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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Tapas, Sangria and Girls!

It was so much fun to have my home filled with gals, chatting and noshing away.  I had 17 ladies including myself and I made seven savoury tapas and then had some sweets to finish it off.  One of my favorite things about getting ready for tablenosh is the grocery shopping...I know a lot of people really don't like this, but I love it.  Going to the different shops for different things, ticking off my list as I go along and looking at all the different food there is that I could be making.  I am really beginning to see the value in making sure I get just the right ingredients of good quality.  The only bad part about shopping this time was me forgetting my groceries at one of the shops...filled with some of my finest purchases!  Note for next time, make sure I actually put the bag in the shopping cart!
I am having a lot of fun with this tablenosh stuff, last night truly was a highlight having our home filled and there was lots of good cooking action.  Most of the tapas I was making needed to be served warm, so I was keeping very busy.  Fortunately my wonderful friend Christine was my sidekick for the night and helped serve things and host while I stayed busy in front of the stove. 

The menu: Vegetarian Empanadas (filled with spinach, roasted peppers, mushroom & gruyere), Crostini with a Spinach & Chickpea sautee, Pan fried Chorizo, Spanish Meatballs, Garlic Prawns, Pinchitos Morunos (spicy spanish kebabs) and pan fried squid.  I will have to let the guests tell you which were the favorites...hopefully they will leave some comments!

As for the sweets I made a very interesting spanish cheesecake known as Flaó, it was basically a mint and lemon cheesecake with an aniseed crust.  You ground the mint leaves with lemon zest and sugar and then blended in the cream cheese and eggs.  The other dessert were bite sized cakes called 'Magdalenas', they are small sweet cakes that are rich-tasting, but light and fluffy. The Spanish traditionally eat them at breakfast with café con leche, and they are said to have originated in Aragón.  Along with those I served some fresh strawberries and chocolate.

Oh and I almost forgot...the SANGRIA!  I made both red sangria and white sangria, both I found yummy and refreshing.  Such a beautiful looking drink, I primarily used oranges, lemons and limes as the fruit but you can use all sorts of different fruit to saturate the wine.  I let me soak overnight and then at the last minute added sparkling lemonade to make it fizzy.  I would definitely make this again for a party....maybe that means I should make it next weekend for my 4th of July party...

As for the next Tablenosh dinner, it will be on July 24th and the theme is 'Christmas in July'!  A delicious hearty American style Christmas meal...does it get any better than this...a real treat for you aussie's...pumpkin pie and more!


K Robins said...

I love your photos! Everything looks so yummy. I want to be there again... dinning on the porch, new friends around the table, chatting around the deliciousness.

Jen Semple said...

Loved your Tapas night, Leila.
My favourites were the prawns, meatballs, the Flao and the sangria!
Lovely to meet some new people, too.

Thanks so much.

Leila Nelson Gunning said...

Thanks Jen! Too funny that you liked the 'flao' so much...just goes to show you different taste buds and to each his own! I am so glad you came and had a good time!!

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