Tag Archives: Seattle

Greek Salmon Wraps for the Bride

This is Megan. Isn’t she gorgeous? She’s always laughing or smiling. I love that about her. And this month, she has plenty to smile about. Our homegirl and fellow blogger Megan of Wanna Be A Country Cleaver is getting married.

I confess, I ‘something borrowed’ this photo from Megan’s blog. It was taken during a bridal shower thrown by her best friend, Beka. If you click on the photo, it will take you to Megan’s post about her shower. It’s a lovely photo of a lovely bride-to-be.

And she’s not just marrying any old guy. She’s gettin’ hitched to a sweet hunk-o-burning-love named Ben. They make such a cute couple and we’re so happy for them. I know you’re dying to see them together. To view Megan’s blog post with engagement photos, click HERE. To celebrate their big day, Megan’s blogging friends are throwing her a virtual bridal shower and I am thrilled particpate.

While considering what to make, I pondered what Megan might like. She’s so laid back and fun, I know she’d enjoy anything and everything. But the one thing that kept coming to mind was salmon. Girlfriend has a serious salmon addiction. It’s why she was chosen to be a part of a small but very prestigious group of food bloggers selected to serve as ambassadors for Copper River Salmon. I still remember the day she posted a story about opening day of the Copper River salmon season. Y’all, they flew that salmon into Seattle on a jet. And there was a red carpet! Folks in Seattle take salmon season very seriously.

What to make, then? Well, something salmon. Obviously. And since we needed another entree, I decided to create a Greek Salmon Wrap in Megan’s honor.

A sandwich so pretty it should have a bow on it.

I think she’ll be happy with my choice. Here’s how it all came together.

Greek Salmon Wraps – simple ingredients, tremendous flavor

For two large wraps you’ll need:
Salmon, 6-8 ozs. – in this case, applewood-smoked Alaskan sockeye salmon
Greek yogurt dressing (see below)
Naan, pita or the flatbread of your choice, 2 pieces
Kalamata olives (pitted), fresh baby dill & capers
Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber & purple onion, very thinly sliced
Kosher salt & course-ground black pepper, a pinch of each

For the Greek Yogurt Dressing:
1/2 cup thick Greek yogurt or kefir, plain
zest & juice of one small lemon
1 teaspoon of Greek Seasoning (like Cavender’s or Konriko)

To make, measure all ingredients into a small bowl and whisk to combine. You can make this in advance for the best flavor; I mixed mine up the night before.

To start, lay one piece of flatbread on a sheet of parchment or waxed paper (which will make these a lot easier to roll later).

Start with a good schmear of the yogurt dressing.

Next, add a layer of smoked salmon. Don’t be stingy.

Add a sprinkling of shaved purple onion.

And then a smattering of olives, capers & baby dill; so gorgeous!

Then be a neat freak & perfectly line up your cucumber slices.

Follow that with a layer of tomatoes and a light dusting of salt & pepper.

Top with a layer of spring greens & a little more yogurt dressing.

Now here’s where the parchment comes in handy. Starting at one end, use the paper to help roll the sandwich into a tight wrap, tucking each side in as you go – just like wrapping a burrito. Once wrapped, use a piece of baker’s twine to tie it up. I tied a bow on each end so I could slice the wrap in half. This will make 4 small sandwiches or 2 large ones – your choice.

Wrapped tight & ready to eat. What do you think, Megan?

Helpful Hints:
1. Thin, soft flatbread works best because it rolls up easier.
2. A mandolin, if you have one, makes perfectly thin slices; I use an OXO.
3. Any salmon you love will work, including leftover baked or grilled salmon.
4. Don’t like salmon? Substitute grilled chicken, steak or even hummus.
5. These are portable & perfect for picnics; keep chilled until ready to eat.
6. Speaking of picnics, grab a crisp white wine for your pic-a-nic basket.

As I mentioned before, our Megan has a salmon fetish. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Click on any of the links below to check out her gorgeous collection of salmon recipes. Be forewarned – your mouth WILL water.

Copper River Salmon Burgers & Healthified Coleslaw
Grilled Salmon with Beurre Blanc
Salmon Ceviche
Salmonkopita
Oven Fried Salmon Wontons
“Whole Lotta Herbs” Glazed Salmon

And now, here are the links to our virtual bridal shower bloggers. Please drop by and see what they’re making!

Appetizers:
Heather of Farmgirl GourmetDeviled Eggs 3 Ways
Gina of Running to the KitchenEdamame Prosciutto Crostini
Kirsten of Comfortably DomesticCarmelized Onion & Goat Cheese Puffs
Tina of My Life As A Mrs.Easy Bacon Cream Cheese Roll-Ups
Rachel of Baked By RachelSausage & Red Pepper Stuffed Mushrooms
Allison of Decadent PhilistinesRetro Cheese Cookies

Drinks:
Laurie of Simply ScratchBlueberry Lemonade Spritzers
Cassie of Bake Your DayLemon-Berry Granita with Balsamic & Basil

Entrees:
Michelle of A Recipe JunkieFresh Melon & Crispy Proscuitto Salad
Jeanne of Inside NanaBread’s HeadGreek Salmon Wraps (Hey, that’s me!)

Desserts:
Kathryn of London BakesEton Mess Shooters
Julie of Table For TwoMiniature Cherry Pies
Lauren of Lauren’s LatestSummer Strawberry Jello Pie
KimBee of Cravings Of A LunaticRed Velvet Ice Cream Cupcakes
Kat of Tenaciously YoursGood For You Bars
Mads of Le Petite PancakeCheesecake-Stuffed Strawberries

Congratulations, Megan and Ben! We’re beyond excited for you. And as The Complete Package and I celebrate our 30th anniversary this September, we remind you to always laugh together, never go to bed angry, try not to say anything you can’t take back, and always, always think of yourselves as a team because together you really can conquer anything. We wish you much love on your special day and many, many years of joy. We love you, Megan!

