Dispensing Happiness

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness.-Elsa Schiapirelli

That's me, the magical good cook.

Borrowing from my friend Dexygus, I've created my own food blog.

Read of my exploits in the kitchen! Salivate over the descriptions of fabulous desserts and savory meals I've concocted!

No, seriously...go ahead. It'll make my day.

Monday, July 11, 2005

No rest for the wicked


And Matt and I are, apparently, very wicked.

We had friends over for dinner...scheduled for Saturday night, rescheduled for Sunday.

Seven of us (including Alex), and lots and lots of food.

Matt and I spent most of Friday night, a small chunk of Saturday night (after we came back from finally seeing Batman Begins...side note: one fantastic movie. Matt said it may be the best superhero film yet...), and finished up, along with cleaning up the house, just as guests arrived.

Much food, and it went like this:

Gazpacho Shots

Crudites with Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Deviled Eggs

Fried Raviolli with Arrabiata Sauce and Vegetarian Potstickers with Dipping Sauce

Tortilla Cups with Refried Beans

Pommes Annette...nine slices of thinly sliced potatoes, with goat cheese between each layer

Mini Basil Burgers

Grilled Jerk Chicken Kebabs

White Chocolate Cake, with White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting and Dulce de Leche Filling

Now for the wrap-up:

Shooters were nice. Spicy gazpacho, jalapeno peppers in the soup. Nice way to start.

I didn't actually get around to the hummus...I didn't eat too much, as it turns out. I was just too tired out!

Tasty eggs; I had an accident with the smoked paprika, though!

We cheated, and bought the pasta and potstickers. The raviolli are dusted with cornmeal, and served with a spicy tomato sauce. The potstickers are completely vegetarian, and come filled with vegetables or a gluten 'chicken'. I prefer the veg...

The tortilla cups were my own idea. Flour tortillas formed in molds, to make little cups. Filled with salsa and beans cooked together, with a little chile powder. Topped with cheese and a dollop of sour cream.
Crunchy bowl, and very filling filling!

Pommes Annette...just lovely. Little seasoned potato stacks, with tiny bursts of chevre. Mmm...I really liked these.

The basil burgers were just the miniature versions of a previous post. Matt made tiny rolls to go with. Cute, aren't they?

A very spicy marinade for jerk chicken (you're actually seeing my Veat kebabs there); four Scotch bonnets, and it had an extra day to soak up! Hot, but good.

And of course...cake!

I've been searching and searching for a good white chocolate cake recipe. I think I finally found it.

Eight ounces of melted white chocolate in the batter (I used Ghiradelli), and twelve ounces in the frosting! The original recipe called for an orange marmalade filling, but we're not big on fruity desserts (unless, of course, it's just some gorgeous fresh fruit). I had a can of dulce de leche in the cupboard, and thought it would give the cake that extra 'oomph'.
A thin layer of buttercream on the first layer, and a full can of dulce de leche. Top with second layer. Then I realized I really wanted the other side to be the top, and flipped it. Giving me a very thin layer of caramel on top, and lots and lots of buttercream.

Amazing cake. The white chocolate was there, not as an afterthought, but a full-on flavor. The buttercream was a bit of trouble...I had to add extra powdered sugar to get it to the 'thick and creamy' stage.
But really good cake. I'm hanging on to this one!

Our guests ate too much, complained about how full they were, ate a bit more, and after chatting for a bit, rolled out the door.
Which is exactly what we were going for.

And now? Oh...we're tired. So very tired.

10 Thoughts for food:

At 7:58 AM, Blogger Cathy said...

Hi Stephanie - what a beautful meal! Everything looks wonderful. I love the idea of the burgers with homemade rolls and the gazpacho shots (in cucumber cups?).

At 9:45 AM, Blogger Nic said...

Hi Stephanie. I'm a huge fan of your mini tostadas/tortilla cups. Great idea for a party. And that cake looks amazing!

At 11:00 AM, Blogger Cate said...

That's my kind of spread! I love the tortilla cups, and the potatoes. Where's the potato recipe come from?

At 11:32 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thank you, Cathy! Yes, the 'shooters' were in chunks of cucumber; I used a melon baller to make a small cavity for the soup.

Nic, thanks so much! I got those little tortilla molds almost ten years ago, but rarely use them (I think I'd had my first taco salad, with edible bowl). Matt's not a taco person, really. I think they're pretty wonderful, myself. And the cake was so good...

Sweetnicks, thank you! Again, the cups were fun...you could fill them with just about anything. And I'm pretty sure you can still get them at places like Harriet Carter or Lillian Vernon.
The potato recipe came from Martha's big Hors d'oeuvres book. They're absollutely bite-sized (literally pop them in your mouth), and absolutely delicious. A lot of work, but worth it (I think).

At 12:14 PM, Anonymous Alice said...

Wow, you've outdone yourselves! Everything looks fantastic...especially those potatoes. I'm off to request a copy of that book from the library!

At 12:22 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thank you, Alice!

That Martha book is amazing. I love the way it's formatted: all the pictures are in the first...third, or so, of the book. Each dish is referenced, with a page number leading you to the recipe, in the back of the book.

It's absolutely gorgeous, and makes you wonder what it must be like to have that much free time on your hands...

I'm sure you'll like it.

At 4:34 PM, Anonymous stef said...

oooh, i would have loved to get just one bite of EVERYTHING.

At 4:35 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Stef...well, if you ever find yourself in Eastern TN, look me up!

At 9:44 PM, Blogger Mika said...

Stephanie- that is a great feast. I especially love your white chocolate cake with dulche de leche.

At 12:27 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thank you, Mika!

I was very happy with the cake; I'd been searching for a white chocolate cake recipe for some time, and this one's a winner.


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