Looking for an excuse to throw a party? You don't have to wait for a birthday or a big event to get your friends together to celebrate! Here are some ideas to make a sparkling party any day of the week.
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Cheese Tasting Party
A party of cava and cheeses is super simple because it is the ideal make-ahead soiree! Slice and set out the cheeses on trays two hours in advance to get them up to room temperature (cover with plastic wrap). To create the ultimate cheese board, include one of each of the following cheeses: a blue, a semi-firm, a super-aged, a pungent and a mild cheese. Label the cheeses so your guests will know what they're eating and where it's from, and offer different breads and crackers as well as sliced apples, pears and grapes. It is also a nice touch to include items like membrillo (quince paste) and honey.
Take your décor inspiration from cafés and use butcher paper down the table instead of a tablecloth and display bowls of lemons and green apples in place of flowers. This will give a rustic and fresh feel while making cleanup a breeze. Early set up and easy clean up allows you to relax and enjoy a glass of cava with your guests.
Whether you are a die-hard football fan or not, the upcoming big game is a great excuse for a party. Along with the requisite chips and dips, try a baked potato bar to feed a hungry crowd. Simply bake at least one potato per person and set up a bar of toppers like chicken chili, BBQ brisket and a hearty vegetable stew along with crowd pleasers like shredded cheeses, sour cream and chives.
Decorate with low rectangular vessels planted with wheat grass and cut a table runner out of Astroturf for your buffet. Serve cava in juice glasses and have bowls of peanuts throughout the space. Have plenty of cava chilled to toast the winning team!
Academy Awards Affair
The beverage of choice on the biggest red carpet night of them all is sparkling wine, so why not throw a party for fellow movie-lovers complete with chilled cava and sophisticated snacks. Send invitations sealed with red wax and have guests show up in their finest duds. For noshings, chilled shrimp and blinis with crème fraiche and a dollop of caviar are ideal, but don't forget the popcorn! Put out different flavors of popcorn in large clear bowls with silver Chinese take-out boxes alongside so guests can serve themselves.
Create ballots for guests to vote on the big categories like best actor and best movie with the person guessing the most correct winning a prize - perhaps a statuesque bottle of Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad!
Invite friends over for a casual night at home where your guests can create their own panini! If you don't have a Panini press you can simply use a hot skillet and put a weighted pan on top of the sandwiches to compress. Set out a variety of sliced breads and assorted meats from deli, from turkey or sliced chicken to prosciutto and roast beef. Roasted vegetables, an assortment of cheeses and spreads as well as some interesting additions like sliced pear and fresh arugula will give guests limitless combinations. Fun combinations include ham and sliced fresh pear with gruyere on multi-grain bread or sliced flank steak with blue cheese and arugula on ciabatta. Serve with a beautiful tossed green salad, chilled cava and a fun movie or board game for a great night with friends!
"Stick Around" Soiree
An elegant, yet incredibly simple and satisfying idea for a party spread is to put everything on skewers. They're easy to make ahead and easy to eat — leaving your other hand free for a glass of cava! Have fun with the presentation, too... stand the skewers upright in some eggplants and melons (cut a slice off the bottom for stability). Here are a few tasty suggestions, but feel free to experiment and come up with your own creative combinations.
- Melon and jamón Serrano
- Cherry tomatoes, mozzarella balls and basil
- Snow pea wrapped shrimp (sauté the shrimp with garlic and ginger, blanch the snow peas, and after cooling, wrap one pea around a shrimp and skewer)
- Smoked salmon, herbed cream cheese and cucumber slice
- Mango Thai shrimp (skewer cooked shrimp with mango cubes, sprinkle with chili powder and a squeeze of lime)