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, March 18, 2007

Blog Party#20: Showers Everywhere---The Round-Up


Welcome to Blog Party#20! Tonight, we're combining the best parts of baby and bridal showers...the food and drinks...in one party. And no one has to wear a tissue paper veil or try not to use the word 'baby', lest you lose your precious safety pin (can you tell I've been to a lot of showers??).

We have a small crowd tonight, but I think small parties are even more fun than the big ones. We can eat as much as we want, and gab all night.

But before we attack the buffet table, let's get in the 'Shower' mood.

Starting off with the baby shower, I absolutely love these Pickle & Ice Cream place settings!

Granted, I never had cravings like this (or any other kind, to be honest), but there's something fun about it.

And, to congratulate all the new parents (not leaving out the moms), do help yourself to this box of Chocolate Cigars; much better than the traditional ones, don't you think?

Not forgetting the brides-to-be, I think these cute little Decorated Sugar Cubes are perfect for the beverage table!

These Napkins are just perfect: a bit playful, yet stylish.

And tables decorated with tiny Wedding Cake Candles? I love it!

We have a real mix on the stereo tonight, something for both camps.

There's the soundtrack to Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (hee!)

Baroque for Brides To Be: A Musical Bouquet for Your Wedding Day

and some Julia Roberts-related tunes, with the soundtracks from both Runaway Bride


My Best Friend's Wedding.

For the baby side, there's the original Broadway cast recording of Baby (seems appropriate)

Rockabye Baby!: Lullaby Renditions of Metallica (I love stuff like this; you can also get CD's of lullabies of U2, the Beatles, Zepplin, Coldplay, and more)

the soundtrack to one of my favorite Kevin Bacon films, She's Having a Baby

And James Taylor's Sweet Baby James. That should do it.

Ok, mood is set. Now, let's meet and eat!

Katie's the first one here tonight, and she's definitely starting things off on the right baby booty: her gorgeous little Chocolate & Raspberry Cakes look amazing!
But Katie didn't stop there.
She also made some beautiful Red, White & Blue Trifles, which I can't wait to try, as well.
And she's offering up something for everyone with her 'Baby' Bellinis, made with white grape
juice, and her Hot Chocolate with Homemade Marshmallows. Wow! Everything looks great, Katie...thanks so much for coming!

Y's next, and am I happy to see her! Because she's brought along something I can't wait to try...these Treacle Tarts! Treacle, molasses...by any name, it's one of my favorite flavors. Too bad I'm the only one in this house who likes it, or I'd have an excuse to make these tarts myself.
No worries, Y has enough for everyone. And she's brewing up a pot of tea to go with, right now.
Thanks so much for joining the party, Y; it'll be good practice for all the upcoming showers in your life!

I believe we have our first 'newbie' here tonight; be sure to give a warm welcome to Lydia!
But no worries, she's got this Blog Party-thing down. She's serving up Crab Rangoons, which look divine.
And I'm already on my second Pineapple Mocktail; so refreshing!
So glad you could be here tonight, Lydia!

Wow...talk about bravery! Our next guest is also our only male; ladies, say 'hello' and 'welcome back' to Stanislas!
He's brought some perfect party food, these Deep-Fried Olives are sure to be a hit.
Stanislas figures he'll need a little strength and comfort after a night surrounded by hormonal women (what, have you seen a bride the day before her wedding?), so he's also serving up a very fine Southern Comfort Manhattan!
Good to have you back, Stanislas...

Good to see you, Brilynn! Poor girl, she's always worried she'll over-load the party table with sweet treats. What she doesn't realize is how popular she is for just that reason...
Those Mini Coconut Breads with Raspberry Jam look soooo good. Sweet wins friends and influences others, remember!!?
And your Cheese-Stuffed Mushrooms? I don't even like mushrooms, and I can't wait to try one.
And I hope to be first in line for one of those aptly-named Fruit Showers!
Seriously, Brilynn; another great entry. Always good to have you here.

Brigitte is back, and attending her very first shower! Well, you get the best part: food and friends. Trust me, the loopy games are not worth your time.
She's doing her part, once again, to see no one goes home hungry, starting with these Love Cheese Tomatoes Stuffed with Fresh Cheese & Herbs (I did something similar for Alex's party last weekend!). Then there's these cute Parmesan Shortcrust 'Babies'; love them!
She's also made some incredible fondant-covered Bridal Petit-Fours, and Pavlova-Cradles with Pastel-Mousse; whew!
To drink, Brigitte's brewed some Galactogogues tea and some lovely Boy-or-Girl? Shakes.
Wow...that's a lot of food, and we're going to enjoy every bite!
Thanks so much for coming, Brigitte!

