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.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

WDB: Still Learning

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Donegal and Wicklow, as the older and, allegedly, 'wiser', dogs, know that while the kitchen is a great place for finding food scraps and crumbs, it's also a dangerous area. Sometimes, when Mommy's cooking, it's best to put safety over people food, and stay away.



The couch, a safe haven for both Donegal



and Wicklow.




But Doolin, not quite a year old, has yet to learn this. So, he stays in the kitchen, and pays the price!



Sweetnicks
will have the round-up of puppy cuteness for you tomorrow night...




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Friday, September 29, 2006

Food for the Jet-Lagged

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Sorry for the delay, but I think I have a pretty good excuse.



Yesterday, Alex started complaining that his ear hurt, and he was running a fever. I made an appointment with his pediatrician for this morning, but after Matt came home from work last night, the poor kid was getting worse.

We finally made the decision to take him to the ER. We were there a couple of hours, then had to get some prescriptions (he has a middle-ear infection). With the wait for the meds to be filled, and an attempts to get Alex to eat or drink anything (gotta love it when popsicles are doctor-prescribed), and finally into bed...it was after ten.

Meanwhile, from exhaustion, I suppose, my son did something remarkable. For him, anyway.

He fell asleep in the middle of a lit room, while I was on the phone!

He's never been one to sleep at any point unless it was nap- or bed-time, in his room, lights off. That's it. Never sleeps in the car, or naps on the couch.

Which makes the above photo a true keepsake!

He's beginning to recover; our visit to his pediatrician was more follow-up than anything, and he seemed to think Alex was already on the mend. Good news.

So, late post, yet fairly recent.

My in-laws had been in Oregon, visiting Matt's brother and his wife. They only got back...well, I suppose it was just before midnight last night.

I offered to have a meal ready for them, because in addition to facing bare cupboards, who really feels like cooking after a cross-country flight?!

Just finished, and Matt and Alex have probably delivered it by now:



Grilled Moroccan Chicken



with Curried Couscous, September '05 Bon Appetit

<

Moroccan Pumpkin & Lentils, October '06 Vegetarian Times

<

oven-roasted onions and garlic for



Roast Onion & Garlic Soup, Donna Hay's Flavours

I can't tell you how anything tasted; I just make it and ship it out. But everything smelled wonderful, as does the house.

As for us, we've decided to get an order of take-out from our favorite Indian restaurant tonight...I'm exhausted, I've already made (a) dinner, and we need time to get the dishes caught up.

Some nice dal or malai kofta, naan and a movie from Netlix; that's about all I can handle.




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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Chinese Take-In

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Maybe I grew up watching too many reruns of shows like Newhart, The Odd Couple, and Mary Tyler Moore, where often the characters would call up a restaurant and place an order for take-out, delivered. Very New York.

Where I grew up, the only thing you could get delivered was pizza. But it always seemed so glamorous, and so different. I mean, I like pizza...but it's not that exciting!

I've been tying in my attempts with our Sci-Fi Friday shows, and recently, I tried my hand at Chinese take-out.

Above, Cashew Chicken; mild, but good.



Sizzling Rice Soup, with a crunchy rice crust. I confess, I liked the crunchy rice better than the soup, but Matt ate everything!

Not much to say, beyond that. It was nice, but I think I'll keep trying to find that perfect, sitcom-style Chinese take-out.




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The 4 W's of Wartime Wednesdays: Who, What, Where and Why

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During the summer of '06, my father-in-law continued his clearinghouse, and Matt and I found ourselves on the receiving end of a number of serving dishes, jelly jars, and cookbooks.

One of these cookbooks was The Victory Binding of the American Woman's Cook Book, an absolute gem in hardcover form. Not quite 1000 pages of menus, recipes, food prep and serving etiquette for the 1940's housewife. A real treasure.

I was so enamored of this book, I decided to (selectively) work my way through, preparing at least one recipe each week.

Thus, Wartime Wednesdays was born!

Below, a list of the dishes made so far. Enjoy.



