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.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

A Study in Cookies


(you know, in that second photo, he looks exactly like me when I was that age...)

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Satay For Two


Tuesday's dinner, which was supposed to be Monday's, (are you still with me?) a quick and easy Beef (and Fake Beef) Satay.

Strips of beef (or Morningstar Farms Meal Starters) marinated in brown sugar, soy sauce and ginger, then quickly cooked in the oven. Served with sauce.

Not bad. As Matt said, it may not be purely authentic, but if we were somewhere on the Malay Peninsula, we probably wouldn't have gotten kicked off.

To go with, we served a big bowl of rice, and Breaded and Fried Tofu.

Chunks of tofu dreged in flour, egg and then panko, and fried till golden. Very nice. And quite filling!

Simple meal, and once the beef (and fake beef) had marinated, and the tofu was pressed? Came together in fifteen or twenty minutes.

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Malted Milk Rounds


I like to think of it as training. Marathon runners practice for the big race; running miles and miles each day. Competitive eaters shove as much food as they can down their gullets. Professional thumb wrestlers engage anyone who comes within two feet of them in a match.

For people like me, I bake.

I bake 'non-essential' cookies in the days and weeks leading up to the main event: Christmas.

Because this holiday season? Provided I don't become deathly ill as I did last year, I'm going to have trays loaded with twenty different kinds of cookies and desserts.

So, to get my baking muscles into shape, I whipped up some Malted Milk Rounds, another recipe from Betty Crocker's Cooky Book.

Malted milk powder is used in both the cookie and the frosting; next time (if I ever get 'round to making them again), I'm using chocolate malt powder in the frosting.

The cookies are very malt-y; they're about the texture of a firm sugar cookie. The frosting is fairly sweet, and quite rich (it ought to be, with both brown and powdered sugars in it), creamy rather than sugary. And it sets nicely, too.

Matt likes them, and he was the reason I made them.

Alex enjoyed them, too...but when doesn't a kid like a cookie that's bigger than his own hand?

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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

While Visions of Food Prep Danced in Their Heads


I have to confess: I haven't been all that excited by Christmas the past few years. I think it has a lot to do with being so far away from my family and the traditions I grew up with.

But now that Alex is getting a bit older, the house is much further along renovations-wise, and more of Matt's friends have moved closer to us, I find myself looking forward to the holiday...for a change.

We're getting our tree this weekend, as well as a separate freezer (hooray!) to store all the cookies I'll be making (especially handy if I get sick prior to Christmas again), as well as dragging down what decorations we've bought over the years.

I just now got a my order from Gardner's Candies...a company that's been around over a hundred years and located not far from where I grew up...their chocolate Santas and bears make great stocking stuffers!

I'll be starting my Christmas cards this week (by the way, I'd love to get your addresses; if anyone wants to do the card-thing, please send your physical address to thehappysorceress at gmail dot com).

And best of all? I can't wait to give Alex his Christmas presents!

First, he's finally old enough for all the cool toys, as he'll be three in March. View Masters, Slinky, you know; all the classic toys.

And second? This year, he's getting a new, and bigger, kitchen set!!

It's exactly what he needs: good size, lots of drawers and things to do, fairly realistic-looking.

And to go with, we've bought him a bunch of food sets. One, from the Dairy Queen, because my family has quite a history there, one a sort of basic food set, and the other?

His very own sushi set!

So, as always; I can wait till Christmas to see what I get, but I don't know if I can wait that long to give everyone else their gifts!

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Left-over Breakfast Dinner


It turned out to be one of those days.

I had plans for dinner, but as the day wore on, realized it just wasn't happening.

So, I bumped up a meal scheduled for later in the week, and we went with that.

Getting some of those plastic containers out of the fridge; Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Salmon (for Matt), from the most recent Blog Party, and Potato Galettes using up the Potato and Cheese Puree from Thanksgiving.

Nothing spectacular, but at least we managed to eat.

Best laid plans, and all that...

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Monday, November 28, 2005

Global Visits


Thanks to that nifty, new, feature on my tracking program, I can see where my visitors are coming from.

