Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Pssst, I lied, here is the last the link Maine Cliff Dweller its my new blog.

So long,

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Was contacted by a reader yesterday and asked not to blog about something anymore....You can rest assured that I shan't mention the thing that shan't be mentioned anymore.

By the way, probably won't mention anything anymore as this is my last post here. I just don't have the time or the gumption to keep this going.

Thanks and enjoy the holidays!


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

I was roped into a recipe chain letter yesterday (at least one reader was recruited by me as well). Send one recipe to the name at the top of the list and resend the letter to 10 people. You shall receive all sorts of recipes back. I've gotten one so far from my 3rd cousin, Eve, who was roped into it by my sister. Eve swears by this recipe which she got from her sister who got it from a caterer.

Shrimp w/garlic and cilantro

2 lg cloves garlic
I sm. onion quartered
1/2 c. cilantro leaves
2 T fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 c.butter (room temp)
1 lb uncooked peeled and deveined shrimp(medium)

Preheat to 400. Chop garlic and onion and cilantro in food processor. Add the rest (except shrimp) until well combined. Arrange shrimp in glass baking dish, in one layer. Spoon mixture over shrimp, pressing down around w/fingers, to cover shrimp.
Bake 15 minutes at 400.
Serves 4 w/rice, or as an hors d'oeuvre, serves 8-12


By the way, we were down at 3Tides last night and those new booths are very spiffy!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

My mother sent me the ancient family recipe for Fruitcake. Its never been out of the family until now. This is my Christmas present to you. Sorry for being away for so long.
Best wishes for a safe and glorious Holiday Season!
Follow the directions very carefully and you will have a successful venture.

Holiday Fruitcake Recipe

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
2 cups dried fruit
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar
1 T. lemon juice
2 cups nuts
1 gallon whiskey
1 cup of Ice
Sample the whiskey to check for quality. Take a large bowl. Check the
whiskey again to be sure that it is of the very highest quality. Pour
1 level cup over the cup of ice and drink. Repeat. Turn on the electric
mixer; beat 1 cup butter in a large fluffy bowl.
Add 1 teaspoon sugar and beat again. Make sure the whiskey is still
okay. Cry another cup. Turn off the mixer. Break two legs and add to the
bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit. Mix on the turner. If the fried
druit gets stuck in the beaterers, pry it loose with a drewscriver.
Sample the whiskey to check for tonsnisticity. Next, sift 2 cups of
salt. Or something.
Who cares. Check the whiskey. Now sift some lemon juice and strain your
nuts. Add a tooble spain of sugar or something. Whatever you can find.
Grease the oven. Turn the cake tin to 350 degrees. Don' t forget to
beat off the turner. Throw the bowl out the window. Check the whiskey
Go to bed.
Who likes fitcruke anyway?


Monday, December 18, 2006

Greg and I just had a christmas party conference and decided to change the menu to:

1. Jelly beans

2. Popcorn

3. Toast

Come one, Come all!

Maine Foodie has been logging a lot of air miles lately for his real life job. I spent a lot of time in seven airports over two days just last week. I'm home now and plan to be here until "the wedding" at the end of the month.

We are planning our annual Christmas party, which we haven't had for a few years. My menu is taking shape and this is what I am toying with right now:

1. Carmelized bacon wrapped sea scallops skewered and done on the grill

2. Individual baked bries with either a homemade mango chutney or a spicy pepper jelly

3. a make your own roast chicken sandwich bar

4. shitake mushroom and leek tarts

5. various sweets and cheeses

By the way, in case you didn't notice, 3Tides has new booth spaces.


Sunday, November 19, 2006

We went to potluck last night and I brought the cake...had to get rid of it somehow. There were really great things at potluck this week. I've not been for a few months, and was plesantly suprised to see so much good food. One woman, whom I have not met brought a bread cornucopia and had crudites spilling out of it. Greg and I are going to tag team that one for Thanksgiving. I'm going to make the dough (a cranberry orange pecan dough) and he'll make it into the cornucopia.

The best part of the night was Greg's friend Vicky saying "Is this your cream cheese frosting?" While digging a big fingerful out of her piece of cake, cause with her its all about the frosting, and opening her mouth. Needless to say, I left the cake with her--



Saturday, November 18, 2006

Wedding Cake Practice Run #1
So, attached is the photo of my first attempt at a wedding cake tier. This is an 8" cake tier with three layers of orange carrot cake with orange cream cheese frosting. I just ordered the other pans that I'll need for making a four tiered cake with a larger 14" tier as the base and 10", 8", and 6" tiers on top. The decoration on this cake is just for experimentation. I found out by doing this one that one should pipe from the base to the top instead of from the top to the base. Also, the lattice work (if you can call it that) was an after thought, so I did that design after I did the frosting poops around the base and the top. I would do it the other way around next time. I might actually decorate each tier differently 'cause I would love to figure out the wicker basket technique, but don't want to do it for all four tiers. I may also just be very plain and decorate with orange or gardenia blossoms instead. I've been researching how to make wedding cake for a few weeks and wasn't sure my cake and frosting combo was going to work as my frosting doesn't use a lot of powdered sugar but rather relies on the cream cheese for stiffness. It worked! The things I never knew about making professional (or somewhat professional cakes) are that the cake should all be made in 3" tall pans and then leveled off and cut into 1" layers. The other thing I never knew was about the crumb layer of frosting. Its bloody brilliant, there is a first layer of frosting that goes on to keep the crumbs in and then the cake is refrigerated to set before the final layer goes on. Thats how those wedding cake tiers get so tall and round, its not the cake, but rather the frosting that does that. KEWL!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Well, I know that I am not a patient man. Creating dough that has to rise for at least 12 hours in a warm 70 degree place is not going to be a staple in this house! I made two batches of the bread dough from the New York Times article I read in the paper the other morning. With both batches, I used straight whole wheat flour, something I might change in the future, If I ever have a block of time to do this again. The first batch I prepared just as the recipe told me to, but I couldn't stand it any longer after 12 hours and so I made the bread. With the second batch, I added olive oil to the dough before its inital rise and let that dough rise for over 20 hours. The photo above is of the 20 hour loaf. Beautiful on the outside, lovely on the inside, but the taste was a bit bland, so I would mess around with different types of flours and additions if I were to make this again. Though, 20 hours is a long time to wait or plan for bread!!!
Gotta get on the road, but here is the recipe:

