Why a Snack Board Is Actually What Moms Want for Mother’s Day

updated May 8, 2020
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Credit: Meghan Splawn

We usually celebrate Mother’s Day by going out. While I can ask my husband and kids to cook for me or order takeout instead, what I actually want out of a Mother’s Day meal is neither of those things. I want a meal that I don’t have to think about or clean up after — which means I want a snack board.

Snack boards are a regular part of our family meal rotation; they use up leftovers and pantry staples, and they entice our small children to eat more vegetables. While I was walking my husband through my Mother’s Day request (hey, you don’t get what you don’t ask for) I realized there’s one thing I do for every snack board and cheese board that makes cleanup so much easier. This easy tip makes serving — and cleaning up — a Mother’s Day snack board easier, no matter the board’s shape or size.

Credit: Meghan Splawn

Parchment Paper Is Your Snack Board BFF

Before you set up a snack board, line your tray, cutting board, or surface with parchment paper. This super-simple step can save you from scrubbing soft cheese off your favorite cutting board and lets you use decorative trays without harm. While plastic wrap and waxed paper can also cover your snack board surface, parchment is my preference because it can also be used to wrap leftover cheeses or baked goods after cleanup.

If you’ve got a round snack cutting board, use this cake lining technique for cutting a large round cover: Tear off a piece of parchment paper just slightly larger than your serving tray, then fold it into a imperfect square and finally into a triangle. Set the tip of that triangle in the center of your dish, then trim the excess parchment hanging over the edge off. Unfold the paper and you’ve got round piece of parchment that will fit perfectly on your round serving board or tray.

3 Elements of a Good Snack Board

Also, let’s set the record straight: A snack board doesn’t have to be a cheese board. In fact, many of my favorite board meals are actually built on leftovers or pantry staples. If you really want to impress Mom with a snack board meal this year, consider adding the following three things:

  • A warm snack: You don’t have to cook a recipe! Even just toasting some nuts or warming some olives adds contrast and makes a snack board feel special.
  • A cool dip: Drizzle olive oil over yogurt or dress up sour cream with dried herbs, so that your bread and vegetables (or even leftover roasted chicken!) have something saucy to make it feel fresh.
  • Something sweet: I’m a big fan of dark chocolate-covered almonds, but I’d be happy with store-bought cookies too.

So, dear partners, all you have to do is a grocery delivery and a little pantry scrounging to make a Mother’s Day meal that doesn’t require cleaning the entire kitchen afterwards.

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