I remember wandering through the streets of Barcelona, right about the time our American tummies were getting hungry for dinner, the restaurants were packed, but not for dinner.
It was tapas time.
Friends and family would gather to relax and enjoy conversation after the day’s work, a glass of sangria in hand. The tables typically held an array of plates filled with finger food: croquettes, olives, cheese, sausage, potatoes, nuts, etc.
Contrary to most American restaurant gatherings, the food wasn’t the purpose of their meeting. The conversation and time to enjoy life was why they were there. It was a chance to slow down after a busy day, and a chance to ease into an evening of enjoyment.
The concept of slowing down to enjoy life is one of the things I miss most when returning home from a trip overseas. We try to make an effort for longer, more relaxed meals and time to slow down. But, what is built into many European cultures seems to take so much effort here.
Time management is preached from the roof-tops: don’t waste a second.
There’s always more to do, and we’re always working for the next ‘best’ thing. Which leads to our constant complaint of not enough hours in a day. We just can’t say ‘no,’ in order to free up our schedule for that much-needed down time.
When do we relax? When do we enjoy life?
In the States though, tapas bars seem to be the ‘new thing’. People crave that idea of slowing down and having an evening focused around friendship and conversation.
It’s good to see the desire and trend growing.
And, every time I think about tapas, it reminds me that I need to put a little more effort into holding onto the mindset of slowing down to enjoy life rather than running through it.
For today’s Tapas party we’re bringing Herb Roasted Almonds to give a bit of crunch to the spread. Rosemary, thyme, parsley, and tarragon give these almonds a fantastic and unique flavor. (Don’t mind the fact that you can’t see the herbs in the pictures. We couldn’t keep our hands out of the bowl, so they were a bit shuffled up by the time pictures happened, and many of the herbs had fallen to the bottom of the bowl. Not to worry though, the flavors still linger on the almonds, even without the leafy residue.)
- 1 ½ c almonds (unsalted)
- 1 tsp olive oil
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp rosemary, ground
- ½ tsp parsley
- ½ tsp thyme
- ⅛ tsp tarragon
- Preheat oven to 350⁰F.
- Place almonds in a small bowl and drizzle with oil. Stir with a spatula to coat almonds with oil. Add herbs and stir until evenly distributed.
- Place almonds in a single layer on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet.
- Roast almonds for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Nuts are done when deep brown and fragrant.
If you’re ready to slow down, grab a glass of Sangria, and spend some time enjoying good company, we’ve got a great list of dishes for you to host your very own tapas party! Thanks to Connie of The Foodie Army Wife for hosting this week’s Sunday Supper!
Here’s what’s on the Table:
Stuffed Green Queen Olives with Garlic Infused Olive Oil from MarocMama
Cheesy, Tortellini Tapas & Spicy Bacon Ranch Dip from Daily Dish Recipes
Black-Eyed Pea Cowboy Caviar from Shockingly Delicious
Goan Beef Croquettes from Masala Herb
Giardiniera Salad from Peanut Butter and Peppers
Bacon Wrapped Calamari from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
Patatas Bravas from Supper for a Steal
Caramelized Onion & Gruyere Bites from The Foodie Army Wife
Agave Truffles from Killer Bunnies, Inc
Pear, Brie, and Honey Crostini from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Tomato Bread from girlichef
Clams in Green Sauce (Almejas en Salsa Verde) from The Little Ferraro Kitchen
Roasted Tomato-Basil Flatbread from Take A Bite Out of Boca
Herb and Citrus Marinated Olives from Magnolia Days
Balsamic Raspberries with Mascarpone Cream from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Gambas al Ajillo from Manu’s Menu
Squid in Garlic Chili Olive Oil from Food Lust People Love
Tortilla Española from The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
Croquetas de Pollo from Cookin’ Mimi
Low-Carb Salmon Croquettes from Yours And Mine Are Ours
Bruschetta Topping from What Smells So Good?
Herb Roasted Almonds from Curious Cuisiniere
Artichoke Heart and Manchego Spread on Fried Garlic Bread from The Wimpy Vegetarian
Tortillita de Camarones from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Patatas A La Riojana (Rioja-Style Potato & Chorizo Stew) from Cupcakes & Kale Chips
Gambas al Ajillo y Clementina (Shrimp with Garlic and Clementines) from FoodieTots
Tortillas De Papa y Atun (Tuna and Potatoes Tortilla) from Basic N Delicious
Pocky Cake Pops from NinjaBaking.com
Chorizo Filled Dates Wrapped in Bacon from I Run For Wine
Manchego-Stuffed Spanish Meatballs from The Weekend Gourmet
Roast Onions with Blue Cheese and Pine Nuts from Healthy. Delicious.
Shrimp and Chorizo Tapas from The Texan New Yorker
Blueberry and Lemon Yogurt Quesada from In The Kitchen With KP
Chorizo with Spicy Sweet Potato Tapas from Soni’s Food
Chorizo and Manchego Toast Tapas from Family Foodie
Roasted Bone Marrow with Citrus Salad from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
Mushroom Chevre Crostini from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Serrano Ham and Manchego Croquetas with Smoked Pimenton Aioli from My Other City By The Bay
Krab Filled Avocado Tapas from from Hot Momma’s Kitchen Chaos
Polenta Crostini Bites with Caramelized Mushrooms: Cicchetti – A Venetian Tapas Tradition from La Bella Vita Cucina
And you know you can’t have a party without wine ~ at least you certainly can’t in our house. Martin Redmond is here to give you the perfect recommendations: Best Wines To Pair With Tapas from ENOFYLZ Wine Blog
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