Monday, July 22, 2013

What is Tapas Night?

See my daughter's hand all grabbing in there. She was trying to be dramatic for you, but it does express the fun that is what I call Tapas Night. 

Tapas, in Spanish cuisine, are a wide variety of appetizers or small plates of food that when shared together make up a full meal. They may be cold (such as mixed olives and cheese) or hot (such as fried squid or meatballs). This type of meal encourages conversation because people are not focused upon one meal set before them. In some countries it is customary for diners to stand and move about while eating. 

In this style, about once a week, we have our own Tapas. We gather around the kitchen counter seated on bar stools or standing and have a little of this and a little of that. There is only one rule for Tapas Night- everyone has to taste everything...even if it is just a bite. This helps get the kids to try new things in a fun atmosphere.

Tapas night is a family activity. From setting the table to picking out the food to MAKING IT, everyone is involved. If one family member is obsessed with chicken fingers, those get added, but they must sample all the other foods as well. Many times they end up loving what they never thought they would...and those chicken fingers will eventually get cast aside when they want to be the one to pick out the new Tapas Night dish.

I have quite the adventurous eaters. Some of our Tapas Night favorites are below to give a little inspiration, but the fun of the night is that anything goes. It is also a great way to finish up leftovers or try a new dish without making it the main meal (I have ruined many dinners that way. Now we only need a tiny taste if it is bad. haha)

Artichoke with dipping sauce (I like an Aioli- find the recipe here)

Olives, nuts, and dates

Cheese and crackers

Sauteed mushrooms- great stacked on crusty bread 

Caprese Salad- recipe here

Meatballs and/or sausages

Smoked salmon- the kids said Ick! until they tasted it. Now they gooble it up.

And obviously you see we made pizza this time. It varies. Recently I had a little leftover pasta and that got thrown in. And salad, always a salad. Even the salad hater in my family has to have a bite. Someday she will like salad, I just know it.

Join in the fun and become a family of adventurous eaters: Tapa Tuesday

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