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, January 20, 2008

Blog Party#30: Veggie-Friendly---The Round-Up


Come on in, and welcome to our 30th Blog Party! I'm so glad you could make it: this is one of our biggest parties yet, and you won't believe how much food we have here tonight!

I'll put your coat right here...make yourself at home! You'll meet the other guests soon, but first let's set the mood for the night.

On the stereo this evening, we've a rather eclectic mix, starting with Fruit: Live at the Basement

then switching to the wonderfully psychedelic sounds of Ultimate Spinach

and finishing up with The Definitive Chuck Berry Collection

. See? Even our music is vegetarian!

It's depressingly chilly here right now, and while the combination of a cranked up thermostat and warm bodies should keep us comfortable, I just couldn't resist lighting a few candles. Especially when the candles look like apples, plums and pears!

This bowl was just so pretty...it's decorated with fruits, vegetables and herbs. Perfect!

And the perfect place to keep the napkins...this eggplant-shaped dish!

That's taken care of, time to meet our guests! And boy, do we have a full house tonight. And everyone of you has knocked my high-heeled shoes off with your amazing vegetarian dishes! I asked for meat-free appetizers, and you answered the call. I'm awed at the range of bite-sized, veggie-friendly, offerings tonight! For the first time in over two years, I will be able to try each & every one of them. Trust me, I had a light lunch in anticipation!

First one through the door tonight, it's Sarah!
Proving you don't have to be a vegetarian to eat like one, Sarah's brought a gorgeous & refreshing Cucumber Salad for us. Light, crunchy, and a perfect way to start the party. To go with, she's also set up a pitcher of Grapefruit Spritzer...yum! This is guaranteed to go quickly.
So happy you could come tonight, Sarah!

Next we have the wonderfully-named Greedy Gourmet...welcome!
Normally I begin with the appetizer, but I was so taken with her beautiful Blackberry & Yoghurt Smoothie, I had to skip to the 'cocktail' part first! Blackberries are in my top five favorite fruits, and with the chill in the air here, anything that reminds me of summer makes me happy.
But yes, GG's also serving up these adorable summer-on-a-stick bites, made up of tomatoes, cheese and basil. Perfectly pop-able!
Thanks so much for coming tonight!

Brilynn makes her much-antipated return to Blog Party tonight...and as she's a confirmed meat-lover (ask her about her fondness for bacon!), I'm especially happy she's here.
And tonight she's serving up one of my favorite dips, a Roasted Red Pepper Hummus with veggies. Hope you brought lots!
As for the libation, Bri's got some Kiwi Banana Smoothie Shots; we'll have to save one for Alex!
Good to have you back, Brilynn.

Lysy's next, and oh my...I can't wait to get started on her Blog Party offerings! I love bagels, no matter what you do to them, so her Bagel Chips with Black Bean Tomato Salsa and Marinated Mushrooms are a must-try.
She's serving that up with some Chocolate-Orange Liqueur over ice (not that you'll need it around here...brr!); I've got the glasses all ready!
Thanks so much for coming tonight, Lysy!

Next, it's the return of Judith! She simply had to be here tonight, my fellow veg-head, and I know you'll all be happy she is when you sample her simple but succulent Grilled Tortillas Wedges with Fancy Mustard. To put it midly, drool.
And another fantastic 'cocktail', Judith has the fixin's for Peanut Butter Banana Smoothies...good thing we just got that new blender!
So happy you could make it tonight, Judith.

Mary's next, and I don't know if she called upon the powers of Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles & Mercury for her offering or not, but either way I know you'll be happy to taste it.
Mary's got a Roasted Pepper Spread with Goat Cheese & Herbs. Oh, goody! We've got plenty of bread, and the grill is nice and hot.
To wash it down, she's concocted a nifty beverage, Little Mary Sunshines. Love it.
Thank you for being here tonight, Mary!

Here's Lisa! And wow...she went all-out for us tonight, bringing along four appetizers and a drink. We're eating well tonight, folks!
First, Lisa's got a beautiful Carrot Ginger Mint Martini...will you look at that color?!
And she has a lovely range of bites for us, too...vegan Galloping Horses, Peanut Sauce Flatbread, Steamed Gyoza, and Coconut Tofu Rice Cakes. Whew!
Fantastic, Lisa...I'll be sampling them all. Good to have you here!

