Hey friends! So we’ve made it through the holidays (whew!) and now, for those of us who live in cold weather climates, we’re entering the doldrums of winter….which may or may not last until mid-May. To keep our spirits bright during these grey, wintry days, our January posts will be devoted to comforting, nourishing foods that keep us well fed, as well as simple activities that help us connect with family and friends.
For this post, I’m putting together a cocktail party that is SO EASY to execute you have to try it. The inspiration comes from my travels in Madrid, Spain.
Madrid is a beautiful city with great art and culture, beautiful architecture, and delicious food. The nightlife is both inviting and exciting! Once while in the city, my girl friend and I were eating at a restaurant near Plaza Mayor when we were whisked away by a group of local gals who took us on a dancing adventure until the wee hours of the morning. They remained our friends throughout our visit, meeting us out for drinks and introducing us to more people each time. This type of hospitality is not unusual in Madrid. There is a sense that everyone is welcome, and certainly the more the merrier.
In neighborhoods throughout Madrid, once the sun sets the streets come alive with late night wanderers for whom the bars serve up drinks and tapas until sunrise. My favorite pubs in Madrid are the Siderias or cider bars. There, you can experience one of the best culinary pairings I’ve ever tasted in my life – cider and blue cheese! These flavor companions are the foundation of this cocktail party.
Theme: Spanish tapas
Featured Flavors: Hard cider and blue cheese
Number of Guests: The more the merrier
Advanced Notice: None. This party is so easy that you could whip it together in minutes!
Invitation Type: Simple text or phone call
The food for this party requires no prep – simply unpackage and serve! It also doesn’t require a large space – we just spread our food across a coffee table and invited guests sit on floor cushions as we shared appetizers in a casual and cozy setting. Our menu consisted of:
Tapas: blue cheese montaditos (small, open-face sandwiches), mixed olives, dried fruits, nuts, cocktail shrimp, and pickled veggies. For the vegans, I substituted Treeline aged cashew cheese (which is earthy and delicious).
Drinks: Hard cider and Spanish red wine
What could be easier than this? The holidays are over, but we don’t have to put entertaining on hold. And we certainly don’t have to make entertaining difficult. So pick up a baguette, some blue cheese, and a bottle of cider on your next trip to the store…and then invite some pals to share.