Category Archives: hors d’œuvre

Monsieur Marcel Gourmet Market Products (and yes, I’m baaaaack!)

Whoa. How long has it been since I’ve even been on my blog? It’s been a pretty hectic few months and unfortunately Tuna Toast has fallen by the wayside, even though this food blog is honestly one of the reasons why I’m doing the work I’m doing now.

I don’t want to get into it too much, but as the 1.5 longtime readers of this here blog  know, I worked in entertainment media for years up until the end of last year. Since then it’s been a journey- honestly that’s the best way to describe it- to finding something that is both personally rewarding as well as professionally challenging and satisfying. It’s a story you read often on food blogs- blogger works in a non-food industry, is itching to make their passion their profession, makes a leap of faith and either lands on both feet or lands on one foot while the other is still dangling up on a rope somewhere. I think maybe I’m more of the latter – I’m basking in the warm glow of actually working in the food/wine industry while occasionally letting the worry of starting over (hey- I’m not over the hill but I ain’t 25!) damper the experience a bit.  I know I shouldn’t waste any time or energy doubting myself, because it was only a few short months ago that I was bound to a cubicle, daydreaming of working elsewhere. The constant reminder on the nightly news about the state of employment (a complete lack of it!) in this country should also be a reminder that I should feel extremely lucky and grateful to be working at all, much less in a job (make that  jobs) I actually like. Continue reading

Two reasons to celebrate

This past week included two special events- my dad’s birthday and my parents’ wedding anniversary. Since the two fall within a day of each other, we’ve always combined them into one happy celebration that my sister and I would dub “annibirthday” when we were younger.

J and I had my parents and sister over for dinner to celebrate the happy occasions. I made many things so I’ll break it up into a few posts. This one will be about the hors d’œuvre and dessert- the beginning and the end of the meal!

I always like to serve a little something to munch on with champagne so we can sit in the living room and just relax before sitting down for a full-fledged meal. I knew I wanted to do something with smoked trout, but when my local Whole Foods had every kind of smoked fish except trout I decided to pick up a small filet of smoked salmon. My local gourmet shop, Nicole’s, has a great selection of sweet and savory tart shells in many sizes, so I picked up the “neutral” cups in the smallest size and filled them with a mixture of crème fraiche, horseradish, lemon zest, diced chives and coarsely ground black pepper. After topping each with a cube of the salty salmon and a couple sprigs of chive, they were ready:

The combination of the crunchy wonton-like cups with the cool, zesty (hm, I never thought I’d use that word but here it is…it always reminds me of ranch dressing for some reason!) crème and the small bite from the chives was really something wonderful. These are definitely one-bite hors d’œuvres so there isn’t even a need for napkins. Just pop in your mouth and follow with a nice sip of champagne. Ahhh.

For dessert I knew that I wanted to make David Lebovitz’s Lemon-Buttermilk Sherbet because I’d made something very similar years ago and my dad loved it. Unfortunately I’d lost the recipe and just drew a complete blank on how to make it again, so I was very happy to discover the recipe in The Perfect Scoop. I made the sherbet the day before and spread the soft mixture into a glass baking dish, covered it and put it in the freezer to set. In the meantime I just whipped up a batch of soft, gingerbread cookies and then used a biscuit cutter to cut rounds of sherbet to sandwich between two cookies. I’ve always loved the combination of warm, spicy gingerbread with tart, refreshing lemon, and the buttermilk in the sherbet really brought the two flavors together nicely. It’s also always a good idea to make an adult version of something you enjoyed as a kid, and ice cream sandwiches fit into that category. I’m looking forward to playing around with more flavor combinations.

More annibirthday dishes in posts coming soon!