Wednesday, February 10, 2021

How To Create Your Own Valentine's Day Grazing Board With Savor Style

I have been full-blown into Valentine’s Day this year, looking for any excuse for something to look forward to. I know most years, people are usually getting ready to celebrate with their girlfriends for Valentine’s Day, and whether that’s the case for you or not, a grazing board is the perfect way to get you in the holiday spirit in the tastiest way possible. 

photo from Savor Style

Those of us in Birmingham are especially lucky since Courtney of Savor Style creates beautiful grazing boards that can be ordered as sweet or savory for any occasion (it’s not too late to order one of her at-home Valentine’s Day boxes here, and they can even be shipped). From speaking with Courtney, I especially love her mindset that no occasion is too small to celebrate, especially as we’ve had fewer group gatherings in the past year. Since I know not everyone who follows along here is in the area, I am thrilled to have her answering some questions in today’s post to help you prepare a picture-perfect snack board that is as delicious as it is pretty! 

photo from Savor Style

How did you get started arranging these beautiful boards?

 I like to joke that I was raised on grazing boards. My family loves to snack, and our quality time was always spent around the table. My dad would often put together a small cheese board (nearly always a wedge of brie, bunch of grapes, and Carr’s crackers), and it’s always been my favorite way to eat & entertain! The dessert and candy boards have been a really fun addition (I created my first candy board for Halloween three years ago) - candy is always so colorful and fun, and displaying it on a board is a great way to ensure that there is something for everyone. 

What type of boards do you prefer to use? Is there a specific type you would recommend for beginners? 

My go-to boards are from EtuHome. They are absolutely beautiful and come in a variety of sizes and colors. I especially love that they are finished in a food-safe wax, making them SO easy to clean. Target has some great (less expensive) options as well, and for Birmingham locals, I highly recommend Magic City Woodworks

Where do you like to source the various items you use on your boards?

 I love to support small businesses as much as possible (and many of them are female-owned!). A few favorites include Susan Gordon Pottery (the bowls you often see on my boards), Beeseasonal Honey, Madams Jams, Fig & Fern Preserves, Birmingham Candy Company, Lette Macarons, Q’s Nuts, Jennifer’s Kitchen & Rustic Bakery. Stone Hollow Farmstead and Dayspring Dairy are two excellent local sources for cheeses, caramel, pickled veggies, jams & more, and of course, can’t forget Trader Joe’s (they have so many fun seasonal candies). 

What is your favorite candy to snack on while arranging? 

Anything chocolate (extra points if it has sea salt!). 

When arranging, are there any keys to making it look pretty? 

I try to think about balance in both size and color, as well as variety. I’ll start by spreading out the larger, similarly-hued items across the board (for example, cookies or mini-tarts), and make sure that any empty space is filled in by items in different colors. My favorite boards are abundant and overflowing - I think the “more is more” philosophy applies really well! 

What element do you think has the biggest impact? 

A pop of color, whether it’s from fresh fruit, herbs, or even edible flowers, adds visual interest and texture to a board. Valentine’s candy is especially fun to work with because it’s all so vibrant. 

What makes you feel as if a board is complete? 

For a savory board, finishing with fresh herbs is a must! Rosemary is my go-to year-round (and holds up the best), but I also love using sage, mint, and basil. Fresh fruit is a great garnish on dessert and candy boards, as well. 

photo from Savor Style

I decided to try out Courtney’s tips when creating my own sweet grazing board and had so much fun in the process. I started with a pretty rectangular board from Wren Home with “celebrate” engraved on it. I found most of the treats I used at Target, but I definitely want to peruse Trader Joe’s offerings when I put this together for my roommate and my celebration on Friday night! 

I used M&Ms, chocolate covered pretzels, Hershey Kisses, Sweet Tart conversation hearts, Dove Chocolate, cinnamon hearts, jolly rancher chewy hearts, and Reeses’ shaped as hearts on my board with some added interest thanks to Courtney’s tip about incorporating dishes for some of the treats. 

To see more of Courtney’s beautiful boards, be sure to check out her Instagram and website here

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