And in addition to people from all over the United States (even a hit from Kersey, PA; just outside my hometown), I've become quite international lately.

I've had visitors from:

Neuilly-Sur-Seine, France

Barcelona, Spain

Dublin, Limerick, and Cork Ireland

Pretoria, South Africa

Altrincham, London, Kingsbury, Ilford, and Hackbridge UK

Ashgrove, Australia

Panmure, New Zealand

Stuttgart, Germany

Gan Soreq, Israel

Orkola, Finland

Nassau, Bahamas

Cairo, Egypt

Palmirito, Venezuela

Eggenberg, Austria

Not to mention Canada, Singapore, China, Malaysia, and the Philippines!

Pretty darn cool...thanks for stopping by!

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Cookies For Kids


While putting together my to-make Christmas cookie list, I was flipping through the wonderful Betty Crocker's Cooky (sic) Book.

I'd already assembled a list of twenty (!...good lord; what was I thinking?) cookies and treats, but I thought these Cheerios Molasses Patties would be a neat cookie to make with Alex!

So, with Alex's help (he's so very good at 'dumping' the ingredients), I whipped up some sticky-sweet cereal goodness.

Very easy to make, if a bit of a time-waster (how freakin' long does it take to reach 250 degrees while on a low setting, anyway?).

Cheerios, peanuts, molasses, brown sugar, water, vinegar, cream of tartar and baking soda.

And how do they taste?

What do you think?!

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Saturday, November 26, 2005

WDB#11 & WCB#25: Peace Talks Begin


Crazy Macroom has decided that rather than hide from the big, bad dogs (under the staircase), he's going to curl up on Alex's Enormous Bear...on the dining room floor!

Wicklow has been beside himself, going up to Marcroom and sniffing, licking, and occasionally nipping(!) the cat.

Donegal, being a lover-not a fighter, just wants to snuggle.

Donegal's curious, but that's about it. Macroom, on the other hand, is none too pleased with all the attention.

Here's Wicklow, just before he started cleaning the fur on Macroom's back.

When surrounded by animals four or five times your size, the best thing to do is stay perfectly still...

Be sure to visit Clare and Sweetnicks for all the other cat and dog pictures!

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Friday, November 25, 2005

Remains of the Day


Pesto and Brie Canapes

You asked for it, and you've got it: Thanksgiving pics.

Greens with Pomegranate Seeds with a Red Wine Chambord Vinaigrette

White Asparagus with Pistachio Polonaise

Ooops! Took the photograph before adding the pistachios...

Potato Puree with Cantal Cheese

Cheese Tart

Lemon Champagne Game Hens

Only dinner items not photographed: Lentil Ravioli in Garlic Broth and Blackberry Champagne Cocktail...scarfed down too quickly for a Kodak moment.

On to desserts:

Chocolate Pate with Champagne Sabayon

Cheese Tray...left to right: Bucheron, Gorgonzola Dolce, Comte, St. Andre, Morbier

Marbled Black and White Truffles and Mendiants

If you're interested in any of the recipes, please let me know...

Hope you all had a tasty Thanksgiving!

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Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!!


Saturday, we took Alex to Earth Fare for their kids' 'gobble, gobble' party. We'd been invited by one of the managers; a woman we've chatted with since we first started shopping there. No matter what day we shop, or what time, she always stops by and talks to us...particularly Alex!

We were told there would arts and crafts, and story time, and we really ought to come.

So we did.

There were just a few kids there, seven total. Earth Fare has a community room off their cafe; a nice room with tables and chairs, and a tall, buffet-yet-school-cafeteria-like serving station.

They'd prepared turkey, stuffing, gravy, and corn, had fresh bread slices and butter, and provided a lovely fruit punch.

Alex had some corn and stuffing (completely meat-free), and ran through two cups of the fruit punch...even eating the frozen blueberries and peach slices!

Once the kids (and any parents who were interested) had eaten, it was crafts time.

Using paper lunch bags, one of the women showed us how to make 'Pilgrim' hats. All the kids were given washable markers, crayons, construction paper, glue sticks and safety scissors (plus a hand-bag sized Earth Fare canvas tote, filled with balloons and stickers), and to demonstrate the hat-making technique, she picked Alex as her model.

