The Cheesecake Addiction

My Life in Food

Archive for the tag “salmon”

Fancy Fish and Cookies

Hey guys!

I’m kind of in a hurry to clean my room for the cleaning lady tomorrow (oh come on, we all know that chestnut) SO, I’ll try to make this as brief as possible–with little heart-felt yammerings.

Yammerings: This week I started my new job as a nanny, and it was a little rough, but mostly pretty great. The paycheck was nice too. Still looking to fill five more hours of childcare and/or personal assistant work on Thursdays…so please feel free to hit me up (I know, not so heartfelt). I had a wonderful girl’s lunch with Gabs and Em on Thursday and it was exactlt what all of us needed. Two whole hours of laughter. And yesterday, I saw A Christmas Carol and Paul was my date for the evening. He even accompanied me for late night tacos. Thanks, bud. A little bit each day, I feel like I’m a little less on the crazy train. A little bit. Please note that as I say this, I have six GIANT sheets of blank paper strewn about my room that I have to turn into backdrops for the Christmas pageant. There’s a million canvases and articles of clothing thrown around and between me and the computer screen I have: a toiletry bag, a Victoria’s Secret perfume box, a journal, Nine Kinds of Naked, two pill bottles (left over from the pneumonia), an inhaler, sheet music, a notebook, an old mp3 player, insurance papers, a necklace, a hair clip, Pier 1 reed diffuser fragrance, and about $8.50 in change (dimes and pennies). So. A while still on the crazy train.

BUT. On Friday night, I decided that I would make CDR a fancy date-night dinner. I decided that the menu would be grilled salmon, orzo-stuffed tomatoes, and a kale, spinach, and red pepper saute. All in all, pretty fantabulous. We paired it with a delightful pinot grigio (but keep in mind that with salmon, you could really go either way–white or red) and enjoyed ourselves on a makeshift indoor picnic blanket.

Oooh la la, que bueno!

Oooh la la, que bueno!

To make these dreamy little balls of heaven (pretend I came up with something better to say), you simply hollow out tomatoes and sprinkle them with a little S&P. Reserve the liquid from the tomatoes, because you can use it to cook the orzo (or rice, or cous cous, or whatever). In a small saucepan, toast two tabelspoons of butter, 1 sliced shallot, and 1 clove of garlic. When the butter has melted, add 1 1/2 cups of orzo and lightly toast. Pour in the tomato liquid and chicken stock and cook orzo until done (about 8 min). Make a breadcrumb topping by combining breadcrumbs and a variety of herbs (I used parsley, basil, and rosemary) with salt, pepper, and olive oil (HINT: also add some parm. I was out of cheese, so I couldn’t do that part). When the orzo is done, stir in half of the breadcrumb mixture and fill the tomatoes (you’ll have orzo left over for later). Sprinkle the tops of the ‘maters with the rest of the bread crumb mixture, drizzle with a little bit more olive oil, and throw them under a low broiler for a few minutes. Delish, is really all that I can say.

It didn't even taste healthy!

It didn’t even taste healthy!

For the kale and spinach mixture, first chop a shallot and a clove of garlic and bring it to temperature with a bit of olive oil and butter (1 1/2 TBL total). Also, if you’d like (and I liked) add 1/2 tsp of red chili flake. Then add 1 sliced red bell pepper at saute 2 min. Add one bunch of kale and one bunch of spinach (this stuff wilts down to almost nothing, so if you’re cooking for more than 2, be sure account for that), and saute until it wilts, but still has a bit of a bite to it. Sprinkle in a dash of nutmeg, too. It brings out the flavor of greens.Now, for this salmon–I went a little outside my fish comfort zone. Usually, I just like to drizzle with a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper it and be done with it, because I like to keep the fish as pure and as simple as possible. BUT, I thought, what the hell? Make it herbacious, right? So, about ten minutes before I threw it on the grill, I slathered it with some honey mustard, basil, parsley, rosemary, salt, pepper, and a little bit of lemon juice. Slathered may not be the right word…because I definitely just lightly coated it. Threw it on the grill 4 min a side (I took it a little far. 3 min a side would have been better) The flavor was unbelievable and the skin was crispy.

Look how yumy!!

Look how yumy!!

This has CDR's stamp of approval!

This has CDR’s stamp of approval!

Now, with Friday night’s successful dinner, I thought I’d make fancy Christmas cookies on Saturday morning. They really aren’t that fancy. They’re sugar cookies with some chopped rosemary. Couldn’t be easier. Everyone has their own favorite sugar cookie recipe, so just use that and add about 1 tablespoon of chopped FRESH rosemary, and it gives your cookies a wonderful pine, Christmas flavor.

I wish YOU a Merry Christmas!

I wish YOU a Merry Christmas!

So maybe this year we give Santa a little sophistication and leave him some nice rosemary-sugar cookies. They’re delectable, and quite perfect for those of us that want to feel a little grown-up this Christmas.

Make enough for reindeer!

Make enough for reindeer!

Ciao, guys. I have a room to clean.


Something Magical This Way Comes…

“Sometimes you can’t  go back, but why’d you have to go and make a mess like that?

I just have to say before I let go…Have you ever been low?”

Absolutely I was playing my old CDs again. It isn’t my fault Kelly Clarkson, Five for Fighting, and Julie Roberts all had relevant things to say. Well, it’s been quite the whirlwind. Wizard of Oz closes tomorrow (and you all will miss out if you don’t come) and life is starting to calm down. I’m starting to…just starting to…feel like myself again. Now, I’m not without my tears, but slowly and surely…I’m coming back. I can even listen to that ridiculous song by the Fray without crying now. Accomplishment? Yes.

But I’m looking for a little more. A little magic. And maybe I just need to get back to Woods Hole (two weeks and three days!)  and sit on the beach or go sailing or have drinks at the Kydd or late night pie at Pie in the Sky and it will all just go away and feel much better. Sunny with a chance. It is the place I feel most myself, so maybe…that’s all the magic I need.

“Fifteen, there’s still time for you.

Twenty-two I feel her too.

Thirty-three you’re on your way…

Every day’s a new day.”

But in my search for magic and in the event that life slowed down a bit, I had the chance last week (was it Tuesday?) to cook something a little more decadent than usual. Salmon with a blueberry sauce. OH MY GOODNESS. So delicious. Found the recipe here. I followed it exactly with the exception of using fresh rosemary instead of fresh thyme. I served it with some grains and a salad. It was really unbelievable. And I had more pictures for you, but now I can’t find my camera cord…so this will have to do.

Tell me you don’t want to bite into this…

For dessert, I made peanut butter cups. Also magically decadent. I mixed a cup of peanut butter with a cup (give or take) each of powdered sugar and graham cracker crumbs. Then I mixed in a bit of vanilla extract and a stick of melted butter. Press firmly into a small pan and cover with melted semi-sweet chocolate. Couldn’t be easier. See?

I’ll try to find that camera cord asap, so that I can show you process photos of making the salmon and sauce. But really, give this one a shot. It’s completely worth it.

So, to recap: I’m a bit better, I just keep swimming. I need a little magic–and I’m finding it in my food, my theater, love, family, books, and as always–water. Just reaching out into the cyber infinite, hoping these words find someone who is also a little stuck. Are you there, God? It’s me, Margaret. Ha.

Eat well.

“I’m in trouble if these wheels stop rolling.

So god help me keep moving somehow,

don’t let me start wishing…

I’d sure hate to break down here.”


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