Saturday, September 24, 2005

My cousin Grace is an amazing entertainer. Everytime the ole family gets together, someone has the hutzpah to get Grace to have the party. I wish she would say no sometimes because she spends hours handmaking everything...not that I mind, but I can think of a thousand better things to do with my time than baking and cooking for my cousins! Seriously, if I lived where the gatherings tend to be, I would just put out a bottle of vodka and some cheese and get out of the way, lest I be trampled by the booze hounds in the clan (that would pretty much be my immediate family)

Anyway, dear Grace sent me the following recipe to try for the Haute for Hospice show cocktail party. Its what everyone wants in a dessert, butter, sugar and some chocolate.

12 whole(double) graham crackers
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 1/2 c. chopped pecans

Place crackers in jelly-roll pan so that bottom is completely covered.

Melt butter and sugar together, bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes exactly. Pour syrup over crackers, sprinkle with nuts.

Bake at 350 for 8 minutes. Cool only slightly before cutting.

Makes about 48
Note: I've experimented with finely grated chocolate added to syrup on crackers before nuts; delicious too.

I made peanut butter cookies last night after Greg's incredible grilled pork suppah. They are extremely easy and taste great:

1 cup natural peanut butter (super chunky)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar or splenda
1 tblspoon butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon flour

Combine ingredients, mixing after each addition and then form into balls and place on cookie sheet. Flatten with tines of a fork and place in preheated (I made the mistake of putting a small batch into a preheating oven and the bottoms burned) 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
Let cool on pan and then transfer to mouth.


Friday, September 23, 2005

oh, by the way, my bottle of vinegar....I mean, uhh, Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1965, is up to $112.50 on Ebay...shhhhhh


Took the day off today to hang out with the hippies and the mules at the Common Ground Fair. We met my sister Ann there and had a great time going through all the craft booths and watching the mules and the work horses. Lunch on the fly was cheese and sausage calzone for me, fried clams for Greg (suprise suprise) and a sausage on a stick for Ann. She was pretty popular at the fair, being a green soul herself, seemed like everyone knew her. We went apple tasting and learned all about the different flavors apples take on depending on when you harvest them. That was kind of cool.

Got back to house guests we don't know who are staying with us during a neighbor's wedding weekend. They went out on the town with the wedding party while we are staying in. Greg is grilling a pork loin which he split in two and stuffed with fresh rosemary and garlic, tied up and threw on his grill. We still pretend its summer up here, so I cut up some garden fresh zucchini into strips and tossed it with salt, pepper, garlic, and butter then wrapped it in foil for the grill. Damn thats good. We are hunkering down for the second half of Empire Falls, the movie, which so far is pretty close to the book. Rich Russo lives down the street and taught at Colby when I was thats my brush with fame for the day.

Come back on Sunday when I'll tell ya about the food from the wedding.


Thursday, September 22, 2005

so, I am now getting hit with at least a spam comment a day. I've had to institute a word verification command so that only humans can leave comments. Sorry about this folks. Leave it to a few bots to ruin it for the rest of us.

Greg and I went to dinner down at 3Tides last night so that we could get our David/Sarah/Luna fix for the week. It was a perfect evening, we got there early so that we would beat the rush and have time to chat with David and Sarah, which is always a great time.

Greg and I talked about the "haute for hospice" show and he thought I should make the sweets for the cocktail party before. There will be enough other food from area restaurants, but nobody is appealing to the sweet teeth in the crowd. I'll prolly make lemon squares with shortbread crust, toffee bars, and these brown sugar and graham cracker cookies that my cousin made the other weekend that were out of this world......mmmm can't wait for that sugar high.

Seth :-)
I have a bottle of 1965 Chateau Lafite Rothschild up for sale on Ebay this week. My parents purchased a case of it in Bermuda in the 60s and the stuff is awful! I can't even cook with it cause it tastes so bad. We've tried to decant bottles over the years for special occasions and there is just no drinking it. We even let it "breathe" overnight and all it is still good for is filling water ballons. My parents think its because the sail back from Bermuda was so hairy that the wine kept moving with every movement of the boat. I think it was just a bad year, and apparently the wine collectors on Ebay know that too, since it hasn't gotten above $9.99 yet. Other bottles of vintage Chateau Lafite are selling for hundreds....leave it to my parents to buy the worst vintage from that winery in decades!


