appetizers & recipes: spring cleaning woe’s & a quick powerhouse salmon snack on a crostini

Smoked Salmon Crostini Recipe The notion of spring cleaning is pretty simple, it’s more like packing up all the winter things into boxes and preparing for spring! There are some people who are so organized they can practically reorganize their home and their wardrobe for a change in season on a whim. I, of course, count myself as one of those people. Okay, don’t get me wrong, I am not so OCD that every guest who enters my home has to be totally disinfected. I can say I am organized when it comes to my home and things. But… and I mean I do have my limitations, next time, we need to hire someone to do some major physical work around the house. It's not worth bending over for hours on hours in a given week (or day) to get things spic and span for the summer months to come, and have blood rushing to my head to the point of feeling like I got stuck upside down on a roller coaster. Nor is it worth the pressure of fluid running into my ears and neck, plus the tension that hurts so bad from bending over for hours on hours. I learned my lesson, I scrubbed the balcony (which is huge) not to mention the exterior walls, too! I toiled as well by cleaning and scrubbing both of my fur babies. I practically scoured the bathrooms until I could eat off the floor. All of which had me bending over and upside down for hours. Need I elaborate on what those hours meant to my poor ravaged hands and body, and back! Well, we recently sold our dream home, yep, that's right! I hate to say it out loud, I'm angry, but at who? Mother Nature? I would have never have fathomed a Tsunami happening of the magnitude in which we experienced... BUT, being so close to the ocean was enough to put me on edge, the logical practicality of that happening was not paranoia, but I couldn't see living in a home where I had to constantly live in fear. Constantly jumping at every jolt or tremor. ( We spent a few years planning and building process all started before the devastating Tsunami happened here in Japan). After coming back to our home in Japan, after what I would call a very, long vacation of emotional cleansing, our tenants in our Tower Condo's lease was up. It was time to downsize, and remodel (but it's only four years old) and start the search all over again, buy land, make plans, or move into a larger Condo? We lost a lot of our time, but it's worth it for peace of mind. We didn't lose much money, thank god!!! So I may bore you with the details every now and then with re-building our dream home, yet, AGAIN. Where was I? Oh, yes! Spring Cleaning, In conclusion, I gave the mister a very generous option…“the next time spring cleaning comes up, it’s either we hire a company to do it or YOU do it yourself!” It’s a pretty simple choice if you ask me.
Smoked Salmon Crostini 1 Loaf of French Bread (We grab something from our favorite bakery shop, in Japan, there is a Bakery on every corner, (not every corner, but if you live in town, or on the outskirts, you'll find a gem in your neighborhood which reminds me of home in NYC!) We normally pick up something made of spelt flour or (Genmai: Brown Rice) 1 package of Smoked Salmon 1/2 package of cream cheese (I use no more than a tablespoon which is approximately 60 calories) 1 container of ricotta cheese (optional) 1 small container of sour cream (full fat) Note: We mix three cheeses, and top it off with a sprig of rosemary, but basil tastes quite lovely as well. This is quick, it's a nice powerhouse snack that will fill you up with the right amount of carbs and protein.
Photography Data: Dušan Zidar ApertureFNumber: f/4.0 Make: NIKON CORPORATION Model: NIKON D300 ExposureTime: 1/160 FNumber: 4/1 ExposureProgram: 1 ISOSpeedRatings: 200 MaxApertureValue: 10/10 MeteringMode: 5 LightSource: 0 Flash: 0 FocalLength: 500/10
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  • May 22, 2012 at 10:38 pm //

    That looks amazing! I don’t even remember the last time I had smoked salmon and now I’m craving it. Gorgeous photo!

    • May 26, 2012 at 2:41 pm //

      LOVE Smoked Salmon, I grew up on Bagel and Lox, is that a fav of yours as well?

  • May 23, 2012 at 1:23 am //

    It’s pictures like these that continuously make me try smoked salmon. Unfortunately, I keep having the same reaction…not a fan. For as much as I LOVE cooked salmon, I just can’t even pretend to like the smoked stuff. What is wrong with me?! haha I did have a lemon “cured” piece last week in Sonoma that was out of this world though so it must just be the smoked part and not the raw thing. I’ll keep trying… ;)

    • May 26, 2012 at 2:43 pm //

      “giggles” This would go really well with cooked salmon, or any left over fish, mushrooms, even chicken, whatever is on hand. Hey.. I take it you are not a fan of sushi? = )

  • May 23, 2012 at 1:28 am //

    What a beautiful photograph, and such a simple satisfying snack!

    • May 26, 2012 at 2:43 pm //

      After a hard days work… the right account of carbs and protein, huge, huge fan of Bagel and Lox!

  • May 23, 2012 at 3:51 am //

    oh wow this looks so delicious! i totally love this idea and am bookmarking it for the future, awesome recipe!

    • May 26, 2012 at 2:44 pm //

      Thank you Jenn = )

  • May 23, 2012 at 4:07 am //

    I love smoked salmon. The picture is so beautiful, it makes my mouth water… :-) Thanks for sharing!

    • May 26, 2012 at 2:44 pm //

      Me too, do you like Bagel and Lox as well?

  • May 23, 2012 at 7:31 am //

    Beautiful photo. I love smoked salmon. And the snack it is so easy to make. The best food is the simple food.

    • May 26, 2012 at 2:44 pm //

      OH yea = ) we totally grew up on Bagel and Lox = ) Thank you for commenting Magda.

  • May 23, 2012 at 9:05 am //

    That is a beautiful photo! Makes me drool. I love love love smoked salmon!

