Thursday, September 23, 2010

Celebrate Fall with an Outdoor Tapas Party

A Mediterranean Tapas Party is a great way to introduce friends and family to this popular style of eating. It's a easy set up...and fall is a perfect time to be outdoors! Tapas is based on small plates and portions, tapas are perfect for entertaining because they're rich in variety, high in style and most importantly, easy to set up! So, Let's create a plan for a perfect Tapas Party!

Entertaining Essentials:

  • White salad or dessert plates-Have plenty of plates on hand. They can easily be rinsed and reused and they wear better than paper plates.

  • Galvanized Metals Caddies and Containers- A favorite for outdoor entertaining! Caddies are great for corralling self serve flatware. Purchase galvanized  containers inexpensively at the hardware store. They are perfect for icing down bottled drinks, containing goodie bags, etc.

  • Durable glassware-Use acrylic drinkware for outdoors, then no worries about accidents.

  • 3 Tiered Stand- I see these often at the thrift! They are perfect to save on tablespace and make a great presentation for small appetizers, desserts and even condiments.

Party Planning!
Entertain outdoors! Use the cooler fall temps to your benefit! A sunny afternoon or early evening would be perfect, especially since tapas are traditionally daytime snacks.

The Menu!
Decide if you want to keep the menu strickly Spanish or it you would like include Mediterranean , Italian, Greek and French cuisines as well. You could also ask guest to bring one or two tapas and a bottle of wine to share to make it really easy! Tapas are traditionally finger foods, foods that can be easily eaten.

The Space!
Set up a large table or multiple tables lined together and covered with a festive runner or simple linen cloth. This is where guest can place their tapas when they arrive and serve as a gathering spot.
Dedicate another table, or wheeled cart of iced wheel barrel for wine, bottled beer and waters. Provide openers and glasses. Spanish and red wines pair perfectly with tapas. Also have a tub of ice ready for other accompaniments. Decorate casually and keep accessories earthy, as it is traditionally done in the Spanish countryside. That means no delicate glasses or fragile dishes. Instead keep outdoor accessories simple and heavy duty.

Choose lemons to be the symbol of your party! They can appear on table linens, in homemade limoncello, in a vase with sunflowers, and plenty on hand in bowls for both appearance and to use. The fragrance will be amazing!

There are countless wonderful  tapas dishes! My favorites include hummus, roasted potatoes, stuffed grape leaves, baked feta with fried pita chips,  sausage, grilled shrimp on skewers, and fresh olives to name a few. And a great recipe to get your party started! I love to create a "drink special" for the night to have in addition to wine and beers. This one is one that is certain to make people mingle and enjoy the perfect evening. Enjoy!

Mediterranean Cocktail Recipe

2 ounces orange or mandarin flavored vodka
1 1/2 oz. bottled pomegranate juice
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 TBSP limoncello
1 strip each lemon and orange zest (3 " long for garnish)

Pour vodka, pomegranate juice, lemon juice and limoncello into a cocktail shaker filled with two thirds ice. Close shaker and shake for 15-20 seconds. Strain the drink into chilled glasses. Twist together or tie the lemon and orange zest into strips and garnish the glass by draping the side of glass. Serve immediately.

(some information provided by Pottery Barn. Visit PB for great tapas entertainingware)


The Mac's House said...

It all looks so yummy.

I would party with you any day of the week with food and drinks like that. :)


The Runyans said...

when you left that first comment, i was like HUH?

anyways. . .saw your second one, and now i get it.

i'm married to BRANT!!! :)