J snuck in just a minute ago; she couldn't miss this party! Good to have you back. J's pretty amazing, having literally whipped all this incredible food together hours ago. First, we have these super-creamy Scrambled Eggs in Egg Cups; and yes, I do love the pink! Next, New Potatoes Topped with Rare Beef Fillet, Pesto & Parmesan, and super-cute, tiny Blinis Topped with Pesto Cream and Tsar Salmon Fillet. She's even found time to serve dessert: Gu Pot Au Chocolate, with Raspberries; yum. And we're finishing off this mini-meal with a delightful Elderflower Cordial with Raspberries. Fantastic! J, you did an incredible job, as always. Thanks for squeezing us in...now relax. That jet-lag is about to kick in!

I decided to do my pictures as a slide show tonight; I've been having such trouble with Blogger and posting photos, this seemed like an easier approach. I made four appetizers this evening, all savory. I had hoped to add something sweet, but ran out of time. Thankfully, you guys always have the dessert tray covered!

First, there's a Mini Corn Muffin with Pancetta, Avocado and Rocket. Pop-in-your-mouth sized corn muffins, studded with both scallions and red chilis. Surprisingly mild.
They're topped with bites of crisp pancetta, wedges of avocado, and baby arugula. Just perfect.

Then, there's the Avocado-Goat Cheese Crostini. A mild goat cheese mashed with avocado (no, there's no such thing as too much avocado), salt and hot sauce, spread on toasted bread rounds. Divine.

Next, Smoked Chicken Salad in Bibb Lettuce Cups. Recently, Matt's been getting a lot of use out of the stove-top smoker I gave him years ago. A simple salad of diced, smoked chicken, mayo and celery, spooned into crisp lettuce cups and sprinkled with paprika. Pretty basic stuff, but really good.

And finally, Smoked Salmon & Egg Salad Finger Sandwiches. Taking Ina Garten's idea, and making it bite-sized.
Thin strips of smoked salmon on toasted bread, cut into strips and topped with a whole-grain mustard-flavored egg salad. Again, simple fare, but very satisfying.

For my drink, I thought of all sorts of mocktails I could make, but in the end, a glass of chilled Sparkling Peach Cider seemed the way to go. No one has to worry about getting asked to exhale into the breathalizer on the way home!

Well, I think we've had a pretty good evening. All the brides and mom's are taken care of, there's plenty of food to go around, and no one had to play silly games!

Thanks to everyone who joined in this month; I'll be sending out a 'preview' of April's theme to each of you tomorrow.

Stay as long as you like, and enjoy the rest of the evening!

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10 Thoughts for food:

At 1:57 AM, Blogger Brigitte said...

Hey - exactly my problem:"..I've been having such trouble with Blogger and posting photos,..". - For heavens sake I was not to late for the shower. Great stuff on your buffet.
As always a wonderful "round-up", thank you for the "invitation".

At 7:59 PM, Blogger Brilynn said...

I think your appetizers blew us all out of the water, well done!

At 12:03 AM, Blogger Elle said...

Sorry I missed this party...looks like a fabulous buffet and great drinks, candles, decorations and music. You always give the best parties and your guests outdid themselves with the great food.

At 5:28 PM, Blogger barbie2be said...

oh, i'm so sorry i missed this party. i just had a fabulous bridal shower for a friend on the 11th and it would have been perfect for this.

At 12:47 PM, Blogger Sara said...

Super round up, I'm sorry I missed out! So many tempting treats...

At 11:31 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Brigitte: I have no idea what's going on with Blogger. I've been fighting with it for a couple weeks now, and it's a serious pain trying to get pictures posted. Grrr...

I'm so glad you could make it, and you're always welcome!

At 11:31 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Aw, Brilynn...thanks!

At 11:32 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Elle, so sorry you couldn't make it this time!

I do hope you'll be able to join us in April.

At 11:32 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Barbie, don't worry. I'm missing events left and right these days: I'm surprised when I make it to my own!

At 11:33 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Sorry you missed it, too, Sara! Hope to see you next month.


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