12 Days of Xmas | Day 11 – Holiday Entertaining 101, Serving Boards


Nothing says “welcome to my humble abode this Christmas” and “make yourself at home”, quite like putting out a serving board with a few fancy treats on it for your guests.

Having a serving board ready for when your guests enter is like saying “hello, I’m basically a modern day Martha Stewart and I’ve put in quite a bit of effort in preparation for your arrival”.

Speaking of Martha Stewart, I was over the moon when she shared my holiday peppermint bark recipe photo on her @MarthaStewart Instagram account earlier this week! Thanks Martha!

Ok back to entertaining. A serving board is a total step 1 when it comes to hosting guests. It immediately becomes the focal point of the home, and lets people gather around and have a conversation about the foods they love.

Some of foods that are pretty much always a staple on our holiday serving boards are:

  • A savoury cracker,
  • Dark chocolate,
  • Dried fruits & nuts,
  • Little cornichons,
  • And olives. I cannot get enough of olives!

I’m personally someone who loves having savoury foods around to munch on at all times. I’m also the type of person who likes to snack while preparing dinner. Raise your hand if you’re guilty of this, too!

Having a serving board out when your first few guests start to arrives, takes some of the pressure off while you’re busy in the kitchen preparing the main course!


For my dark chocolate, I’ve tried many types and after several trials and errors, the brand I gravitate to most is Lindt 70% dark cacao. It’s smooth, not too bitter, and it pairs nicely if you’re also serving a red wine!

For a good savoury cracker, I usually go with a brand that has dried fruits in it such as cranberries or apricots. I decided to try something new this time around and incorporated Ozery Bakery’s new Lavash crackers into my serving board. They’re vegan, organic, and non-GMO and I also like them because they’re thin and crispy. Great for adding a few light toppings!

Ever since I tried the new caramelized onion flavour of cornichons from Maille, it was love at first taste. I’ve been serving them ever since and my family and friends all end up loving them, too!

Food aside, of equal importance when putting out a serving board for entertaining, is the styling. Setup is paramount, because as I’m sure you know, we eat with our eyes first, and then our stomachs! Well, I do anyway!

I’ve set this board up on a fantastic piece of live edge wood I got from Ontario Wood. Normally I have it set up in my home-office as my working desk, but I decided to repurpose it for the sake of creating a nature-y, home-y feel with the earthy tones and exposed wood.

In an earlier post in my 12 Days of Christmas Series on Inspired by Nick, I share the importance of identifying your festive style. In there, I talk a lot about how styling your table correctly can set the mood for the entire night.

So for the sake of “Holiday Entertaining 101 – Serving Boards” I’ve taken a few cues from mother nature and styled my table with fresh cedar, red pepperberries (in lieu of holly), and frosted forest twigs. Festive, yes?

What foods do you love adding to your holiday serving boards?!

Tomorrow will mark the end of my 12 Days of Christmas series on Inspired by Nick. I’ll be sharing a delicious Coconut Goji Berry Cookie Recipe that I cannot wait for you to try!



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Nick Joly | Inspired by Nick 

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