Thankfully, we have moved to stage three in Toronto. This means that we can officially expand our social bubble and we did that just that recently with new friends, who also happen to be neighbors and classmates at our fitness studio. Funny that we are making new friends at this time, but maybe it is because we have been so preoccupied with being safe and staying at home, that making new connections is somehow easier. A bit like travelling on your own in a foreign country and finding that meeting people, chatting with total strangers is the most natural thing in the world to do!

There is still lots of caution, but also cautious optimism. I will venture to say that this too shall pass…we just don’t know when.

So, in the interim, we find amusements, in my case, entertaining. This get together was also in our garden, and featured one or two of the tapas I had served on previous occasions(I just can’t get enough of the Stuffed Shashito Peppers), but there are few new ones, and quite worthy of the effort if you too are entertaining. This time around we had:

Cumin and Paprika Spiced Marcona Almonds

Pigs-in-a-Blanket with Country Sausage, Apple Jam, and Manchego

Grilled Shrimp with Old Bay and Garlic Aioli

Stuffed Shishito Peppers

Herb Scented Balsamic Marinated Bing Cherries with Zested Orange

The only rarity in this selection is the Marcona almonds. Try as I might, I could not find a local source for this so I ordered them from Amazon. I now have enough for the next year, but I have heard and read so much about them recently that I just had to try them. They are definitely different than the blanched almonds that we are used to. A nice nibble, especially with the smoked paprika, or as the Spanish would say, smoked pimenton.

To go with the tapas, we served two Rosé wines, a 2019 Famille Perrin, Tavel and a 2019 Malivoire, Lady Bug. Both excellent picks and readily available at the LCBO.  Enjoy!


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