So, I know it’s been a long time since I last posted…what can I say, it’s hard to keep up when you’re in uni and there’s tests every other week!
Now that it’s summer, however, I vow to kick start this blog back to where it belongs, which is updates on a weekly basis. Oh yeah, so it’s summer now by the way. See the sun? You don’t? Oh well. It was here once…it brought some flowers and tanned our shoulders…sigh…
So. Since I finished exams, I have moved back home and started working at the same great place as last year. A noticeable thing about moving back home after living independently is the habits I’ve acquired as a semi-adult have become a little less, hm, polished let’s say. I have identified a few trademarks that made me semi-adult for a short 8 months, which I have formatted into an easy checklist to see if you have grown to a maturation that matches your chronological age:
1) Making the bed. Walking into a bedroom and seeing pillows purely for aesthetics with a fluffy duvet screams “I took time to purchase these things and arrange it in an orderly fashion, and I continue to organize things in an orderly fashion.” Adults make time to do this sort of things, and it makes them happy, in the ranks of sweeping and putting sachets in drawers. Remember, mess means younsters and therefore mess = stress.
2) Doing the dishes the same day you use them. Teenagers know that nothing exciting happens to the dishes if you leave them until the next morning- if anything it’s easier because if you were cooking chances are you were pretending your were fancy so therefore there was wine involved, and no one likes doing dishes tipsy (bye bye wine glass stems). Adults, however, know that they should (or do) have children, so their biology tells them to do all the cleaning stuff when it’s dark out because as soon as the sun comes up, the children follow, and like to demand food that requires the very dishes that need cleaning.
3) Doing laundry more than once a month. When adults run out of shirts, they don’t air the old ones out and start from the beginning. They also have the appropriate long term memory to remind themselves that there is nothing better than clean sheets.
4) Knowing how to keep the plants inside the house alive. This includes understanding the concept of “over-watering” a theory that seems to be the equivalent of “over-loving”. Too much care, and those plants will turn on you and die. Care just enough, but not too much (kind of like your feelings for a favourite unpredictable sports team).
5) When the Canadian national anthem is playing at hockey games you sing the actual words, and know all of them. Yelling “YEAH WHOOO” in between stanza’s also exempts you from adulthood.
6) You have attended, or possibly even hosted, an event that required hors d’oeuvres.
So that cues the transition to today’s recipe! Besides being difficult to spell, like all things French, hors d’oeuvres is a way of saying “adult appies”. It’s nice to have a relatively easy dish with a little finesse that you can put together quickly when an event comes up. Check out my all-season figgy appy (http://easypi.blogspot.com/2010/09/turning-over-new-fig.html) for a nice quick one! Another great one is smoked salmon (AKA lox) with jacked up cream cheese. I call this a crostini, despite my lack of Italian authority and my use of sliced French baguette. It is fresh and wonderful. Perfect to make when your fisherman boyfriend who’s allergic to fish is away fishing, so that you can eat it without an epi-pen nearby.
Smoked Salmon Crostini
Don’t get too worried about quantities in this recipe…taste the cream cheese and adjust! Sometimes I add citrus zest or swap out herbs. Some people find things more “onion-y” than others, so make sure you add everything in increments and taste as you go to suit you and your family. I mean, bread, cream cheese, salmon…nothing can go wrong with that!
1 French buguette, sliced
Cream Cheese mix:
1 lb cream cheese (regular)
1/2 red onion, chopped fine
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
2 tsp dried dill (if using fresh, increase to taste)
1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
Pinch of salt, to taste
Lox (cold smoked salmon)
Capers (in brine)
Salt and Pepper
1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. First, you want to prepare the baguette for the crostini. Make sure you use a fresh baguette, because you want to get a lovely light toast on the outside but still have a soft, giving center to the bread. Slice the baguette into 1/2 inch rounds, and brush with a bit of olive oil. Spread in one even layer (confluent monolayer, for the microbiologists in the crowd) on a cookie sheet, and bake for 10 minutes until the outside is just starting to get crisp and light brown. Place baked baguette rounds onto a cooling rack to avoid having moisture from the steam soften the slices as they cool.
2) Next, take all ingredients for cream cheese spread, and put in a bowl. Beat together with a good old wooden spoon or some electric beaters. Taste and adjust, taste and adjust!
3) Now it’s presentation time. Spread the baguette rounds with some of the cream cheese mixture. Lay slices of lox over the mixture (people usually appreciate generosity in this step!). Dress up with a caper on top of each slice. Cover with a liberal finishing brush of salt and pepper.
4) Impress people with your hors d’oeuvres! How grown up.