Anna's next, and I'm loving her little bites...they look like art!
These Watermelon & Feta Squares are almost too pretty to eat. I said, almost.
And turning necessity into something delicious...and for us!...she also has a huge pitcher of Nectarine & Rooibus Punch.
It's all so good, Anna, so very happy you could come. And feel free to send some of that summer weather our way, ok?

Another fabulous name, it's Tart Reform! And she's brought along some ooey-gooey goodness in the form of some Apple-Slathered German Potato Pancakes. See? Those napkins will come in handy!
And for such a homey-sounding bite, what could go better than a drink called Sitting on the Porch? Love it!
Just fabulous, TR, and a nice change of pace, too. Glad you could come!

A bit of magic just came through the door with the arrival of Pixie! I say that because her Quesadillas seem to have put a spell on me...I can't stop eating them!
Ok, I promise to save some for you...
And she's brought everything we need for Sangria, fortunately, I have pitchers to spare!
Thank you for coming, Pixie!

Elizabeth's the next to arrive, and it's a good thing I have a hefty supply of tiny plates, because you won't wont to miss this gorgeous Carrot & Radish Salad with Almond-Crusted Goat's Milk Cheese. Oh, my. Divine.
She's also pouring out some heavenly-scented Banana-Almond Milkshakes. Chilly, but worth it!
It's just wonderful, Elizabeth, thanks so much!

Oh, yes, we have more guests...and more food, and the next is Ivy!
Thankfully, she's switched to English, because my knowledge of Greek stops at the end of a menu. But her Koupes With Mushrooms are worth the translation! New to me, but wrap just about anything up in a dough, and I'm sold.
Thanks for making such a long trip to be with us tonight, Ivy!

Sara's back! And she's got a couple of treats for us tonight. First, Open-Faced Tomato Sandwiches on Biscuits; I agree, a sandwich just tastes better with tomato!
Next, she has these super-cute Mango-Cucumber Wraps; edible presents! Love them.
And to drink? How about a Ginger-Cranberry Cocktail? Sweet and tart, at the same time.
Good to have you back, Sara!

Our next guest might win the prize for 'Blog Name that Made Stephanie Laugh the Hardest'; it's MK99. Hee.
She's serving up a couple of treats for us tonight, and putting a nice veggie twist on an old favorite in the process. Make sure you try her Sweet Potato Hummus! How neat.
She also has a French Onion Tart (again, lots of small plates here!), as well the tropical Sangria Fizz
So glad you could come, MK99...and I'm still laughing!

Tonight's party marks the retun of Haalo...hooray! She's taken our veggie-friendly theme a step beyond, bringing both a vegan dish and bite.
But you won't miss the beef when you get a taste of her Strawberry & Basil Compote. I mean...just look at it!
Of course, her Cherry Delight evokes much the same reaction...perhaps I'm missing the spring & summer weather...and it's bounties...more than I thought?!
Haalo, always lovely to have you here!

We're not done yet! More people, more food...and here comes Gabi! She claims to have gone retro with her dish tonight, but can you think of a more appropriate setting for retro food?
She's starting us off with some Baked Garlic Olive Balls in a Cumin Chile Cheese Crust; how can something so tiny be such a mouthful??!?
Ok, Gabi...you get best drink name for your Marshall Plan Cocktail! Now, what shall we conquer?
Thanks so much for coming tonight, Gabi.

She has a ways to travel, so she's always concerned about being late. But this time, J got here with plenty of time to spare! Late, early, or right on time, J always makes sure we have plenty to eat, and going Veggie-Friendly hasn't changed that one bit.
Tonight, she has some wonderful Loaded Skins, as well as these delicate Creamy Leek Tarts. There's spoonfuls of Butternut Squash Risotto and the tongue-twisting Truffly Camembert-Stuffed Mushrooms.
Wait! There's more!
She's also brought this decadent Gruyere Cheese Fondue, and dainty Mushroom Pizzas!
Because by now you need a swig of something to wash all that down, J also has some very pretty Flowering Jasmine White Tea.
Impressive, as always, J...thank you!

Our very last guest, but just as special as the rest, here's Liudwih! This theme was no trouble at all for this Everyday Veggie! And I am loving her crispy Smoked Tofu Bites! Yummy, indeed. Don't worry...I've been pacing myself.
Liudwih's got a couple of drinks for us to choose from, a Cinnamon Schnapps-Spiked Apple Cider and a lovely Sherbet-Topped OJ & Sprite. Hot & cold options!
Just wonderful, Liudwih, thanks for coming tonight!

