Sunday, January 20, 2013

Tapas Night

This weekend was a BIG working weekend. We started our kitchen remodel project (more posts on that later...) and made some major progress!

Adam and I typically see my family about once a month. When we do see them, it's always for a great weekend of work, play, good company and lots of wonderful food. Hey, it's takes foodies to raise foodies - and my parents definitely raised two foodies!

In preparation for two work filled days, I decided it would be fun to make Friday night a relaxed night where there would be plenty of time to chat. Because we were getting ready to tear our kitchen apart, I also thought it might be nice to be home, so we could slowly start taking things off the wall, moving furniture, etc. Basically, I decided that what we really needed...was a Tapas Night!

I know all of you are probably avid "Pinners" on Pinterest (you should follow my Eat board) and so you understand what I'm saying when I tell you that I have a pile of recipes pinned that I've been dying to try. Several of the recipes I've pinned are appetizer recipes and what better way to try a bunch of them than by having Tapas Night!

Roasted Red Peppers with Goat Cheese
Bacon Wrapped Caramelized Sesame Asparagus
Crispy Brussel Sprouts with Garlic Aioli
Cucumber Cups with Spicy Crab
Garlic Mushrooms and Crab Bruschetta
Mini Taco Cups
Nutella Marshmallow Pockets
I prepared all of the ingredients for each tapa prior to my family's arrival. I had the cucumber cups waiting for them when the arrived.

Cucumber Cups with Spicy Crab
I added a sprinkle of Cayenne Pepper on the top, it gave the crab a nice kick!
As you can see, the drinks of choice are Blue Mood, Guinness, and Vodka Tonics (not pictured)
We followed the Cucumber Crab Cups with the Roasted Red Peppers. This recipe is very easy! Just roast two red peppers in the oven, then peel off the skin, slice and top each pepper with a spoonful of goat cheese.

I also topped these with some dried oregano and
freshly ground sea salt and black pepper.
This is a simple, but delicious appetizer!

Then came the asparagus.I already had the glaze for the asparagus made and off to the side in a bowl. I also decided to go ahead and wrap the asparagus before everyone arrived. This recipe called for thick cut bacon, but I used regular bacon and I think it turned out really well!

The asparagus was topped with a brown sugar and garlic mixture (there were a few more ingredients)
and then placed in the oven to roast for about 45 minutes, or until the bacon is crispy!

One of the favorites of the night was up next. The Crispy Brussel Sprouts with Garlic Aioli were a very big hit!

The Brussel Sprouts were roasted with olive oil until crispy then dipped in the garlic aioli.
I was surprised by the fact that these were an excellent finger food. They were easy to pick up and dip!

The garlic aioli also came in handy with the Mini Taco Cups were served. Chandler, my sauce-loving sister, decided to try dipping her taco cup in the Garlic Aioli...she certainly made a delightful discovery!

The Mini Taco Cups were made using Wonton Wrappers! These were fun, and
I think they would be great for a child's birthday party or your upcoming Super Bowl Party!

The last course, before dessert was the Garlic Mushroom Bruschetta. I intended to add crab, but decided not to at the last minute. The bruschetta was great and had lots of flavor. I added a little heavy cream to the mushrooms and it made a great sauce that soaked into the crunchy bread!

Sorry about the blurry picture! The mushroom bruschetta was rich, garlicky, and full of texture!
I love mushrooms and these paired perfectly with crusty bread!

Finally, for dessert, I made Nutella Marshmallow Pockets. If you're not familiar with Nutella...then I encourage you to get to know each other. Nutella is a rich, creamy, hazelnut spread. It's wonderful on EVERYTHING. These little pockets were made using a can of Pillsbury crescent rolls, a dollop of Nutella and a few marshmallows.

You have to eat this one with a fork!

Tapas Night was a success. We had a great time chatting, telling stories, and just catching up! The food was great and the company was even better! I'm think I might have to roll out Tapas Night for the Super Bowl in just a few weeks!

*A big thanks to my family for taking photos for me!

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