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, April 21, 2007

Blog Party#21: Let's Have a Picnic---The Round-Up


Welcome to another Blog Party!

Today, we're having a picnic, and we couldn't ask for nicer weather. Wherever you've flown in from, you'll be glad you're here: sunny and mid-seventies. Perfect for an outdoor meal...made entirely of appetizers, of course!

I've outlined the entire picnic area with baby powder (ants won't walk through it), and of course I've brought along a portable CD player. Can't have a party without mood music.

When I was younger, I did't care much, one way or the othe, for Bill Holden. Now that I'm older, I appreciate his talent and movies so much more. So it's entirely fitting we listen to the soundtrack to his hit film, Picnic.

And for something a bit funkier, we can scurry down to a Soul Stoned Picnic with The Fifth Dimension! Some seriously soulful stuff there.

And what's a Blog Party without a few neat gadgets?

When I saw this Pie & Cake Basket, I knew it would be perfect. What a fantastic way to bring dessert to a picnic!

And of course, we'll need a picnic basket to carry all this food! This is the exact model I have, and it's wonderful. We take it everywhere...the park, road trips, & the drive-in theater.

I love the idea of these 'on ice' containers: what a great way to keep our finger food nice and cold.

These red-and-white take-out containers are a brilliant way to carry food to and from the site...and it ties in so well with our theme, don't you think? I know we've all made so much food, there's bound to be left-overs.

Ok. It's time to slather on some SPF (fifteen should do, unless you're fair-skinned); no need to worry about the mosquitoes just yet...they're a good month away, thank goodness.

And now for the food!

Katie's the first to arrive, and she's starting this picnic party off right.
Today, she's serving us Farfalle & Herb Salad with Peas, Parmesan, Prosciutto & Argula Sandwiches, and Lemonade Cookies! A sort of beverage in cookie form. (And all the recipes come from Cat Cora's new book, too.)
Sounds like perfect picnic fare to me! Personally, I can't wait to try those cookies.
Thank you so much for joining us today, Katie.

Next, Tigerfish is back...good to see you!
For our picnic, she's down-sized an American favorite: the hot dog. Now, her Mini Sausage Burgers are Blog Party worthy, indeed!
But it doesn't stop there. Tigerfish has concocted a most interesting drink for us today: a Cider Jelly Drink. I know you're going to love it.
Thanks so much for coming!

It is most definitely a good day, as my dear friend Zarah has returned to Blog Party! The picnic theme was the impetus, I believe, as she and I shared a lovely picnic lunch about a year ago.
Zarah's sharing some lovely Pressed Sandwiches with us today; I love a sandwich with lots of flavor!
And steering us in a healthy direction, she's also brought her juicer for the gloriously-colored Orange & Carrot Juice Can't wait to try it.
I'm so very glad to have you back, Zarah!

Our next guest is a Blog Party regular; everyone say 'hello' to Sara!
I know she's more than happy to leave the cold North for our Southern sunshine, and to prove it, Sara's made these very summery Greek Salad Rounds on Cucumber. Yum!
Keeping with the cucumber theme (and why not?), she's also offering this light Cucumber & Lemon Water. Perfect for a picnic, don't you think?
Always glad to have you back here, Sara!

Making a return trip to BP, let's welcome Ian to the picnic!
Ian knew exactly what a picnic needs: Fried Chicken & Potato Salad (you'll find he's not alone in his theory). So, he's whipped up some extremely Spicy Chicken Drumettes, and Deviled Potato Salad. Yum! Sounds perfect to me.
To quench our thirst, Ian's also played mixologist (something I took great pleasure in as a child) and created Turtle Punch Hey, you'll just have to try it!
Thanks so much for coming, Ian...it all looks great.

Next, all the way from Brazil...and a first-time Blog Party-er, it's Patricia! Welcome.
For her very first party, Patricia went all out and made some amazing Hearts of Palm Empanadas...yum!
And for our drink? A beverage after my own heart, mixing two of my favorite flavors: Limeade with Raspberries.
Patricia, we're so glad you could be here today!