3 cups bread flour or whatever mix you want
couple of pinches of salt
1 teaspoon yeast

sift together in a bowl
add: 1 5/8ths cups warm water
drizzle or two of olive oil

Mix with a fork until combined. Dough will be sticky. I ended up combining with my hands at the end to get the dough to come together.
Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 18-20 hours in a 70 degree draft free place. I put mine by the wood stove, but in the middle of the night I knew it was nowhere near 70 there.

After rising (dough will have small bubbles on top) put on floured work surface and fold dough into itself one or two times. Let rest for 15 minutes covered loosely with plastic. Quickly shape dough into ball Sprinkle flour or cornmeal over tea towel and place dough there seam side down..sprinkle with cornmeal or flour, cover with another towel and let rise 2 hours or until at least doubled in bulk.

1/2 hour before rise is over preheat oven to 450 and place in oven a 6-8 quart covered pot (pyrex, cast iron, etc.) when rise is over, carefully remove hot pot lid, slide your hand under the lower tea towel and flip dough into pot with the seam side up. It will look like hell, but wait. Cover pot and bake for 30 minutes. Uncoverand bake for 15-20 minutes more until bread thumps hollow.

Yields 1 1/2 lb loaf

Let me know your results


Monday, November 13, 2006

I read this article in the New York Times about making no-knead bread and how it will revolutionize the bread industry because normal people like me can create bakery style crusty boules with little or no muss. Of course the dough has to rise over a period of 12 to 18 hours at a temp of around 70 degrees! My thermostat is set to 60 degrees, so maybe I'll wrap a pair of sweat socks around the bowl! Actually, for the energy conscious ,just set the bowls at the base of the wood stove. I'll update you tomorrow on progress.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Cooking with Wes, #1
I had the distinct pleasure of cooking with my 13 year old friend Wes yesterday. Wes was here working with Greg, learning the basics of how to use a cutting tool on shearling while I was getting ready to have a going away dinner for a friend last night. He got bored with cutting fabric out and so came down right when I discovered that I didn't have enough flour to make chocolate chip cookies. I sat him down and told him that when he wanted to make something, but didn't have the right ingredients, there is always something hidden in the cupboards that will be a fine replacement. So today, we made oatmeal milk chocolate chip cookies! My other word of advice to Wes was to always use milk chocolate chips, Ghirardelli if possible. The chips are bigger and richer and one doesn't need to eat too many to feel satisfied. I put Wes in charge of the chips (bad idea) and also the placement of the cookie dough on the cookie sheets (he got better as time went on) My cookie recipe is below:
2 sticks butter (melted)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg yolk
2/3rds cup flour
1 1/2 cup-2 cups quick cooking oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 pkg Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips
Combine the butter and sugar and then add the egg yolk. Sift together dry ingredients and add to butter mix, combine and then add vanilla and chips.
spoon onto cookie trays and place in 350 degree oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes until done. Cool and eat....mmmmmmm
What I did was make chipwiches with vanilla ice cream and two cookies. Its very elegant and rustic thing to serve on a cold night.
I saw Wes's mom today and she told me that Wes refuses to buy anything but Shirardelli milk chocolate chips for their cookies anymore.....another successful work is done on this project!

Monday, October 30, 2006

I can't seem to go anywhere without someone saying that its time to update my blog! I guess thats good, but the pressure...oh the pressure!

We went to a birthday party on Saturday night that was billed as a potluck appetizer party. I was all set to go and had made 60 risotto cakes that needed to be cooked before the party...then we had a brown out because of that nasty storm. Our lights worked, but on about 1/2 power. The furnace didn't work, nor did the stove or the washing machine. I was SOL for the party and now stuck with all these risotto cakes!

Anyway, we picked up a fruit party tray at Hannaford and arrived at the party amid probably 20 trays of sushi! Everyone had the same idea.

I invited some people over on Sunday night for a dinner of risotto cakes and something else...1/2 of the invitees forgot (It was quite a party) and some others were tired and sick....a terrible thing to be at the beginning of the work week. So I fried up the cakes and found that they were really oily...the oil was super hot, but the cakes were still sopping it up. I tried to bake them, and they came out nice and golden brown, but now they weren't as moist as they should be. It was a dilemma. We decided that the cakes were way too much work and that I'm going to stick with plain ole risotto...which is awesome made with champagne, chicken stock, and sauteed leeks.

At least the shepard's pie with the whole wheat biscuit crust was a hit....even Wes, the vegetable hating 13 year old, thought it was delicious...though he was really bummed that there was no dessert.

