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, July 26, 2008

Blog Party#36: Blogger's Choice---the Round-Up


Hello, and welcome to the third anniversary of Blog Party!!

Wow...three years, 36 parties. Can you believe it? My obsession with appetizer plates coupled with a compulsion to entertain, not to mention a serious lack of nearby pals; I never dreamed it would add up to this. A virtual cocktail party, I wasn't sure it would catch on. But here we are, three years later, and we're still having fun!

Tonight, it's about you, the guests. I know I've thrown out some wacky themes in the past, and you bravely, resolutely, head to the kitchen and come up with wonderful & amazing dishes and drinks, time and again. To show my appreciation, this party is for you. A chance to bring your favorite small bites, your gotta have cocktails. As always, you didn't disappoint!

We'll get to the food soon, but first let's take a moment to go over the music for the evening.

What's a good way to get the evening going? How about some Xavier Cugat?

Another in the series, but equally appropriate, we've got Anita O'Day!

And while there's only one guy with us tonight, I couldn't help but add this, as well: Music for a Bachelor's Den. Ok...corny title, but good music!

And of course, I picked out the best decorations and accessories I could find.

Because I know my crowd (!), I had to get these adorable Pink Elephant Swizzle Sticks; what? I didn't say anything!!

No theme, but it's summer (in North America, at least), it's hot, and I'm in the mood for something fun. So this set of napkins and plates seems perfect...and so colorful!

And these party lights give the place a very 'summer breeze' kind of feel; you know, if the summer breeze was equal to a nice, cooking air conditioner!

And now it's time to get to the 'good' stuff: the food!

We have a really good crowd tonight, with a nice mixture of regulars, occasional visitors, and new guests...it's good to see you all!

We have a first-timer tonight, and boy...did you pick a good night to come!
Everyone give a warm Blog Party welcome to ts! I have to say, for her debut, she really nailed it. Some gorgeous Pineapple with Basil & Balsamic Reduction...fresh, summer taste, and so pretty!
And those Pineapple Sorbetto Coolers are definitely going to be a hit.
ts, I am so happy you could join us tonight!

Natashya's next, and she's in a spicy mood!
Figuring the best way to battle the heat was with more heat, she's got some fiery Stuffed Jalapeno Bites...watch out, they're hot!
To cool your tonsils, she's also got a large picture of Strawberry Margaritas, which I think you'll need after one of those peppers.
Wonderful to see you again, Natashya!

That was Melody ringing the doorbell, and oooh...I know you're going to want to try her fascinating-sounding Italian Nachos, too! How very clever! Definitely writing down that recipe.
You're going to pucker up after trying one of her Limonecllo-spiked Lemonades, too...but I consider that a good thing!
So glad you could make it, Melody!

Making that long flight, here's Cakelaw!
I'm not sure how she did it (then again, she is well-versed in legal-ese), Cakelaw managed to get these yummy Orange, Hazelnut & Sultana Buns past customs, just for us! To quote popular slang, in a peculiarly appropriate setting, 'break me off a piece of that'.
She's serving a festive-looking Pimms with Lemonade for us, too...so get in line!
Cakelaw, it's always good to see you!

From one of my favorite places I've never been, it's Deb!
And ooh, she's got some real treats for us tonight. Take a look at these Wasabi Shrimp Cucumber Bites, for example, or the Seared Sesame Ahi on Shiso, or the Spicy Oishi Edamame!
Deb's not finished, though...she thought we needed something sweet, so she stuck a freezer pack in her carry-on just to cart these lovely Mochi Ice Creams. In this heat? Yes, please!
That's a lot of flavor, I know, so do try the Sake Drop she's got over there, too.
Deb, great to have you back!

Do not adjust your monitor: that really is J stepping inside! The fates collided, or something, because she's not running in at the last moment...in fact, she's right on time!
I think she likes my themes; they give her some structure. But left to her own devices, she certainly does alright. Tonight, she's serving up a 'J' feast!
There's Jam Tarts, little Jacket Potatoes with Grated Jarlsberg Cheese, heart-shaped Jaffa Cakes, and Jelly Babies! (flashback to season 4 of Coupling now...)
That truly is a mouthful, so you'll definitely want a glass of Raspberry & Apple J2O.
As always, J, you knock my socks off. You know, if I were actually wearing any...thanks for coming!

Everyone say 'hi' to Kellypea! It's her very first Blog Party...so play nice!
She took some simple and wonderful ingredients, and brought us the delicious Baked Ricotta & Sauteed Herbed Olives you see before you. Mmm...after you guys see what I'm serving tonight, you're really going to appreciate this lighter fare!
A nice California Rose rounds it out; kellpea, an excellent way to make a Blog Party entrance...thanks so much for coming!

Next, it's my retro partner-in-crime, Mary!
Despite suffering from a back injury (where are her minions, I ask?), she got all hip & cool on us with these craving-satisfying Mad Men Brownies! (I so have to watch that show)
What Bourbon not used in making those brownies is now being poured in the dining room, so grab a tumbler!
Mary, thrilled you could make it tonight!

Gabi's back!
And I'm sticking close...at least, I'm keeping an eye on her platter, because I confess I'm lusting after her Baked Feta Wonton Cups. Wontons? Cheese? I'm so there.
She's also serving up the fun-to-say Kempinsky Fizz, so get in line!
Gabi, always a pleasure!

Haalo's back...yay!
And she's got something a little different for us, these almost-too good to eat Lemon Madeleine's. Save one for me!
Be sure to grab an Italian Coffee, too...before they disappear.
It's all delightful, Haalo...thanks so much for being here tonight.

