Brown, Maegan. Beautiful Boards: 50 Amazing Snack Boards for Any Occasion. Rock Point, 2019. ISBN 978-1631066474 pp. $
This book is part entertaining, part cookbook, part art, and all food porn. The BakerMama showcases 50 delicious, often nutritious, and sometimes show-stopping presentations of meals, snacks, appetizers and desserts gorgeously arranged on simple cutting boards, in this hardcover volume.
Instructions at the beginning are occasionally repetitive from the introduction to the instruction (better editing next time!) Instructions for creating some elements, like how to make nutter butter acorns, or that the snowman’s scarf is twisted meat, are very helpful!
Some pairings seem more about hitting the color scheme or theme without thought to how it will all go together (black frosting on brie cheese wheels? Sure, it LOOKS cool… but will have to try it and get back to you.
The book contains over 2 dozen recipes, ranging from mix these 3 items together or wrap cocktail wieners in crescent roll dough to blender guacamole and potato latkes (love the hash brown cheat, but use real onion and some potato starch if you’re trying this at home).
While the boards are charcuterie heavy, there are nods to vegan and gluten free snackers. I appreciate the inclusion of a Hanukkah board, but laughed at the bagel board with bacon (will substitute whitefish salad!). All garnishes are edible.
The brief resource page at the back only lists where to shop. A shopping list for prepackaged ingredients, and possibly diagramming and labeling might have been helpful, as well as sources for each board (are those Trader Joe’s fig crackers? Where do I get a fig salami log? Who sells rainbow marshmallow twists?)
Beautiful boards inspired me to artfully arrange some of my own DIY meal and snack spreads; instead of just lining things up on the table, I am likely to consolidate to a board next time. At the most, this gave me some great ideas for dinner tonight, a party on Saturday, and brunch on Sunday; at worst, I can make a fig and brie sandwich already. The book is absolutely worth the purchase price and has more value in it’s suggestions beyond just scanning pinterest and instagram.