It’s Smokin’ !! The low down on smoking the salmon….
August 8, 2011

Baby Girl is quite enthused about this project....maybe too much?

I love, love, love smoked salmon….would eat it every day if I could…but that stuff is expensive! So….ever think of smoking your own? That’s what we did this weekend… and it turned out better than I dreamed.

you can ditch the greenery if you like.... ...

But the results were delicious….You start with a brine….which means simply a salt/sugar based liquid in which the fish will cure for anywhere from a few to quite a few hours…in ours we just used a quarter cup salt(make sure it has no anti-caking chemicals-many salts do) and a quarter cup brown sugar. And the fish brined for a few hours in the fridge. Then you air dry the fish(this was when Baby got into the whole process), until it gets a weird film on it. The pellicle is supposed to be white,  but ours never was. However, it was sticky to the touch  as it’s supposed to be, before it goes into the smoker for a few hours. The result was really moist, very smokey…and fabulous

Goya cracker, salmon cream cheese, and smoked salmon...

And I found a wonderful new bakery this weekend(new to me anyway)…my neighbor had given us some cupcakes a few weeks ago, as a thank you for helping do a little makeover on their garden.

Their "Harvest' cookie..oatmeal, fruit, nuts...totallty delish...

I had to know where they came from…and the answer was Touche Touchet, in Howard County…Columbia.  I found my way there Saturday…and bought some sweet treats…including some harvest cookies, and their amazing cupcakes.

Key Lime Pucker...with a tart lime curd filling...

The Key Lime Pucker is maybe my fave…

Classic combo...chocolate and peanut butter....

…or the Chocolate Peanut Butter? They were a lovely end to the weekend, when you just need a little treat, you know?

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Pomme frites, clafoutis and tournesols….Say What??
July 11, 2011

Roast poulet and French Fri....I mean..pomme frites

This weekend was my favorite type of weekend…where I have NOTHING planned, nothing I HAVE to do….no committments, no obligations….so anything goes. Most Friday nights we meet our daughter for dinner somewhere close to all of us, which usually means Hampden, but this Friday we went to Petite Louis in Roland Park…we shared a chicken and french fries for two(Frenchified it’s poulet with pomme frites). Whatever, it was delish….and we even brought some home!

Best buy in Harbor East?? Great vegetarian dinner....

Saturday night went down to Harbor East…had a quick dinner at Vino Rosina, which is a terrific wine bar right around the corner from Bagby’s Pizza….they have some lovely small plates…like the grilled polenta with squash, topped with a soft poached egg. Some people on FB seemed to think that was a little weird, but poached eggs on top of a savory dish….is yummy. And this was only $8….and really would have made a lovely dinner all in itself.

Cupcakes with a smile...

The intention after dinner was to see Horrible Bosses, but the 7:30 show was sold out….:(     My spirits lifted considerably though, when I spiedCaroline’s Cupcakes, which has opened a little stand inside the Hagen Daz store. Black bottom with cream cheese icing, cures all ills…seriously, it does.

Market tournesols(sunflowers)!

Made it to the downtown farmers’ market under the JFX Sunday morning…made it in time for tomato seconds(if you have never availed yourself of the bargain that is tomato seconds…well, more for me). These are ‘maters that may have split a tiny split or have a spot or bruise. They’re still fabulous…and a great buy. Picked up some sunflowers, bread, and eggs too….and you see some of the cutest kids there. And they are decked out…I wished I dressed as well for the market(I don’t.)…check out this little girl

Clafoutis, ready to go into the oven....

That night we grilled some lamb, sliced some of those tomatoes and drizzled with olive oil, sautéed yellow squash, and I made a cherry clafoutis, from a recipe in one of my oldest and most beloved French cookbooks, French Country Cooking.

The finished clafoutis

It’s a snap to make really, the only messy part is pitting the cherries. Then it’s just eggs, flour, sugar and milk. And one of my favorites. Here’s an Emeril Lagasse recipe that is close to mine….but I would ditch the brandy and vanilla bean(just use extract)…and my recipe calls for 1/2 cup each of sugar and flour..not one cup, and only one cup of flour…..but, whatever. Let me know how yours turns out! And send pictures! You won’t be sorry you tried it…claloutis is a classic….for a reason.

WEDDING 911!!
April 3, 2009

I got a phone call a couple nights ago, from New York….telling me the wedding between my son and the lovely Jennifer(no, no it isn’t called off!), but in an effort to simplify and downsize….appropriate, no?….they are moving it up. Way up….late May up instead of September. That’s about 7-ish weeks away. And that is the weekend the minister they want to marry them is available. Gulp.

Soooooooooo, as I got my hair done today, I found myself studying a beautiful magazine about Maryland weddings, I’d never seen before, called My Day , like I was cramming for a big test. Seriously, I engaged in almost no conversation with the stylist, because I am now a woman on a mission! Find things fast and make them happen….find places to stay in Manhattan, food, just all the flotsam and jetsam makes my head spin. 

how cute is that??

how cute is that??

I did come across something I’d never seen before(ok another thing)…luscious cupcakes in ice cream cones … Couture Cupcakes from the Blushing Bakeshop…snapped a pic and sent  it off to Jennifer.

I know it will all be fine and it will somehow all get done…a small family intimate wedding…right? RIGHT?? I’ll let you know how it goes….fingers crossed.