Welcome to Party Week on The Life Styled with special guests, the girls of Haute Apple Pie! They've created five exclusive shindig concepts, for each of the elements! Need to brush up on your Fashion Feng Shui? Check out any of these posts from our archives. First up, enjoy the eclectic Water party by Stef (a Water herself)! - CS When a small group of foodies are getting together, an international tapas party is a great way to create a relaxed atmosphere and provide an intimate environment for personal conversation about food, politics, religion and a bunch of other topics you aren’t “supposed to talk about.”
Due to the amount time needed in and out of the kitchen when preparing these small dishes, a tapas party is best thrown with a smaller group of 5-10 people. Allow your kitchen to be a place of conversation (as we know, people tend to congregate in the kitchen anyway). A tapas party should not be a “sit-down dinner.” Prepare dishes at different times of the night, allowing your guests to nibble and mingle all night long.
The Décor: To create an international feel to your party, dress your table with metallic linens and serving dishes incorporating copper, bronze and gold with dark hued colors such as deep reds and blues. Adding some animal prints, such as the zebra print serving tray, will emphasize the unique style. Simple floating candle centerpieces with colored stones resting on the bottom soften the lighting and add a calming effect to the room. Easily handled appetizer plates allow for your guests to move freely throughout your space without having to sit with a plate on their laps. Pier One is a great place to find some eclectic, affordable knick knacks to spread throughout your home to create the perfect “water” look.
The Playlist: Download iTunes Essentials Global Celebration for a funky mix of music from around the world.
The Outfit: A true water personality has a flair for the eclectic. Show it off with a pair of dark skinny jeans, flowing shirt and animal print heels. Top of the look with some stone jewelry and a pair of thick framed black glasses.
The Menu: Though tapas originated in Spain, any of your favorite dishes from around the globe can be served as one of these tiny dishes. I suggest making a few cold dishes that can be prepared the night before or before the party begins to cut down on time and stress. A sample menu may include:
- Marinated Olives
- Melon, Chorizo and Artichoke Salad
- Lime Drizzled Shrimp
- Pork Empanadas
- Roasted Asparagus with Serrano Ham
- Tres Leches Cake with Strawberries
- Chocolate Fondue with Angel Food Cake
There are a lot of great tapas cookbooks on the market. Many of these recipes come from Tapas by Susanna Tee (a personal favorite). Or try Tapas: Small Sensational Tastes from Spain by Joyce Goldstein.
Traditional Red Sangria: 2 bottles of red wine, like Rioja 1 C brandy 1 C orange juice ¼ C sugar 2 oranges, cut into thin rounds 2 lemons, cut into thin rounds 2 limes, cut into thin rounds 2 Golden Delicious apples, cored and cut into small chunks 2 C Club Soda
In a large pitcher, combine wine, brandy, orange juice and sugar until dissolved. Add fruit and refrigerate 3-4 hours or overnight. Add club soda before serving.
Conversation Starter: Impress your intellectual friends by telling them this fun fact. The word tapa means lid. This refers the piece of bread that innkeepers would place on top of a glass of wine to keep the flies out. From there, the idea of placing small food on top of bread to accompany your wine glass was born. Cheers to the innkeeper!