DIY This Gorgeous, Edible Centerpiece with a Bag Full of Groceries from Trader Joe’s
Check out this simple step-by-step tutorial, made with $100 worth of goodies from TJ’s (shopping list included), by L.A.’s favorite party snack maker, Kori Jones.
When hungry hosts in and around Los Angeles want an easy solution for serving snacks to picky-eating party guests, they know to get in touch with Kori Jones of Simple Life Things. Jones is a kind of culinary artist, pulling together tasty, colorful, crowd-pleasing “nosh boards” for her loyal clientele, like jeweler Maya Brenner and handbag designer Clare V. The snack tables and boards she creates for gatherings are stunning and packed with flavor, sometimes sprinkled with edible gold dust and always overflowing with imported European nuts, chocolate, meat, and cheeses.
At the height of the pandemic, Jones was packing individual boxes for backyard picnics, and delivering them safely to her clients’ doors. Now that small, safe gatherings are back in full swing, and people are starting to huddle around a table with friends and loved ones again, Jones’ business is back and humming along at full force.
If you’re in the greater Los Angeles area, consider ordering a board from Simple Life Things for your fall party, or to bring to a Thanksgiving feast. But if you’re in the mood for a little edible DIY, Jones has put together an easy tutorial—using all ingredients from Trader Joe’s that cost around $100—for you to create the magic on your own.
It costs less than a simple, professional floral arrangement, and it’s so hearty that it serves as an appetizer and a starter. Add a green salad and a pot of soup, and you have a simple seasonal menu.
The best part is that once you invest in a great charcuterie board and small wood and ceramic bowls for dips and condiments, this is a party trick you can pull out whenever the mood strikes you, swapping in fruits like pears or peaches, depending on what’s readily available and in season.
Here’s what you’ll need, all from Trader Joe’s unless otherwise noted:
Dry Roasted & Unsalted Oregon Hazelnuts
Roasted & Salted Truffle Marcona Almonds
Sweet & Spicy Pecans
Dark Chocolate Almonds
GREENERY FOR GARNISH
DRIED FRUIT & OLIVES
Sweetened Dried Orange Slices
Dried Golden Figs (sliced in half, vertically)
Marinated Olive Duo
CRACKERS & BREAD
Fig & Olive Crisps
3 Seeds Sweet Potato Crackers
Peruvian Potato Chips
Baguette (Jones likes “epi-baguettes” from a local bakery)
Fig or Olive Bread, if available (bread pictured here is a turmeric fig loaf, but any fig or olive loaf is a nice touch)
Whole-Grain Dijon Mustard
Spicy Uncured Charcuterie Selection
Lucy Glow Apples (they’re pink inside and don’t brown easily; slice horizontally into rounds and cut into semi-circles)
Golden Berries (slice some in half to mix up the texture)
Red Grapes (bunches trimmed into small bundles)
British Mustard & Ale Cheddar (cubed)
Blue Stilton Cheese (crumbled into chunks with a fork)
Mini Basque Cheese (cut into ½ inch wedges)
Herbed Goat Cheese Log