Back from my trip down the coast from Maine to Florida. Last weekend as I said, I attended a private function at Per Se, Thomas Keller's restaurant at the Time Warner building in New York. According to their website, reservations are accepted two months in advance! They have three prix fixe menus all costing $210.00.
We had dinner in West, one of their private function rooms. We must have had six tables of 12 people and there were at least two servers per table. The room was filled with fresh flower arrangements and all the tables were white...white tablecloths, white plates, white napkins, etc.
We had a four course meal planned which seemed to be a mixture of seafood, vegetables, and meat. Our server discretly asked each diner whether any of us had dietary restrictions. I was given courses of vegetables and pasta instead of the salmon and scallops that the other diners had.
Portions were more European than American. I left feeling that I'd eaten, but not feeling totally full or over indulged as one does in some restaurants. My first course was a small rectangle of celery root with candied cranberries, julienned greens, and a light vinegrette. It was a lovely two bites of food that gave me just a taste of what was to come. Everyone else at the table had a sauteed scallop.
Next came a small dish of porcini raviolli with a beurre blanc and truffle foam. It was a beautiful dish. The others at the table had salmon. The main course was a medallion of lamb that was tender and perfectly cooked. Our dessert was a rectangular sliver of chocolate decadence with a decoration of 24carat gold leaf (the only gold leaf that is edible) with a dolop of fresh lemon sorbet and dark chocolate smear on the plate.
After coffee and tea, the cookies came out....and one of the wealthiest women I have ever met took four chocolate cookies, wrapped them up in her napkin and shoved them in her purse..."for bedtime" she whispered to me. When we left, we were handed two chocolate brownies in a Per Se bag.
I have to say that I was so impressed with the service. Glasses were always filled, 6 different kinds of bread and two types of butter were offered by the bread server, and the food was so delicious and fresh. An amazing place.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

I'm on the road this week, working my way down to Florida. Stopped in New York to attend a dinner at Per Se, one of the restaurants mentioned in the following article from the NYTimes. Wasn't going to attend the dinner until I read some more about the restaurant, the newest creation (its about a year old) from the chef/owner of "French Laundry". Per Se is supposed to be incredible....I'll let you know what Maine Foodie thinks! In the meantime, read the following article by Jodi Cantor for the NYTimes

A new dish is appearing on menus across the nation. Restaurateurs say they have little choice other than offer it, though it horrifies many customers. That item is the $40 entree. Until recently, such prices were the stuff of four-star, white-tablecloth meals, the kind that ended with a diamond ring on the petit four tray. But now entrees over $40 can be found in restaurants that are merely upscale, where diners wear jeans and tote children. In geographic terms, New York and Las Vegas have led the charge, and in culinary ones, luxury items like steak and lobster were first and are still most prevalent.
But the $40 entree is migrating: to restaurants in Philadelphia, Fort Lauderdale and Denver, and to ingredients like fish and even pasta. Several national chains serve entrees priced above $40.
“Forty is the new 30,” said Richard Coraine, the chief operating officer of Union Square Hospitality Group, which recently began charging $42 for a 1¾-ounce appetizer portion of lobster at lunchtime at the Modern in New York. Ten percent of its lunch patrons order the dish, it says.
Hovering just below the $40 mark is an even vaster group of $38 and $39 entrees, waiting to cross the line like thirtysomethings approaching a zero-ended birthday. The arctic char at the Indianapolis branch of the Oceanaire Seafood Room chain is $38.50. Metropolitan Grill in Seattle serves shrimp scampi for $39.95. At Mike’s, a new steakhouse in Brooklyn Heights, $9.95 chicken nuggets share the menu with $38.95 veal chops.
Like the $100 Broadway ticket, $200 jeans and the $20 museum admission, the $40 entree is provoking a righteous burst of populist outrage, especially among those who pay their own way. When Angela Dansby, a Chicago diner, sees a 4 in front of a price, she thinks: “Either this must be out of this world, or it’s totally overpriced and I’m not going to order it. It’s usually the latter.” When she does pay, she compensates by skimping on appetizers and wine.
Restaurateurs say rising rents, ever more elaborate interior-decoration schemes and the increasing cost of premium ingredients — especially beef and fish — leave them little choice. Chefs, so fond of listing purveyors on menus, do not want those names to be Tyson and Del Monte. They “take pride in getting carrots or beets that no one has,” Mr. Coraine said.
Bobby Flay acknowledges that “the needle has moved very fast.” Mr. Flay recently crossed the $40 mark in his Las Vegas and Atlantic City outposts, though he says he intentionally loses money on many other entrees in order to keep prices reasonable. His entrees at Mesa Grill in New York top out at $34. (When it opened in 1991, the steepest entree was $19, or $28.30 when adjusted for inflation.)
But what makes the rise of the $40 entree so significant is not just the price creep, it’s the sophisticated calculation behind it. A new breed of menu “engineers” have proved that highly priced entrees increase revenue even if no one orders them. A $43 entree makes a $36 one look like a deal.
“Just putting one high price on the menu will take your average check up,” said Gregg Rapp, one such consultant. “My mom taught me to never order the most expensive thing on the menu, but you’ll order the second.”
With just a few keystrokes, restaurateurs can now digitally view the entire history of a dish: how the lamb sold around this time last year, whether it did better when paired with squash or risotto, and how orders rose or fell when the price went from $39 to $41.
With a few more clicks and a new stack of paper in the office printer, the menu can be revised to test new prices.
“In the old days, restaurateurs printed up menus and they were stuck with them for six months or a year; now they can do it daily, experimenting with price or placement,” said Tim Ryan, president of the Culinary Institute of America, which teaches menu engineering to all its chefs in training.
The towering prices at wildly luxurious restaurants like Per Se and Masa in New York and Alinea in Chicago have set a new price in the collective dining consciousness for a truly top meal, nudging up what diners will pay for far more modest dinners. In Las Vegas, the current talk is about Guy Savoy at Caesars Palace, where desserts alone are $22 each and a meal for two can easily run $500.
“I love when I hear about that stuff, because then Craft becomes inexpensive,” said Tom Colicchio, chef of the quickly multiplying restaurants, including a steakhouse in Las Vegas.
Oddly, as entrees rise in price, they seem to be shedding their traditional accompaniments. Today a $40 main dish is often now just that. Order a side dish, and the entree price climbs dizzyingly close to the 50’s. At the highly influential Craft, Mr. Colicchio serves pricey, naked hunks of protein and charges extra for vegetables. (He says the portions are enough for two.) Porter House, a new steakhouse at the Time Warner Center in New York, even charges diners separately for sauce.
“I blame Tom Colicchio for this,” said Barry Okun, a New York lawyer who has established a personal price limit of “between $50 and $60” per entree. “It’s not that I’m happy about it,” he added.
Mr. Colicchio acknowledged the influence of his pricing, adding that restaurants like those of the Bistro Laurent Tourondel group in New York “completely ripped off the concept” of focusing on individual elements.
To which Mr. Tourondel replied, “He should look back at the old-time steakhouse menus that were around way before Craft ever existed.”
Liz Johannesen, senior manager of restaurant marketing at OpenTable, which takes online reservations for 6,000 restaurants nationwide, said that in the last year diners had started occupying tables for longer periods, mimicking the leisurely pace at the very top establishments and forcing restaurants to raise entree prices because they were turning fewer tables.
“Just like in other cultural pursuits, trends filter downwards,” Ms. Johannesen said.
That applies to a taste for splurging as well. Kobe and Wagyu beef, from pampered Japanese cattle renowned for their tender meat, is cropping up at restaurants around the nation, according to Technomic, an industry research concern. Steakhouses and sushi restaurants, now so ubiquitous, have trained diners to pay large sums for specific ingredients, leading some to fall for the old “if it’s expensive it must be great” trick.
Indeed, no chef needs a menu engineer to explain a time-honored truth of the restaurant industry: many business diners look to spend money, not save it.
“If I’m entertaining clients, it’s all about making sure my clients are having the best time,” said Andrew Passeri, a private banker in New York who last week dined at davidburke & donatella, where he chose the $44 lobster over the $46 Dover sole and the $44 ostrich scramble.
At those prices, dinner is garnished with a large dusting of skepticism. Underattentive service or an overcooked piece of fish is not merely a minor annoyance but an unjustifiable offense.
“I’m happy to pay good money for something I can’t replicate at home,” said Ms. Dansby, of Chicago, “but when you get charged these prices for bad service, or quality, or visual presentation that isn’t so great, it’s really irritating.”
Two years ago, when Gray Kunz opened Cafe Gray in the Time Warner Center, he said he hoped it would become a destination for secretaries who work in the surrounding office buildings. The priciest entree then was the short ribs at $34. Now they are $38, the chicken is $37, and Mr. Kunz just introduced a lobster ravioli at $41.
“The biggest gasp I ever had at menu prices was the first time I went to Cafe Gray,” Mr. Okun said. “It looks like it should be a casual ‘stop in here for a bite’ place. For the amount of money you’re spending, you really want a special experience.”
Mr. Kunz now calls his restaurant “right in between the high end and low end” and said he provided “good product for very good value.”
According to Zagat, which measures what diners estimate paying, not actual prices, the average check at the most expensive 200 restaurants in San Francisco has risen 14 percent in the last two years, after remaining fairly stable earlier in the decade. At the 200 priciest restaurants in New York, Zagat users say, checks have followed the same pattern.
For his part, Tim Zagat, publisher of the guides that bear his name, said he was almost over the shock of entree prices. But now, he said, he finds himself startled by another development.
“Your $40 plate?” Mr. Zagat said. “It comes with a $20 first course.”