Roast Beef Dinner


Scalloped Chicken

Corn Oysters and Welsh Rarebit

Tunafish Salad and Chocolate Drop Cookies

Butterscotch Buttermilk Biscuits

Coffee Cake

Cheese Omelet and Hash Browns

Baking Soda Buckwheat Cakes

Coffee Cake with Crumb Topping

Chicken Club Sandwich

Butterscotch Toast

Country Club Sandwiches

Rolled Cinnamon Bread

Egg & Bacon Cornbread Breakfast Sandwich

Hot Biscuit Sandwiches

Welsh Rarebit

Eggs Au Gratin

Manly Dinner

Baked Eggs in Bacon

Burgundian Beef

Griddlecakes

Buttermilk Biscuit Breakfast

Potato Omelet

Butterscotch

Roast Chicken

Angel Cake

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Wartime Wednesdays: From the Victory Kitchen

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I'm known for being a bit of a retro-gal. My 1950's kitchen (with original stove, sink and metal cabinets), movies, clothes...and yes, cooking.

I have a nice collection of older cookbooks, plus a hefty shelf of Gourmet magazines, going back to it's inception in 1941!

Adding to the 'retro' shelf, my father-in-law gave me a cookbook: enormous (just under 900 pages!), hard-bound, with which I immediately fell in love.

The Victory Binding of the American Woman's Cook Book: Wartime Edition with Victory Substitutes and Economical Recipes for Delicious Wartime Meals, Published for the Culinary Arts Institute, Copyright 1943.


It's such an amazing book, with ways to stretch your shopping dollars, suggestions for how much dairy, meat, vegetables, etc children and adults should consume, party planning, how to serve a dinner depending on the type, even the proper way to set a table!

And while there are recipes I positively would not touch (stuffed beef hearts, anyone?), the book is filled with all sorts of treasures. I just knew I wanted to try some.

So, what I've decided to do is prepare at least one recipe, and sometimes a full meal, from this book each week.

For the very first Wartime Wednesdays; I made Roast Beef, Horseradish Sauce, Popovers, Franconia Potatoes, Lettuce Wedges with French Dressing, and Dutch Apple Pie.

I only used gadgets available during the early 1940's for this, too.




While making the batter for the popovers, I got to use my very old eggbeater!



Oh, these things were so good...



The recipe called for wrapping the roast with bacon if it wasn't terribly fatty. Matt thought it was so decadent!

Franconia Potatoes were simply peeled potatoes, cooked under the roast, and flavored by the drippings.



Both the Horseradish Sauce and the French Dressing (not shown) were one hundred times better than anything found in a bottle today!




Here I go; attempting another pie.



And hey...look! It came out rather nicely. Unfortunately, Matt wasn't terribly crazy about the crust on this one. But, it's a start.

Oh, and when he'd taken that first bite of the roast, I asked Matt if it was good. In answer, he got up from his chair, hugged me and said "I love you".

I think that means 'yes'.




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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Perfect Potato Pancakes

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It's not like I haven't made potato pancakes in the past. And I most certainly grew up with them; it was quite common to see advertisements in the daily newspaper for potato pancake sales, benefiting some organization or another.

But of all the times Matt or I have made them, they've never quite turned out right. Not crispy enough on the outside, or too crispy, or the insides were under-done, or well, just not what we were looking for.

A few weeks ago, I got (yet another!) new cookbook, Brunch: 100 Recipes From Five Points Restaurant, and I was completely taken in.

It's filled with good, hearty, brunch foods, and even if I didn't care to eat it myself, I found myself thinking of excuses to make many of the recipes.

Their recipe for Shredded Potato Pancakes with Smoked Salmon caught my attention, so I thought I'd make it for the 'guys'.

Along with 'cheesey eggs', they had, no joke, the best potato pancakes I've ever tasted (and yes, I did eat some!).

Their recipe calls for shredded potato, mixed with an egg and some flour, and lemon juice (to stop them from browning); I followed it...mostly.

See, I didn't want to get up an hour earlier, just to peel and shred the potatoes. Instead, Matt ran them through the food processor the night before, and tossed them in a bowl of water, which spent the night in the refrigerator.

In morning, I drained the potatoes, squeezed out as much water as I could, and followed the rest of the recipe (minus the lemon juice). Once it's mixed up, ladle-fulls are dropped into a pan of hot oil, and cooked four or so minutes per side.

So simple, yet so...perfect.

Matt said we could stop searching for a potato pancake recipe!

Topped very thin slices of smoked salmon (for Matt only), and mugs of cocoa, it was a pretty good breakfast.





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Monday, September 25, 2006

Question for My Australian Friends

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You guys have some of the most restrictive customs regulations I've ever seen, although I completely understand why it's done. Gorgeous place, your country; don't want to muck it up with foreign pests and whatnot.

