The Ultimate Charcuterie Board

Who doesn’t like variety? Summer time is the perfect excuse for this recipe! Reluctant Entertainer has a Charcuterie board recipe that will outshine the rest. A charcuterie board is the perfect route if you aren’t sure what to offer your guests. It is even great to serve for dinner! These boards are made up of nuts, veggies, dried fruits, cheeses, cured meats, and more!

The first thing you will need is the board! Make sure the board for your charcuterie is food friendly and if it isn’t, make sure to place parchment paper on the board. The best boards to use are the ones that have a lip, this will help make sure all of the food fits and stays in place. Another thing to think about when making this recipe is how many people are being served. The more people, the bigger the board.

If you want to get rid of the parchment paper but don’t have a food safe board, take some sandpaper and sand the board down. After the board is sanded, rub it down with mineral oil and beeswax. Or, if you want to take the shorter route, you can use a cutting board and butcher block conditioner.

Charcuterie boards often contain dipping spices, but if you aren’t sure where to start looking check out DeLallo Foods.


  • Italian Herb Dry Cured Sausage, sliced
  • Red Wine Salami, sliced
  • Sweet Casalingo Dry Cured Sausage, sliced
  • Black Pepper Dry Cured Sausage, sliced
  • Figs, sliced
  • Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Seasoning Spices
  • Roasted Garlic & Parmesan Seasoning Spices
  • Rosemary & Garlic Seasoning Spices
  • Garlic Pepper & Tomato Seasoning Spices
  • 1 jar Italian Roasted Pepper Bruschetta
  • 1 jar Italian Olive Bruschetta
  • 1 jar Italian Garden Vegetable Bruschetta
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for dipping
  • Almonds
  • Olives
  • Veggies
  • Miscellaneous crackers
  • Baguette Bread
  • Soft cheese
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese


  • Large board
  • Small bowls
  • Small plates


Make sure the board you are using for your charcuterie is prepared in advance, the worst thing is being in the middle of preparation and something isn’t ready. The meats should be sliced, waiting to be placed on the charcuterie board. Take the small bowls and place them on the board, the olives and nuts should be placed inside. Fill the other bowls with the different the Bruschettas. Place 3 to 4 small, flat dishes on the board. These dishes should be filled with the olive oil. Take the different spices and sprinkle them on top of the olive oil.

Slice the cheeses, if they are not already prepared. Wash the vegetables and dry fruits, you don’t want unclean food on the board. Now here comes the fun part, placing the food on the board. Start placing the meat, cheeses, crackers and the sliced baguette around the board. The fruits and vegetables should come next. The idea is not to crowd the board, but to fill it. There should not be too many empty spaces. The food items can be mixed together or if you like organizing, feel free to group them in categories. All of the crackers on one side and all of the meats on the other. Or be adventurous, and have an alternating pattern. Placed the olive oil in the middle and the Bruschetta on the outside. The options are endless and so is the food! Enjoy your charcuterie board any way you like it.

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Louisiana Non-Profits To Get Involved With

Louisiana is thankfully not falling in the nonprofit area. If you’ve been thinking about getting involved with a non-profit or foundation in our great state, but haven’t figured out which one is for you?  Our list of just a few worthy non-profits is broken down below.  Here are a few of the nonprofit organizations Louisiana has to offer, and here is the list of foundations. There’s a little something for all interests.

Arts Council of New Orleans

Located at 818 Howard Ave., Ste. 300, New Orleans, LA 70113. The Arts Council of New Orleans prides itself on being a nonprofit (private) organization that helps its’ community use art to transform it for the better. They also use their space and resources to support the culture and art within the community. Investing in local art/local artist and providing resources, the Arts Council of New Orleans gives its community a place to display the richness of the culture and arts that reside in New Orleans.

Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana

The Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana was founded in 1986 after the price of oil dropped so low that many people lost their jobs. The foundation was founded to help “diversify the economy into other industry sectors”. The Virginia K. Shehee Biomedical Research Institute was opened in 1994. Connecting to the LSU School of Medicine in Shreveport, this state of the art building offers 56 research labs. In 1997, the InterTech Science Park plans were announced.The Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana has now become a “stronghold for economic development”. Click here to read the full history.

Community Coffee Company LLC Corporate Giving Program

Community Coffee Company LLC Corporate Giving Program, is a program that Community Coffee has developed to support: schools, military, growers, communities and relief efforts. The Giving Program expresses the desire to give back to the community that helped the Community Coffee Company get on its’ feet.  The full 2018 Giving Report can be view here.

The Food Bank of Central Louisiana, Inc.

The Food Bank of Central Louisiana, Inc. feeds over 22,000 people each month within the community. Five meals can be provided to a family for just one dollar donated. The best part about the Food Bank is that there are multiple ways someone can help out. The Food Bank accepts donations and they also need volunteers.

If someone is in need of food assistance, the Food Bank has a list of requirements in order to receive the assistance.

