Another easy Appetizer Recipe for Christmas and New Years!

Here is re-post of the vodka cured salmon recipe because it is so easy to make and delicious that I figured might be nice to make for the holidays.  If you have any questions, as always, please don’t hesitate to comment on this post and I will answer you.

My sister Kate Lufkin and I had a tour which took us through the entire process from the raw ingredients to how they do the small batch bottling by hand.   When the tour was over Kate made some excellent cocktails and I made the recipe below–Vodka cured salmon with lemon mustard sauce.  I hope you enjoy it!

You can easily increase the amount of salmon by two or three times to feed a large crowd and if well wrapped, this cured fish keeps for weeks under refrigeration.  The sauce is excellent with all kinds of fish and shellfish and also works well with chicken or a sandwich spread so make lots!

Beauport Vodka Cured Salmon with Mustard Lemon Sauce

¾ pound skin on salmon fillet

1 lemon, zested and juiced
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
¼ cup chopped fresh dill
¼ cup Beauport Vodka

Rinse and pat dry salmon.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine lemon zest, one tablespoon lemon juice, salt, sugar chopped dill and vodka.  Stir to combine.

On a flat plate, layer 3 sheets of plastic wrap overlapping each other.  Place salmon, skin side down on the middle of the wrap.  Pour mixture on top of salmon flesh and tightly wrap.  Use more plastic wrap around salmon if necessary to keep liquid in.  Place on a flat plate and balance another plate on top of salmon and weight plate with something heavy, like a pound of butter for example.

Store salmon in fridge overnight or for at least 18 hours.  When ready to serve, remove wrap and rinse off dill mixture.  Pat salmon dry and thinly slice with the grain of the fish.  Serve on crostini, thinly sliced bread or with eggs (excellent!) and bagels, topping with the lemon mustard sauce  (recipe follows) as desired.

Mustard Lemon Sauce

¼ cup horseradish mustard (or any flavor you like)
¼ cup good mayonnaise
2 teaspoons shallot, finely chopped
1 tablespoons lemon juice (or more to taste)
Salt & pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Inspired Cooking airs on Cape Ann TV on Tuesday nights at 8:30, Friday afternoons at 4:30 and Sundays at 11:30 AM.  I hope you will tune in!

Christmas Overload?

It’s the Saturday before Christmas. Have you gotten all your shopping done? Are you ready for 6 to 10 inches of snow tonight? Are you sure your pipes haven’t frozen in this cold snap? Someone home from college wants to borrow your new car? The in-laws arriving soon for a week’s stay?

Relax, only 100 days before Top Dog opens on the Neck and you can be sitting out on the back picnic table feeding a Homie your extra fries. I’m going to practice making an Old Fashioned for the rest of the week. Don’t poke, stir. Don’t poke. Stir.

Cold out there in Hoop Pole Cove this morning. Forgot my camera charger so just an iPhone quick pic:

This Weekend on Cape Ann From The Chamber of Commerce

Friday-Sunday, December 18-20
Studio Open House
Nationally known SCULPTOR DANIEL ALTSHULER will open his Gloucester studio, located at Blackburn Industrial Park Unit #50, to the public on December 18, 19, and 20, 12noon-6pm each day. Everyone, all ages, welcome. Visitors will get the opportunity to see a collection of his work, witness a sculpture in progress, and get answers to questions about the sculpture process directly from him, etc.

Friday-Sunday, December 18-20
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
BLACKBURN PERFORMING ARTS, located at 1 Washington Street in downtown Gloucester, presents “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” December 17-20, 22, and 23. Regular performances at 7pm, Sunday matinees at 3pm. $10/adults, $6/children (12 and under). 978-281-0680

Friday-Sunday, December 18-20
A Christmas Carol
THE ACTORS COMPANY presents “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens with J.T. Turner in his one man show December 16-20 at Gloucester Stage Company in East Gloucester. Tickets: $18/adults, $15/Seniors, children under 12. Please contact Amy Sheridan for information or to reserve tickets: 508-942-9938 or

Saturday, December 19
Indoor Yard Sale
GAP PROMOTIONS, located at 127 Eastern Avenue, Suite 3 in Gloucester, will hold an Indoor Yard Sale on Saturday, December 19, 9am-4pm. One day only! Beer and spirits samples and overstocks. Clothing and Novelties at low, low prices. Great Stocking Stuffers and more! 978-281-0083