I know you're just about to explode from all that food (remind yourself it's mostly good for you), but I have a few things to add to the table. What kind of hostess would I be if I didn't?

First, a sort of de-constructed sushi (and you know how much I love sushi!) with Pickled Ginger-Wrapped Avocado Bites, served with a soy sauce/sesame oil dip. Bright and creamy; yum.

Next, Stir-Fried Green Beans on Tortillas; a very Asian approach to the basic bean. Loads of flavors, quickly cooked, and wrapped in warm tortillas.

A White Bean & Rosemary Dip; pretty basic stuff. Garlic and rosemary heated in olive oil, tossed with beans, pureed and topped with oil and paprika. Served with tiny pitas.

Finally, Basil Leaves Stuffed with Goat Cheese & Pine Nuts; super-easy. Herbed goat cheese mixed with a bit of cream, scooped into basil leaves, topped first with toasted pine nuts and then chopped tomato. Little boats of goodness.

And more flowering tea! It fits the theme, and hey...it is cold in this part of the country. We have plenty to go 'round, so help yourself.

Wow This has been amazing. It's one of the biggest crowds we've seen here in some time, and I'm guessing many elastic waistbands will be worn tomorrow!

You've all knocked it out of the park, ladies: this dishes and drinks were fantastic, and I offer my heartfelt thanks for treating me...and all the other guests...to such high-quality meatless fare.

There's still lots of food on the table, the drinks are flowing freely, and many new friends to get acquainted with. So, stick around, enjoy the night, and I thank each and every one of you for coming tonight!

Tomorrow, I will send an email to you all, giving you a 'sneak peak' at February's theme, and I do hope you'll come back then.

Tagged with: + + + + + + + + + + + +

16 Thoughts for food:

At 2:27 AM, Anonymous LisaRene said...

Stephanie, Thank you for your effort in hosting this wonderful event. I've enjoyed participating and plan to visit all the other participants blogs for a close up look at what they prepared for the Veggie Friendly Cocktail party!

At 2:30 AM, Blogger Anna said...

excellent round-up.
good to see there are so many thirsty/hungry bloggers out there!

At 10:47 AM, Blogger Judith said...

Wow, this is so exciting!!

Thanks as always for hosting, and by the way, I sympathise fully on the shivering and the tea drinking. I have drafty windows so it's impossible to get the temp up in this apartment. This week the windchill has consistently been minus twenty or below when I wake up, and I have to wear five layers and a hat indoors! C'mon March, c'mon...

At 1:53 PM, Blogger Gabi said...

Thanks so much Stephanie- for another fab party and roundup!
Glad you get to try all the offerings this time around.
See ya next time!

At 8:50 PM, Blogger Brilynn said...

I'm making an effort to get back into blogging events, so let's hear the next theme already!!

Those basil bites look awesome!

At 4:54 AM, Blogger Pixie said...

What a fabulous party, thanks for hosting Stephanie and providing a pitcher. :)

At 9:46 AM, Blogger Mary said...

This was really fun. Thanks for hosting it!
I want some of those basil bites too!

At 7:12 PM, Blogger Cakelaw said...

Great5 roundup as ever Steph. Love the frosted fruit candles - they looked good enough to eat!

At 3:39 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Lisarene, you're so welcome!

At 3:40 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Anna, there will never be a shortage of bloggers willing to eat tasty bites, trust me!

At 3:42 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Hi Judith!

I know...so many things we can eat!

Well, we do have an old home (almost eighty, the dear) with ten foot ceilings so the air rises...eh. But mostly, it's the weather! Fifteen when the guys left this morning. Fifteen...in the South! If I were still in PA, I wouldn't think twice but this is nuts. Particularly with the absence of snow...

At 3:42 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

No, thank you, Gabi! I had a blast, seeing all the innovative meat-free bites. So much to try!

At 3:43 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Brilynn, it should be in your mail even now.

They were good, too...

At 3:43 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Pixie, you are so welcome!

Hey, so long as you bring the food and drink, I can always rustle up an extra plate, glass, whatever.

At 3:45 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Hi Mary, thanks!

Those bail bites are so easy, it's almost criminal. Seriously. Goat cheese mixed with a bit of cream, seasoned. Spooned onto basil leaves. Topped with toasted pine nuts, which are pressed into the cheese, then chopped tomato. Pinch the sides, and eat!

At 3:45 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Hi Cakelaw!

Aren't they adorable?


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