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Reading travel books about exotic places is a stimulating torture process. Even though we have vacation plans that actually involve travel this year, they are not, sadly, to somewhere we haven't already been. After finishing the travel book that has taken me much longer to read than any book has a right to, I'm now yearning to explore European destinations I have yet to visit: Prague (yes, I know!), St. Petersburg, the Italian coast, more of Greece, Ireland, Wales, Portugal, France (when all I've seen is Paris). And that's only grazing the surface. Poland! Croatia! Budapest and Zagreb. I'm not even wandering off the continent I'm ON.

But even so, traveling BACK to a place that I've been to, a place that I have good memories of, can also be a joyous experience and a chance to not only re-live some of the experiences I treasured, but to share them now with my children: an added bonus! There's world enough, for sure, but never, never enough time.

It rained all day today, a steady wet dripping that darkened and saturated everything. I suppose we needed it, but it's been grey for so many days that yet another one with the additional wetness was kind of depressing. Around 5:30 in the evening the sun tried to poke itself out from behind the clouds for a short moment but as it was sinking below the horizon anyway, it didn't do much more than make us sigh with frustration. I'm looking forward to the time when sunlight once again saturates everything, even if does mean exclaiming in horror over how DUSTY every surface is, how smudged the windows are! Time enough for spring cleaning when spring actually arrives and kicks everything into action.

I feel a bit scattered right now; my head is overflowing. To-do lists feel like they're a mile long and a busy week lies in wait: something every night. I have to grocery shop for Friday's dinner tomorrow because there is something every other night of the week; I'm menu-planning for the Wonders who I'm hosting on Friday and am not sure my menu is just right. What do you think?
  • Toasted Shrimp Sandwich Triangles with dill garnish

  • Seared Salmon Filets w/Saffron, Lemon & Red Pepper seasoning

  • Vegetable Sauté of snap peas, kohlrabi and artichoke hearts

  • Buttered Rice

  • Chilled White Chocolate & Crème Fraîche* Dessert with Raspberries and Chocolate Brownie Hearts

Actually, I'm drooling just typing up that list so maybe it IS just right.

*mmmmmmmm crème fraîche

Bright & Bonny Belated Birthday Wishes to rearviewmags!
mood: tired
music: Vaughan Penn—Bring On The Day


Am already drooling reading your menu. YUM!

I am going shopping tomorrow and doing dessert prep on Wednesday!


Isn't it time for spring now? It feels like I have been waiting forever...

That menu sounds more than just right, it sounds... divine!


I will let you know how it turns out, but I've made the salmon/veggies many times; it's my favorite dish!

We have this thing where a) we're always broke and b) when we have vacation time we always spend it getting together with family. That leaves Canada and the United States and while I've had tremendous times in both places, I could do with somewhere else.

I'm right there with you on both counts :)

You're sharing Chicago's weather right now. It's been rainy and gray all weekend. The vegetable saute sounds good! Artichoke hearts, yuuummmmmmmm.

We've had some sunshine today, hurray!

Well well, what a co-winky-dink! We're bathed in sunlight today too. :D Glorious.

That's quite a menu. When will you have time to make all that?

You've given me the idea to add that jar of artichoke hearts I have, to a veggie saute in a couple of days. Thanks Liz.

SO where are you going back to? I either missed it because I haven't caught up on my Friends page yet, or it fell through the swiss cheese (my memory.)

back to Holland (which is my favorite place on earth, so that's good), to the school I went to for junior high. My girlfriends and I are having a mini-reunion. :)


What a scrumptious menu! Would you share the toasted shrimp sandwich recipe? Just the sound of dill and shrimp (and crispy toast) is making me hungry, yum.

Holland is wonderful, but you've got to come see Prague (and Cesky Krumlov and and) sometime for sure! Not in the winter though. We are equally gray and waiting for sun. Sigh.

Happily, I did see some snowdrops yesterday! It was very exciting.


I'm probably cheating on the shrimp recipe and using a store-bought shrimp salad spread, and then adding some extra shrimp on top :)

And I swear, I WILL get to Prague someday!

perf menu!!

that looks beyond delicious---- sigh

bisous, bp

Re: perf menu!!

