Archive for July, 2008

Here they are! Four beautiful and healthy French bulldog pups born just days ago….The darker two brindle babies to the left are girls and the red fawn and black masked fawn are boys. We’re still not sure which one will be ours but we’re just stinking excited to have one.

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Oh, yeah. I’ll been know for taking risks. And when I caught those fresh broad beans eyeing me from across the produce section I knew I must scoop them up even though I had absolutely no plan for these tasty morsels. See, told you – I’m wild.

I ended up making some bean fritters (ala Naked Chef style) with refreshing mint yogurt sauce. (Think falafel here). They were a delightful surprise to the usual (well, nothings really usual around here) weeks dishes.

Whack together some cilantro, mint, cumin, cayenne pepper, fresh broad beans, half a spicy chili, lemon zest, salt, and flour in your Cuisinart and you’re ready to dunk these mini footballs in hot oil for a couple minutes. Crunchy on the outside yet so moist on the inside. And who doesn’t love to dip?

Here’s the short Jamie Oliver video:

If the video doesn’t play: click here

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Oh, is she relaxed, taking in a quiet moment & happy to be soaking up some rays or just stinkin’ miserable in her last days of pregnancy? This bloated little girl, Esther, is the mama French bulldog of our new Frenchie puppy – due to arrive later this week.

I suspect the puppy pix will be adorable…..

Stay tuned.

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My brother Joe and his lovely wife, Janet

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Janet for over twenty years. She has an amazing smile that sparkles from across the room, finds humor in even the small things, competes in triathlons AND in addition to be an incredible mom to the sweetest niece and nephew an aunt could want, coach & mentor of young girls, den mother, PTA leader, (uh, yeah, I could keep going on here!) is ALSO a personal chef. So, I must say, I feel fortunate this talented lady is my sister-in-law. After our wedding in Spain last month, my brother and his family joined us in Sweden for a week of sight-seeing, golfing, and lounging out on the lake. Sadly, the latter two didn’t really make it on the agenda….but next time Joe, I promise!

One night hanging out in the Swedish midnight sun (Yes, it’s true. The sun sets at midnight in the height of the summer) Janet made us the most scrumptious salmon cakes. Her clients, including her own family, rave about these fish patties and I can see why. Simple, easy to prepare, and just plain delicious. You’ll love them.

Janet’s Salmon Cakes on Mixed Baby Greens

Makes four servings

You’ll need:

  • 1 lbs salmon
  • 1+ cup white wine
  • 1+ cup cracker meal
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 round tsp Old Bay Seasoning or seafood seasoning (see below for recipe)
  • 1/2 red bell peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 20 blades chives
  • 1 tbs dill, fresh
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper sauce
  • 2 lemons, juice and zest
  • Salad greens – mixed baby greens
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1+ tsp chili sauce, such as Siracha
  • 2 tbs dill pickle relish – or chopped dill pickles


1. In covered pan, poach salmon in wine and enough water to just come to the top of fish. Quarter a lemon lengthwise and add 1/4 piece to pan along with a few sprigs of dill and chives. Cover and simmer until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Drain and cool.
2. In medium bowl, flake the cooked salmon with a fork. Add about 1 cup cracker meal and work through with hands. Add the eggs, Old Bay, bell pepper, chives, dill, cayenne pepper sauce, and the zest and juice of 1 of the lemon and continue to blend well. If the mixture is wet, add more cracker meal. Let stand 5 minutes while pan is heating. Form into 4 patties about 1 inch thick.
3. Heat heavy skillet with just enough oil to coat the bottom.
4. Cook until golden brown, about 3 – 4 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towel-lined plate.
5. Combine mayo, and relish and chili sauce to taste in a small dish.
6. Toss salad greens with course salt and the juice of the remaining lemon. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat.
7. To serve, place salmon cake on a bed of baby greens, and top with chili mayo.

Old Bay Seasoning

The exact recipe is a secret, but this is a close approximation.

  • 2 tablespoons ground bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons celery salt
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Store in an airtight container in a cool place. Makes about 1/4 cup.

July 2008 - Midnight Sun in Sweden

July 2008 - Midnight Sun in Sweden

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I’ve been talking for years about bringing home a French Bulldog – he has been lovingly known as, Mr. Pickles. However, my hectic life and travel schedule with work always seem to get in the way of giving a pup the dedication he/she needed and deserved so I patiently waited for a better time. Then when I thought ‘things’ would calm down a bit and I would be home longer than two weeks, I unexpectedly feel in love and got engaged. Planning a big move from the US to Europe I just knew there was no way I could have a tiny sweet frogdog in quarantine during the import process to the old country, so again, I waited. And waited. And waited.

Now unpacked (well, almost) and settled in Europe, I just got married to the most-perfect-guy-for-me-ever (more coming on that later), and we’re loving our life together. Having both resigned, from great but busy corporate brief case carrying positions after more than a decade, we’re now in an ideal situation to give up our lives as we know it devote time and buckets of love to a puppy .

So, seriously, I am getting to something……Last night we met this adorable little Frenchie named, Esther who is ready to have puppies and looking forward to being a mom! She’s just a perfect little girl – petite, mellow, sweet, barely snores or farts at all and is just cute as can be. (I think Henri Hopper would dig her – even if she is knocked up).

I didn’t get any pictures while we were there but hopefully in the next few weeks we’ll have some good news to share and will be introducing you to our new dawggie. I’m SO excited!

Have a frenchie? Have any good dog advice for me? I would love to hear from you!

Leave me a comment or drop me a line at: hookedinamsterdam@wordpress.com

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