Nice hat, eh? With nothing to do in regards to his paper hat, Alex happily colored on construction paper, and even sorta-kinda interacted with a couple of the kids (he can be awfully shy around other children).

After the kids were fitted with hats, they were split into groups of 'older' and 'younger', for story time.

Realizing the younger (Alex-aged) kids weren't interested in reading Thanksgiving riddles and puns, the woman in charge moved on to dessert: freshly made banana pudding, snickerdoodles, oatmeal raisin, and chocolate chip cookies.

And what better way to end a party than with a chocolate chip cookie as big as your head???

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone...

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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Dine & Dish#5: The Happy Sorceress Goes Korean


When I saw Sarah's post announcing the next edition of Dine & Dish, the first thing I thought was "Matt is going to love this".

Sarah's picked 'ASIAN PERSUASION' for this month's theme, and if there's anything you should know about Matt, it's that he loves Asian cuisine. Chinese, Thai...it doesn't really matter. He'll eat it.

Now, I come from a very different background.

My childhood cuisine was more along the lines of pork chops and mashed potatoes, Irish beef stew, and fish fries.

I don't think my hometown even had an ethnic restaurant until the end of my high school years.

To say I had very little exposure to Asian dishes would be...pretty accurate, actually.

I'd had sweet and sour chicken from the questionable (I say this because it was often being hit for health code violations) Chinese restaurant at the shopping plaza a couple of times. But that was it.

As a matter of a fact, the last meat-based meal I ate before becoming a vegetarian was that very dish!

A year or so into my vegetarian lifestyle, I discovered the 'ethnic' section (a very small shelf) of my local grocery store.

I started making fried rice at home, using veggie ham. I began experimenting with 'weird' ingredients like water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, wontons and tofu.

But I was still far from adventurous. It took months to try tofu, and it's a rather benign food!

After I moved to California to be with Matt, I was exposed to so many new foods, and new ways of preparing them.

Though it took much coaxing, Matt convinced me to try sushi (you wouldn't believe how staunchly I resisted!). Once I did, I quickly fell in love with it.

Using fake chicken bites, we started making stir fry at home. And I loved it.

But I was (and probably am) still very much in a comfort zone: I knew what I liked, but I wasn't quite ready to branch out and try new things.

So, Dine & Dish provided me with an opportunity to change my ways.

It would have been easy for me to dine at one of the sub-par sushi joints in town. I mean, I know sushi. I love sushi, even though nothing will ever compare to Isobune...

Or, we could have gone to one of the many Chinese restaurants in Knoxville...sweet and sour tofu, anyone?

No...I wanted something different. Something new.

I did a local restaurant search, and discovered that, in addition to the countless Japanese and Chinese places, there were Thai, Vietnamese, Filipino, and even (2) Korean restaurants here!

Matt liked the idea of trying Korean, as he'd only had it once before (KAL flights, The San Francisco-Seoul legs of the trip to Nepal). And I was game.

So, for the dinner portion of our 'dinner and a movie' date night (we saw 'Good Night, and Good Luck.'...which I highly recommend), we headed to Kaya; a simply decorated Korean restaurant in the 'nice' part of town; West Knoxville.

Situated in a high-end shopping center, Kaya doesn't look like much from the outside.
Ok, it doesn't look like much on the inside, either.

When we walked in, the first thing we both noticed was a strong cigarette smoke smell.

Which was weird.

After living in California, we've still not entirely adjusted to 'smoking or non?' questions from servers.

At Kaya, we weren't even given a choice.

We were seated shortly after walking in, and it soon became clear that we weren't going to be the staff's top priority that evening.

Off the side, in what we imagined was a more traditional seating arrangement, was a small, sliding-screen door section. Behind it were seated a large group of noisy Korean men, shoes off and having a good time. And clearly...a little bit drunk.

The two women running the floor were scurrying like their lives depended on it to cater to their every wish, so I was worried we'd end up sitting around and staring at the enormous paper lanterns all night.