McNeese State University Foundation

The McNeese State University Foundation, founded in 1965, is a non-profit organization. Originally the foundation was established for student scholarships that would be given through endowments. However, since then the foundation has moved to also include endowments for faculty and chairs. They “seek outside resources” that are there to serve those who are eligible for the endowments.

Click here to read more about the foundation.

Harvey L. Foster Foundation for Science Education

The Harvey L. Foster Foundation for Science Education was founded in 2007, and is located in Mandeville, Louisiana.  However, that does not make it any less impactful. The foundation is rooted in the idea of getting students involved in science education. Funding under-funded science programs, the foundation serves St. Tammany, Washington, Tangipahoa, and Livingston Parishes located in Louisiana. The ultimate goal is to have more students pursue engineering and science degrees.

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Travel Tips to Save Money

These simple travel tips will help everyone save money from the newbie traveler to the seasoned explorer no matter your budget.  It’s happened to every one of us, you might just not know it.  Same room, same property, but you paid $100-$1000 more and you didn’t even know it.  What’s the difference?  Maybe only a few days.  Maybe it was the method in which you booked.  Read on to hone in on some of the best tricks of the trade in hotel booking.

  1. Don’t Only Search By Price

The hotel offering the lowest price doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting the best deal.  There are usually hidden fees and inclusions that add up to more value than another property.  For example, is the WiFi free?  Does the property offer a continental breakfast in the morning?  Paying for those two items alone may place your payment above another property’s.

Bottom Line: read the fine print.

  1. Be Patient and Hunt Flash Sales

There are several periods throughout the year when the property you are eyeing will offer flash sales for you ton score discounted hotel rooms.  For example, offers discounts up to 30% on its mobile app.  Individual hotels offer frequent discounts on their social media sites as well.

Bottom Line: stalk that hotel

  1. Loyalty Programs Pay Off

Many properties reward those who keep coming back.  Hilton Honors, Marriott Rewards….the number of programs are as endless as the number of hotels.  Sign up with a hotel you have been happy with in the past and make it a point to revisit it next trip.  Special rates can add up!

Bottom Line: stay loyal

  1. Utilize a Travel Agent

Travel agents affiliated with large agencies have pre-negotiated preferred rates with tons of hotels and resorts.  They can help to find the best deals and many times even upgrade your room or get you beverage credits. And did you know that typically, using a travel agent is FREE?!?!  What’s there to lose?

Bottom Line: ask an expert

Click Here for more Tips

Why Saint Charles Avenue Changed America? recently released an article stating, “The PBS series “10 that Changed America” will kick off its second season at 7 p.m. Tuesday night (July 10) with “10 Streets that Changed America,” and it will include a trip down New Orleans’ Saint Charles Avenue.”

The article discusses the importance of this well-known street in New Orleans that was put into operation in 1835. St. Charles Avenue is recognized as the world’s oldest continuously operated street railway.

For more information, click here.

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Lemon Garlic Shrimp is well known for sharing some of the most tasty and popular recipes that are searched for on the internet. Which is why is it no surprise when the Lemon Garlic Shrimp recipe is featured on their website. This recipe is not only appetizing and easy on the taste buds, it also takes less than 30 minutes to prepare and cook. The full recipe, with pictures and video included, can be found here.


2 tbsp. butter, divided

1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tbsp. dry white wine (or water)

Freshly chopped parsley, for garnish


  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter and olive oil. Add shrimp, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes and cook until shrimp is pink, 3 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in remaining tablespoon butter, lemon juice, white wine, and parsley.
  3. Serve

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Nicholls Alumni Making a Difference

Heather Benoit, a former Nicholls Alumni and public-school teacher fills a need as the Executive Director at the Wallace Community Center in Raceland. In the article written by Houma Today, it is said that, “When Benoit came to the center it was really just getting started. She began with the after-school program, Beyond the Bell, where students from the nearby Raceland Elementary and middle schools could come to get help with homework and participate in enrichment programs.”

Heather saw a need in the community for programs like, Beyond the Bell, and worked to make sure those needs came to fruition.  “When kids get out of school, they’re often home alone. But by providing a safe environment for them to study not only for school, but also for life, they can grow up to become successful members in the community,” she said.

Benoit grew up in Thibodeaux, Louisiana and later received her bachelor’s degree in education from Nicholls State University followed her master’s in curriculum and instruction with a specialty in reading. She began working at Bayou Christian Academy and then Thibodaux Elementary. The article talks about how Heather began working at the Wallace Center by stating, “when work started to become more of a chore than a passion, Benoit left the school system in search of something new. After interviewing for the executive director position at the Wallace Center, she knew that is where she was meant to be.”

This Nicholls Alumni’s passion for teaching and making a difference in the lives of others is second to none. She is thrilled to be surrounded by those who share that passion with her. Heather says, “There are so many people doing great things in the community. It’s humbling to be around them.”

For more information on the changes that Heather Benoit is making for the greater good of the community, click here.

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