Another new-comer tonight, and surpise!, it's a Fella!
Everyone give John a big Blog Party-style 'hello'.
Tonight, he's doing weird & wonderful things with watermelon; substituting that summer staple for the tomato in a Watermelon Bruschetta. I'm intrigued!
Despite being a Northerner (and from the 'Burgh, to boot!), he's got a big pitcher of the very Southern-sounding Citrus-Spiked Tea.
In this heat, it won't last long!
John, I'm so very happy you could come!

Of course, I couldn't let you guys do all the work, so I've a few bites to pass around, as well.

Mini Caprese Sandwiches

Take your basic caprese salad, down-size, place the components on slices of baguette, and grill. Wonderful crunch from the bread, with that refreshing mix of basil and tomato inside, tempered by the mellowness from the smoked mozzarella.

Tater Tot Pakoras

Now, don't laugh! This is disturbingly good. I give all credit to Matt; it was his idea.
Your basic Ore-Ida tater tots, dipped in pakora batter, and fried. Served with an Indian-spiced ketchup. Yes, it's sick and wrong...but having said that, I don't want to be right!

Tandoori Chicken Kebabs with Raita Cubes

The basic kebab gets the Indian treatment, lots of spices. To go with, a simple raita served in a cucumber cube.

The Dark Knight

Face it, Bruce Wayne can't drink. This is one determined, focused, guy. He's always thinking, always on his toes. He faces down the worst Gotham has to offer. He may act the playboy, but we all know it's an act.
He'd be more likely to down a glass of sports drink, to keep up with his electrolytes.
But that Bat-signal's never far from his mind...

Ok, you guys? ROCK! I'm so happy you could be here tonight, to help me celebrate this milestone. It's been a wonderful party...the food, the drinks, and most of all...the company. I thank you all.

I've got some really great themes planned for this next year. The next twelve months are going to be a mix of new and old. Every other month, we're going to revisit some of my favorite themes from that first year of Blog Party, alternating with something entirely new. I've picked the best those twelve months had to offer, and I've come up with some fantastic new ideas, too.

Next month will be a return to Year One, and it's one of my absolute favorites. I hope you'll be as excited by it as I am...look for details 1 August.

Ok, enjoy the rest of the evening, don't worry about the dishes, and the number for the taxi company is on speed-dial.

See you all back here next month!!!

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

18 Thoughts for food:

At 3:52 AM, Blogger kellypea said...

Quite the shindig, Stephanie! Love the lights! It's way past my bedtime, but I stuffed myself (especially on those tater tots...)and sneaked one too many a piece of Mary's Mad Men Brownies. I'm going to need a crane to get to bed. But at least I'll have pleasant dreams of Bruce Wayne...*sigh* Until next time!

At 4:41 AM, Blogger Debinhawaii said...

Stephanie, Your Blog Parties are worth the long flight! The music was perfect, the decorations fab, the company outstanding and OH MY all the delicious food! I am going to have to ask for a seatbelt extender for the flight back home. Hope you don't mind me taking the last few mini-capreses I put in my bag--I hate airplane food! Can't wait to see the theme for the next one!

PS. Anyone who makes a cucumber square is aces in my book!

At 5:20 AM, Blogger J said...

Oooh another spectacular evening, Stephanie! Ran around sampling all the goodies as ever. And just loving your lemon bat symbol, having a penchant for bats. Have already checked out the first year in an attempt to preempt the themes. Well knowing me, I have to get my mis-en-place together.

At 10:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

...and to think I almost missed this!!! Oh, I promise I will be a punctual guest from this point forward!!
Quite the Hostess you are...the decor, the mood lighting and the music...Xavier Cugat, Love it!!!
Everyone's bites and Bevs were fantastic, I have already started a blog party recipe file!!!!

At 1:56 PM, Blogger Gabi said...

Thank you for another excellent Blog Party Stephanie! I was glad to see so many new guests along with the returning friends. Can't wait to start the fourth season og Blog Party off with you all :)

At 3:02 PM, Blogger Melody said...

Great party, as usual.


At 10:42 PM, Blogger Natashya said...

Great party Stephanie. I may have had too many brownies..... did anyone find my other shoe?

At 8:50 AM, Blogger Haalo said...

Now that truly is a feast!

At 7:01 PM, Blogger _ts of [eatingclub] vancouver said...

What a great party! =D Wow, you did 3 dishes. I must say, those raita cubes re the kEwL-est!


Oh hey, say Hi to JS too! =)

At 8:57 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Hi Kelly...thanks!

Look, it's one night a month; I think we all deserve those few hours of indulgence, right?

BW dream...nice.

At 8:59 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Deb, you are always welcome here!

Glad you could use them; no matter how much we consume during the party, I find the refrigerator stuffed with food Sunday morning!

Wasn't that the cutest?

At 9:00 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

J, thanks! Got a bit tricky; that was my second attempt.

I hope you find inspiration..

At 9:12 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

John, we'll be happy to have you with us!!!

At 9:13 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Hi Gabi!!

It's always good to get some fresh faces, isn't it? But I'd miss all my old BP'ers if they weren't here!

Our 4th year is going to be good; I promise.

At 9:14 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thanks, Melody!

At 9:15 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Natashya; that's between you & your digestive system!!

Sorry, haven't recovered a lone shoe yet, but I'll let you know...

At 9:15 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Haalo...no one goes hungry at Blog Party!!

At 9:16 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Hi ts! And js, too!

I often make several dishes; I am the hostess, after all.


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