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Sharing food boards


Over the past two years I have tried to develop almost every single recipe I can lay my hands on into some kind of sharing style dish. I like to think I’m very fancy doing this, getting all excited about new bowls and platters to serve my food on. The idea of sharing food off the same wooden board, and the interaction associated with this type of dining got me intrigued.  I always try to make everything beautiful, and now, its food. Be it with wooden boards, bowls and contemporary accessories. I then realised that I constantly try to impress whoever is around our table, so welcome to loft i love to entertain, where I will share my ideas and new food trends, trying to entertain better.
Charl, my husband and I have come to love the interaction with our friends and guests around our “sharing” style dinner table. The different variation of tastes and textures created with what’s laid out on any type of “sharing” board is where the talking and drinking of course begins. I have had amazing feedback from everyone, so I have decided to share all my tried  and tested food boards with you.
I usually say that simple is not easy, but in this case, simple is easy!! Very easy, and very impressive.
I make this board almost  once a week.  I try to have all the ingredients on hand as it’s perfect for those unannounced guests, or as snacks before the main meal, or as a meal that lasts for hours.
For this board you will need the following:
Cheese board (a must have for every home and inspired entertainer)
5 bowls (different sizes and colours) 
Cheese knives
Serves 4 to 6
24 Ciabatta sliced
6 Garlic Pods
1 Camembert
½ Cup Olive Oil
½ Cup Honey
5 Bay leaves
2 Sprigs of Thyme
1 Frozen rolled puff pastry
1 Cup Hummus
12 On the vine tomatoes
1 Cup Mixed nuts
8 Slices Coppa ham
8 Slices Parma ham
Bunch of Rocket
Can Artichokes  
Cup Tomato pesto
Cup Basil pesto
Parmesan cheese
Oh, the puff pastry, one of the items you need to keep in your refrigerator, always. It is versatile and so easy to prepare.
Basil puffs
Prep time: 5min
Baking time: 20min
Defrost the puff pastry, roll it out on a wooden board. Spread about 6 heaped spoons of basil pesto over the puff pastry sheet evenly, then grate some parmesan cheese over the pesto.
Begin to roll the one side to the middle of the sheet and then the other, so that the 2 sides meet in the middle. With a very sharp knife cut the puff pastry into 1cm rings, and lay them out onto a baking tray.
Bake at 180C for about 20min or until the puff pastry is puffed and golden brown. Leave to cool before serving.
These could  be stored and saved for a week in a airtight container.
More puff variations to follow in later blog posts.
The Honey garlic
This might be the single most delicious thing I have ever made. You will need to make a pod per person.
Prep time: 5mins
Cooking time: 35mins
In an ovenproof glass bowl, pour 1/2cup of olive oil and ½ cup of honey, together with 2 sprigs of thyme and 5 bay leave, salt and pepper. Cut the ends of the garlic pods, to expose the pods, dip the pods into the oil and honey mixture, leaving them to soak in the mixture whilst they bake. Bake at 180C for 35min, or until the garlic is soft and the bottom has caramelized. Pop the camembert cheese into the oven about 15min before the garlic is ready, so that it has enough time to melt properly, and gets all gooey and oozy.
Toasted Ciabatta
Prep time: 2mins
Baking time:10mins
Cut the ciabatta in 1.5cm slice, and lay them onto a baking sheet, drizzle some olive oil over the ciabatta and bake at 180C  for 7 to 10min, or until golden on both sides.
You can now arrange all your ingredients on your board and into their bowls
(see images for inspiration).
You can arrange the board however you want, making sure everything is easy to access.
I hope I have inspired you to try a “sharing” board.
I will in the next couple of blog posts give you more of my recipes and cheats, together with all the tools you will need to wow your guests.
Loft of love i feel for you.
Photographs taken by Gys Loubser
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