spider plate!

See the recipe below, and if you’re reading this via Bloglovin’ you’ll need to click into the post to get the complete recipe. Happy Halloween friends! Truly, MKR

P.S. If baking isn’t your thing at all Williams Sonoma has some Mummy Halloween Bark that is almost as cute!

 

Halloween Chocolate Candy Bark
Yields 1
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. Baking Chocolate of your choosing, you'll need about about 25-30 oz for one bark
  2. Candy of your choosing
  3. 1 tablespoon canola oil
  4. parchment paper
  5. sheet pan
Instructions
  1. Prepare all of the candies, removing all the wrappings, and set them aside where you plan to create your bark.
  2. Cut out parchment paper to the size of your sheet pan, and place inside your sheet pan. Set aside.
  3. In a large pot over medium to low heat melt your chocolate and stir with a spatula or whisk. You'll want to stir the entire time the chocolate is melting, otherwise you'll run the risk of burning your chocolate.
  4. When the chocolate has completely melted, turn of the heat and add canola oil. The oil helps the chocolate shine.
  5. Pour the chocolate out onto your parchment paper and spread with a spatula to create a thin layer. Once spread out, lift the pan just slightly and carefully hit down onto your surface. This will remove any air bubbles and help even it out.
  6. Let chocolate cool for 2-3 minutes then begin placing your candies. Once your candies are placed put the sheet pan into the fridge and let cool a minimum of 8 hours. I prefer to let it cool overnight.
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