Now, I've read over the lists of what is not allowed in, but I'm a bit unsure of an item I'll be sending there.

So, here's my question: Can products like marmalade, or jelly, be shipped to Australia?

Thanks in advance.

Non-Food Post

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My friend Erin and I met when we were just...three or four years old. Our grandparents lived a few houses apart. We spent most of our summers there, so we hung out a lot as little kids.

It's kind of funny, that recently, within weeks of each other, and completely independent of each other, we decided to scan photos of our grandparents. You know, for posterity, and all that.

We knew each other's grandparents, and we've both lost one each. Erin recently posted a photo of her grandmother as a twenty-something...or possibly a late teen. I've decided to add a few of my own grandmother (who is still with us, thankfully).

This is the sort of thing I'd usually post on my other blog, but I'm sticking it here.



This is my Grammy, in her high school cap and gown. She graduated as one of 44 students in 1944 (just a few boys; the rest had enlisted), and this was for my Grampa.



After high school, Grammy moved to Washington, DC, for work. She started as a runner for the FBI; she wanted to move up to secretary, but she felt it would take too long. Plus, she hated running up and down all those steps in heels! Here she is with a friend. She eventually worked for the government, keeping track of the ships on loan form the Navy (she told me that in the end, the only ships unaccounted for were the ones we'd given to the Russians...signs of things to come, perhaps?)



I had to add this one, even if it's not of Grammy.

Here's my Grampa, holding his first two grandchildren...I'm on the left and my cousin Jenny's on the right. Anyone else notice his resemblance to a certain Hollywood star?



I thought this one was so cute; Grammy was a drum majorette!



And here she is with another of her DC friends.



I'm not positive, but I think she's holding my uncle here.



While living in DC, my great-aunt would visit Grammy...she loved going out to the clubs. And apparently, it was exactly like what you see in black & white films, with camera-toting gals snapping your picture for a small fee. I think this one was from New Year's Eve. And I need to learn how to do my hair like that!



One of the clubs where they had their picture taken.



Grammy on the left, great-Aunt Mercedes on the right.



Grammy would send photos of herself to Grampa, who by this time was serving aboard the USS Nehenta Bay, in the Pacific. How cute is that?



Another photo for Grampa, Grammy and a friend with an armful of Santa Claus!

So, Exactly Where do I Go to Order a New Immune System, Anyway?

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Maybe Harriet Carter carries them. Or Lillian Vernon. Oooh! Maybe I can find it at the Vermont Country Store. Doesn't matter where, but I want one in cast iron, thanks so much.

When those oh-so annoying symptoms of (yet another) cold start to plague me, aside from OD-ing on Vitamin C, Zicam and (now trying) Sembucol, what else is there to do, but make an enormous pot of vegetable stock?

Onions, carrots, sweet potatoes, acorn squash, dried mushrooms, wakame, broccoli, green beans, pepper corns, salt, allspice berries, and various herbs.




Plenty of stock in the end, which I've used...at least three times so far.

By the way, that Sembucol? Fantastic stuff. It was recommended by one of the parents are Alex's school. Must thank her...

While Matt's been getting sicker and sicker, I've been...fine. Actually, more than fine. The stuff is pretty nasty...starts off kind of fruity, then finishes like Ipecac or something, but hey...it works!





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Sunday, September 24, 2006

WDB: Off-Day

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Nothing too special this time around; they're tired of the rain, and just want to hang out in the house.



Donegal forgot the 'no sleeping on the couch without a slip cover' rule.



Wicklow, as usual, not standing still for the camera



And Doolin, coming in for a kiss.

I'm sure the other pups have done something considerably more exciting, see Sweetnicks to check it out!






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Blogging by Mail Package...is here!!

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I'm not a bad person, really I'm not.

I meant to post about my divine Blogging by Mail package from Eva a few days ago.

But...there was the bake sale, a sick child, Blog Party...and even a few hours of sleep!

So, the post had to wait.

Until now!

For the first two and half years since we bought this house, we had the same, wonderful, letter carrier. Nice guy, who knew that...if there was a package for us, he could just leave it near the door, along with the rest of the mail. Saved time and energy for all of us.

But since the early Spring, we've had...ten, or more...different carriers. They all do something different with our mail. I never know who to expect, or more to the point, what.

So on Thursday, when Alex and I noticed the USPS truck pull just in front of our mail box, I really wasn't sure if we were, in fact, getting a package, or if our carrier was just taking a coffee break!

