Stock Options.

There’s something about a big pot of homemade chicken stock simmering away on the stove that’s just so darn.. awesome. And comforting, too, of course. I thrill myself by being thrifty–carving away on that chicken, saving the bits of meat for, oh, I don’t know, soup or enchiladas tomorrow, throwing in old carrots and onions, and making something utterly delicious. I made Thomas Keller’s roast chicken on a bed of root vegetables the other day, which I’ll write up later, and one of the best parts was what lay beneath the meat: Bones.

So I beg of you: The next time you make something that has a, you know, carcass left over.. Keep that skeleton! Make stock! You’ll be so pleased by yourself.

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Step by step, bit by bit, stone by stone, brick by brick.. your way to salsa!

So, my second post ever was about my favorite salsa. It’s ridiculously simple, and today I’m going to prove it. I made another batch with pictures of each of the steps. So. Ridiculously. Simple.

First, you’re gonna need about this much cilantro, the bit on the left. You can add more if you really like cilantro, or less, if you really don’t like cilantro.
cilantro… 

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I’ll have the braised lion with the brandy demi-glace, please.

OK, so I was a little disappointed when I realized Hemingway’s Island Grille was based off his Cuba phase, not his African safari phase. No matter, I’m down with Cuba, SORRY AMERICA. Cuban food made in America, at least. That’s better, isn’t it, America?

Google Translate is telling me that means:

I ate in Hemingway’s Island Grille at Pensacola, Florida tonight. My here review is.

double fisted mango margarita… 

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The primitive days of smoked salmon dip.

Ah, yes. The primitive days before the hand-me-down camera. The primitive days of food photography via iPhone. The primitive days of.. five days ago.

But let’s be honest. I’ve had several people offer, nay.. suggest they should take pictures for my blog. Sure, they’re photographers, journalists, people with real cameras, whatever. And I could be flattered. But I know the real reason, and I’m onto you do-gooders. I’m a terrible photographer. This is not up for debate.

To all of those who say anyone can be a photographer, that it’s just point-and-shoot, you’re wrong. Take me for example. Maybe I have an unsteady hand. Maybe I just don’t get it. Maybe I got my father’s cut-off-at-the-forehead portrait-taking skills. My mother and my sister are fantastic photographers. Me? I’m better with a kitschy Polaroid. See? It’s not supposed to be clear. That’s what makes it cool. All lies. I’m just a bad photographer.

However, I like to think my amateur cooking skills make up for at least an eighth of that. So here we go.

My sister’s birthday was five days ago, coincidentally the day I was handed down the old camera, and I was reminded of the old days when we didn’t “get” that it was her birthday, and that’s why she was getting all the presents. We each got something small, but it never really clicked why the cake had Simba on it when you were going through a categorically Ariel phase.

Anyway, she requested I make my famous mashed potatoes and a smoked salmon dip, a favorite of hers from a restaurant we dig. Knowing the restaurant used actually freshly smoked salmon, rather than cured salmon, I went in anyway, with a tiny slab of the cured stuff. Here’s the finished product:

smoked salmon dip with dill

Not bad. Not bad at all. In fact.. quite good!

Smoked Salmon Dip with Dill

Ingredients:
10 oz. smoked salmon, chopped
1/2 T sour cream
1/2 T cream cheese
2 t mayonnaise
1 – 2 t fresh lemon juice
2 + t dried dill (less if using fresh)
fresh ground pepper

Directions:
Combine all ingredients except the salmon, starting with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Stir in salmon and taste. Season to liking with more lemon juice, dill, or pepper. Serve with toast points or crackers or whatever you want