I feel pretty lucky to live in Northwest. I've said it before, I'll likely say it again. Perhaps it's because I don't know life any other way, but still, I feel lucky. I know there has to be a reason that people have started infiltrating our little cities, both from the east and the south. Perhaps it's our pleasant Summers, mild Winters, warm(ish) Autumns, sweet Spring's. Our plethora of farms, and local producers that offer the loyal localist and diehard foodie copious goods to choose from. Great cuisine. Fresh seafood. Island after island to hop ferries and visit. Booming metropolitan areas, expansive rural farmlands. Towering mountains. Lush lakes. Saltwater surrounding it all. What's not to love? It's easy to live a simple, but fantastic life in our little corner of the world.
Thursday was an extraordinary day. The boyfriend and I started the morning with crab cake eggs benedict, fresh fruit and hashbrowns, a lovely breakfast at one of our favorite spots downtown. Then we spent the day perusing used book stores (found some very colorful/fun vintage cookbooks, one of which featured a recipe for stewed sparrow brains. . . I know), and local markets including my favorite fresh fish shop where we scored a large chunk of beautifully smoked Coho salmon for a very good price (another perk of living in the NW, you can buy fresh fish right off the boat, or from the supplier for a fraction of the normal cost). We decided to start our evening with chilled glasses of pinot grigio and the simple, tasty little smoked salmon appetizers you see pictured. I needed a little pick me up after my daring baker debacle and this treat did the trick!
Crunchy artisan toasted sesame crackers are topped with a generous schmear of whipped cream cheese, smoky, sweet, moist salmon then finished with a sprinkle of freshly grated lemon zest. Gorgeous and delicious enough to serve at a cocktail party, but easy and quick enough to whip up and enjoy on a quiet Thursday night at home.