A friend of mine lives in Virginia, and my friend, my then-boyfriend (TB), and I were planning on visiting her for a weekend. TB and I were talking on the phone about the trip, and he asked me if I had ever been to a topless bar.
<side note>Ladies, am I making too broad a generalization in saying that we don’t like our boyfriends to ask us that question? Gay, female roommates, perhaps (…but that’s another story for another time). Boyfriends, no. For the record, despite my recent liberation, I have still never been to a topless bar, and I intend to keep it that way. As a point of clarification, this conversation has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that he is my TB and not my B, F, or H.</side note>
Awkward silence ensued, and eventually, TB understood my mistake. He explained that he had said “tapas”, not “topless”. As it turned out, I’ve never been to a tapas bar either. Later, I was chatting with the friend in Virginia who asked me the same question. I made the same mistake for a solid minute before I realized it. I suppose I have a dirty mind.
… so when I decided we would have a sampler of appetizers for dinner one night and Nate and Bec called this “tapas night”, I was a little too embarrassed to adopt their name. Still, it’s more efficient than any other name I’ve got, so I’ll go with it.
Photo by Nathan Clendenin
Interestingly, the cheese stuffed sweet peppers were made that same weekend with that same group of friends. The taquitos are a recipe made for me by TB. And the sweet potato cheese fries? They just sounded good.
- shredded chicken
- enchilada sauce
- corn tortillas
Mix the first three ingredients together. Fry the tortillas in hot oil a minute or two on each side. Roll the filling in the fried tortilla. At this point, you can either fry them the rest of the way or bake them at 350 until golden brown.
Cheese-stuffed Sweet Peppers:
- feta cheese
- cream cheese
- sweet peppers
Cut the tops of the peppers. Remove the pepper’s innards while laughing maniacally*. Mix the feta and cream cheese. Stuff the cheese into the pepper, and place the top delicately back on the pepper. Bake at 350 until browned, about 15 minutes, flipping the peppers once.
Sweet Potato Cheese Fries:
Chop the sweet potatoes into fry** shapes. Coat with oil and place in greased pan***. Bake at 425 until just barely golden brown. Top with cheese and bake at 500 for 5ish minutes.
*Contrary to popular belief, this step is actually required. If skipped, the peppers will make you feel guilty, old, and grumpy. You have been warned.
** I have absolutely no idea how one spells the singular of fries, but I’m fairly certain I did it wrong.
*** It is extremely important that you not use a cookie sheet. Doing so can make for terrible neighbor relations in your dorm when the smoke detector goes off. … but, of course, this was years ago…