Monday, October 16, 2006

I've been off lately. This weekend we had lots of company and my dinners just didn't fly....I'm going back to cookbooks for recipes I guess. This making dishes with a little of this, a pinch of that, a lot of this...sometimes just doesn't work. I'm also off on planning. We had some new friends over for dinner with their 13 year old son who, hopefully, will be the focus of a whole series of posts here called "cooking with Wes" Wes is homeschooled and I offered to teach him how to cook...his mom is super excited! Anyway, knowing Wes doesn't like vegetables too much made dinner a challenge. How could I get Wes to surrepticiously eat vegetables? Soup was my first thought, so I made a good batch of curried potato leek soup. I decided to wing the recipe rather than go look up my favorite, and it was good, but I forgot to put in that bit of garlic that brings everything together. I followed up soup with pizza...soup and pizza you ask? It didn't occur to me how wierd that was until the guests showed up. Anyway, I was able to hide some orange peppers in with the sausage pizza, so Wes probably got at least a 1/2 serving of vegetables (whatever he didn't hide in a pile on his plate) My crust was off though and it didn't rise as much as I wanted it to, so the crust was super thin. Add to that the fact that I didn't keep and eye on the crust and you have very crispy pizzas!
My apple crisp had too much ginger in it, though it did have a nice subtle taste without a bunch of sugar...a bit o ice cream would have been good on top, but I wasn't thinking again!
Sunday night I wanted to make Shepard's pie with a puff pastry crust. I didn't have any butter to make the rou with, so I made it with olive oil. We didn't have any cream, nor much milk, so I used chicken broth and lots of cheese. Well, the mixture separated when it was cooking in the oven, so I drained off most of the liquid and served the mixture: ground beef, potatoes, carrots, purple broccoli, leeks, and peas with the crust and it was actually pretty tasty since the cheese had soaked into the mixture and made it nice and tender and flavorful...just no creamy sauce....oh well...time to start eating out again.