Fortunately, our waitress (the other one was a total Korean doppleganger for my good friend, Erin) came out and was both friendly and attentive...although she probably lost five pounds just running between the kitchen, our table, and the noisy drunk guy's room!

Without a menu to consult, I ordered an ice tea (they only had unsweetened); Matt, ice water. Later upgrading to hot green tea.
Once we were seated and handed the rather-sizable menus, the real fun began.

What to order?

I'd thought ahead, and sent off an email to Sarah, asking for recommendations. My biggest concern...any time I dine out, really...is 'will they have meatless entrees?'.

Lucky for me, Kaya had a decent vegetarian section, and I had to make a decision between two different dishes in the end.

But first, we started with a Vegetable Tempura. The tempura batter was fantastic (when will I finally get this right at home?), but I was surprised at the vegetables. The wide carrot, onion, and zucchini slices, as well as the broccoli spears, were merely waved in the direction of a heat source. Completely crunchy.

I'm used to a more 'done' tempura, but that didn't mean I wouldn't eat it!

Before we could finish the tempura, our dishes arrived.

Matt ordered the Yook Gae Jang; a very spicy stew.

He ordered it 'medium', but kept saying throughout the meal 'wow, that's hot!'. And no, he wasn't channeling Paris Hilton. I'd never marry a man who would do that.

I choose the Dol Sot Bi Bim Bap; rice, lettuce, carrot, bean sprouts, cucumbers, and spinach topped with a fried egg and served in a sizzling hot stone bowl...with a side of chilli paste.

I quickly got over my 'this is really weird, eating an egg over rice with steamed veggies' mind-set, and (even using some of the chilli paste), cleaned my bowl!

Ok...I didn't scrape the dried-on rice from the bowl, nor did I eat the spinach. Steamed spinach makes me wanna hurl...

But I liked it! I really did. It was different. But as I've learned over the last decade; when it comes to food, different doesn't have to be a bad thing.

The vegetables were just lightly cooked, and the chilli paste really gave the rice a little kick.

Mixing the fried egg into every bite brought a new flavor to the mix, also a good one.

And I got such a kick out of listening the my stone bowl sizzle during the meal...

With our main selection, we were served a variety of 'side dishes of the day'.

I can't really tell you what those dishes are, as our harried servers were much too preoccupied with LoudDrunkKoreanGuys (LDKG) to answer any food-related questions.

As best as we can guess, (clockwise) lettuce (seasoned or marinated), kimchi, cucumbers (seasoned or marinated), bean sprouts, and sweetened potato slices.

As I already had lettuce, cucumbers and bean sprouts in my dish, I skipped them.

I haven't yet gotten up the nerve to try kimchi, so a 'pass' on that, as well.

But after Matt tasted and identified the potato dish, I finished them off! Oh, they were good. I added them to my rice, and the sweet oil in which the potatoes were coated was incredible.

I'm hoping someone can fill me in on the proper names of all these dishes...

And because it was Dine & Dish, we decided to get a dessert, too.

We ordered the Tempura Green Tea Ice Cream, but our waitress came back to the table to tell us the tempura wasn't available.

So, we switched our order to a serving of the Green Tea Ice Cream, to share.

Possibly the best green tea ice cream I've tasted...and I have no idea why! It was just really, really good.

Right around the time we were getting ready to pay up and leave, the woman who looks like my friend came around to clean up the five unattended tables around us (they'd been so busy with the LDKG, they hadn't gotten around to bussing the tables, or even picking up tips!). She asked us if we'd enjoyed our meal, and I felt pretty good telling her that I had. I also mentioned it was my first time eating Korean food, and she seemed pretty pleased. Chatted with us for a couple of minutes, and of course...asked us to come back!

And you know what?

We will.

Kaya Korean Restaurant
7818 Montvue Center Way
Knoxville, TN 37919
Phone:(865) 691-0237

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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Thanksgiving Menu; or, If The Pilgrims Were French


So, here's what we're making for T-Day this year: note the absence of tukey!

