How to Make at Gourmet Cheese Platter at ALDI

This post is sponsored by ALDI.ALDI Gourmet Dinner Partya couple of weeks ago, i went to a special ‘Taste of ALDI’ event in Santa Ynez, where i was able to learn more about the ALDI brand. i left the event feeling very excited about all the possibilities of things i could create with the foods offered at ALDI. if you have never heard of ALDI, i wrote a very informative blog post about ALDI here. they just opened a bunch of stores here in Southern California, which is very exciting. so now, i can create some of the amazing food dishes that i got to enjoy at the ‘Taste of ALDI’ event.

one thing that impressed me about ALDI, was their selection of cheeses and meats. they really are your one-stop-shop when it comes to food for entertaining. during the event, we were offered this amazing cheese platter filled with unique cheeses and meats. we were also offered wine that paired perfectly with the cheeses and some great appetizers. and although i don’t drink…i can tell you that everyone was raving about the wine.

ALDI Cheese Platteri was so inspired by the cheese platter, that i thought i would share how you could create your own using products from ALDI. summer is coming up, which means summer barbecues and dinner parties. offering your guests a cheese and meat platter like this is the perfect way to begin the entertaining.

ALDI has so many products that can be used on a cheese platter. after walking the aisles at ALDI, i ended up with all these great items that i thought would be perfect on a cheese platter. some of them are standard items you will find at ALDI, some of them are ALDI Finds, which are items that are only available for a limited time. they are specials for a limited time, so if you see them and like them, you better get them fast before they are gone. from specialty cheeses, to salami and meats, to crackers, to dried fruit and nuts, ALDI had everything i needed to make a fabulous cheese platter. check out what i bought…

Best Appetizer Finds at ALDIALDI Gourmet CheeseDried Fruit and Nuts at ALDIALDI Cracker AssortmentALDI Assorted Crackerslook at the cheeses! here are just some of the great varieties i found – Happy Farms Preferred Brie Cheese, Specially Selected Aged Reserve White Cheddar, Specially Selected Gouda Cheese, Specially Selected Creamy Havarti…which also had dill and jalapeño flavors, Specially Selected Garden Vegetable & Sweet Basil, and Specially Selected Pepperoni Marinara which tastes like pizza! plus, the prices were amazing. almost all of them were under $3. i probably don’t need to tell you this, but i love cheese….so this made me really excited.
Assorted ALDI Cheesesnow to create the cheese platter, all i did was place the different cheeses on a nice cutting board. if you don’t have one, check out the ALDI Finds aisle in ALDI…you may find one. i got a nice circular slate platter at ALDI that would make a great cheese plate. but for this summery cheese board, i thought a wood one would be best.

after i laid the cheese out on the board, i filled in the open spaces with nuts, dried fruits, olives, salami and crackers. fresh fruit would also be great on the platter. ALDI has great fresh produce, so be sure to check it out. you can put the nuts directly on the board, or in little dishes like i did. i also cut some of the cheese into bite sized pieces and added some toothpicks. ALDI had some yummy Specially Selected Blackberry Fruit Spread on sale, i knew it was yummy because i tried it at the event. i decided to drizzle it over the creamy brie. the preserves and the brie complement each other, and can be served with crackers or apple slices. i really love how my board turned out. so much goodness on one plate!

Where to Buy Cheese in Orange CountyFruit Nut and Cheese TrayHow to Make A Nice Cheese TrayBest Cheese Platter IdeasPepperoni Cheese AppetizerHow to Make a Cheese Platter at ALDIALDI Pepperoni CheeseDiscount Grocery Store in Orange Countyhere is what my cheese platter ended up looking like. i can’t wait to make one for my next party. and these cheeses and other items aren’t just for entertaining. my boys have loved them in their lunches. i just cut the cheese into bite-sized pieces, include some crackers and salami, and they have a great snack for school. ALDI is a great place to shop when you are looking for unique items for entertaining. i will definitely be visiting often this summer to stock up on all the great food products…i love hosting summer dinners with friends, and it’s always nice to have something for them to snack on while they are waiting for the food to finish on the barbecue. plus, i can also purchase everything i need for dinner at ALDI. best of all, i will be saving money, prices at ALDI are amazing! especially considering the high quality of their products. i am so happy that ALDI has made their way to California.

ALDI Cheese Platter Ideas

Taste of ALDI Event in Santa Ynez

This post is sponsored by ALDI.Popsicle Blog Standing in a Grape Vineyard

a couple of weeks ago, i wrote about how ALDI Food Markets are coming to Southern California and shared what makes ALDI unique and what to expect when you go shopping there. that was a popular post! looks like many people are really excited for the ALDI Food Markets to open here in Orange County. besides being able to tour one of the new ALDI stores before it opened, i was also invited to a special “Taste of ALDI” event a couple of weeks ago to learn more about ALDI. it took place in beautiful Santa Ynez – Central California’s wine country, and at the event, i was able to experience more of what ALDI will be offering us Southern Californians. i’m now even more excited for the stores to open here in the OC!