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Greg and I drove to Portland last night to see David Sedaris with my sister and a friend of hers. We met at Portland Flatbread Co. for dinner and I have to say, I really like this quirky place. Its easy to meet people there, centrally located, and the pizza is ok too. All I wanted was cheese, so I ordered a half asiago and mozzerella with herbs. Excellent. Greg had the carmelized onion and sun dried tomato and as he said, "I burped up onions all night after that" We got up after the meal and went to sit in front of the pizza oven (they have a big piece of granite to sit on) and watched. Of course I wondered if it was hot enough to fire ceramics in!
One whole pizza (organic sausage) and two half pizza, two salads and four glasses of wine came to $75.00. A bit on the hefty side for pizza, but what do you expect, its the big city!!!


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

One of my deep friends gave me her deep fat fryer today. This opens a whole new field of home cooking!!!!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

We were in Bermuda last week and had the great fortune to have dinner at a five star restaurant called the Newport Room. The Newport room is an homage to all the sailors who sailed in the Bermuda Race from Newport to Bermuda (my father did this race three times), however, my mother was agast that the place looked more like the interior of an ocean liner. I loved the warm rosewood and brass interior and felt as if I was on the Queen Mary or something, the effect was pretty cool. We arrived to be one of the only table of diners in the place, but by the time we left three hours later, the place was packed. Coat and tie was the norm, however there were some black tie clad tables.
There were six of us (my whole family) and we were presented with choices of: 1. a seven course meal with wine parings that would take somewhere in the neighborhood of 4 hours to eat ( my dad would never have the patience for that...though I know of a local couple of friends here in Belfast with whom I would love to share the experience); 2: a three course meal for $75 a person ; 4. a four course meal for $100.00 a person. People chose what they wanted, I ended up having the four course meal. The whole experience was very theatrical and the staff really relished the drama surrounding the food to the point that when our main course was served, everyone's arrived at the table covered with silver domes. When all were in place, the server said "ladies and gentlemen, dinner is served" and all the domes were wisked away to a golf clap round of applause on our part. I chose to order the butternut squash tortolini with parmesan foam that was good but nothing to write home about, the truffle and porcini powder mushroom soup which was just amazing, the seared lamb shoulder and the chocolate souflee...why not? My dad, who doesn't believe that food should cost so much and is really happy when the server is attentive to his drink needs and his steak is cooked properly had his usual salad with rocqufort, steak, and chocolate soufle. Greg had his lobster bisque flambeed at the table, and a monkfish napoleon that he said was out of this world. My sister Jennifer asked for wine parings with each course, speaking in Arabic to the Egyptian sommolier, who thought my blond haired sister a goddess because she spoke his language. Talk about drama, she made a big production of being a vegetarian that night.."I don't eat fish" she sniffed at one point and then pleaded with all of us not to order meat. (I'd be a bit more sympathetic if she hadn't ordered the beef tenderloin our last night out at dinner) My mother had the lobster hot and cold which consisted of a lobster salad and tempura lobster with olive oil and rosemary sorbet to start and then the Dover Sole which she said was quite excellent.
What was perfect about the place was the European portions. My tortolini dish had three pieces of pasta, not two dozen as in America. My lamb was also very small proportion wise. It was really nice to be taken care of by seven servers who made sure that the bread plates were full and the water flowed.
The bill was about $1000 by the time we had coffee and tea and dessert. Our chocoate souflees were decadent! Warm cream was poured into the top and a plate of white and dark chocolate shavings with candied orange peel went around the table as sprinklings.
The courses were spread apart by an amuse bouche of basil custard with an anchovie breadstick and a palate clearer of mango juice with a lemon foam. Just and incredible experience I wish everyone could have at least once in their lives. This is the way to eat!


Monday, October 09, 2006

I was asked by a friend to make her wedding cake, which sounded great until her fiancee asked me if I could make a representation of a Sudanese Pyramid (with or without the temple door?) because he is an archeologist working in the Sudan. So though I am happy to do what I can, how does one make a pyramid and make it look good...where does the plastic bride and groom go, and do I tint the frosting to look like dirt, what can I make look like sand...raw sugar? and can anyone help me with the hierogriphics? high does the pyramid have to be to feed 100?

Answers to these question and more will be answered next season.

There is a sign in the window of Murphy Coffee House in Belfast that says "who cares?" Apparently the owners and the staff inside! We tried to go down to Dudley's for breakfast on Sunday and there was a line out the door. While circling, we saw the breakfast sign at Murphy Coffee House (There was no " 'S " on the end of Murphy) and so decided to try. They have a wonderfully intricate front porch with lots of nooks for two over 6'3" guys and their 2 Giant Schnauzers. It was a gorgeous day to sit outside. Too bad the tables weren't set up, umbrellas weren't open, and the day's dew hadn't been dried off the seating area.

Inside, there was a long line in front of us and one server behind the counter. We waited about 10 minutes and then I went and got the dogs out of the car and we cleaned off an area outside ourselves. Greg waited to order and got us a rag for the wet table and chairs. When we finally got our breakfast, my scrambled eggs were overcooked, flat, and skimpy and my home fries were just plain grill fried potatoes, no garlic, or onions or other spices. Dry is about the way my mouth felt after two bites of breakfast. When our inquiry about jam was rebuffed, with "we don't have that right now" said with attitude, I had had enough of the place. Greg paid ($17.00 for self serve ordering of two plates of scrambled eggs and bacon (fatty) with homefries and toast, a cup of juice and a cup of coffee) and decided against a tip. Heres my tip: One more server at least during sunday morning hours, a server who gives a F*** about her customers, better food, and an exterior seating area where 5 tables of diners don't have to set up their own tables!