Blackberry Champagne Cocktail
(non-alcholic version available)

Selection of Cheeses

Gorgonzola Dolce
St. Andre

Pesto and Brie Cananpes

Lentil Ravioli in Garlic Broth

White Asparagus with Pistachio Polonaise

Puree of Potatoes

Cheese Tart

Lemon Champagne Game Hens (or Veat)

Chocolate Pate' with Champagne Sabayon

Marbled Black and White Truffles


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Blogging By Mail#3: Thanks, UPS Man!


I've been peeking out the front windows all Monday. I just had this feeling I'd get a package.

And I was right!

My Blogging By Mail package arrived, from Chronicler...all the way from our former home (albeit the southern part), California!

And what a neat package, too...Chronicler sent photos of her kitchen (hey, it doesn't look that small!) and the surrounding areas; boy, do I miss those palm trees.

A flier for her sort-of good for you store, the local food section, a recipe for pumpkin pie, a sweet note detailing what Thanksgiving means to her, the cutest little hinged pumpkin box, a pomegranate (after last weekend's Blog Party round-up, I'll be running through lots of them!), and both the recipe for and the finished product for Chinese Fried Walnuts.

Matt tasted one, and declared "we're making these".

It was all so thoughtful, and I do love getting mail!

Thank you so much, Chronicler, we loved everything. Especially the part where you brought a little bit of California back into our lives.

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Monday, November 21, 2005

You Know Christmas is Coming When...


You start seeing ads for:

Chia Pets

Fry Daddys


Personally, I'm crossing my fingers for the Fry Daddy...

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Curry in your Sweets?


So, some 'brilliant' execs are marketing the lovely KitKat in new flavors. No, not white or dark chocolate (love both), but how about curry???!

Hey, I love a good curry.

And I love KitKats.

I'm just not so sure I want them in the same wrapper, though.

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Pastry & Pasta & Egg & Meatball & Cheese &...


One of the strangest dishes I've ever made... Timpano a la Big Night, from Michael Chirarello.

I happened to leave the TV on one evening, and found myself on the Fine Living Network. I don't really watch that channel...I mean, somewhere out there is a Law & Order (original, SVU or CI) rerun airing! Much more important.

Anyway, Chirarello was making foods from film...spaghetti and meatballs from The Godfather, hot chocolate from (one of my favorites) Chocolat, and timpano, from Big Night.

The timpano looked so very interesting, I just had to try it.

But boy, I had no idea what I was getting myself into!

Lots of steps in the recipe. Fortunately for me, I'd already made some tomato sauce, and we bought a bag of meatless meatballs.
Still, it's a bit of work.

Make a pastry crust, which has to chill at least an hour.

Boil pasta, toss with sauce. Put part of the crust into a springform pan, add pasta and grated Romano cheese. Then, meatballs, hard boiled eggs, mozzarella, and peas.
Next, more sauce and Romano. Follow with pasta, sauce and cheese. Top with remaining crust, brush with egg, and bake. At least 45 minutes.

And then when it comes out? It has to sit for another 30!

Too bad I was starving...grrr.

But the result?


Granted, it was a weird combination of flavors, but we both really enjoyed it. Ok, maybe not the peas...the texture wasn't a favorite of ours.

So, if you want to make something a little...different, and you have all freakin' day to do it, give the timpano a try!

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Sunday, November 20, 2005

They're Awake! WDB 10


See? My pups actually do more than sleep, told you!

Here, Wicklow is playing manservant to Donegal; he can't stand an untidy companion. Must keep her clean.

In fact, they were so full of energy, I had a difficult time getting them to sit still long enough to photograph them...

Hey, it's hard work looking this cute.

Visit Sweetnicks to see all the other pups!

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But My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes: WCB24


One of my favorite childhood books, My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes, has stuck with me all my life.

Lines like "The cat from Spain flew a big airplane" and "The cat from France liked to sing and dance", all followed by "but my cat likes to hide in boxes".

Well, so does Macroom!

That's the box our kitchen curtain material came in. It was lying around one night, and suddenly...there was Marcoom, all curled up. He fits perfectly, and c'mon; it's cute. So, we keep it there. Why not? I doubt Martha's coming to inspect my house any time soon...

