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How to Prepare the Perfect Charcuterie Board


While the holidays may look different this year there is one thing that remains constant: the comfort of being surrounded by those you love most and of course good eats! This holiday season, impress your guests with a charcuterie board! Carefully crafted and presented quite elegantly, a charcuterie board is essentially a fancy title for a meat and cheese board. Here are five easy steps to help you prepare the perfect appetizer!

1. Select Your Provisions.

Having a medley of diverse cured meats is the first step to create your cheese board. Aim for thinly sliced provisions such as prosciutto or peppered salami. Then try rolling the slices or layering them on your board. Typically these meats can be found at local specialty food stores including Healthy Living and City Market

Photo Source: FN Sharp

2. Choose Your Cheese.

The next step is choosing your fromage. While it's hard to go wrong in this department, incorporating multiple contrasting textures will keep your board fun and interesting! Include artisanal cheeses like Isle La Motte’s Happy Bird Poultry Farm’s Smoked Seriously Sharp Cheddar slices and then mix in a softer cheese like Vermont Creamery’s  herb goat cheese. For one stop shopping, check out Cheese and Wine Traders for a wide selection of local Vermont products.

Photo source:  Happy Bird Poultry

3. Incorporate Fruit And Nuts.

Adding fruit to your charcuterie board not only provides a pop of color in your presentation but it creates a sweet mixture of flavor. Select fruit that goes with your cheeses of choice. Include an assortment of fresh and dried fruit then try to add a fruit spread or chutney! Test out Arbor Farmstead’s excellent selection of fruit preserves on their new online farmstand here.. Plus,  don’t forget to add a mix of nuts in there...Do we dare suggest candied walnuts?  

Photo source:  Arbor Farmstead

4. Add Crackers and Bread

When making your decision on what crackers to incorporate, think about the type of cheese and meats you’ve selected. Vermont’s Castleton’s Crackers complement nicely with harder cheeses while hand crafted bread such as a seeded baguette  from Wally's Place would be ideal to pair with your spreads or dips. 

Photo source: Wally's Place

5. Compose Your Charcuterie Board

Finally, it’s time to assemble your ingredients into a beautiful meat and cheese board. First, we recommend using your largest cutting board or a sizable serving platter. Then layer the cheese and meats on top of each other and sprinkle the fruit and nuts in where you see fit. Additionally, you can use a small bowl if you have something like a creamy dip or olives. Include any necessary utensils such as cheese knife and garnish with an herb like rosemary or thyme for a pleasant aroma!

Photo source: A Dash of Megnut 

Now pour yourself a glass of wine, sit back, marvel at your board, and dive in! Whether you're gathering with family at the holidays or going to housewarming parties charcuterie boards will be sure to amaze your company and their taste buds!

Photo source: Edyta via Eating European


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Hidden Homes: 15 Point Farm West Grand Isle, Vermont

While this home isn't for sale it's still fun to look! This dream property is secluded in Northern Grand Isle's Point Farm West. It includes breathtaking views of Lake Champlain and even an indoor swimming pool check out the video below to see more!

What other types of homes would you like to see featured? Comment below!

Island Insights: Conversations with CIDER

Island Insights graphic with aerial view of Champlain Islands

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Conversations with CIDER

The town of South Hero has seen several developments in the last five years from the Community Health Center, Wally’s Place, Worthen Library, Champlain Islands Candy Lab, Viva Marketplace and more to come. The next big thing to come to South Hero will be an affordable senior housing facility. CIDER (Champlain Islands Developing Essential Resources) has partnered with Cathedral Square (a leading creator of affordable housing with services for older adults and people with special needs) to bring this multi million dollar project to the Champlain Islands.

Over the last 15 years CIDER and Cathedral Square have been working hard to come up with an affordable senior housing solution for the Grand Isle County community. Introducing Bayview Crossing. It will house 30 apartments for older adults, a variety of amenities and services for residents, and an office space for CIDER. It is planned to be a mixed-income community, with apartments at both market-rate and subsidized rents. 

