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 20, 2005

Blog Party #1


Welcome to the very first Blog Party! Step in out of the (oh, gawd...will it never end?) heat and let's get the party started.

To get us in the mood, I'll put on some tunes...Ultralounge's Cocktail Capers should do the trick. Les Baxter, Nelson Riddle, April Stevens and the New Classic Singers...good stuff there.

And since this is a low-key, get-to-know-one-another event; we're going laid-back on the decorations and accessories. Martinis and More is a good place to pick up a couple of fun cocktail-themed serving plates and such.

And now...on to the food and drinks!

First up; Niki at Esurientes knows these gorgeous Hot Cheese and Bacon Puffs are the perfect thing to have at a cocktail party...personally, I'm a fan of anything consisting of bread and cheese! Thanks, Niki.

Stephen at Stephen Cooks.com really came through; preparing (in an almost OCD-like way...just kidding), a series of tasty bites; Impromptu Cuban Canapes, a couple of goodies from the sea in Crab Cakes Canapes and Fresh Crab Canapes, as well as Carries's Spicy Sugared Cocktail Almonds. He even managed to do a little research into the perfect cocktail; check out his Martini 101. Excellent job, Stephen; I know I can't wait to try out one of those Cubans (with vegetarian sausage, of course).

Sweetnicks brings us Cheesy Beer and Spinach Dip as well as a delicious-sounding Strawberry Sangria. Sweetnicks; that dip sounds fantastic...who has the crackers and bread? And I know your Strawberry Sangria is going to be popular. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Nupur of One Hot Stove pops in with a trio of appetizers...Beer Battered Squash, a Stuffed Tomato (Mmm...feta), and some intriguing-sounding Parsnip Fritters. I don't think parsnips get used often enough...I know I want to try one. Nupur, I'm so glad you could come!

Mika of The Green Jackfruit (how are things in the 'Burgh, anyway?) joins us with Fried Halloumi Bites...what a great way to use that salty cheese! Cheese...fried. Fried cheese. Life is good. Sounds great...thank you, Mika!

New to Dispensing Happiness, Alanna of Kitchen Parade brought some fabulous-sounding Jealous Marys to the party. Thanks, Alanna...I was worried we wouldn't have enough to drink! So happy you dropped by.

Zarah Maria of Food & Thoughts showed up with some gorgeous Gazpacho, served in shot glasses...squeezing in our party around Wagner! Thanks for coming, Zarah.

Boo_licious of masak-masak stayed up late making some Thai-themed treats; Salmon Sashimi, Spicy Crab and Prawn Fritters with Chili Lime Dipping Sauce, and Iced Lemongrass Tea. Trust me, Mika...when Matt gets his hands on these treats, there won't be any left for the rest of us! And I'm a sucker for iced tea...thanks for coming.

Alice of My Adventures in the Breadbox joins us with some tasty-looking Mini Meatball Pizzas, Oregano and Prosciutto Pinwheels, and White Peach Sangria. Wow...those pizzas must have taken a lot of work! And Matt's already reaching for the prosciutto pinwheels...
Alice was right...with the heat here in the South, that peach sangria should really hit the spot! I'm so glad you could make it.

Another new (to me, at least) blogger, Jennifer of The Novato Experiment, has brought a fabulous raspberry-infused vodka drink; Jennifer's Raspberry Beret. I know this one's going to go quickly; thanks for sharing, Jennifer!

Chefdoc of A Perfect Pear swings by with a mini-meal; Soybean Soup & Oxtail Gellee Shooters with Milk Foam, Lilliputian BLT's, and Strawberries Stuffed with Tomato Jam. Wow...we're getting fancy now, with the shooters. Those lil' BLT's look great! And, mmmm...stuffed strawberries. Thanks so much for being here, Chefdoc!

A brand-new visitor to Dispensing Happiness, Rachael of Fresh Approach Cooking squeaked past the deadline with a flavorful Quince Paste and Manchego Cheese bite...yum. Rachael...do tell us what crackers you're using! I'm so happy you could be here!

And of course, as your hostess, I've made a few goodies as well!

From the Donna Hay magazine, Boccicini Bites. Mini-muffin sized bread rounds, topped with boccini and cherry tomato slices. Baked till the cheese melts, then topped with basil. So simple, and so tasty.

