We held a Tapas party (Spanish appetizers) for our December Open House dinner and although I was not as prepared as I would have liked, I think everything went really well. It was a drop-in get-together, so people came at different times but we were happy that most people stayed for quite a while. Both Belle and I really enjoyed the company and conversation.

I will get to the actual recipes soon but for now here was the menu:

Steak Bites with Chili Sauce

Little Breads with Bean Purée

Deep-Fried Green Chilies

Roasted Potatoes with Garlic Dip

Deep-Fried Mussels with a Chili Dressing

Tuna with Pimento Stuffed Olives

Spinach and Chickpeas

Sizzling Garlic Shrimp

Cracked Olives in Garlic

Tapas 3

There were quite a few other items I had planned on that I never got around to making. One of our guests brought asparagus wrapped in phylo pastry; very tasty. I had also planned on making a Spanish tortilla but Belle’s mom’s Spanish friend and his wife brought one and it was delicious, so that was one less dish to prepare.

Tapas 2

We also had the opportunity to sample Spanish beer, wines and sherry. All in all, it was a great evening.

Tapas 1

The next night we had more tapas since I had bought all the ingredients for the recipes I didn’t get a chance to make. The roasted potatoes with garlic dip and the steak bites were such heavy favorites the night before, I made them again the following night, too.

Belle’s note: We had a fabulous time, and have decided to style all our future open houses this way: small bites, and drop-in throughout the evening. It’s far easier preparing a few dishes at a time, and with people dropping in throughout the night, the conversation really flowed well. And our dinner the next evening was really nice, too, with some repeats from the night before, and some new dishes that Ward hadn’t had a chance to prepare.