There aren’t many things in life that I love more than showering the people I love with love! When Cory said that he wanted a low-key birthday party, I knew that I had to make it extra special (even if I had to keep it low-key). For my birthday, I had a weekend full of fun which ended with a dinner with friends at a Barcelona, a Tapas restaurant in Nashville. I love tapas or small plates because I get to try a little bit of everything. Plus, I eat slower which makes me feel less bloated. Win-win.
For Cory’s birthday, I decided to bring that tapas-vibe to our house, so we could more easily and comfortably celebrate with his large family.
The Internet is a wonderful place, maybe too wonderful. I found tons of recipes that I wanted to try. Luckily, I was expecting around 17 people, but I still needed to narrow it down.
First, I needed to figure out how many cheeses and meats to include on my centerpiece, the charcuterie board. Charcuterie boards are so fun and interactive. They provide a great space for people to grab food while mingling and connecting. Based on my research, for 17 people, I needed three cheeses and three meats plus assorted extras.
Then, I needed to decide how many small plates I needed. My husband had two major requests, potatas bravas and meatballs. I needed to make sure that I had a good mix of proteins and vegetables, so everyone would leave full and happy. I ended up adding another protein-heavy dish, a veggie, and a carb to the menu.
Finally, you can’t have a birthday without a cake (or at least some dessert), so I chose cheesecake. My goal for the year was to attempt sheep’s milk cheese cheesecake (the kind that I like), so it fit well with the theme.
I definitely wore my apron out prepping everything, but we had a fabulous time. We ended up with the perfect amount of food. It was a wonderful evening with family, friends, and food to celebrate Cory’s 32nd birthday!
Charcuterie board (not all spanish meats and cheeses)
Meats: Salame Toscano, Chorizo, Salami di Parama, Salami and Provolone wraps, Jamon serrano
Cheeses: Campo de Montalban, Manchego, and Gruyere
Extras: feta-stuffed olives, grilled piquillo peppers, cherry preserves, marcona almonds (dusted with smoky pimenton), and crackers
Chips and salsa (delegated)
Veggie tray (delegated)
This guy was a beauty. Essentially a frittata, tortillas are easy to make and customize. This one with ham, potato, and peppers was delicious.
I liked this recipe because it combined ground beef and chorizo. The sauce, with red wine, beef broth, and cherry preserves, was rich and a nice complement to the meatballs.
I had never tried marinated carrots, but the flavor combination sounded interesting. Not only could these be made ahead, they were a huge crowd pleaser.
It is hard to have a tapas meal without potatas bravas. Crispy potatoes. Yummy sauces. The bravas sauce linked above is the sauce at one of our favorite restaurants, Curate, and it is amazing!
Pan Con Tomate Garlic Bread (delegated)
The sun-dried tomato roasted garlic compound butter made this dish really special. Shout out to my friend, Krystal, for making this.
Basque Cheescake (I also made chocolate brownies for those who don’t love cheesecake.)
I mostly followed the recipe above, but I added 1 1/2 cup of Manchego cheese. When using Manchego or other hard cheeses in cheesecake, blend the cheese in a food processor or blender with some water until you get a nice creamy consistency. Otherwise, the cheese becomes stringy.
This guy was delicious. The “burnt” top gives the creamy cheesecake a nice crunch. I will definitely make this again!
Drinks: Water, Red wine, Sparkling water, and Whiskey cocktails
Thanks for reading!