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, August 23, 2008

Blog Party#37: Retro Party Redux---the Round-Up


Hello ladies! And welcome to Blog Party.

I see everyone is dressed in their party finest, and may I say you look positively lovely? And thank goodness I didn't wear the same dress !

I see a wonderful range here tonight, with a definite slant towards the War years and the late Sixties. I've selected music that's firmly in the middle of those periods, starting with Cocktail Hour: Swing Time.

There the wonderful box set-y goodness of Cocktail Hour with Dean Martin (not real creative about naming these things, are they?).

Despite the lack of um, gentlemen here tonight, I could not pass up the wonderfulness of Bachelor in Paradise: Cocktail Classics from MGM Films.

And finally, and one of the reasons I started Blog Party, from the fabulous Ultra-Lounge collection, Bossa Novaville!

Drinks are ready, set up on the bar...help yourself!

Speaking of, no cocktail party would be complete without a good shaker!

And with all those drinks, and so many wonderful bites to eat, we need lots of napkins. Well, I just had to get these!

Be careful of the woodwork, ladies...this grande dame of a house is covered in it, but refuses to show her age. So be sure to grab one of these very cute coasters.

Now, I know we're all on our best, lady-like, behavior, but let's be honest...it's really about the food! So let's get to it.

Natshaya's the first one in *kiss kiss*, welcome dah-ling!
And, oh! Did she ever bring the retro with her Egg Salad Accordions! It's...perfection!
And her very classic Bellinis are a fantastic way to start the evening.
It's so very good to see you, Natashya!

Silvermoon Dragon's the next one to arrive, although she's left the children behind for a night out with the grown-ups, she's not about to pass up a little child-labor help getting ready!
So she's brought along these palm-sized Mini Quiches...yum!
And while she doesn't think she's serving up anything spectacular, after all the alcohol that's likely to be consumed tonight, her endless Pot of Coffee will be a welcome sight.
Wonderful to have you back!

Deb's here, and she's kicking off a bit of a Sixties trend for the party.
I was positively floored when she shared her inspiration for tonight's goodies; a Campbell's soup recipe book! Love it.
There's the Pizza-Flavored Hot Cheese Dunk, the Chicken Cheese Teasers, a (questionable?) Beef Fizz, and the soon-to-be appreciated Frozen Daiquiris. Bravo, Deb! And I'll absolutely get those tunes on tonight, promise. Good to see you!

Lysy's back! And she's taking us back a couple of decades, with a return to the War years. Rations-savy, she's serving up a few treats for the young-at-heart. Her Open-Faced Grated Cheese & Carrot, and Mock Banana Sandwiches are intriguing!
Her cute little Jam-filled Tarts are sure to please, and I personally can't wait to taste the not-in-the US Lemon & Orange Squash.
Thanks for the history lesson, Lysy!

Judith is back!
Her take on retro food went the way of comfort and nostaliga; my favorites. So, she's brought us the always popular Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Mom's way! And excuse me if I utter a 'yippee' as she serves up the very old-fashioned Egg Creams; I've been wanting to try one for ages.
Thanks so much for coming, Judith!

breadchick's the next to come, and she's here in absolute groovin' style.
I remember just about every family gathering, during my childhood, serving up at least one of the dishes she's given us tonight. I love how food can stir up memories...
So, we have your choice of Four-Bean Salad, Macaroni Salad, and Cucumber Dill Salad. Mmm.
Ooh! Ooh! I don't mean to be rude, but I'm shoving to the front of the line for a can of Tab!
Far out, breadchick...

In comes Melody!And she knows exactly what I love in a retro cocktail party: glamour, glitz, old Hollywood...and canapes!
There's the truly classic Endive Spoons with Lemon Herbed Goat Cheese, Canteloupe Balsamic Basil Bites, and Cheese Puffs; divine!
And as we're all girls here tonight, Melody's Pink Champagne Cocktail ought to be a big hit.
Wonderful to see you!

Gabi's next, and did she ever go for the old-school style tonight!
Evoking classic movies and elegant stars, and even going so far as to consult with me about dresses (heaven forbid we wear the same frock!), she's brought a tray of Hot Cheese Puffs, to be served with The Stork Club Cocktail. Beautiful, truly.
So happy you could come, Gabi!

And my darling J, rushing breathlessly through the front door, is our final guest. But she knows how to make an entrance, laden with possibly more food than we can consume!
Ok, not really. We aren't that dainty.
She starts us off with Mini Cheese Fondue, followed by Chicken Kiev Bites, moves on to Cheese & Pineapple Cubes, then makes us hope we saved room for dessert with her Neapolitan Ice Cream Spoons & bites of Mandarin-Topped Cheesecake. Whew!
Some Sparkling White to help you work your way down the line, then pick up a bit of chocolate, to top it off.
Oh, J...marvelous, as always!

You know me. This is what I live for. So, looking back in time, enjoy!

Pigs In Blankets

Lil' smokeys, topped with a drop of steak sauce (Country Bob's), wrapped in puffed pastry and baked till golden. Serve with ketchup and mustard.