But, yet another new girl came to our door, with a paper-wrapped box, and without even glancing at the addresses, I kind of squealed.

I just knew it was my BBM package!

It was kind of weird, assigning myself to one of the participants. I made a point of matching up as many of the others first, so I wouldn't be tempted to pick someone out ahead of time.

But as the pairings went on, I kept coming back to Eva...so I got to send her an email saying 'you can give me stuff!'. Again, weird.

But I'm so happy I did. Eva read my mind...or at the very least, my blog. Because inside the gorgeous box (which I'm saving for ever and ever)



were some of the most perfect-for-me goodies, ever. I'm a big tea-drinker, and one of the things I loved so much about being in Ireland was walking into just about any place, and having somebody automatically pour a cup of tea for me. (a fancy tea service is a wish-list item for me)



Isn't that lovely?



I'd mentioned to Eva that my family tree can be traced back to Scotland (coming to America by way of Canada), so in addition to the two copied recipes, she sent along a booklet of Scottish tea-time recipes. Perfect!



Eva explained all the items on this beautiful card. I confess, I was so excited to see what was in the box, I didn't even noticed, until much later, that those are real flowers on there!



She sent along some home-made, flavored sugars; lavender and rosemary, as well as some pretty decorating sugar. Oh, yes...I'll get a lot of use out of these! And they smell so good...



Because she was going for a 'high tea' theme, there had to be...tea. I'm a tea addict, so this is a most welcome bag. Nice and fruity!



And how neat is this? I have a couple of infuser balls, but I've never seen an infuser on the end of a spoon. But it's such a brilliant idea, makes me wonder why I haven't! Love it.



As Eva says, you can't have tea without sweets, and these...well, I have no idea how they taste. I'm afraid Alex ate them all!
They must have bee a hit, though...they disappeared rather quickly.



I have no idea how she managed this, but she also sent shortbread! I mean, look at it...traveling as far as it did, and it looks this good! Tastes good, too...I love lavender.



And macaroons, too! I mean, they were perfect when they arrived. If they crumbled at all, it was probably from all the manhandling on my end.

Eva...this is just fantastic. Everything is perfect...truly!

Thanks for being such an amazing swap partner, and you know if you ever need anything from this part of the world, all you have to do is ask!


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Saturday, September 23, 2006

Blog Party#14: Kid's Party, the Round-Up

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Hey there! Come on in, shake off your umbrella (we would have rain here on a party night), wipe your feet on the very-cute "Wipe Your Paws" mat, and welcome to Blog Party#14!!

Tonight, it's all about the kids. It'll be loud and hot and crazy, but we'll just let the little ones run around while we, who are clearly so much more mature and dignified (ha!) congregate around the food.

Seriously; your age doesn't have to still be a single digit to let loose and have fun, and it certainly didn't keep any of you from bringing some pretty fantastic kid food tonight!

I mean it; I'm blown away at your creativity, and willingness to take this month's theme to heart. Ladies, you've done me proud.

And while only a few of tonight's guests had kids of their own to use as guinea pigs, all the appetizers and drinks you'll sample tonight should find a home in your recipe boxes; at some point, there's probably going to be a child in your home. And trust me: they need to be fed (some kind of law, or something...).

When you whip up these amazing appetizers and drinks for them, you will henceforth be called the coolest Aunt/Babysitter/Neighbor/Friend in the history of the world, believe me.

So, let's set the stage with some kid-tested and approved table settings.

Perfect for the kids (and for somewhat klutzy adults, as well...not naming names!), these sturdy, three-compartment, melamine plates (scroll down the page) are perfect for loading up with small servings of all their favorite treats. We have several for Alex, and we haven't lost one yet.



The dining table is covered in butcher paper, and there's a box filled with every color found in Nature (and many which aren't), so the kids can have fun writing their names and drawing faces while they eat.

Keeping with the hands-on theme, Etch It Cups, available in red, clear and blue. No more "Where's my drink?" meltdowns!



And we'll keep the little ones busy with their very own candy-making supplies, while we check out the food.




That's right; I load them up on sugar, and you get to take them home! It's an age-old practice, no use trying to fight it.

For the evening's music selections, I wanted something that would both appeal to the munchkins, and yet not make any of us want to perform a self-lobotomy (read: no Barney sing-alongs).

