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.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Blog Party#15: Literary Party, The Round-Up


(apologies: I've been fighting with Blogger for hours!)

Welcome to Blog Party#15!

Small group tonight, but that's ok. We went a bit high-brow this time, so a drop in attendance was expected.

Actually, it's just about right for a meeting of a book club! How ironic.

Well, tonight's party is all about books. There's a real challenge there, selecting the music. So, I decided to stick with the artsy theme, playing selections from A Midsummer Night's Dream

and Songs Inspired by Literature, Chapter One.

(Get it? Music inspired by books!)

It's a bit chilly here tonight, so in addition to all our wonderful cocktails, the coffee pot's plugged in, and there's water in the kettle for tea. And for those warm beverages, mugs from Jasper Fforde, author of the Thursday Next and Nursery Crimes novels (and quite possibly my favorite author).

I've set up this Deluxe Librarian Action Figure as a centerpiece; I love the stacks of books and the rolling cart!

That, of course, is surrounded by action figures of some true literary greats: Edgar Allan Poe

Jane Austen

Oscar Wilde

and Charles Dickens!

Hey, you're never too old to play with dolls...

And now for the guests!

I asked you to come up with appetizers and drinks inspired by your favorite books, and boy...did you come through.

First tonight, it's Peabody, who manages to make everyone...including her husband...happy with her Moma's Peanut Butter Cookies. Honey, you're not alone...I think we've all taken spoon to bowl a few times in our lives! (And between you and me, I would have been perfectly happy with the Swedish fish...).
She's sticking with the 'sweet' and 'candy' theme for these Tootsie Rolls; make mine a virgin, please!
So glad you could be here, and I'll be sure to check out Candy and Me soon!

Next it's Barbie2be, channeling her inner-impulse shopper with Under the Tuscan Sun. For tonight's party, she's created a little bit of Italy with these her gorgeous Peach Bellinis, and her oh-so tasty Herbed Tomato Crostini.
It's just perfect, Barbie...and I can't wait to dig in!

Here comes Sara, and she's expanding our horizons with her party inspiration, Home From the Vinyl Cafe: A Year of Stories. So, to tie into the turkey story, Sara's made some Turkey Quesadillas, as well as some adorable Nutella Tarts. Yum!
To finish up these holiday-themed treats, she's also brought several bottles of Eggnog! Hey, if stores can begin selling Christmas decorations in July, we can have eggnog in October.
It's all wonderful, Sara...thanks for coming!

Despite being super-busy at work, as well as trying to refresh my long-forgotten German language skills, Ulrike pulled another great dish together for Blog Party. She was inspired by Blackberry Wine, from the author of Chocolat, which is lucky for us. Because Ulrike has the cutest little Edible Soup Bowls filled with Leek Soup! My stomach's growling just thinking about them.
And what could be more appropriate for tonight than a bottle of Blackberry Wine??
Excellent, Ulrike...thanks so much for making the time to be here tonight!

And here's Brilynn, with a true literary classic: The Little Prince. In honor of this fantastic novel, Brilynn got creative and made this Lemony Starfruit Kuchen; I'm sure the Little Prince would love it.
And I'm already in line for the some Prince's Punch!
It's all wonderful, Brilynn; so happy you could come tonight!

Next, it's Helen, who's had a heck of a week. That she managed to swing by Blog Party at all is a wonder! But I know we're all happy she's here. Helen found inspiration, and maybe a little strength, in Eat Cake, which is why we're fortunate to have these Sweet Potato Cakes with Spiked Sugar Glaze; your drink's in the frosting!
Thanks so much for being here tonight, Helen...and shoulders to lean on and hugs are here if you need them.

Last one through the door, but knowing how to make an entrance (so long as she can avoid falling or getting her clothes wet,a la her literary inspiration!) is Emma.
Emma's taken Bridget Jones's Diary to heart tonight, coming up with the wonderfully wacky and fabulously retro Hedgehog! Love it.simplyly love it.
Emma claims Bridget would love this cocktail...I say, this crowd of ladies will, too! It's the Mr. Darcy...yum. Pimms with ginger ale, and a strawberry. Cheeky!
Thanks so much, Emma!

I admit, I got a bit carried away tonight.

See...I love books. Books are like friends to me. Books helped me survive a lot of crap growing up. I just love 'em, and I simply wasn't able to narrow them down to just one.

So tonight, I give you dishes from three different books.

First, from one of my favorite children's books, Alice in Wonderland,
a chance to change (dress) sizes!

Eat Me Cakes and the all-encompassing flavors of a bottle of Drink Me!

Instead of currants, I used these cute playing card shapes to form the words.

I just couldn't bring myself to puree a turkey dinner for this, but I did manage to combine several of the flavors Alice described!

Next, from Ian Fleming's From Russia with Love (one of my favorite Bond novels), Chocolates and Champagne

Hand-made chocolates; filled with peanut butter, chocolate and hazelnuts, and raspberry.

With a glass of champagne, Tania learns it will be her job to seduce the very handsome British secret service agent, James Bond. While wearing only a black ribbon around her neck!

And finally, culling from Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe stories, Griddle Cakes Topped Three Ways.

Wonderful little griddle cakes ( A Window for Death), made with equal parts flour and cornmeal

topped with Greek Honey ( The Mother Hunt), home-made Grape-Thyme Jelly ( Death of a Doxy), and Shirred Eggs ( The League of Frightened Men)

Well, that about does it. It's been a great night; a night of books and food and friends.

Thank you so much for coming, and I do hope you'll be back in November for our next Blog Party!

Tagged with: + + + + + + + +

6 Thoughts for food:

At 11:22 PM, Blogger Helene said...

Once again, thanks for organizing. It was challenging and fun, and I like that about food and cooking! I put an end to my bad week y havinf one too many cocktails at a party tonight! As a good girl, I did so after finishing putting th fondant on the cake...for real, no pun!

At 12:59 PM, Blogger barbie2be said...

what a wonderful and yummy batch of dishes this month! i can't wait to see what's up for next months party. :)

At 12:49 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Helene...I put you in a cab afterwards, didn't I??? Can't have you driving home like that!

Seriously, happy you liked it, and I'm glad you've got that week behind you.

At 12:50 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thanks, Barbie!

And you won't have to wait long...just about a week!

At 4:45 PM, Blogger na said...

what a gorgeous spread of dishes from everyone! I was trying to pick out a favourite, but the more I scrolled down, the harder it became! Every single dish was thoughtful and very inventive! Good on you all, a brilliant team effort!

At 11:47 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...


Thank you!

We usually have some amazing entries...you should consider coming out for next month's party!


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