Petit Croque Monsieurs; small slices of proscuitto and Gruyere on sliced baguette, brushed with olive oil and grilled. (There are also vegetarian ham versions for the non-meat eaters). Oh...my. This takes the grilled ham & cheese sandwich to new levels!

Chilled Cucumber-Avocado Soup Shooters...super easy to make. Onion, cukes, avocado, yogurt, and a few other things...pureed and chilled. Cool and refreshing, which comes in handy in this weather!

For drinks, I give you Hawaiian Sunrise: Pineapple juice with both Grenadine and Torani Orange syrup; Fauxgaritas: Torani Lime syrup with Freshies Fresh Lime Margarita mix and sparkling water; and Farsi Float: Torani Vanilla Bean syrup and rose syrup, sparkling water, and a small scoop of vanilla ice cream.
And I'm fairly confident you could make all three of these alcoholic, if you so desire.

Wait! Sarah of The Delicious Life just arrived, but she makes up for her lateness with a vanilla vodka Caketail and Miniature Truflle Brownie Bites. Excellent, Sarah! How could we have an event and not serve dessert? And vanilla-flavored drinks are my favorite. So glad you could make it!

Wow! That was fun! I'm thrilled with the turn-out for our first gathering, and even happier about the lack of post-party clean up (!!!). A huge thank you to everyone who joined in; we've all found some new and (if I may say) rather fabulous appetizer recipes to add to our collections.

I'm already planning for September...I'll post the theme on the 1st; be watching.

Thank you again, and now it's time to clear the table...

20 Thoughts for food:

At 1:36 PM, Blogger Rachael Narins said...

Great round-up! The crackers are the only kind I ever buy (Im such a bore that way) Carrs Water Crackers with Cracked Black Pepper.



At 1:39 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thanks, Rachael...I'll have to look for them.

At 5:05 PM, Blogger Zarah Maria said...

OH! Goody goody goody goody! I'm sitting here with a a large mug of tea and "The Incredibles" on DVD, on a Saturday night - I really should have some of all those bite-sized treasures and lounge-y music! Super round-up, looking forward to the next installment!

At 5:19 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

Thanks, Stephanie! Great job... What a fun party.

At 7:09 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thank you, Zarah!

I wouldn't mind having a few, myself...it would save us from figuring out what we're having for dinner...!

I'm looking forward to the next one, as well.

At 7:10 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thank you, Jennifer. I'm quite pleased with the turn-out; I'm hoping the next one's even bigger!

At 9:34 PM, Blogger Nupur said...

What an appetizing round-up! I am delighted at all these new ideas :) Thanks again Stephanie...this was so much fun.

At 10:55 PM, Blogger eat stuff said...

That looked like a fabulous party,
I was going to make little picklets with lemon and mountain pepper (a native australian spice) smoked trout with creme fraiche and salmon caviar :(

Yep definately will be in next month, relatives and casey be dammed! (I will hide the goodies ;) ).

At 11:52 PM, Blogger Joe said...

Wow such a great turnout! Congrats on the success!

At 12:19 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Nupur, thank you!

I think it turned out well, don't you?

And I'm loving all the differnt recipes and ideas.

At 12:20 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Clare, that would have been wonderful!

I hope you find a good hiding place...I'll be looking forward to whatever you make next month!

At 12:20 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thanks, Joe!

Maybe you'll join us next month?????

At 7:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, what a fabulous round-up! Looking at the entries, this was definitely a very successful inaugural Blog Party. I didn't have time to participate this time, Stephanie, but I certainly hope to do so next time.

At 10:11 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thanks, Julia!

I really do hope you can be a part of the next one!

At 2:17 PM, Blogger Cate said...

Geesh, with all that alcohol, I hope there was a designated driver. ;)

At 10:56 PM, Blogger Anthony said...

Bugger bugger bugger bugger. Sorry I missed it but very glad it's turned out all so well. I had a non-fabulous evening nursing a couple fo pints of Guiness while Asutralia lost yet another rugby match.

At 11:04 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Sweetnicks...Knoxville does have a couple taxi services...

At 11:05 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Anthony, we'd love to have you join in next month.

And so sorry to hear about the game. I know how it feels...I'm a Pittsburgh Pirates fan; they haven't won a season since 1993!

At 9:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, I missed the party...
You bet I will be there for next months get together.

At 12:22 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Indira...you were missed, too!

I'll be posting September's theme tomorrow, so you'll have plenty of time to plan.


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