Welcome to the Taste of ALDI Event

to set the scene, the Taste of ALDI event took place at the beautiful Bridlewood Estates Winery a working vineyard and wine tasting estate with a track for horse racing located on the property. the reason this location was chosen, is that ALDI has partnered with many California vineyards to bring some of the best wines to their stores. the new California stores will have an even larger selection of local wines to choose from than stores on the East Coast and Midwest because ALDI brings in locally made products. we are lucky to live in California where fresh produce is abundant. Bridlewood Estates Winery was the perfect place to get to learn more about ALDI.

Bridlewood Winery in San YnezBest Bridlewood Estates WineryTaste of ALDI FlowersGrape Vineyards in San InezBridlewood Winery Grape PlantsArchitecture at Bridlewood Estates WineryBridlewood Estates Winery Race Track

after exploring the vineyard and doing a little wine tasting…a sparkling non-alcoholic drink for me, we began the evening being treated to a sunset dinner. an absolutely fabulous meal from beginning to end.

Bridlewood Estates Winery ALDI Dinner PartyTaste of ALDI Menu

we started with appetizers – mushroom crostini, prosciutto wrapped asparagus, mini caprese salads, the most tasty cheese and meat platter

Jill Parkin at Taste of ALDI eventALDI Fruit Infused WaterALDI Dinner Party IdeasALDI Caprese AppetizerBeautiful Dinner Party Ideas with ALDI FoodALDI Cheese Platterthe salads and main course were just as wonderful. kale with avocado and lemon-yogurt salad, seared Specially Selected Jumbo Scallops, USDA Choice Flat Iron steak and seared cauliflower with red onion jam.

ALDI Kale SaladFilming the ALDI CommercialALDI MEatALDI ScallopsALDI Dinner

the meal ended with the most scrumptious and rich chocolate layer cake with almond-cream cheese filling and berries.

ALDI Chocolate Cake

it was one of the nicest and tastiest meals i have had in a long time. we were all surprised to find that everything served to us during the meal was bought from ALDI. and what was even more amazing was that this entire gourmet meal was created for less than $15 per person!!  i found it very exciting that such a wonderful and detailed meal could be create from products found at ALDI…because the prices there are much lower than other grocery stores….up to 50% over the national brands! plus, the quality and selection was definitely there, and i can see myself creating  many dishes and entertaining with the food served to us that evening.

the next day, we got down to business tasting and comparing the ALDI brand products to national brands. from yogurts, to almond milk, to chips, to cheeses…we were all surprised to find that for significantly less money, you could get practically the same products as the ones you currently shop for regularly. they either tasted the same or better…which is very cool.

ALDI or notThe ALDI Taste Comparison Test

i also found that i am an excellent blindfolded taste taster, and managed to win the taste testing contest. so much fun.

Jill Parkin Taste Testing ALDI food

next up we were treated to a cooking demonstration by the adorable Chef Brigitte Nguyen who made a grapefruit, avocado and blue cheese salad with pecans that was to die for. it is always fun to get inspiration to create more tasty dishes…and this salad is going to be made by me on a regular basis from now on. and of course, the entire thing was made with ingredients from ALDI. doesn’t it look amazing? you can get lots of recipes like these on the ALDI website.
Learning Hoe to Cook at ALDISummery Grapefruit Salad from ALDI RecipeYummy ALDI Salad Recipethen i was able to experience something that i have never done before. learn about the art of wine tasting from Sommelier Leslee Miller. and although i do not drink, i found this to be very interesting. we learned everything from how to taste wine to how to pair it with foods. Leslee also shared with us how impressed she was with the selection and quality of wines sold at ALDI….especially for the low prices they are sold for. i can tell you from what she was sharing with us, that if you are a wine drinker, you will want to check out the wine at ALDI. it will probably become your new favorite place to shop for wine. she even told us that she likes to guess the prices of each bottle of wine before she finds out the true price – usually guessing at least $7-14 more above the true price of each of the bottles of ALDI wine.

Bridlewood Estates Winery Wine Room Bridlewood Estates WineryALSI SomelierALDI WineALDI Wine TastingALDI Wine Tasting Event

finally, we ended the day with more food of course. a lunch with a beautiful view of the vineyard. all the food again being from ALDI and oh so yummy. and if you have notice all the pretty flowers in my photos, do know that they too are also from a local grower that supplies ALDI flowers. yes, ALDI also sells flowers from local growers – and they are fresh fresh fresh. i took some home from the event and they are still alive two weeks later.

Bridlewood Estates Winery ViewTablescape at Taste of ALDILunch Menu at Taste of ALDIALDI Salad RecipesStrawberry Chicken Salad from ALDIALDI Baked Apple recipe

i left the ‘Taste of ALDI’ event feeling inspired and excited. i look forward to shopping in a new way and finding new products that my family loves. i also want to tell everyone i know about ALDI. you really need to give these new California stores a chance. i am confident that you’re going to love them and their products just as much as i do. not only because of the savings, but because of the quality and freshness you will find. so be on the lookout for a store and hopefully pop in a check it out. and because ALDI saves you money by renting the carts for 25 cents and by having customers bring their own bags, don’t forget a quarter for the carts and your reusable bags!

California Grape Vineyard