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Dishin’ Some Dirt on Great Gardens

When I travel, there are always three things I look for as entertainment – museums, old churches and gardens. Today, I’m focusing on gardens. I love me some gardens. There’s a true art and beauty to a well maintained garden. I love and appreciate the people who toil in them every day seeking perfection and accepting that they probably won’t get it. When I visit a garden, I like to take my time and enjoy it slowly. Sometimes I’ll meander and take pictures for hours. It makes me a happy girl. I’ve been fortunate enough to see some really great ones. Here are a few I love. I hope you get the chance to see them, too.

The Japanese Gardens in Seattle:

Walking Path at The Japanese Gardens in Seattle, Washington

This small garden is a gem. It was pouring down rain the day I visited and I still enjoyed every minute of it. I’m not ashamed to admit that I have a serious crush on Japanese maples. I tried to grow one here in South Texas, but it just gasped and died and broke my heart. I strolled in this garden for 2 hours and only saw one other person. Maybe it was the rain, but I didn’t care. I was alone in a living piece of art, and it was spectacular. If you’re going to Seattle, put it on your list.

Butchart Gardens in Victoria, Vancouver Island, British Columbia:

The Sunken Garden at Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island

Oh, Canada! Words can’t begin to describe this remarkable garden. Privately owned by the Butchart family, it was started in 1904 by Jennie Butchart to beautify an old abandoned rock quarry. It easily wins my vote for best and most creative make-over of a giant hole. The sheer volume of dirt and plants it took to make this 55 acre masterpiece come to life are mind-boggling. It’s a top attraction in Victoria, and continues to stun and enthrall visitors year-round. There are many gardens within the grounds – a bog garden, a sunken garden, a rose garden, an Italian garden, etc. When you go to Vancouver Island, save some room in your schedule for Butchart Gardens. You won’t regret it.

The Gardens of the Palace at Versailles, outside of Paris:

The Gardens of Versailles and the Grand Canal

Most people visit Versailles to tour the palace and without a doubt, it is palatial. The Hall of Mirrors, the art collection and the lavender glass chandeliers alone are worth seeing. But it’s also miserably crowded with tourists who try the patience of even the kindest soul. For me, the real treasures are the gardens which date back to the 1660’s. They cover 800 hectares of land (that’s 8,000 acres). If this is on your bucket list, pack your walking shoes and your camera, buy a tram ticket to get out to the far ends of the property, and prepare to spend a full day taking it all in. Here are my favorite gardens at Versailles.

The Orangerie:

The Orangerie at Versailles - Part of It, Anyway!

It is exactly what it sounds like – a formal garden for Louis XIV’s 3,000 orange trees. Built between 1684 and 1686, it was one of the earliest structures at Versailles and was carved out of the southern slope of the palace to provide oranges in the winter. The formal design and its sheer size make this garden a stunner. I love how orderly it is. If you’re a neat freak, this is your garden. There’s not one thing out of place. This photograph shows less than half of this remarkable space. I found it hard to comprehend the history of this place. This garden is 350 years old. Wrap your head around that for a minute. Incredible!

The Botanical Gardens at the Trianon:

The Botanical Gardens at Petite Trianon, Versailles

In 1750, Louis XV commissioned the botanical gardens at Versailles. The Petite Trianon was built as a residence for the king so he could be closer to his new botanical garden and his long-time mistress, Madame de Pompadour, who died before it was completed. Eventually, it became the exclusive playground of Marie Antoinette, who (it is said) much preferred the peaceful gardens to the palace at Versailles. The botanical gardens of the Trianon and the adjacent hamlet became her refuge. It is said that no one was allowed to enter the gardens or grounds of the Petite Trianon or the hamlet without her permission. And it’s the hamlet that became my favorite garden at Versailles.

The Hamlet of Marie Antoinette:

I love this rustic arbor with its peek-a-boo garden view

I know why she escaped here. It is the anti-Versailles. While the palace was formal, grand and political, the hamlet replicated a small peasant village. Made up of small thatch-roofed houses and barns, it’s like a trip back in time to a rural French, well…hamlet. There are no palaces, no ballrooms, no pretense or snobbery. It is so peaceful here. There are barns with animals and gardens filled with vegetables and a vineyard that still grows grapes for the wines bottled in Marie Antoinette’s honor. I can’t describe it all, but I fell in love with it. If I had to choose between the palace full of fancy-pants politicians or the gardens with goats and cows and milkmaids, I’d choose the hamlet, too. If you do make it to Versailles some day, buy a tram ticket out to the hamlet and spend some quality time there. It will provide a remarkable contrast to the crowds inside the palace.

Cottage Garden in the Hamlet, Versailles

For me, gardens are magical places. It doesn’t matter if it’s a formal garden, a butterfly garden, a park or a small patch of dirt in your own back yard. I love them all. You never know what’s going to happen when you plant something. You could get something spectacular, or all hell could break loose. All it really takes is time, determination and hope, which reminds me of my pineapple plant that looks fabulous but won’t produce a baby pineapple. I don’t understand it. I’ve loved and nurtured it for 5 years, and I refuse to give up. I just want my baby pineapple! Okay, so gardening can sometimes require patience, but it can also be very rewarding. My motto for gardening makes a great motto for living: “Early to bed, early to rise, work like hell, and fertilize” (credited to Emily Whaley). Some days it’s more about working like hell…some days it’s more about fertilizing, if you know what I mean. What do you think, dear readers? Post a comment. I’d love to hear more about your favorite gardens. Let’s dish some dirt!

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