Saturday, December 19
Holiday Craft Fair
UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST SOCIETY OF ROCKPORT, located at 4 Cleaves Street in Rockport, will host a Holiday Craft Fair every Saturday through December 19, 10am-1pm. Original art, handcrafted jewelry, greeting cards, knitted scarves, stained glass boxes, fresh baked cookies and candy, and much more. 978-546-2989

Saturday, December 19
Children’s Holiday Story Time
Children’s Holiday Story Time at the MANCHESTER PUBLIC LIBRARY on December 19 at 2pm. Holiday stories and cookies for all. Reading traditional and new holiday favorites by the hearthside in the Children’s Room. Enjoy a quiet afternoon in the busy season with Miss Sara. 978-526-2016

Saturday, December 19
The Nutcracker
CAPE ANN CINEMA, located at 21 Main Street in downtown Gloucester, presents the seasonal premiere of the Cinema’s holiday tradition of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker.” The filmed, hi-def presentation comes directly from Moscow’s Kirov Ballet, and is a real visual treat. Show times are December 19 at 2:30pm, December 23 at 5pm and 7:30pm, December 24 at 2:30pm, and December 26 at 2:30pm. All seats are $15.

Saturday, December 19
Solstice Stroll
THE TRUSTEES OF RESERVATIONS will host a Solstice Stroll Saturday, December 19, 4-6pm, at Ravenswood Park, 481 Western Ave, Gloucester. Celebrate the winter solstice with a candlelight stroll in our favorite woodland park followed by song, warm fire, s’mores, and hot chocolate. Pre-register by calling 978-281-8400 or emailing Members Free. Nonmembers $5.

Saturday, December 19
Annual Christmas Pageant
THE ANNUAL CHRISTMAS PAGEANT in downtown Rockport will be on Saturday, December 19, at 5pm. A torchlit reenactment of the Nativity. Starting at 5pm along Dock Square and Main Street, ending at the Congregational Church.

Sunday, December 20
Jazz Brunch
ELLIOTT’S AT THE BLACKBURN, located at 2 Main Street in downtown Gloucester, will host a Jazz Brunch, featuring Peter Fedele and Karen Ristuben, on Sunday, December 20, 12-3 pm. Come out and listen to some of the best jazz standards we can muster, including, of course, a few holiday gems. 978-282-1919

Sunday, December 20
A Colonial Christmas
ST. PAUL LUTHERAN CHURCH, located at 1123 Washington Street in Gloucester, presents “A Colonial Christmas” on Sunday, December 20, at 4pm. Admission $15. Local fine artist and singer/song writer, Bobbie Wayne, will be playing Celtic harp and Appalachian dulcimer. Author, Dan Mozell will be playing guitar and mandolin. 978-281-2297

Sunday, December 20
Celtic Music Session
Join Michael O’Leary and Friends ’round the fire for their Celtic music sessions on Sundays from 5-8pm, December 20 at The Landing at 7 Central in Manchester and December 27 at Elliott’s at the Blackburn in Gloucester. An acoustic session of mostly traditional songs and tunes from the Celtic countries and Cape Breton.

Middle Street Walk Pics From David Cox

Some from the Docksiders Breakfast

click for larger versions
Middle Street Walk Pics From David Cox
Middle Street Walk Pics From David Cox

Cmdr. Edward Westfall of Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba Discusses the towing of the Michael and Kristen

Cmdr. Edward Westfall, the commanding officer of Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba, discusses the towing of disabled Gloucester, Mass.-based lobster boat, Michael and Kristen, Friday, Dec. 18, 2009. The master of the 77-foot lobster boat called for help at about 3:30 p.m., Wednesday when the boat’s engines wouldn’t start more than 200 miles southeast of Nantucket, Mass. Coast Guard audio by Petty Officer 3rd Class Connie Terrell.

Click this pic to see the video-

Chickity Check It! Deb Clarke’s Work At The Cape Ann Museum

Deb Clarke is a fabulously gifted artist who works with glass.  She is one of the Bananarettes from the early days and also updates her work on her blog Another Magpie’s Nest.  Check out here blog here

click the pic to see her visually stunning work full sized-

click the pic for the full sized version