    • May 26, 2012 at 2:45 pm //

      Are you a fan of Bagel and Lox as well? = )

  • May 23, 2012 at 10:49 am //

    Gorgeous photos, as always…. Smoked salmon with a little bit of cream cheese on crackers or bread is one of my favorite appetizers… So yummy!

    • May 26, 2012 at 2:45 pm //

      Yes, this would totally work on saltine crackers too..DELISH

  • May 23, 2012 at 12:04 pm //

    This is my favorite way to have smoked salmon. Great photo!

    • May 26, 2012 at 2:45 pm //

      Thank you Carrie!

  • May 23, 2012 at 1:02 pm //

    I can’t believe you were involved in the Tsunami. I’ve had a friend who lives in Hawaii. Signals of Tsunami comes every few weeks and they’d have to go into a safer shelter for a few nights. I can somehow relate to your notion of “living in fear” from that. At least your new dream home will be a much safer place. It must have been tough but look where it brought you :) Btw, smoked salmon on a crostini and a dollop of cheesy spread. Lovely.

    • May 23, 2012 at 11:09 pm //

      Hi Jesica, we didn’t live in East Japan, but it was horrible, the sirens going off, put me on edge for months, it’s hard to talk about, even now, I will forever be changed, it was as if, Japan stood still for a few months, like I was in some sort of alternate universe. The home was 6km from the ocean, not enough out of harms way, to leave up to chance, the possibility of water reaching us made me stir crazy, I couldn’t think, eat, and every time something moved I jolted, we waited a year almost before deciding to give it up, and for the economy to bounce back, but having peace mind was everything.

      We are still very, very cautious (perhaps a bit paranoid) about the veggies we buy within Japan, we by only Local foods from Osaka. We are still worried about the fall out from the radiation leaks, we don’t buy anything from Tokyo, Chiba, or Ibraki, anywhere from Shizoka, the mr. seems very insistent on this, now, everyone thinks it’s okay to eat these veggies,etc but what about 10 years later, will the children be affected? Even though the GOV says the levels are within the safe zone, but then they raised the levels “gah” I guess it’s best to be cautious. It’s a bit sad because we had plans when we came back to go to Mt. Fuji…but I can’t even budge the Mr. to travel anywhere near there =(.

    • May 23, 2012 at 11:14 pm //

      I just re-edited the message, I should know better than to type half asleep, after 11 pm I turn into a pumpkin!

  • May 23, 2012 at 11:35 pm //

    This looks beautiful and so fresh! All the best as you rebuild your dream home…I can see that peace of mind would definitely be worth the move, but it sounds like a stressful time.

    • May 24, 2012 at 8:01 am //

      Yes, it was such a stressful time, the entire year was out of sorts, everything seemed to stand still, when you would normally turn to the TV for information or sometimes comfort, it made it all the more real, for weeks and weeks every station didn’t have any commercials or advertisements, just an adorable but cute GOV message about greeting each other… it was as if time stood still. Only being 6km from the ocean was enough to make me stir crazy! We just needed peace of mind.

    • May 24, 2012 at 7:58 am //

      Thank you so much for commenting Devon = )

  • May 24, 2012 at 12:22 am //

    I may not be able to eat it, but it sure is a beautiful photo =)

    • May 24, 2012 at 7:58 am //

      oooh, you know, roasted eggplant would go so well with the three cheeses, or another vegan alternative, I keep forgetting that Vegan’s don’t eat cheese (?)? I’m sorry for my ignorance. I’m a flexitarian. (sp)?

  • May 24, 2012 at 3:10 am //

    this looks absolutely delicious, something you would see at an Afternoon tea. I’ve only tried smoked salmon once, and i thought it was ok.. but I love salmon. :-)

    • May 24, 2012 at 7:56 am //

      This would totally work with flaked salmon, not only salmon but anything you have on hand, that three cheese mixture really makes it pop in your mouth, we spread just enough to taste and to keep it low calorie (as much as possible) = )

    • May 24, 2012 at 7:55 am //

      Hi Yadsia, yes, and crostini’s are so versatile as well = )

  • May 24, 2012 at 8:54 pm //

    I love smoked salmon. These look wonderful. Something to look forward to after all of the cleaning. I am a very organized person too. I get a sick high from a massive cleaning spree.

    • May 26, 2012 at 2:41 pm //

      “giggles” Emily, me too, it is something about waking up with no dishes in the sink, relaxing in an organized and clean environment (as much as one can be with two fur babies). I can think better when I have work to do, bringing work home, now, if I could get the Mr. Beau on board, I’d be a happy gal!

  • May 25, 2012 at 2:38 am //

    The photo is as beautiful as the recipe is perfectly wonderful! Smoked salmon is one of my favorite easy appetizers, and I can’t wait to try it with the cheese combination. A great idea, thank you.

    • May 26, 2012 at 2:39 pm //

      Me too, you could uses it with left over salmon, anything really, but smoked salmon is true favorite. Bagels and Lox, grew up on the stuff.

  • May 25, 2012 at 2:50 pm //

    So pretty! This will be a good one for my friends when they come visit next time!

    • May 26, 2012 at 2:38 pm //

      Wonderful Idea Cindy = ) It’s so quick and easy too = )

  • May 26, 2012 at 4:51 pm //

    that looks amazing! i’ll have to give it a go soon! love your food styling and photos, by the way :)

    • May 27, 2012 at 6:27 pm //

      The test recipe came out FABULOUS, thank you for commenting Justin, it’s wonderful to connect = )