Late edition to WCB, but better late than...go see who else came to visit Clare and Kiri!

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Blog Party #4: The Holiday Edition Round-Up


Well, here it is; November's Blog Party! Can you believe how fast this year has gone by?

I have to say, I'm really quite excited by this month's party...while we have the same number of entries as the past couple of months, we also have a lot of new party-ers. And best of all? You guys are coming from all over the globe! I thank you all for blocking out some time in your busy schedules to come together, over food, like this. I love reading your blogs, learning about where you live, what you eat, and what you do. Blog Party, for me, is not a labor of love...because as far as I'm concerned, there's no labor here...I look forward to each and every one of your entries; you guys make my day(s)! So again, thank you for coming! Ok...enough sappy sentimentality...

Before we eat, let's get the table set. Believe it or not, Bed, Bath and Beyond is a great place to find all sorts of holiday decorations and home furnishings.

For the wine and cocktail glass-impaired (you know who you are!), how about these adorable holiday wine goblets?!

Here's an inexpensive punch bowl, and this time of year, it could come in handy.

Personally, I like these holly berry placemats; how cute are they?

As for music...I barely know where to begin; there are so many choices! So, I grabbed a few of my favorite discs (minus a fantastic CD my friend Tim made for us last year...all Christmas songs from Big Band-era performers; it's amazing!) to get us in the mood.

Here's a guy I'll always associate with the holidays; Burl Ives!

Here's one that's all over the board: George Thorogood and Dean Martin. Eartha Kitt and The Alarm! The Coolest Christmas.

And because I'm always in the mood for a little comedy, the incredible stylings of Bob Rivers...I love this guy!

Ok...time to meet the guests, and dig in!

Same continent, but different country, Lyn of Lex Culinaria is here! I'm so happy to see you, come on in!

Oooh; would you look at what she's brought? A Baked Potted Goat Cheese , which Matt is going to devour, and possibly one of the coolest-looking beverages I've ever seen: Pomegranate and Ginger Cocktails ...brilliant; just brilliant. Make mine a double...thanks so much, Lyn!

The lovely boo_licious, of masak-masak is here, too! Wonderful to see you, how's boo the cat? boo_licious is one the many food bloggers who've taught me about new ingredients, new foods, and new customs...I can't tell you how much I enjoy that; thank you!
Take a look at her Chiku Lassi (see what I mean?), and those fabulous Satay Lilits...yum.
I'm so pleased you could come to my little party!

New to Blog Party, and your Happy Sorceress, it's vkn of MyDhaba...welcome!
I'm so happy you decided to join our little soiree, and thank you for bringing such lovely dishes; first Red Squash Soup, as a very interesting cocktail, as well as the I-must-try-these Home-made Potato Vattals...it all looks great! Thanks again for coming.

I'm so very pleased to welcome Alicat of Something So Clever to the party! Clearly, she's my kind of gal...an appetizer addict. And just wait till you try her gorgeous Vanilla Bean - Pineapple & Bacon Wraps with Rosemary Skewers, as well as her Johnny Apple-cider-Seed Mocktail; very festive, indeed! So glad you could make it.

Going around the room, we can't forget about Nupur, of One Hot Stove...so nice to see you! Nupur's Indian-themed goodies can't be beat; she's brought along Masala Peanuts , which may prove too tempting for me to resist, Papad Canapes , and one of my favorite drinks...Mango Lassi . Fantastic! Thanks for coming, Nupur; we'll try to fix a doggie bag for Dale, ok?

Here's another new-to-me food blogger, Meena of Hooked on Heat...please, make yourself comfortable!
Meena's planning her very own New Year's celebration, so what better place to try out...and find...new cocktail recipes than Blog Party? Hey; this is quietly becoming the place to be!
And Meena completely had me at Tangy Paneer Pakodas ; not to mention the lovely Strawberry-Cherry Slush . ..seriously. Yum.
Thanks for stopping by!

From one of my favorite cities in the whole wide world, it's Mika of The green jackfruit; so good of you to come! How 'bout those Steelers, huh?
Mika made her adorable daughter wait as she put the finishing touches on her very tasty-looking Mushroom Gratinate , then borrowed a friend to provide us with yet another (but welcomed!) pomegranate drink; Pomegranate Martinis . Tis the season!
Mika, it all looks wonderful; thank you for coming!

