Perfectly Paired

happy hours / hosting / friendship

Spring is here and there is no better way to celebrate than with fresh veggies, flowers, and of course cheese boards on the patio. This week we are taking you to another one of our favorite stores, Central Market, to shop for the perfect cheese board to have your friends over for some weekend patio sitting. There is only one Central Market in Houston but the location is great for all neighborhoods and close to some of our favorite shops – so double the fun when we venture to this store.

Before we get into the details of the cheese board, we want to tell you some of our favorite things about Central Market in general. First, this store is one of those grocery stores that is more than just a grocery store, it is somewhere you go for the experience of walking through their well defined maze and seeing what yummy surprises end up in your basket. We love stocking up on fruits and veggies because they always look so beautiful and so fresh! This time we were on a mission, so we only grabbed some strawberries for the cheese board. More than the produce department, all of the departments at Central Market are filled with all kinds of delicious goodies. The pre-made meals are perfect for those grab and go nights. But our favorite part of the Houston Central Market is the “California Connection” sandwich. It is truly the best sandwich we have ever eaten. If you haven’t tried this sandwich, you must go order it. Our favorite lunch consists of turkey, cheese, pesto, caramelized onions, and avocado – sooo good! Another great thing about Central Market is their cooking classes. We went on a double date with some friends to one of the classes and had the best time. We were able to make foods that we weren’t totally comfortable with making on our own, like mussels – who makes that on the reg?! Not us! Grab some friends and take one of their classes – such a fun night and even better because you get to make AMAZING food and eat it that night!

The cheese department is UNBELIEVABLE. We love cheese a whole lot, but we definitely aren’t experts. What we are for sure of is that you can find any cheese you want here. To help us in our shopping, we consulted our friends at “That Cheese Plate” to give us a list of the specific cheese to look for to make the perfect board. On our list was Brie, Mahon (a new one for us to try), Pecorino and Boursin. We were so excited to pair some of our favorite staples with new cheeses. We love trying new things because you never know what you will stumble upon.

After the cheese, we of course needed the other goodies for the board. We got some Prosciutto, Peach jam, crackers, dried apricots and mixed nuts. Another bonus about Central Market is the bulk section. They have just about every combination of snack mix or nuts you could imagine. Right now they also have sooo much Easter themed candy! It took everything in us to resist the candy. The last thing to finish of our trip was a stroll through the wine department. They have so many wines at all different price points, so it is really great for any budget. We picked a new Malbec that was so delicious! There were so many options that it was kind of overwhelming, but we found that if we go with our normal budget and a grape we know we like, we aren’t usually disappointed.

So now for the fun part, putting the board together. If you don’t follow “That Cheese Plate” or “Cheese By Numbers” on Instagram, they are a must follow. They help you create the most beautiful boards by giving you all the ingredients you need and then showing step by step pictures of the board as you build it. We took our inspiration for the board this week from them, and then made a few tweaks to include our favorite things. We will definitely be using this account for more inspiration in the future because this one turned out AMAZING!

Let us know what your favorite things are about Central Market or what other stores we should try!

Peace & Pinot,

The Perfectly Paired Pals

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