Robin Way pointing at field where construction will take place After years of searching for a site, septic tests, and archaeological studies, they have settled on a site behind the Community Health Center and plan to break ground in late 2021. One of the main criteria for creating this development was to be close to services. This location is within walking distance to the Community Health Center, the Worthen Library and local eateries making it an ideal location. 

Grand Isle County is the oldest county in the state of Vermont and one of the only counties without any type of senior housing. This makes it difficult for residents who need care and most end up leaving the Champlain Islands to find services. Since the early 90’s there has been an expressed need for senior housing in our area.



Cathedral Square is a local nonprofit and they have 25 affordable housing communities in Vermont but none in an area quite like the Champlain Islands. Due to Grand Isle County’s unique demographic makeup, it is a great opportunity for Cathedral Square to bring affordable senior housing to this rural area. They are currently in the fundraising phase of the project. If you or someone you know is interested in more information about donating visit their website.


Learn more about CIDER

The mission of CIDER is to help people with special needs continue to live independently at home. This non-profit is run by executive director, Robin Way, as well as their team of staff, board of directors, and their dedicated army volunteers (they have between 100-150 volunteers in a year!). 

Their services range from ride services, meal programs, community events and classes, wheelchair ramp construction, medical equipment and so much more. All of these resources are free and they depend on their members and fundraisers to continue to provide these services.

Image of the CIDER sign and logoRobin Way in front of the new site that will become Bayview Crossing senior housing

“We see more kindness and generosity in any given day. People stepping up to help out each other. Neighbors helping neighbors. That's what it takes.” 

- Robin Way, CIDER Executive Director


In our December Issue...Chocolate from Champlain Islands Candy Lab

Keep an eye out for a local gift guide that will help you get your holiday shopping done this season without having to leave the Champlain Islands!


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Hidden Homes: An Inside Look at Island Homes



Coldwell Banker Islands Realty is excited to introduce a new YouTube series, Hidden Homes!

If you enjoy checking out pictures and videos of houses of all kinds you will love our new Hidden Homes series! Whether you're looking to buy a home or simply gazing for fun these videos will appeal to all real estate lovers by giving you an inside look at some of the most covert homes in the Champlain Islands. 

One of the most appealing aspects about properties in the Grand Isle County is the vast acreage and privacy it often offers homeowners. That being said, many of the most breathtaking homes are secluded and unseen! To improve visibility we will be featuring an array of handpicked properties each month, both active as well as several closed homes.

So, whether it be a secluded property down a private road or a concealed lakefront home you can expect to see them featured monthly in our newsletter, Island Insights, on our blog, and of course on the CBIR youtube channel!

October's Hidden Home:

Who else is adding this historic 1816 farmhouse to their wish list? This beautiful lakefront home is tucked away on 6.3 acres on the West Shore of Grand Isle, Vermont. 


Coldwell Banker Islands Realty Introduces Island Insights

               Island Insights Graphic with Lake Champlain

Coldwell Banker Islands Realty is launching Island Insights! Island Insights will serve as a monthly bulletin, we are aiming to help you to get to know the Lake Champlain Islands of Vermont through the eyes of its local real estate experts. We have our ear to the ground and are eager to share our knowledge with you!

About Island Insights

Our close-knit community is always evolving and our goal is to help you stay up to date and connected. With that said, we will be sharing articles with insider information on the latest activity in the Grand Isle County. These will be filled with community stories, small business spotlights, and be sure to keep an eye out for a featured Hidden Home!

On the first Wednesday of every month an issue will be sent out via email, posted on our website, as well as on our Facebook Page. Don't miss the first Island Insights bulletin and subscribe today!

We always welcome your feedback. If you have a suggestions or a story idea please let us know with a comment below. Also if you have a family member or friend who may benefit from the information in Island Insights - we encourage you to share! 

Sneak Peak of our November Issue...

Stay tuned for ‘Conversations with CIDER’ where we talk to Robin Way, CIDER Executive Director, about their plans for senior housing in South Hero, Vermont. This issue will be sent out on November 4, 2020! Make sure to subscribe!

Photo of the future Bayview Crossing site.

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