J's back!! Good to see you again.
Personally, I'm beginning to wonder if we here at Blog Party are just an enabler for her dish-and-crockery buying habit, but really: who cares? She gets nice dishes, and we have fantastic food. Works for me.
Today, J's dusted off her own fancy picnic hamper, and it's filled to the brim with goodies, like these gorgeous Scotch Eggs. There's also Tuna Pate on Cucumber, the beautiful Salmon, Cucumber & Chived Cream Cheese Spirals, and the Dough Balls filled with Hot Crab Gratin. Whew!
But wait, she's also made dessert. Try the Strawberry Jam Sandwiches, or perhaps Chambord-Soaked Cherry-Topped Brownies. No kidding.
And to wash it all down, she has Pimm's & Lemonade.
Well, that's another excellent batch of appetizers, J; thank you so much!

I'm delighted that Elle has returned to Blog Party...so good to have you back!
Elle's prepared a very browsing-through-the-market-in-a-small-French-village kind of picnic for us today, only in her case, it's more of a Californian basket, which is sweet news to me.
She has Fruits, Nuts, Veggies, Meats, Crackers, an artisinal Baguette, and Chocolate; true picnic foods!
And keeping with the theme, try some of the Armida Zinfandel she's brought with her...sounds perfect, doesn't it?
A wonderful addition to the party, Elle...thank you for coming.

Marie-Laure returns, speaking of France...welcome back!
Marie-Laure's serving up some delicious-looking Cold Salmon Cakes...so beautiful!
And I'm very interested in her Orange Wine; be sure to save me a sip!
We're all so glad you could be here today, Marie-Laure.

It's so good to see Ulrike here again!
For today's picnic party, she's brought these fresh and beautiful Tomato & Pesto Bruschetta. Can't wait to try one.
And I love her take on the Southern stand-by, sweet tea: Spiced Tea Punch. Save me a cup, please!
Always good to have you here, Ulrike...thanks for coming!

I did not come empty-handed, of course, so let's take a look at my contributions to the party.

First, there's Mini-Ceasar Club Sandwiches on Ciabatta; ciabatta rolls that fit in the palm of your hand, split and spread with a flavored mayonnaise, then topped with baby arugula, shavings of Asiago, a crisped round of pancetta, pieces of roasted chicken, then more cheese and agugula. Three bites if you're dainty, two if you're not.

Next, a trio of picnic foods, served on a very retro picnic plate. A couple of years ago, Matt & I bought a very old picnic set, in a battered leather case, which housed these copper-colored tri-sectioned plates.

There's little bites of Cold Spicy Fried Chicken, Cubes of Watermelon, dusted with Mint Sugar, and Potato Salad Dolma...a French-style potato salad, rolled up in lettuce leaves.

To drink, help yourself to a bottle of this fantastic Root Beer. Since 1891!

Well, I think this has been a wonderful afternoon. Lots of great food, and good friends. So lay back on your blanket, take in some sun, and enjoy the rest of your day. Thank you all for coming to our picnic!

And to all the Blog Party guests: I will email you Sunday with the theme for May's party!

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10 Thoughts for food:

At 4:13 PM, Blogger J said...

Fabulous fun as ever... and I need no excuse whatsoever to add to the crockery collection! Thanks for organising, Stephanie! Jx

At 8:28 AM, Blogger Patricia Scarpin said...

Hi, Stephanie!

What a wonderful round-up - there are so many great recipes and delicious photos, I'm glad to be a part of this party with so many wonderful cooks!

At 12:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uups, my first comment got lost. What a wonderful party and line-up. Hope to see you all soon again

At 12:26 AM, Blogger Elle said...

What a great picnic! Glad I came. Most interesting to me was your potato sald in lettuce leaves offering. Inspired.

At 1:56 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

J...well, good to know I'm not personally draining your pocketbook!

At 1:57 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Patricia; you are most welcome here, thank you so much for joining us!

I do hope you'll come back next month...

At 1:57 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

No worries, Ulrike!

So glad you could make it this month...

At 1:57 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thank you, Elle! I'm just wishing I could have been on your picnic!

At 3:44 PM, Blogger Ian said...

Everything looks great! Thanks for doing this Stephanie, this is a fun event. See you in May! :-{>

At 4:12 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thank you, Ian!

I look forward to whatever you bring next month...


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