A Bel8ted Christmas & Tapas!

Hi everyone!

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas this year! First I will address the elephant in the room: YES, I was 4 days short of the 12 Days of Gift Ideas. In my defense, Day 6, 7, and 8 had a total of 21 items, so technically I gave you double the amount I promised. ;)

To make it up, here are some recipes that you can use for a New Year’s Party, or for any potlucks and get-togethers left in 2012.

I made these for my family’s Christmas potluck and they were a hit! In fact, those on the right were gobbled up within 10 minutes of saying “grace!”

Many of my relatives asked me, “Tiff what are those?” I replied with, “Spanish Tapas!” These are basically small appetizers or dishes that are full of flavor. Traditionally, they are served with drinks to keep good times and conversation flowing. For our purposes, they served as fun appetizers and snacks throughout the party. Tapas are always so delicious because they are full of rich flavors and fresh ingredients, so consider preparing them for your next party or even just a night in with close friends!

I came up with this one on my own. The star of these tapas are proscuitto, which is a cured ham sliced very thinly. You can find this in the deli section of the market, just ask the butcher! I chose ingredients that complement its flavor and add a festive touch. Arugula is a leafy green similar to spinach that has a peppery taste to it. You can find prepared packages at Trader Joe’s and most salad shelves. 
Tiffany’s Proscuitto Tapas: 
Ingredients: 
- 1 5 oz. package proscuitto
- 2 packages (about 60 pieces) mini whole wheat toasts
- 1/8 or so cup fig butter (available at Trader Joe’s)
- 1/8 or so cup cream cheese (I found a fig + walnut cream cheese that worked perfectly)
- 1/2 or so cup arugula 
Instructions:
- Chop proscuitto into small pieces. Stack all pieces of proscuitto in the package and roll it up into a long log  (also known as hot dog style?). Chop into 1 centimeter-wide ribbons. As you assemble the tapas, you can pull apart the ribbons to get relatively event pieces 
- Prepare other ingredients. Open the package of toast, Make sure the arugula is washed, and get a butter knife ready for the fig butter and cream cheese.  It would be good to get some help with this too!  
- In assembly line style, add a tiny bit of fig butter onto the toast, then flatten a piece or two of arugula onto the toast, using the fig butter as adhesive. Quickly put a pat of the cream cheese onto the arugula to seal it onto the toast. Finally, top with a piece of the proscuitto ribbons that you cut earlier. Serve on a pretty platter. These are pretty stackable, but take caution when transporting. 
With the leftovers, you can throw together a salad of arugula — just add cheese, proscuitto (if any), and fig butter (thinned out by mixing with just a bit of oil and/or red wine vinegar)! Leftover mini-toasts make perfect croutons! 

Anchovy, Aioli, and Red Pepper Tapas
I wish I could take credit for this recipe, but I found it via foodgawker.com. Check out the link! These were very time intensive (as homemade mayonnaise always is), but VERY worth it! The flavors from each component were very rich, but melted together with a satisfying harmony. This recipe worked especially well with my Filipino family because the anchovy was reminiscent of smoked fish delicacies like tinapa  & dilis
This might just be the last post of 2012. I have really exciting things in store for 2013. If you’re reading this right now, know that I write for you, in hopes to share joy through food and more. Thank you so much for stopping by! 
With love,
Tiffany R.
Dining at Tiffany’s 

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