Shrimp (almost) Cocktail

Growing up, it was a true & rare treat when my grandparents would share a shrimp cocktail with me. My Grammy still has the little glasses used for the cocktail sauce (now serving as juice glasses). I no longer eat fish (or anything else that once had a pulse), but now and again we can find an amazing soy-based line of 'faux' seafood. They taste like the real thing, have the same texture, and will stand up to any cooking method. So, I guess it's really a Shrimp Mocktail...

Deviled Eggs

What's more classic than this? And it really doesn't need an explanation, does it?

No party, no family gathering, could get rolling without a cheese ball!

And so I give you the Lil Smoky Cheese Ball; shredded smoked Gouda, cream cheese, milk, lemon juice & steak sauce (again, Country Bob's), mixed, chilled, rolled into something resembling a sphere, then rolled in toasted & chopped pecans. Serve with Ritz, of course!

Of course, everyone was infatuated with all things Hawaii, post-war. And this delightful drink, called a Waimea Grass Skirt Cooler, is practically Hawaii in a glass (Deb, what do you think?). Pineapple, orange, lime and lemon juices, sugar all blended, then vanilla ice cream is mixed in. Oh...lightly citrus, and creamy.

And because it's me, and it's a favorite, the ultimate classic non-alcoholic beverage, the Shirley Temple, done the old way, with ginger ale, orange juice, and grenadine. And of course, a maraschino cherry!

Ladies, I think this was an absolute success, if only for getting through the night without seeing a single dish in aspic (shudders at the thought).

As always, you amaze and impress me. Thank you all for coming!

And as the party winds down, anyone up for a game of cards? Penny a point...house rules!

I hope to see you all next month, for what I hope will be an extra-special party...more details coming soon!

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

20 Thoughts for food:

At 3:15 AM, Blogger Debinhawaii said...

Another fantastic party! From the music to the decor to the food--it couldn't be any more retro. Love the Waimea Grass Skirt Cooler and give me some more deviled eggs and cheese ball please. Thanks for hosting such a great bash Stephanie--I can't wait for next month!

At 9:02 AM, Anonymous breadchick said...

OH Stephanie,

I had such a groovy time tonight. I even ordered one of the soundtracks for sitting on the back deck with a cocktail and one or two of these gems.

Thanks as always for a fabulous party and great conversation.

Everyone, I'll drop you an email where you can send my poker winnings ;-)

At 1:25 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thanks, Deb!

That Waimea Grass Skirt Cooler was really good...I'm thinking of trotting it out for our Labor day cook-out, too.

That cheese ball is addictive! It's from Amy Sedaris's I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence (every person in the world should own this world, by the way). I can't stop eating it!

At 1:26 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thanks Mary!

Which one did you get?

So, we should 'card shark' to your resume?!

At 2:14 PM, Blogger Gabi said...

Wow- what fabulous company and a tres delicious spread! Poker?- Oh that's why I owe you breadchick- I thought we were playing bridge ;)
Thanks again Stephanie I do so love deviled eggs and pigs in blankets and that shrimp is kind of amazing as well!
See you all next month xo

At 4:51 PM, Blogger kellypea said...

Stephanie -- looks like you guys all had a lot of fun, and what a trip down memory lane. Sorry I missed it, but I successfully got my cheesecakes out the door and delivered, so thanks for your understanding. Next time...

At 5:47 PM, Blogger _ts of [eatingclub] vancouver said...

Sorry we missed this one! =(

At 8:06 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thank you, Gabi!

Deviled eggs are amazing, aren't they? I mean, so simple, but so good...

The fake shrimp? I'm so glad to have found them. The closest place I can get them, these days, is in Atlanta...so yes, we make a four hour drive to shop for food!

At 8:07 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Kelly, definitely! Glad you got that massive cheesecake done, and we'll all look for you in September.

At 8:08 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

ts; me, too!

Check back on the first for the next theme!

At 3:12 AM, Blogger Debinhawaii said...

I have that book! Must try the cheeseball!

At 8:03 AM, Blogger Natashya said...

Fabulous party Stephanie!
I enjoyed kicking off my shoes and dancing to Dean in my stocking feet. And who doesn't love a deviled egg?
I will take one more Grass Skirt Cooler for the long walk home.

I especially like your comment "(every person in the world should own this world, by the way)"
I know it is a typo but it lends itself to philosophical discussion. (!)

At 2:52 PM, Blogger Lysy said...

You've surpassed yourself Stephanie - what a great array of food and drinks! I'm looking forward to the next one already!

At 5:26 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Deb, yes, you must! It's so, so good. I'm still snacking on it. I kept it in a bowl filled with extra chopped pecans, so when I decide I've had enough, I just re-shape it, roll in the surplus, and cover.

At 5:27 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Natashya, that would make for some interesting small claims court cases, though, wouldn't it?

At 5:27 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thank you, Lysy!

At 9:48 PM, Blogger Judith said...

I'm reaching for the devilled eggs, and your cheese ball is way fancier than the plain orange one we always get as our special New Year's treat, haha. Also love the drinks. Thanks as always for hosting!

At 6:11 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thanks Judith, I'm glad you could come!

That cheese ball is much too good. I confess to eating way more than I should have...

At 7:07 PM, Blogger Jeanne said...

Oh dear, I think I'm seeing pink(ish) elephants! How adorable is that?! Love the pigs in blankets too :)

At 1:22 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

They really are pink...it's the lighting that's off!


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