Easy Entertaining: A Winter Night in Spain

This is my second year hosting a dinner party for Valentine’s Day with about 12 of our close friends. Last year it sprung about because I felt that a fun intimate dinner would be much better than everyone splitting off, spending money on separate dinner, then just getting together afterwards anyway.

A couple of weeks ago, Matt and I went to a cooking class at Sur la Table which focused on spanish cuisine.  It was absolutely delicious and we thought it was a wonderfully, warm, intimate theme to bring to our V-day dinner party.

As with each party I show you guys, I first put together a mood board of photos that help to keep my focus and color palette while planning the event. I’ll focus on lots of warm, earthy colors like, red in some flower garland, terra cotta in my tapas bowls, brown with some olive wood, and gold in the fiery patatas fritas and lemon.  A little blue of some painted pottery will be thrown in there for balance  to keep all the warm hues from meshing together.

On the menu:


Spanish cheese, olives, cured meats, sautéed mushrooms, and stuffed piquillo peppers styled with terra cotta tapas bowls, olive wood serving accessories, and my go-to parchment paper.


Two kinds – a seafood version and chicken and chorizo version.  Staples are a good pan and a ton of short grain rice.

Dessert will not be flan

I’m not a fan of flan, but instead will be a hazelnut brandy custard which is warm and creamy (nobody will miss the flan)!

On the drink menu:

Cava (Spanish sparkling wine)

Spanish Red Wine – above from spanish winery Mas Candi

After Dinner Spanish Lattes (with a spicy, boozy kick!)


In my opinion, no matter what the theme, or how elaborate you choose to take it – any party where family style serving and help-yourself tapas are involved is instantly casual.  This is kind of a new theme for me, so I’m sticking with that more rustic, casual approach so that I’m not completely out of my comfort zone!

I’ll be back next week to show pictures from the evening as well as the recipes I used! 

Have a TERRIFIC Thursday!


photos in mood collage: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5


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