Looks like Glutton Rabbit, of Pearl of the Orient, had such a good time last month, she just had to come back for our latest party...well, we're glad you're here!
I have to tell you folks; the weather here truly is frightful (watch the temperature drop...), so Rabbit's Chicken Pie is going to go fast...doesn't it look all warm and hearty? And her Rose Flavoured Cordial with Mint Sprigs are sure to please even the pickiest among us, not that it would take much to convince me to try one!
So happy you could come!

And here's another new-to-me guest; Mebeth of one of the best-named blogs out there; Hold the Raisins. Hey...me, too!
So, what has Beth brought for us? Well, there's the oh-so simple, but very welcome Fizzy Poland Spring and Pom Juice ...I honestly can't get enough of pomegranates! And of course, her Green Chile Chicken and Queso Empanadas look amazing; Mebeth, looks like we have a friend in common...
Thank you so much for coming to the party!

Still another new-comer? Wow, word is definitely spreading about Blog Party...ex-cellent (rubs hands like Monty Burns...). This time it's Grace of the appropriately-named Appetizers! Grace, honey? You're going to fit right in...
So, she's prepared some sure to please Margaritas , as well as the named-by-yours-truly (!) Spicy, Starred Pizzas ...better grab one quick, or they might mysteriously vanish (hint, hint).
I'm just tickled you decided to join us, and I do hope you'll come back next month!

One of the last through the door, Kai of bucaio may have provided the greatest learning experience for me; what a lovely tradition you have! I think it's wonderful; thanks so much for sharing.
Speaking of sharing, Kai's made sure we won't go hungry tonight! Let's see, there's the perfect for this time of year Tsokolate , the drool-inducing (sorry about that, I'll clean up after myself; promise) Ensaymada , as well as Puto and Latik ! Kai...will you adopt me? I promise to help with the cooking and cleaning!
It all sounds wonderful, and again, thank you for sharing all this with us.

I couldn't let you guys do all the work, so please help yourselves to some (Thai-spiced) Sweet Potato Soup; this stuff is thick and creamy...and you'll love the flavor!

Then there's the very simple, but quite elegant (if I do say so...) Smoked Salmon Brochettes; all you need is some quality smoked salmon and some skewers!

Just in case you're still hungry (and if you are, I promise not to tell!), here's a few Ciabatta Pockets with Rare Roast Beef, (home-made)Wasabi Mayonaise, and Baby Salad; yep, that's a mouthful, quite literally!
Slices of rare beef, along with a real wasabi-flavored mayo, and baby greens, inside fabulous Ciabatta bread. Go on...you know you want one!

Tasty little bundles, and (dare I say it?) not too bad for you, either; Chicken (or Veat) Souvlaki. Marinated and cooked chicken (or Veat), along with tabbuleh and hummus, on pita; wrapped up and tied...like a package...with scallions! Yummy; trust me on that one.

And for a drink? Well, I wanted something blue.
Yeah, I said blue. So, while not terribly fancy, it is rather pretty: Pink Grapefruit-Bubblegum Spritzer.
I so totally made this up! Jones Bubblegum (blue) soda (POP!), with Torani Pink Grapefruit syrup added in. Really quite good, if a bit...odd.

All these recipes come from the fabulous book, Finger Food, by Elsa Petersen-Schepelern; or of course, by request!

Ok, guys...kick back, unbutton your jeans, and enjoy the rest of the evening. It's been a great party, and I thank each and every one of you for coming...especially all the new Blog Party-ers!

Now we can look forward to December's party...no, it won't interfere (at least, not directly) with Christmas; entries would be due on the fifteenth, so we'd have plenty of time. And just to give a head's up? Our theme will not be Santa-related. Oh, no...I have something fabulous planned for next month, so I hope you'll all join me again for another Blog Party! I'll post the theme announcement 1 December.

Ok, friends, my feet are killing me, so I'm just going to take a seat...good night!

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