Gone are the days of cheese cubes and frilled toothpicks. Instagram has shaken up charcuterie and turned snacking into an art. It’s easy enough to come up with a salami still life of your own, but why not put on a real show for the holidays while saving yourself a little time? These three board visionaries will turn your table into a masterpiece. At least until the cheese knives come out.
Maegan Brown started her blog, The BakerMama, in 2012, after a friend told her that Gold Medal Flour was looking for an everyday mom to document her baking escapades in the kitchen. Brown got the gig and started sharing photos of the goodies she made for her husband, Brandon, and four children, Baker, Bryce, Barrett, and Brookie. When her exclusive contract was up, the Dallas mom kept the blog. In addition to posting recipes, she started sharing photos of the family’s large charcuterie board, which she kept in the middle of the dining table and filled with artful arrangements of snacks for her family. Things took off on Instagram, and in September she released her first cookbook, Beautiful Boards: 50 Amazing Snack Boards for Any Occasion (affiliate link). The book features healthy salad boards; a s’mores dessert board loaded with chocolate chip cookies and Reese’s peanut butter cups; and a holiday board with Santa’s face fashioned out of veggies, hummus, crackers, olives, and mozzarella, with a cauliflower beard. “There’s no right or wrong way to do it,” Brown says. “It shouldn’t be complicated. It should be fun.”
Beautiful Boards: 50 Amazing Snack Boards for Any Occasion $25
What’s On The Board Above
The S’mores Dessert Board: Chocolate and plain graham crackers, graham cracker sticks, strawberries, bananas, pretzel chips, Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bars, Hershey’s Gold Caramelized Crème bars, Hershey’s Cookies ’n’ Crème bars, fudge-striped cookies, chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cups, peanut butter, marshmallows, s’mores dip, and s’mores snack mix.
For S’mores Dip
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place 1 cup chocolate chips in a small ovenproof skillet and top with 18 regular marshmallows. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until marshmallows are toasted and chocolate is melty.
For S’mores Snack Mix
Combine 1 cup Golden Grahams cereal, ½ cup mini marshmallows, and ¼ cup chocolate chips
After Rebekah Relander inherited an oversize picnic table from her grandparents, she invited some girlfriends over to help her put together a charcuterie board to fill it. Fig + Goat was born. She now specializes in pre-arranged boards that can be delivered to your Dallas (or Collin or Denton County) doorstep. She emphasizes the use of meats and cheeses from humane and organic farms, and she sources her jams, mustards, and honeys from small-batch producers. The Texas board includes rotating cheeses from Mozzarella Company, Pure Luck Dairy, and Veldhuizen Family Farm, as well as cured meats, nuts, dried fruits, and local jam or lavender honey. If you want to learn to do it yourself, Relander offers monthly classes at AR Workshop in Frisco, where she’ll teach you about wine and cheese pairings. Starting at $130, classes include your choice of a wooden pedestal tray or lazy Susan that you can customize with stains and paints. Afterward, AR Workshop will seal your piece and deliver it to you with a Fig + Goat spread.
Mini boards $30 | Small board serves up to 6 | Medium board serves up to 12 | Large board serves up to 20 $85–$300
What’s On The Board Above
The Texas Board: Cucumber slices with Mozzarella Company feta, orange wedges, dried apricots and cranberries, marcona almonds, fig and almond cake, edible nasturtiums, small-batch salami, fresh herbs, cornichons, red grapes, Tart Cherry Cider Jelly from The Jelly Queens, and Granbury Gold cheese from Eagle Mountain Farmhouse Cheese Co.
For Robin Plotkin, aka Board Mama, creatively arranging fruits and vegetables almost came second nature. The registered dietitian and culinary nutritionist says she’s been eating off of snack boards for a long time. “It’s an easy way to try a lot of different things at once,” Plotkin says. “I would make mini boards for myself when I was single. It’s a beautiful way to eat.” Because of her background, she is happy to tailor her boards to suit any dietary need, be it sans gluten, dairy, or sugar. But she has also created a Super Bowl board, with rock candy and cookies in team colors, and Passover-friendly dessert boards. And, thanks to a soft spot for pups, she has a line of canine “barkcuterie” boards. “I know how much people love their animals,” she says. “It gives them a way to celebrate their children, and I think that’s awesome. Dogs and their owners deserve that.”
Barkcuterie boards $35 and up | Charcuterie boards $55 and up
What’s On The Board Above
The “Barkcuterie” Board: Afreschi Turkey Tendon Twists; Bixbi Sweet Potato and Apple Bark Pops; Nutrish Chicken ’n Waffle Bites; Licky’s Peanut Butter and Quinoa Valentines; Licky’s Bacon and Quinoa Valentines; Basil & Baxter’s Cheese, Oat & Bacon Bagels; Nutrish Turkey Bacon; Nutrish Burger Bites; DreamBone Dino Chews; and baked items from Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming and Three Dog Bakery in Plano.