It’s interesting how we like to categorize ourselves. Stay at home mom, Baby Boomer, Gen X, Y, Z. There is a category for virtually everyone. Often more than one. I find myself in the empty-nester category. This means my children are grown and have left the nest.
The auspicious event happened to me last fall when Alex, my youngest daughter, flew the coop and headed south for new adventures. It was so quiet around our house that I got a kitten, which we named Rawr. I am now in the crazy-cat-lady category because my Instagram account has almost as many pictures of Rawr as it does food.
After the initial shock of an extremely quiet home and too much time on my hands, I settled into a comfortable routine and started doing things that were new and different to broaden my own horizons. However, the one thing I have really missed is cooking for Alex. She has a great pallet, and likes just about everything, barring mushrooms and olives.
This week was a special treat for me, as Alex came home for a whirlwind visit. We had a wonderful time and packed in so many adventures. We went to Pack Creek for bear viewing, and Tracy Arm for glacier viewing. We skated with my skating group, Taku RollerSports, and most of all we ate. We went to all her favorites, and a few new ones. In between all the fun activities, I managed to prepare a meal or two as well.
Alex’s one request was to have an antipasto platter. The funny thing about Alex is how much she loves a variety of foods on one plate so that she can graze. This allows her to taste and eat what she enjoys the most.
Antipasto means “before the meal”. Given that this was going to be the actual meal, I added more to the platter to make it a bit more substantial. I also put an Alaskan twist by adding cold smoked salmon. There are certain things all antipasto platters should have. Some nice parmesan cheese, salami and prosciutto. I always add olives because I enjoy them. As with most of my recipes, the ingredients are flexible. Put things you enjoy on the platter. Pairing it with a Caesar salad made a perfect easy and delicious meal for the busy family.
While I’m coming to terms with being an empty-nester, I did enjoy having my baby back, even for a week. Cooking for someone I love is always a bonus for me, and preparing a requested dish is even better.
This week I present a dish easy to make and that can fulfill the request of the returning child: Antipasto platter.
Until next time…
Eat and enjoy,
- 1 small package salami (hard, genoa, etc.) -
- 1 small package prosciutto -
- 1 small package pepperoni -
- 1 wedge parmesan cheese -
- 1 small package goat cheese -
- 1 small package dried apricots -
- 1 cup fresh strawberries -
- 2 cups crostini (toasted) -
- 1/2 cup marinated olives -
- 1 small package cold smoked salmon -
To toast the crostini, drizzle olive oil and toast in broiler for 3 - 5 minutes. Plate all ingredients on large platter and serve with crostini. Add additional favorites of your own such a grapes, tomatoes, fresh basil and other cheeses.