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

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

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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 “silent sunday: scenes from spring break”

  1. Aggie — April 3, 2011 @ 2:28 pm

    Love this post…beautiful photos and beautiful family.

    • mj (merry gourmet)

      mj (merry gourmet) replied: — April 3rd, 2011 @ 8:49 pm

      Thank you so much, Aggie. 🙂

  2. maris (In Good Taste) — April 3, 2011 @ 7:04 pm

    I really enjoyed your photo array. You have a beautiful family!

  3. Such beautiful family portraits… and the scenery isn’t bad either 🙂 Happy Sunday!

  4. Elizabeth @ Saffron Lane — April 4, 2011 @ 4:33 pm

    Looks like you had a very successful vacation. Beautiful family, too!

  5. Cookin' Canuck — April 4, 2011 @ 8:38 pm

    It looks as though you had a wonderful vacation. I love the photo of your son sacked out with Eeyore.

  6. Aunt Darlene — April 5, 2011 @ 11:12 am

    Good family fun. Great photos!

  7. Winnie — April 5, 2011 @ 5:50 pm

    Great photos! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  8. Pingback: couscous salad with pine nuts and dried fruits | the merry gourmet

  9. The Yummy Mummy — April 11, 2011 @ 12:05 am

    OMG. Your kids are beautiful. Gorgeous. xo

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