travel, a reading list, and a smoked salmon appetizer

Here we are in the first week of June, and already I’m overwhelmed with all the activities that this month holds. Overwhelmed in a good way, mostly, since most of the items on my agenda include a fair amount of fun. So, what’s up first?

The Cloud Gate sculpture in Chicago, also known as "The Bean"

The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago


I’m headed to Chicago for a meeting, but trust me, it’s not going to be all work and no play. The weekend gets kicked off with dinner at Chef Rick Bayless’ restaurant, Topolobampo. I’ve had a craving for his mole sauce ever since watching him prepare it on Top Chef Masters. I’m also spending some time with my sister – something I only get to do once a year or so.

While I’m away, I thought I’d leave you some suggestions of food blogs you ought to be reading. My Google Reader is filled with inspiring sites, but I’m only going to suggest three for you. That should keep you busy over the weekend.

  • Kitchen-Confidante – A beautiful site, recently renamed, written and designed by Liren, a California mother of two. Her food is simple yet elegant, and her photographs reflect that. Plus, she’s a Ridge wine fan, proving she has excellent taste.
  • A Sweet Spoonful – I’ve recently discovered Megan’s site, and I’m hooked. It’s just a beautiful place to spend some time, and her writing just draws me in.
  • In Jennie’s Kitchen – Jennie is a New York writer and mother of two little girls. I can completely relate to her struggles to find that work-life balance that really becomes an issue after having children. Her posts are inspiring, and you’ll want to make homemade pasta after reading them.

But, before you head away to those three blogs to start your reading – and then cooking and baking — make a snack to take with you. This smoked salmon appetizer is incredibly easy to throw together at a moment’s notice, and the contrasting textures of the kettle-cooked chip and silky smoked salmon are a delight.

This appetizer is a fabulous reason to buy potato chips.

Yield: 4 servings.

Smoked Salmon on Chips with Lemon Crème Frâiche


1/4 cup crème frâiche
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
16 large black pepper or salt-and-pepper kettle-cooked potato chips
1 4-ounce package of thinly sliced smoked salmon, cut into 16 pieces
Chopped fresh chives


Stir crème frâiche and lemon peel in small bowl. Arrange potato chips on plate. Divide salmon among chips. Spoon rounded 1/2 teaspoon lemon crème frâiche atop salmon on each chip and sprinkle with chives.

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12 Responses to “yay for s’mores!”

  1. JulieD — June 1, 2010 @ 9:37 am

    Yummy! I love how you captured how messy they can get…but who cares that they’re messy. 🙂

  2. TasteStopping — June 1, 2010 @ 9:50 am

    Oh, your photos are making me crave s’mores right now! I’m so glad that the marshmallows pleasantly surprised you. A fresh marshmallow is hard to describe to anyone who has only had store-bought. It’s a whole different animal! And the other components of this kit, the crackers and the chocolate, are delicious in their own right. Put ’em all together and you definitely have gourmet s’mores!

    Congratulations on winning your Gourmet S’mores Kit from and thanks for joining the TasteStopping S’mores Tasting Party!


  3. Susan J — June 1, 2010 @ 9:58 am

    Love the pic of your daughter with her eyes closed just enjoying that s’more!
    My son showed me his sticky fingers after devouring his. 😛

  4. Barbara @ VinoLuciStyle — June 1, 2010 @ 11:15 am

    I’m with you regarding marshmallows; not sure there is a reason to just pop one in your mouth plain…weren’t they made expecting we would finish them off with fire?

    Have seen a lot of s’more recipes lately which just led to this random thought…why don’t Girl Scout Cookies offer a s’more cookie…seems a perfect fit; that’s where I had most of my s’more adventures; at camp!

  5. megan — June 1, 2010 @ 12:54 pm

    Oh what fun it is to relive all this s’more goodness. Thanks for sharing. Your daughter looks like she is in heaven!

  6. macaroni mama — June 1, 2010 @ 9:04 pm

    I just found a s’more recipe that put a banana on the chocolate. Sounded good to me.

  7. Magic of Spice — June 1, 2010 @ 10:21 pm

    Congrats! They look wonderful, and funny I test for quality the very same way:)

  8. Congrats on winning the giveaway! S’mores are just one of those childhood treats that you never outgrow. Yours look good enough to eat right from the computer. 🙂

  9. RJ Flamingo — June 1, 2010 @ 11:53 pm

    There is no better judge than a kid with sticky marshmallow/chocolate fingers. 😉 Totally fun!

  10. Stephanie — June 2, 2010 @ 12:05 am

    The marshmallows were my favorite part! There’s nothing like fresh marshmallow. Making them at home is pretty magical, I totally recommend trying it!

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  12. Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite — June 3, 2010 @ 2:40 pm

    These are totally spectacular! I think I need to source me a gourmet smores kit!!!!

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