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, February 18, 2006

Blog Party#7 Red & Hot; the Round-Up


Welcome to our seventh Blog Party! Tonight, we're all about the Red & the Hot, so there's a pitcher of ice water handy, as well as a basket of bread (you know bread is much better at cooling a spicy tongue than water, yes?).

I'm so happy you could come tonight...hope the roads weren't too bad on the way. Unseasonably cold and snowy for this area this year.

But the good news is: you're here! So, let's take your coat, and get on with the party.

Pull up one of these chairs

after loading up these mini red plates

with lots all this fabulous Red & Hot food! Oh, and don't forget your drink...red glasses, and all.

What's that? Oh, you'd like to know the name of the album playing? Well, it's Salsa Around the World, so I hope that, in addition to your appetizers and cocktails, you also brought your dancing shoes!

Our absolute earliest guest ever, Elizabeth is here with some delicious-looking Home-made Beet Chips...what a great idea! She's also a first-timer to Blog Party, so let's give her a warm welcome...
I've had all sorts of veggie chips in my time (I have a bit of a salty-snack addiction), but making your own beet chips? Excellent! Nice and red; thanks for joining the party, Elizabeth.

Ramya made it to her very first Blog Party, as well, and wow...did she go all out! Let's see, she's brought along Red Cherry Glazed Plum Tomato Rice, Tomato Strip Wafers, a Heart-Shaped Tomato Rice, Glazed Red Plums, and a Cherry Red Fruit Cocktail! Wow, Ramya...you did an amazing job. So much Red...I can't wait to dig in, and we're so happy you could join our party!

Next through the door is Jennifer, my BBM sender (did I mention how much we loved that bread??); also a first-timer to Blog Party. She's brought along Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, and some beautifully-spiced Mulled Wine...Mmmm, smells fantastic. Heat and color, just the way we like it...thanks so much for coming!

Another newcomer to Blog Party (seems to be a theme of it's own tonight, eh?), Haalo flew in from Melbourne with some of the most beautiful appetizers I've ever seen! There's the perfectly perfect Watermelon Cubes with Marinated Fetta, Beetroot Cured Salmon, Pear and Lime in Spoons, and a lovely Hot and Cold Cocktail. Haalo...I may ask you to stick around, and photograph my dishes!
It's wonderful to have you here; enjoy the party!

Still another new guest? I love it! Here's Santhi, with something called Chicken 65; a popular South Indian appetizer. I think it's exactly our kind of dish, and the ginger and chillis give it both that hot and red cred! So happy you could join us...let me know if you need anything!

Mika's here, and oh my...she certainly got the 'Hot' part down! Mika's brought along some Fried Jalepenos with Roasted Red Pepper Aioli...that's some serious heat! Take a bite of one those peppers...if you dare! Thanks for being here, Mika!

Last one in, it's Ulrike, who not only got the Red & Hot thing down, but provided a bit of tutelage: I now know what Quark and Ajvar are!
All the way from Germany, we have a Campari-based Latin Lover's Kiss, and Red Hot Bell Dippers with Ajvar-Quark (it's cheese!). We're a bit cheese-obsessed around here, so I can't wait to try that one out. Thank you so much for coming!

And now for your hostess:

Strawberry Spinach Salad on a Stick
Ever have that strawberry salad? I first tried it at a friend's bridal shower back in '98. Strawberries soaked in cider vinegar, sugar, poppy and sesame seeds, a bit of oil...then skewered with red onion and spinach.

Seared Tuna with Chipotle Mayonnaise
This one was Matt's baby; a nice chunk of tuna, seared just till a nice pinky-red (gotta keep that color, you know!), served with a chipotle mayonnaise.

Cream of Roasted Red Pepper Soup
Red bell peppers, roasted; with broth and a shallots, garlic, thyme, red wine vinegar, cayenne; pureed and thickened with cream. Rich, and just a bit spicy...yum.

Flavored Chocolates, in Ginger, Cinnamon, and Smoked Sweet Paprika
I had fun here. Bittersweet chocolate, flavored with both ground and crystalized ginger, cinnamon oil, and (one of my favorites) a heavenly smoked sweet paprika. It goes amazingly well together.

Chocolates with either Wasabi or Ancho/Cayene Ganache Centers
These chocolates are filled with a gorgeous ganache; one flavored with wasabi paste and the other a mix of ancho chili powder and cayene powder.

Menopausal Marys
There's Bloody Marys, Virgin Marys...how about Menopausal Marys? Tomato juice, lots of hot sauce, ginger syrup and ground ginger, and a bit of lemon juice.

Ok...that's the food, and the company...so let's just get down to business: eating and chatting!

Thank you all so very much for coming, and I hope you'll come back next month!

Which reminds me! I'd love to hear some of your 'wish list' party theme ideas. Is there a theme you'd love to see here? Let me know, and it may just show up in a future Blog Party announcement!

And remember to check back 1 March for the Blog Party#8 announcement...

Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

12 Thoughts for food:

At 4:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the nice party! The round-up is great. I'm sorry, but Quark and Ajvar are very common ingredients you get in every supermarket. Nothing special, so I didn't want to confuse you and your guests :-).

At 7:42 AM, Blogger yana said...

i'll take a dozen of these babies:Strawberry Spinach Salad on a Stick. *drools*

At 11:26 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

OWW; you're welcome!

Well, they may be common in Deutschland, but since we're not heard of them, they're still pretty neat to us!

At 11:27 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Mangue...thanks! I just thought it wa a neat idea, and perhaps less messy than the usual salad!

At 12:36 PM, Blogger Fiber said...

What a lovely little party! Thanks for posting.
I'm dying to know how you made those lovely chocolates. They sound simply wonderful!

At 5:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow !Great hostess you are. Worth remembering Menopausal Marys.I already tasted it before.Thanks for reminding again.Wow!Is Next theme is about Soul music with soulful party?.Let me hope to join your party again before taking round global trip.

At 7:51 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thank you, Fiber!

I made the chocolates using these plastic molds I've picked up here and there. I tempered some seriously dark chocolate, and using spices or flavored oils, played around till I got the desired level of heat. Try it sometime...it's a lot of fun!

At 7:52 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thank you, Ramya!

Hmmm...soul food? That's a great idea! If I do use it for a Blog Party theme, I'll be sure to give you credit!

At 6:06 PM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

What a nice roundup (and many thanks for the warm welcome), Stephanie.

And I'm really intrigued by your chocolates with smoked paprika. We have some really good Hungarian paprika but it isn't smoked. I'll have to look for the smoked version next time I go to the market. (Or I suppose we could try the chocolates with the moritas we have... then we'd get the smoky flavour AND hot)


At 6:25 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Hey...you're welcome!

I don't know why I'm having such trouble getting your image to load, but it was there when I put the round-up together, honest!

When I was trying to come up with flavors for the chocolates, Matt was not in favor of the smoked paprika. But I just had a feeling about it...and when he finally tasted it, he really liked it. It's probably my favorite, too!

At 10:58 PM, Blogger Haalo said...

A gracious hostess and a wonderful round up. So many delcious delights to sip and nibble on. Can't wait for the next one!


At 12:05 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thank you, Haalo!

I'm so glad you enjoyed yourself, and I do hope you'll join us again in March!


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