Thursday, September 28, 2006

We're off on vacation today, back next week with tales of decadent island eating adventures.
Think Dark and Stormys with conch salad (or burgers for me) mmmmm....Margaritaville, here we come


Sunday, September 24, 2006

We were invited to attend a 60th birthday dinner party last night for a good friend. The party was at Natalie's at the Mill in Camden, a restaurant that both Greg and I have been wanting to try for a while. The birthday party was a suprise, organized by our friend's brother and sister-in-law, so we had to get there early. We had a big, festive party of 12. The restaurant is very warm and inviting inside, perfect medium soft lighting, a feat when the ceilings are so high. The art was extremely tasteful and blended into the decor rather than overwhelmed it. We got there and had drinks seated in the leather furnitured lounge area.
We had a table in the back for all of us. The restaurant accomodated us by adding two more place settings at the last minute. The service, which I've heard was great, was not so attentive at the beginning. Our host got annoyed and went out to speak with the hostess at the front of the restaurant. He wanted champagne for the table and three different wines. After that, service was better, but we had to wait quite a while for our entrees. We were served an amuse bouche to start of one thinly sliced sauteed shrimp with a caviar beurre blanc which I guess was tasty though I gave mine across the table to Greg.
I ordered the butternut squash and carmelized apple soup with a confit of phesant which was delightful, quite excellent in fact. For dinner I had the crispy Duck with a sweet potato confection of some sort and a huckleberry quince sauce that was really fantastic.. I tend to like my duck cooked, and ordered it medium, though the chef recommends it medium rare.
One of the great details they have at Natalies is small baskets of hot bread with individual ramekins of soft butter....Score one for the restaurant there in my book.
Everyone seemed to order oysters which looked fabulous, though there were only five to a plate (cost cutting measures? low on the count this evening? I dunno) Greg said the oysters were the best part of the meal, lightly cooked and with a small salad on top. They were better than his fish entree which he said was a bit skimpy.
Dessert was a chocolate layer cake with mocha frosting and curried truffles on the side. Very nice.

My only beef was the price, which seemed excessive, especially when we all split the bill. It came to about $130.00 a person, which I really think is too much for the food and service that we got.


Saturday, September 23, 2006

Ode to Dave's at Willy World
Oh Dave, your food was so good
It was excellent to have a such a cozy place in our hood.
Because you've closed down
I write this with a frown
we are sad to see you go
cause we so wanted you to grow
What a dream
Paying one price for salad bar, entree and ice cream
But that kind of quirk
just didn't work
If it were our place
we would've kept pace
putting the cars in front and the deck out back
It can be ours if the price is right
try as we might
Does the big screen TV come with the deal?
Come on, Open for one last meal!
We never got our chance to say "so long"
Goodbye to Dave's at Willy World
Sniff :-(
MMM, The other night we had some friends over and I made this spiced chicken and lentil dish that turned out to be so tasty. It was a takeoff on a recipe I found for Moroccan chicken, but since I didn't have some of the ingredients and I had others I thought might work, I changed it round.
The recipe relies on the tang of vinegar to really make the lentils flavorful.

I washed and trimmed four large boneless, skinless, breasts and then cut them into strips that I marinated in oil, garlic, 2 tablespoons chili powder, corriander, and salt and pepper. Refrigerate for several hours.

I cooked a pound of organic green lentils in turkey broth (found them in the new bulk section at Hannaford's) until tender and then transferred them to a bowl and dressed them with 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon chili powder, and a sprinkling of corriander, salt and pepper to taste all wisked together (you can add some cumin too, but I didn't have any) Set bowl aside.

Saute about 1/2 an onion over medium heat until translucent and soft and add the chicken, letting it get good and colorful. Cover and cook for 2 minutes and then if you want add more spices and some chopped dried apricots and turn to coat and cook another few minutes until chicken is just cooked through and tender. Take off heat and let sit for a few minutes while you get the lentils ready to assemble the dish.

Mound lentils in the center of a large platter and then add chicken around the outside of the platter. Set in the center of the table with serving spoons and let everyone help themselves. Serve with sauteed vegetables (I did squash, zucchini, colored peppers, and fresh tomatos sprinkled with garlic and oregano).


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The YMCA pig roast was on Saturday, and though I couldn't go, I told them I would make some pies...five pies to be exact.....What could be easier than making a few pies for a dinner? Well, the darn task took me all day. As Greg said, "if you charge your hourly rate, you just gave $1000 to the Y!" .....grumble grumble...I guess that I should have cheated and bought the pie crusts. What you see in the photos is three of the five, I made two apple with oatmeal brown sugar crusts, two peach caramel lattice pies and one open-faced wild blueberry. I want to make the peach caramel again so that I can try it and may do it for tomorrow night's dinner. After tossing the peeled and sliced peaches with sugar, cinnamon and cardamom, you let the mixture sit and sweat juices for 30 minutes while you make caramel sauce. To the caramel, you add cornstarch dissolved in water, whipping cream, and then the juices from the peaches. Pour back over the peaches and then put into the partially baked shell. Lattice the top and bake for 45 minutes or so, tenting the top with foil so that it doesn't burn.

Hope the folks at the Y liked em!

I made a disasterous dessert for a friend's birthday party. Another friend called and said that she was making a Mexican fiesta night dinner and I said "Let me make a Mexican cheesecake" It was my first time cooking with gelatin, and it will be the last too. The cake tasted fine, it was just the texture that got me. The gelatin didn't distribute evenly and so there were what felt like big balls of gelatin in every bite. I thought, well it could just be me, but when someone said "this is delicious! Whats in it besides gelatin?," I knew I was in trouble.

