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Tapas Party "Girls Night In" at Flying Flags - Buellton, CA

 
Difficulty: Very Easy     Great for potlucks!

From my RV kitchen

No question, I love to prepare and enjoy fresh, delicious food straight from my RV kitchen but sometimes I, too, want a break. Enter my friends at El Rancho Marketplace. While the fellows were out golfing we gals enjoyed a leisurely "girls night in" tapas party at Flying Flags RV Resort with a wide and appetizing array of delicacies from El Rancho's extensive service deli, cheese counter, bakery and wine shop. 

We also had an opportunity to visit Terravant - a custom crush wine making faciltiy - where vintners of all sizes bring their grapes to produce wonderful wines. And there are plenty of them, too. Avant Tapas and Wine Bar offeres a unique tasting option of over 30 wines, amazing local-centric tapas by Executive Chef Brooke Stockwell and a relaxing, wonderful environment. 

Tapas, by the way, means "little bites" and is a terrific way to share different tastes and textures with friends. That, some fine wine and a perfect evening...I can't think of anything better, can you?

How-to

Consider creating your tapas party following a few simple foodie guidelines. Remember, this is YOUR party. Serve what you and your guests love to nosh on and what fits your budget. Rule number one...there are no rules!

Meats - choose a selection of hard and soft meats including salami, prosciutto, shrimp cocktail or boiled shrimp, smoked fish

Cheeses - Ask your cheese monger to suggest a few types of cheese that will compliment your wine and meats. I love a nice pungent blue, something moderate and smoky like a smoked gouda and soft cheese such as brie or camembert

Spreads and Dips - spreads and dips add a depth of flavor and allow your guests to create their individual flavors. Consider tapenade, fig jam, mustards, hummus, a creamy dip.

Fruit and Nuts - Think dried figs, dates, cranberries, apricots, fresh apple or pear slices, strawberries, spiced walnuts, candies pecans, salty cashews. 

MIscellaneous finger foods - Don't forget olives (black, green, greek, stuffed - whatever you love), roasted peppers from a jar, corniche pickles, stuffed grape leaves...anything at all that adds interest and is visually pleasing 

Bread and crackers - slice a baguette on an angle, arrange a selection of crackers, wedge cut pitas, toasted flatbread 

Sweet things -  Don't forget dessert. At your tapas party we served a light layer cake that was a huge hit. (Some even ate dessert first!)

Beverages - wine (white, red, rose), beer selection, sangria, punch, soda, tea or other libations of your choice

Arrange your tapas items on pretty plates or trays and set out along with small plates, forks, napkins, and beverage glasses. Light a few candles, add a few flowers or plants, set the mood with music and prepare to relax and enjoy.

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