Oh a Tapas Party!

Having tapas for dinner is just a fancy way of saying – I think I’ll make a meal out of the appetizer sampler plate.   Having a tapas party – that’s a guaranteed down right awesome shindig plus good food!  Disclaimer – not a professional tapa menu maker uper party doer, just sharing my experiences and what works.  With that said, lets get to it.

Our tapas night always about being traditional (here is a great traditional  menu  though) it is about whatever small bites speak to me and say “hey sexy, I’m  tasty”.  Yes, my food calls me sexy and sometimes I call it sexy back.  Moving on – My first line of defense is simple quick recipes/nibbles that guarantee deliciousness and not stuck in the kitchen-ness.  Once I build the the foundation of the menu with simple finger foods I pick out one or two items that will need real attention.  I know this will give me a menu that isn’t overwhelming but still makes the party guests feel special, like their host spent a little extra time to make sure they enjoyed the food.

So what qualifies as quick and tasty (and sexy)?  Usually I start with a fruit and cheese plate complete with salty cured meat of some sort.  If I feel spry I might even wrap prosciutto around a piece of fruit and cheese.  Little confession though – I hate goat cheese so you will never find it on/in/near anything at my house.  I do however love Spanish manchego cheese, its a sheep’s milk cheese that is tangy and nutty, if you ever get the chance try it.   Husband likes olives which I’m not fond of but sometimes they make an appearance or some marinated veggies.

Now is when I start to think about the more labor intensive part of the menu  My advice is try to include something that can be baked ahead of time and then served either warm or at room temp, something fixed on the stove top and something from the oven.  That way you aren’t shuffling things around trying to have everything ready at that perfect star aligning moment.   A few favorites in our house are stuffed mushrooms, garlic sauteed shrimp, roasted figs, and a nod to the traditional – tortilla espanola, empanadas and croquettes.

Probably my mostest farvoritest part; presentation.   Pull it all together with cute bowls, rustic wooden trays, small plates and nice napkins.  Then everyone comes out to the table, we pour wine, break bread and graze.

So to wrap it up, just have fun and do whatever feels right.  It really is just about having a good time and family and friends.

 

Five Things Friday

Five little things that made my week.

1.  When we found out that our sweet dog Kalie had a huge tumor on her liver we really weren’t sure what we wanted to do.   She is 14 and was showing no signs of it bothering her, but a good candidate for surgery.  It’s been a little over two weeks; she is recovering from said surgery, I’m pretty sure she isn’t holding a grudge and proudly displays her new “belly zipper”.  It was scary and difficult so seeing her in a good mood –  that made my week and then some.

2. We have lots of December birthdays.   I managed to find something unique for one of them and not break the bank.    I would tell you what I got but that spoils the surprise and I love surprises.

3. While running errands yesterday I saw a pair of Clark’s ankle boots that I bought online for $40 priced at $120.  I immediately told my husband that by spending $40 I had actually saved $80.

4. I made, what we affectionately call, street meat for dinner this week and it was awesome.  I personally have never had Halal cart style food but my husband says mine is exceptional, good enough for me.

5.  I talked with my Gram today.  I appreciate her time so much!

7 favorite childhood movies that I never out grew

We all have them, those childhood movies we watch repeatedly and they still have the ability to entertain us.    “Oh man you’ve never seen this, oh we have to watch it”.  Those kind of movies.

Here are my 7 favorite childhood movies that I (thankfully) never out grew!

1. Spaceballs – always first on any great movie list
2. Wizard of Oz – not sure why we never owned it but I remember waiting every fall for it to be shown on tv.
3. Return of the Jedi – none of that new music redone Jaba palace scene mess- give me the original that I saw in the theater.
4. Star Trek II, The Wrath of Kahn – Kaaaaaahn
5. The Burbs – Is he eating animal crackers in full swat gear?
6. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – still cracks up when he rants; holy sh*t where’s the Tylenol.
7. Jump’n Jack Flash – funny but with a great underlying message about relationships and being an international spy.

Yep still have them, and on VHS no less.  What’s your favorite childhood movie that still captivates you?

Happy 250 (ish)!

You may remember that in practically another time and place I wrote about reaching 200 posts and also included what I hoped to accomplish in the time it would take me to write  201 to 300.   Here I am many years later writing #255.  Sadly life has a way of doing it’s own thing and my writing became debilitated as a result.   I’m getting back into the grove, moving on  and attempting to cultivate the inner me again so I thought I would revisit that list and update not only my readers but myself in many respects.

– Redecorate the bedroom to something that doesn’t have that, contractor poorly picked out the colors charm; Yes I made this happen, and it’s delightfully grey and fluffy, filled with texture and a few accents pieces in orange and blue.   Although I still need one more something something to go over the bed I consider it accomplished.  Here is the board I used for inspiration.

– try dying fabric, perhaps silk or linen; When did I want to do this?  *shrug*

– have someone over for tapas; as a family Tim and I make a meal of tapas pretty often, just this past week in fact, so I’m sure we have had someone over at some point.

– take an online cooking class; Yea never really made this happen, I feel like I still have an interest.  Perhaps I’ll put it on my Christmas list.

– return to Disney; We had a plan in place but sadly we had to cancel.

– return to the Phipps; Many many many times, it has to be one of the most captivating places I have ever visited.  Search my blog if you don’t believe me.

– get a degree in astrophysics; No comment

– become a Dr Who fan, it looks like fun; I did and it is.  Seriously sitting here right now in one of my favorite weeping angel shirts.  Can’t wait to meet the new Dr!

– finish a quilt for me; Done, I have a sweet little lap quilt and started cutting another one that I never finished.  That might be a good goal, finish a second quilt.

– get better at baking cakes; Lets just say I tried and leave it at that.

– reach 300 blog posts; getting there!

– learn to use the grill smoker; meh

– trellis a rose, and hopefully not kill it; Oooo yes I still want to do this but it’s going to need to wait till the spring.

– make something out of old keys, or new keys that look like old keys; Oh I did this, I wonder if I wasn’t stuffing the pipeline a bit with this one.  Anyway here is the post (with terrible photos?) where I made ornaments for my tree.

– run a 5K; I should just delete this one……

– start writing a cookbook with my mom; I forgot about this oh we still need to do this!  We have recently unearthed some of my Grandmother’s old recipes they would be a perfect platform.

– crochet something cool; ugh I’m hanging this one up; forget this mess, no seriously forget I even said anything.