Oh well, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right?


Thursday, September 07, 2006

I scored a beautiful piece of meat yesterday. While shopping through Hannaford in Belfast, a huge steak, something that I don't normally purchase, stared me down in the meat aisle. I don't buy steak because I'm not really sure about cuts, etc. plus the expense is too much for me to think about. However, a gorgeous angus sirloin that musta weighed 3 lbs had a $4.00 off coupon on it, bringing the price down to $10.00. I couldn't pass it up after figuring that it would last us at least 2 meals for the both of us and maybe more. I ground fresh pepper over the whole thing and broiled it for about 12 minutes and it was perfect: a beautiful cut of meat. While coming home from the gym, Greg expressed dismay over steak sandwiches for lunch because we had to work to make the sammies and couldn't just have them made and ready immediately upon getting home.
I told him that I would make a suprise lunch for him if he would just disappear upstairs to his studio for a while.

So, here is what I did. I had the bright idea to make the Maine cheese steak sandwich which entailed slicing the sirloin, grinding it up in my tiny cuisinart that I got from my credit card company for trading in points (yes, sometimes those point things actually work!). I took the ground steak and sauteed it with garlic, olive oil, and oregano, added a bit of chicken stock to keep it moist and then added about a cup of shredded, white, cabot, curiously sharp, cheddar cheese. Placed a lump on mayoed toast and added slices of our organic tomatos grown with love and llama poop. Delicious, and there is still a hunk of steak left over.


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I just signed up to make five pies for the YMCA auction on the 16th of Sept. Any suggestions for pie types? I've already got requests for apple and blueberry....other thoughts and recipes?



Saturday, August 26, 2006

Greg and I were speeding along to the Union Fair the other day with thoughts of hot, fresh, fried dough in our minds when we happened by two adorable tykes at the end of their driveway with a sign I couldn't read held up above their heads. Greg looked at me and exclaimed that they were selling peaches and we should stop. Unlike my dad who usually says, "We'll stop on the way back" while trying to figure a new route back, I turned around and dropped him off to pick some peaches.
He returned to the car $2.00 bucks poorer with a huge plastic bag holding, count 'em, five anemic-looking, bruised peaches. I shook my head at Greg and asked why he didn't deal the tykes down to $1.50 or something. "But they were so cute" (the kids, not the fruit) said Greg.
We got home and I shoved em in the fridge with hopes that they wouldn't rot too fast.

I had a work-related meeting here the other day and my colleague brought a pint of fresh picked blackberries with her (can you see where this post is going?) and I shoved those in the fridge 'cause the fruit flies were salivating.

So yesterday, we were invited to dinner and I said I would bring dessert. I decided to make a crumble with all the fresh fruit that I stashed in the fridge in the past week. One recipe I found was a fruit tart in a oatmeal cookie crust, and I thought it would make a must better topping than a crust.

Ok, so into a large bowl I sliced the peaches and pitted them and tossed them with a pink of blackberries and two sliced plums. Throw into this 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1/3-1/2 a cup of granulated sugar to taste.
In another bowl I put 2/3rds cup flour, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1 cup quick cooking oats, a dash of cinnamon, a dash of allspice, some ginger, and some nutmeg. Add to this a stick of melted butter and then mix until the topping resembles coarse meal.

Place the fruit in a baking dish and spread the topping evenly on top. Bake in a preheated 350 oven for 1 hour or until golden.

Serve with vanilla ice cream


Monday, August 21, 2006

OK, I have to toot my own horn here. (so, what else is new?) I chefed for a private function tonight and was asked to sit at the dinner table. The minute I sat down, the woman next to me, who owns a restaurant in Belfast, said that she and her husband had ordered my clam chowder several years ago when I was cooking in Belfast. She said it was truly the best chowder she had ever tasted, "simply the best" were the words she used. She said they came down to the restaurant several times just for the chowder. To have a foodie restaurant owner to tell me that was really cool!

For dinner, I grilled two pork tenderloins that I had marinated in a confit of apples, garlic, rosemary and sage. I cooked the confit in a pot on the stove by boiling four chopped apples (skins on) in about a cup of water with a bit of sugar, about 1/4 cup chopped garlic, 4 tablespoons rosemary, some chopped sage left over from the aioli I made for the crab cakes, and salt and pepper to taste. After trimming the tenderloins, I poured the "applesauce" over top, covered and chilled for several hours. When I put the tenderloins onto grill, I placed the baking dish with the apple confit in the oven to bake.

I found that the secret to keeping the crab cakes from falling apart is to make them several hours ahead of time and then chilling them in the fridge. They work great this way.

I made enough food last night to feed a few extra people, so lunch today was crab cakes for Greg and tortolini with the asiago cheese sauce for me! Of course cheesecake was for dessert....and I was going to go to the gym today...perhaps a nap instead.

I am chefing tonight for a private party, just the first and second courses. So the crab cakes last night were an experiment for tonight, since I have never made them before. I was told to leave out the fresh tarragon, which I did, since it apparently overpowered the crab. Greg seems to think that they are really good, so I am encouraged for tonight.

Also making pork tenderloins with garlic and apples. Decided to make a garlic rosemary applesauce for marinade. We'll see how it does and I'll report back tomorrow.

This for Flatlander...Old Bay is mostly sodium, celery seed, and pepper flakes, our Maine crab is pretty salty, so adding more salt is right out for me. Use fresh instead. Panko is a must as it makes the cakes very light and crispy.

