Blog :: 11-2020

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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Island Insights: Champlain Islands Holiday Gift Guide

 

As we roll into the month of December the search for the perfect present begins...This holiday season we challenge you to shop local and support Grand Isle County businesses. We have you covered with gift inspiration and great shopping spots right here in the Champlain Islands! 

1. Doghouse Pottery 

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South Hero recently welcomed Doghouse Pottery and they have opened a studio and shop at 564 US-2 Unit 4! You may recognize them from the Champlain Islands Farmers’ Market as well. All of their products are 100% handmade in South Hero, Vermont. Ranging from beautiful mugs to mixing bowls and even growlers you will be sure to find a special pottery item for someone on your list!

Photo by Amanda via Doghouse Pottery

 

2. Champlain Islands Candy Lab

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Is it really the holidays if you aren’t indulging in sweet treats? The Champlain Islands Candy Lab in South Hero, Vermont has an assortment of to die for Vermont artisanal chocolates and baked goods. They also offer holiday gift boxes and custom gift boxes, perfect for the chocolate connoisseur in your life!

Photo via Champlain Islands Candy Lab

 

3. Kraemer & Kin

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To appease the Beer lovers on your list, head to Kraemer and Kin’s tasting room in North Hero and pick up a gift card or a four-pack of their tasty, beautifully packaged craft brews. We recommend pairing that with one of their merch items, try adding a couple of their pint glasses or a Botanical Ampersand Tee. 

Photo via Kraemer and Kin

 

4. Meadow Lane Macrame

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Meadow Lane Macrame is a Handmade Fiber Art shop out of South Hero that creates unique pieces from wall art to super fun earrings. These boho inspired designs are irresistible and their plant hangers are a great gift for those with a green thumb! You can browse their different macrame collections on their brand new website.

Photo by Christel Nase via Meadow Lane Macrame

 

5. Hero's Welcome General Store

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When in doubt, head to Hero’s Welcome in North Hero. This general store will have you covered with everything under the sun. Whether you’re looking for your niece, nephew, or co-worker, this general store is packed with games, books, gag gifts, household items, clothing, and a wide selection of local products! 

Photo via Hero's Welcome

 

6. Grand Isle Art Works

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Located on Route 2 in Grand Isle, Vermont, Grand Isle Art Works has a variety of fine arts and crafts ranging from glass, mixed media, clay, wood, photography and much more! While you're there, keep an eye out for Across the Grain Pottery and their raku fish sculptures. This South Hero pottery studio specializes in functional pottery and raku, they even offer classes as well! Surprise your crafty friend or family member with the gift of a private pottery lesson.

Photo via Grand Isle Art Works

 

7. Savage Gardens Bijoux Jewelry

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A local farmer, owner of Savage Gardens, and a jeweler?! Amanda Gervais does it all, including creating unique sterling silver pieces that are popular among many. Based out of North Hero, one of her most well-known pieces are her Lake Champlain pendants. To see more of Bijoux Jewelry’s designs visit her shop on etsy.

Photo by Amanda Gervais via Savage Gardens

 

That’s a wrap on our holiday gift guide folks! Now you can find something for everybody on your list this holiday season while supporting small businesses in the Champlain Islands. Don't see your favorite shop on our list? Please comment their name or website below!

 

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Vermont Market Update: October 2020

See the latest Northwestern Vermont real estate market report presented by NVBR below.

The Northwestern Vermont Board of REALTORS® (NVBR) has released its market statistics for October 2020. The information is derived from data contained in the New England Real Estate Network and covers Chittenden, Franklin and Grand Isle Counties.

October continued to be busier than the calendar normally suggests. Buyer activity remains higher than normal for this time of year, while in many segments of the market housing supply remains much lower than one year ago. Multiple offers remain a common occurrence in many areas, keeping housing hot while the temperatures continue to fall.

New Listings decreased 0.9 percent for single-family homes and 25.6 percent for townhouse-condo properties. Pending Sales increased 15.7 percent for single-family homes but decreased 4.4 percent for townhouse-condo properties. Inventory decreased 47.5 percent for single-family homes and 51.1 percent for townhouse-condo properties.

The Median Sales Price was up 18.5 percent to $339,500 for single-family homes and 0.2 percent to $277,500 for townhouse-condo properties. Days on Market decreased 34.4 percent for single-family homes and 47.8 percent for townhouse-condo properties. Months Supply of Inventory decreased 48.8 percent for single-family homes and 54.5 percent for townhouse-condo
properties.

Mortgage rates dropped to new record lows again in October, helping to offset the monthly mortgage payment increases caused by the rise in home prices seen in many segments of the market across the country. While prices often dip a bit in the winter months, continued buyer demand may temper any price retreats this year.

Vermont Real Estate Market Report October 2020

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