July 24, 2011 § 3 Comments
We spend a lot of time together as a family, which translates to a lot of time eating, and cooking together. On a regular basis, Heather and I cook for at least six. On some weekends, and especially during family holidays, that number balloons to twelve or fourteen. When our family gets together, among all the voices and the commotion, I love to observe the consistencies from each gathering to the next. My mother’s constant motion from one task to the next, Heather’s humming as she happily creates the treats and baked goods that were rarely a part of our lives before she joined us, my father’s eagerness to jump in to clean things up and make it easier for people to move in and out of the spaces, Jennie’s cheerful patience that gives room for anything to happen, Fabian’s deep, deep laughter which erupts from his belly and echoes throughout the room. Nolan is always up earlier than everyone else, and when he arrives from his morning run, Milan calls out “Nolancito, you want some coffee?” as he pulls down the grinder and puts the kettle on the stove, since he knows the answer is always “Yes!”.
When I started this blog, I thought I could channel all of the energy of our kitchen, and share it with family, with friends, and with anybody who would like to read. My thought was “we are always having brunch, lunch and dinner — it’ll be easy to come up with material!” Since then, I’ve had lots of opportunities to create posts — besides the general holidays (Father’s Day, Fourth of July), I’ve also catered 2 parties, held a birthday party for 30 people, had Argentine houseguests who love to cook and eat. And yet…no posts. Here are two reasons why: 1. I haven’t been taking pictures. Because I forget, or I don’t know how, or whatever reason. And 2. I’m just plain nervous nobody will like my posts, or that they won’t be compelling, or that I won’t do it right, or that…fill in the blank.
So here is my promise to my readers (that would be you, Diana ) . I will continue to write. And I’ll continue to post, regardless of the all the new blogger mishaps that may come my way (like not taking pictures), because the greatest of those mishaps is not posting at all.
Lemon Potato Salad
This is one of my favorite recipes that I’ve used all summer. In spite of having a mayonaise base, it’s light and the lemon adds a brightness that I crave all summer. I served it at David’s 30th birthday party, and more than 10 lbs of it flew out the door. For some depth of flavor, and because I had them, I added preserved lemons to the base recipe (from Gourmet magazine, found at epicurious.com) , and used sliced green onions instead of chives.
- 3 pounds small boiling potatoes
- 1 cup chopped celery (about 4 ribs)
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sliced green onions
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped preserved lemon
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sugar
June 14, 2011 § 2 Comments
Tea parties, that is. Not the kind that end of with cartons of tea in the bay, or in politicians promising smaller government. Instead, we focused on the Alice in Wonderland style tea party.
Hats, sandwiches, scones, and cake. Sunday afternoon, we held a tea party in honor of my soon-to-be sister-in-law, Kathy. The “we” in this case is me, Solange, my sister-in-law, Heather, and Kathy’s sister, Kym, with the immense support of my extremely talented mother, Susan. Inspired by borrowed Mackensie-Childs tableware, and Princess Beatrice’s controversial hat, our guests wore hats and fascinators,
setting the scene for the festivities, which included a a gorgeous spread of sandwiches, scones, homemade jams, candied apples and the most delightfully whimsical cake that has come out of our kitchen.
This shower was truly a collaboration, from beginning to end. Heather knew she would be spending a lot of time working on the cake, so I chose to create the savory menu. Cucumber mint sandwiches were automatically included, because I absolutely love them. When it came time to choose a second sandwich, we quickly settled on salmon. It’s tasty, it’s beautiful, and makes for great presentation.
While not everything I make is gluten free, I do convert many recipes so that I can share them with our other sister-in-law, Jennie. I liked her version better than the sandwiches on pumpernickel bread, so I’m including that recipe here.
Gluten-Free Salmon Bites
This recipe will make a lot of bites — you’ll have some caper spread left over, use it on omelets, or in sandwiches.
1 8oz package of cream cheese
1/2 cup capers, drained
1 large shallot, peeled and cut into large chunks
Zest of 2 lemons
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Large round rice crackers
8 oz smoked salmon, in thin slices approximately 2 inch long
1 bunch of chives, cut to about 1.5 inch
Combine cream cheese, capers, shallot, lemon zest and pepper in a food processor or blender. Process until completely smooth.
Put a dollop of the cream cheese spread onto the rice cracker, then roll a piece of salmon, and set it into the spread. Place a chive piece upright onto the salmon, anchoring it into the spread.