So, to start things off, the fabulous a capella stylings of The Persuasions, with On The Good Ship Lollipop. On those nights when Matt cooks, I'll sometimes find he's popped this one into the CD player! It's really that good.



For something more contemporary, there's For the Kids, with kid-friendly tunes performed by the likes of Sarah McLachlan, the Lemonheads, Tom Waits (! no foolin'), Glen Phillips (lead signer of Toad the Wet Sprocket), Cake, and more. Sarah's version of The Rainbow Connection will positively melt your heart.



Also sharing time on the speakers tonight, it's Dan Zanes and Friends with House Party; just a fun disc. I get such a kick out of this guy!



And now, let's take a look at your dishes!

First guest tonight, it's Peabody! For our party, she's reached back in her memory (we'll do the polite thing and not ask how far!) for those little animal cookies she had as a child. Using her family's recipe, Peabody's given us the most adorable Circus Cookies; they're just so darn cute, you'll want to eat them up, no matter your age.
And because plain old milk, while perfect with cookies, just didn't seem festive enough, she's also brought Hot Chocolate(that caught a cold). I love it!
Thanks for coming tonight, Peabody; now get ready to graze, 'cause there's plenty more to eat.



Yay! Sara's here! Good to see you.
Not one to let the lack of small fry keep her from the party, Sara's made a big batch of Pizza Muffins; oooh...she's even used vegetarian pepperoni! Have I mentioned how much I love pizza? I see myself eating plenty of these, so if you want one? Move now.
She's even provided some sweet stuff for the kids (right...because that's why we're here...uh-huh), with Worms and Dirt; chocolate pudding decorated with crumbled chocolate cookies, and candy worms! A perfect dessert for a small child.
And don't forget the drink; the kids are probably dehydrated from all the running around, so Sara made Swamp Juice, a multi-pop beverage that's sure to spin them into a sugar coma! Perfect. Everything looks great, Sara, so glad you could make it.



Next, it's Brilynn, with a very clever idea!
I mean, what could appeal more to a kid than Chocolate Chip Cookies Kabobs?? It's cookies, on a stick. Brilliant.
To help wash down those cookies, Brilynn's whipped up the funny-in-name-only, Monkey Milk; a nice thick shake made from banana ice cream, milk, chocolate powder and ice. Love it!
Thank you so much for coming tonight, Brilynn!



Look, it's Cin! Come on out of the rain, don't you know there's a Flash Food Warning going on? Let's get you in here, and dried off...and I'm more than happy to take those very cute Puff Pastry Animals off your hands...yes, hand them over, and no one gets hurt!
Seriously, a blindingly simple idea, but clearly so very tasty. Great job, Cin...and I'm loving those cookie cutters!



Here's Helene, and you are absolutely going to love what's she's brought for us!
Turning to the classic fairy tales for inspiration, she's created Snow White Caramel Apples; beautiful spun caramel decorating gorgeous red apples. I asked for whimsical, and Helene delivered!
She's also carted in mugs of Hot Chocolate, with whipped cream and a dash of nutmeg; sounds good to me.
Helene, I'm very happy you could be here tonight!



Jenni comes next, and I owe her a hug: anyone who can get as gung-ho about Blog Party as I do deserves it!
The (said with fondness) crazy girl really went to town, putting together a pretty tasty menu for tonight, and we reap the rewards! She's brought cute little pastry cups filled with Mini Meatballs, the must-try Cheesy Polenta Fries, Oatmeal Cookies with tiny cups of Raspberry Ice Cream, and even a Kir Royale Mocktale!
Wow, everything is fantastic...I'm not sure what to try first.
So very happy you could be here tonight, Jenni!




With a name like Barbie2Be, how could our next guest not attend tonight's party?
Getting in touch with her inner-child, Barbie2Be made very yummy Tortillas Wraps (I have a strange fondness for these things, must be because my parents never made them), the kid-friendly Ants On a Log (I packed some in Alex's lunch last week!), and some gorgeous Old Fashioned Pink Lemonade.
It all looks so good! I'm calling dibs on the red tortilla wraps...thanks for coming!




And here comes I-Ling...welcome! This may be a party for the kids, but I know we're all anxious to see what you brought with you!
Oooh...take a look! I-Ling has cute little cups of Honey Joys (I can see a new addiction forming here), the beautiful Agar-Agar Santan, little Pigs in a Blanket, and Ham, Cheese, and Pineapple Mini Tarts. Wow...it all looks so good!
Not forgetting the 'cocktail', or in this case, 'mocktail' part of our party, I-Ling's also mixed up some soda water with Ribena; now, I'd not heard of this before tonight, so I looked it up (god bless the Internet): it's a blackcurrant drink! Sounds good to me.
So happy to have you here tonight!