If you get your tickets now, you'll be right on time for dinner!! :)


Ahhh, I know about the travel books. I splurged and bought Lonely Planet guides for all the places I want to visit - Antarctica, Australia, Kenya, Nepal, and then of course all the European destinations - Sweden (!), Croatia, Greece ... many nights of wonderful fantasies!


(PS - that comment was from Heather)

I haven't even thought so much about destinations outside of Europe, quite honestly...there's enough here to keep me busy for a lifetime...but I DO want to see more of Canada someday, especially Prince Edward Island :)

How I wish I were at YOUR dinner party! It reads: 5 star.

We usually have the rain here but not this end of winter just before spring. Today (Monday) has been fluctuating from snow deluge to sunshine. Back and forth, snow then melt, then snow again.

I'm not sure what I have to do to get that salmon recipe from you, but I'm ready to find out. The whole menu sounds divine but I think it's a bit much asking for all of the recipes (not that I would mind *hint hint*). I know your busy, so if you remember/can I would love it.

I want to go on vacation somewhere. We only go to Sweden and while that's nice and all, I want warm/tropical/places where tourists get stomach ailments.

I know what you mean about sharing an experience with your children. Of all the places you mentioned, which one would be first?

I can get the recipes together for you, but it might take a couple of days...and the one problem is that the spice mix I use for the salmon (and the veggies, actually) is a pre-packaged mix that I buy clue if it's available anywhere else, but I'll at least tell you what's in it :)

Greece or Italy would probably be first at this point :)

Okay, here they are...I'm sorry, I suspect you'll have to wing it with some of the ingredients.

Shrimp & Crayfish Toast Triangles w/Dill Garnish
Thick white bread slices or thin crusty Italian bread slices, toasted and cut in triangles. A generous dollop of shrimp salad (I'm using a store-bought shrimp & crayfish spread), and add a few cooked pre-peeled small shrimp or crayfish tails on top and a small dill sprig for garnish.

Seared Salmon Filets w/Saffron, Lemon & Red Pepper seasoning and
Vegetable Sauté of snap peas, kohlrabi and artichoke hearts

This is how I cook the salmon and veggies for ONE person. Add incrementally for more! :)

10-15 snap peas, cut in half.
Peel kohlrabi and slice 2 or 3 quarter-inch thick slices, then dice them.
3-4 canned artichoke hearts, cut in quarters.

Heat frying pan on med-high (8) heat with a small amount of vegetable oil. As pan is warming up, throw in all the veggies and then sprinkle generously with Santa Maria Seafood & Fish Spice Seasoning Mix (grinder).

If you can't find it, use something similar or make up your own, contains crushed: saffron, lemon, fennel, pink peppercorns, dillseed, garlic.

Let the veggies sauté on high heat for 5-8 minutes, stirring/turning occasionally. When the snap peas start to look a bit seared, add the salmon fillet. Sprinkle liberally with the spice seasoning mix and let it cook for 1 minute, then turn and spice the other side. Add a generous sprinkle of lemon-flavored sea salt. Continue sauté on high heat until the salmon has just begun to turn translucent but is not quite cooked through. You can turn it a couple of times to make sure it's heated through.

Serve with buttered jasmine rice. YUM YUM!

Chilled White Chocolate & Crème Fraîche Dessert with Raspberries and Chocolate Brownie Hearts

Make brownies according to box mix :) Cut in heart shapes using cookie cutter.

PER PERSON: Melt 200 grams of white chocolate in the microwave, mix until well-blended with 2 dl creme fraiche (add raspberries to the blend if desired, but it's good without them, too). Chill for 5 hours. Serve with a brownie heart.

WARNING! This makes a HUGE amount per person...fills an ice cream goblet, and is VERY VERY RICH. So half the recipe might be enough per person especially with the brownie heart :)

This is the first time I've made the dessert :)

Edited at 2009-03-12 09:34 pm (UTC)

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lizardek's obiter photos
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