Plates and Servingware
If possible, forgo paper plates and make your beach party a chic and hip gathering. There are great, re-usable, bright color plates (eco-friendly, too) that you can purchase for little more than a set of single-use plates, at places like Target and Crate and Barrel. In sticking with the environmentally friendly theme, also purchase reusable utensils. Your guests will appreciate not having to deal with another broken plastic fork tine. Napkins with a great design will make this party pop.
One great food theme for a beach party is to serve Spanish tapas. This is easy to prepare ahead of time, or even grill on the spot. Grill an array of sausages, and cut into bite sized pieces. Skewer each piece with a toothpick. It's that simple, and is a great variation on the traditional hot dog with lots less mess. More traditional tapas to round out your beach party are rice-stuffed peppers, a tomato salad (you can do a simple Caprese), ham croquettes, an olive tapenade served with mini-toast, small meatballs in tomato sauce, and of course, Spanish olives and Spanish cheeses, like Manchego. These are all easy things to prepare and transport, they are also easy to handle and eat. Your friends will love tapas, even the vegetarians. Serve with a sangria prepared by you!
- 2 bottles of wine (red, white, rose or bubbly; nothing too sweet
- A few shots of Brandy or Grand Marnier
- Some seltzer if you want it a little fizzy
- Fruit (The base is lemon and lime and beyond that, any will do. You can experiment. Oranges, apples, peaches, pineapple, mangoes are all good options. Slice, dice, add a little sugar if you like!)
Let the ingredients soak overnight. Don't skip this important step! The fruit and wine combine and blend into a wonderful sangria.
- 20 pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
- 1 tbsp. rinsed, drained, and chopped capers
- 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. anchovy paste (optional)
- Fresh cracked black pepper
Combine Kalamata olives, capers, lemon juice, olive oil, anchovy paste, and pepper. Mix well. Refrigerate and use within two weeks.
- 1 lb 2 oz short-grained Spanish rice
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 large red peppers
- 1 small red pepper, chopped
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1/2 tomato, skinned and chopped
- 5 oz minced / chopped pork or 3 oz salt cod
- Chopped fresh parsley
Cut off the stem ends of the peppers, keeping them as lids to replace later, and scrape out the inner membranes with a teaspoon. Heat the oil, sauté the red pepper slowly until it is tender and remove. Fry the onion until tender, and add the meat and brown it lightly. Then, add the tomato after a few minutes, and put back the cooked pepper. Stir in the raw rice, saffron and parsley. Salt to taste. Fill the peppers carefully and lay them on their side in an oven-safe dish, being careful the filling doesn't fall out. Cover the dish and put it in a hot oven (about 425 degrees Fahrenheit) for about 1 1/2 hours. The rice cooks in the juices from the tomato and pepper. If the peppers are thin-skinned, you may need to add a little stock towards the end of the cooking time.