Hooray! Heather made it the party! Good to have you with us.
And I know we're all going to love Heather's currently-unnamed Snack Mix; a combination of Halloween M&M's (yes, they do make a difference...I bought them on impulse just the other day!), pretzels and Goldfish crackers, and honey-roasted peanuts. I love snack mixes...always have...and this one's a keeper!
Thank you for coming, Heather.




Last through the door tonight, it's Ulrike...so glad you could make it; I know it's a long flight (and boy, are your arms tired...ha, ha). This month's Blog Party worked out well for her, as her son celebrated a birthday around the same time: let's all wish Ulrike's boy a very happy birthday, ok?
So, to celebrate both events, she's made some yummy Mini Carrot Muffins with Cheese...can't wait to try them!
Ulrike's also brought a lot of Fruchttiger, which is apparently the thing to drink, if you're a kid...sounds good to me!
Thank you so much for coming, Ulrike!

STOP THE MUSIC!!!

I'm not sure what, exactly, happened. I can't blame it on intoxication because 1. this is a party for kids, and 2. I don't drink!

I don't think she's the type to play wallflower, hiding in the corner, either.

Well, I'm putting it down to party-planning stress, I suppose.

Whatever the reason, it seems I've completely forgotten a guest! And I'm so terribley ashamed...this is not a common practice at Blog Party, you know.


Without further ado, please give a huge 'I'm so terribly sorry I didn't see you' welcome to Johanna! And I was so very happy to see she'd found time to fit my little cocktail party into her always-busy schedule, so what do I do? Forget she's there!
Well, I know you're all going to want to flog me with a wet noodle, because you almost missed on out Johanna's fab Mini-Hamburgers; perfect little gourmet burgers that kids will think are neat, and the adults will thank whichever god they pray to for a truly good burger!
Johanna, please forgive me? I'm doing penance by tackling a grungy kitchen; say it's punishment enough??
And a big thank you for coming...don't let my miscue keep you from coming back again!


I had a lot of fun with this one, I have to tell you.



We'll start off with Teddy Bear Snack Mix; little graham teddies, with honey-graham cereal, potato sticks (is it wrong that I wanted to eat the whole can?), mixed with (vegetarian) Worcestershire sauce, melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon, toasted in the oven for a few minutes, then mixed with raisins and peanut butter chips. Fun.




Next, Vegetarian Ham and Gruyere Waffle Sandwiches.

Thinly sliced Gruyere, veggie deli slices, toasted between two full-sized waffles, then cut into shapes. Waffles? Toasted cheese? Cookie cutters? Hee. And of course, you can use the real thing here; we're 2:1 vegetarian in our house!



Ramekins of Creamy Macaroni & Cheese

What's more kid-friendly than mac & cheese? Here, cream cheese and white cheddar melted, mixed with elbow macaroni, then baked, with a crunchy bread crumb topping, and served in appetizer-approved ramekins.

With all that cheese, I'm sure you'll need something refreshing to drink, so try this Raspberry Cooler.



Pureed raspberries, shaken with pineapple, lemon and lime juices. Tangy, and the M&M's straw just makes it more fun.

And of course there's dessert!



Cookie Pizza!



Sugar cookie dough (my mom's secret recipe), pressed into a Springform pan and baked, then topped with 'tomato sauce' (red-colored frosting), then coated with 'mozzarella cheese' (white candy melts) and topped with red, green, yellow and orange 'peppers' (Dots), 'olives' (black licorice), 'anchovies' (Swedish fish), and 'tomatoes' (maraschino cherries).

I can only hope you have half as much fun eating it as I did making it!

Well, that wraps it up for tonight; I think we'd best get the little ones home before something breaks...be it pottery from the china hutch, or an ulna!

A huge thank you to every one of you for really coming through this month: your appetizers, and drinks, were truly amazing! I'm beyond impressed.

And in just eight more days, I'll be announcing the theme for October's Blog Party...I do hope you'll not only come back, but bring a friend!

And this is unprecedented for Blog Party: I'm giving you a hint about our next theme: you'll want to dust off your (non-cook) book shelves!!




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