As many of you already know, my new cookbook, Everyday Snack Tray, was just published. I’ve been having lots of fun promoting it and sharing my tips for creating trays and boards that are colorful and stress-free. I’m hoping you’ll find lots of ideas that you’ll want to share with family and friends.
While each board has its own unique look and feel, here are some general tips for making your boards look fabulous (adapted from Everyday Snack Tray, 2023):
- Make a Pattern: This works well when you have lots of smallish items. A round tray lends itself to organizing food in concentric circles, while alternating rows of food look great on a rectangular tray.
- Vary your Heights: It looks more interesting when items aren’t all the same height. Use a tall glass to hold items like straws or licorice. You can also add height by using an upside-down ramekin under a small plate or bowl.
- Delight the Senses: Instead of having foods that are all one-note, include creamy along with crunchy and something sweet to balance spicy flavors.
- Go for Abundance: Boards should look plentiful, not skimpy. But they don’t need to be filled with expensive items. For example, covering your board in aged cheese and prosciutto isn’t necessary, but you can be bountiful with tortilla chips, baby carrots, graham crackers, and other less pricey items.
- Choose a Color Scheme: Even if the foods are all different, a color scheme helps them look cohesive. Check out the black + white New Year’s Party Platter below.
- Keep it Bite-Sized: Snack trays are for snacking, so keep everything in nibble-able form. Instead of putting a block of cheese on a tray, slice several pieces and leave a cheese knife handy. Cut fruits and veggies into pieces that can be easily snacked on or picked up with a toothpick.
Here are some favorite items that make putting snack trays together a breeze:
- A large wooden board like this double handled one from Target.
- Parchment paper to protect your trays.
- Bamboo skewers for making little appetizers like olives and mozzarella or fruit skewers
- Glass ramekins to hold everything from berries to nuts to M&Ms.
- Small spoons for serving jam, salsa, whipped cream and other toppings.
I hope you find some inspiration in Everyday Snack Tray! I’d love to hear how you’re using the book, so please drop me a note.