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

only 7 cents today.....sigh
Big score today at Marden's in Waterville. I hopped in the car with my Harry Potter book on disc...all 36 disks worth and headed off to Gardiner to an auction preview. Decided after looking at a lot of junk to head to Augusta and see if I could find some food for Sebastian to help his allergies. He sits around all day and licks his paws and shakes his head 'cause his ears are itchy. We switched the dogs' food to Wellness brand, which is wheat free, but it still makes him itchy. I ended up with potato and duck kibble from Nature's Balance which is hawked by Dick Van Patten of "Eight is Enough" fame. Anyway, since Waterville is only about 24 miles further, I wanted to check out the new Mardens and had to go up to Colby for some museum business.
When I got to Marden's they still had Nature's Balance for 1/2 price, so I bought about 6 months worth for the pups. Sebastian seems to be less itchy when he eats it. Normally, a 30 lb bag costs $40.00! These were $19. I did my happy bargain dance and loaded up eight of the bags in my cart as people stared with bemused expressions.

By now you are wondering what this has to do with PEOPLE food, aren't you? Well, after that I went up to the museum and ended up having lunch with some of my friends who work there. They took me to the coffee shack II on Kennedy Memorial Drive, right past the Black Stove Shop. Its a groovy small deli where you can order sandwiches, or burgers and dogs, or get donuts and coffee. Super nice people and good food. I ordered a chicken salad on marble rye (there were three choices of chicken salad and I had the regular as opposed to the cranberry walnut or some other kind) I was asked if I wanted it pressed, which means grilled in a sandwich press...a delighful way to toast the bread. My friends each had a reuben and a pressed cheese sandwich which they liked very much. For dessert we split a key lime and white chocolate chip cookie...a great way to end a fast lunch.

Everything was very nice....B+ all around.

I'm off to Gardiner to an auction preview today to look at a chest of drawers for a client in Chicago. I told you the other day that if I went south on Rte 1, I liked to stop at Megunticook market....if I go out Rte 3 from Belfast to Augusta, I love to stop at the Mobil station in Belfast across from Dairy Queen to get a muffin for breakfast. Its hard to belive, but I think the Mobil station has the best muffins in town, and I just love a great muffin. Most places use almond extract to make their muffins, and this is one of the biggest mistakes one can make. Almonds and blueberries just don't mix very well. The almond extract gets in the way of any fruit taste the muffin might actually have.

Remember that episode on Seinfeld about muffin tops? I completely agree....the rest of the muffin is just filler, but the muffin top is pure gold!


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

psych, you guys made me a buck eighty-five yesterday! Another two months of this and Google sends me a check for $100.00. I'll take you all out for ice cream---though by then it will almost be December and the ice cream places will be closed. Hmmmm.....I'll make holiday candy then and send it out as a nice thank you to all my loyal foodie readers.


So, I caved....mea culpa, mea may have noticed the google ad bar at the top of the Maine Foodie page here. It essentially crawls through my posts and adds relavent ads to the bar in hopes that readers will click and click and click some more. There are actually some very interesting recipes and other foodie related ads...I tell you this because when you click on one of the four ads up there and then click on any of the content from that ad, I get a tiny amount of cash...the more you click, the fuller my piggy bank becomes.
For instance, someone clicked on the content yesterday and I received 7 cents. wooo hooooo
Now, if all 49 people who visited the site yesterday clicked on, I could potentially realize...hmmm, lemme get the calculator out....$3.43 cents. not too shabby for the foodster here...In a few years I could have enough cash to dine at the Edge in Lincolnville but not drink!

So click away up it for the foodster.

P. S. I am still trying to come up with something yummy and cold, or at least room temp to serve to the 200 partygoers for the "Haute for Hospice" show. Perhaps just a ham.....mmmmm.


Monday, September 19, 2005

Sometimes when I'm travelling south from Northport during the day, I time my trip so that I can stop at Megunticook Market in Camden. I love taking the back way from here to Rte 90 and winding my way around Megunticook Lake on Route 52.
The market makes great fresh sandwiches and they have a wonderful salt foccacia that is perfect with roast beef and chedder. If I happen to pass by during breakfast, the market also has a great bakery in the front. Its one of my favorite secret places to go when traveling around on my own.....come on, you all have them too, right?

Sorry to leave you all hanging about the Lobster Vichyssoise saga, but I had to go down to NY to help my parents move out of their house.

So, when last we heard, the completed recipe was ready for the fridge and needed an overnight to chill. The next day, I fed it to Greg and our neighbor who stopped for dinner and the overwhelming response was that it was too salty and the taste of curry was too much. That said to me that the stock was much too strong and needed diluting, so the next day I made a full batch of potato leek soup and combined it with the already cold vichyssoise. Greg was going out to play mah jong with the girls, so I made him take it along and reviews were great. Everyone thought it was wonderful. But, after all that I don't think I'm going to make it for the Hospice benefit for several reasons: 1. I can't taste it myself 2. Its cold 3. its not easy to make 4. its not an easy "finger food" to pass. Back to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!