Greg's birthday is today and since we are busy with something else going on tonight, he decided that he wanted a few people over for dinner last night. Initially, this suprised me because usually, Greg doesn't just have a birthDAY, but rather a birthWEEK. Every day in the week he reminds me that its his birthWEEK and thus things need to be extra special. Much to my delight, this birthday seemed to quell that impulse to be a birthWEEK brat. He didn't even give me the list of too expensive presents that he just had to have and instead told me that he just wants an updated Gazettier for his car and then he informed me that he was throwing some chicken on the grill and had invited two friends for dinner.

I inquired whether he would find offense if I just jumped in and took over dinner from him, it was after all, his birthday. So my menu grew from chicken on the grill to:

crabcakes with sage aioli on a bed of baby arugula
chicken poached in lemon and white wine
tri-colored tortolini with an asiago cheese sauce
sauteed baby asparagus with roasted red peppers

His birthday cake was a New York cheesecake (extra crispy on the top) with fresh strawberries marinated in dark rum.

I made my crabcakes with fresh crab, scallions, celery, cayanne, powdered mustard, light mayo, egg as a binder and panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) sauteed in butter. I was told they were very good, though I cannot back that up since I can't taste them without having an allergic reaction.


Thursday, August 17, 2006

My parents are inveterate drivers when they are on vacation. They used to be golfers, but now they prefer to drive long distances in their car, have lunch somewhere, and then return back from whence they came. They are here for the week with a couple whom I find incredibly annoying, so it was with much fear on my part that I packed myself into the annoying couple's car for a jaunt down south to find a spot for lunch. The car was packed with me, my parents, the annoying couple, and Charlie, the evil clown dog. Charlie is a miniature poodle with a severe underbite, making him, perhaps, the ugliest dog in the world. Poor Charlie looks like an evil clown. We tried to take the ferry to Vinalhaven, but the couple didn't want to leave their car unattended in a strange parking lot for the day (you see what I mean about annoying???) so we decided to drive to Port Clyde via Tenant's Harbor, a name that didn't please the annoying man, he said he'd only ever live there if the name was changed to Landlord's Harbor..hardy har har the immortal words of Bugs Bunny "What a maroon!"
During our journey, the annoying man spotted a sign for "Dip Net Restaurant...10 miles" He pronounced that our journey's end was going to be at the Dip Net. He then invented a song about it, which I won't go into. Between sips of beer, while driving, he sang and yodelled....uggghh.
The closer we got to the Dip Net, the more animated the annoying man became, annoying me even more. The annoying woman kept wanting to stop the car at every house with lobster traps so she could buy some "bobbers" as she called the lobster buoys. (she with the incredibly thick, upper-Midwest, flat, farm-girl accent--think Fargo). We finally found some for sale on the side of the road for $3.00 and she loaded up, thinking how unique they were.
So, down to Port Clyde we went and found the Dip Net, the ultimate stopping point for the annoying man. The restaurant is actually an outside deck above the water, overlooking the piers, behind the general store. The place has mostly picnic tables to share and some round tables made out of old wooden cable spools. The restaurant building was a shack off to the side. Kind of charming, very Maine, very touristy. We found a nice spool table to ourselves in the sun and the shade and sat down. The annoying man started to complain almost at once. All the tables were full, about 45 to 50 people with 2 servers. The AM wanted alcohol fast so he ordered it from both servers to see which one got it out first.
The food took a while and was not stellar. My dad and I both had the chicken basket which arrived with three pieces of mostly breaded chicken over a basket of underdone fries. the AC both had the lobster roll which was mostly mayo and lettuce and my mom had the fresh swordfish salad which was a piece of swordfish 1.5" x 1.5" over a bed of vegetables with some green sauce over the whole thing. My advice is to stay away from this trap and find another.
I had a headache from all the complaining at this point and I quietly said, here we are on vacation in a beautiful spot on the water, how lucky we are. This could be so relaxing if we just let it be. Then I told the AM to put himself in the server's shoes. full tables, two servers, not their fault if service isn't fast enough....I don't think he heard me because he has turned with his finger raised in the air, calling the server over from across the deck.....
So much for paradise!


Sunday, August 13, 2006

My parents arrived yesterday for a week. Last night we had a delicous dinner (Thank you David for your amazing part in our mom was SOOOOOO happy!!!!!)

We are having a dog picnic today at their rental house in East Belfast with my sister, her dog, Chowder; our two giant black beasts; and my parents Westie, Charlie.
I have about three cups of leftover couscous from dinner the other night and I made a couscous salad that is lowfat and very tasty. There is now a tri-colored cousous on the market that makes the dish very festive. I added a handful of fresh finely chopped basil, about a 1/4 cup green scallions, a cup of diced dried apricots ($1.99 for the imported Turkish kind at Ocean State Joblots in Belfast), and some cinnamon and allspice, a smattering of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Its fabulous! You can add something like pistachios for protein. I found this recipe at epicurious and just adapted it to what I had on hand.
I am serving with my curried chicken salad and good fresh bread.


Tuesday, August 01, 2006

3Tides in Belfast was written up in the Bangor Daily News Living Section on Sunday as a great place to eat at the bar. We happened upon the reporter clandestinely scoping out the joint one night and invited her and her friend to join Greg and me at the bar. Apparently we told some secrets that we shouldn't have! Oops! Sorry David! It was a great write up though..congratulations!


We had the distinct pleasure of welcoming one of my blog readers and a couple of his friends over for dinner the other night. Actually, I think our guest's wife is the major blog reader, but she couldn't make the trip up from Atlanta, unfortunately! Anyway, one of our guests is a vegetarian, so I decided that most of the meal would be meatless. I wanted to create something elegant for her and I found a wonderful leek tart, or Tarte Saint-Germain, to make. Oh my stars is about all I can say about this dreamy recipe. I decided though that the recipe I chose was a bit heavy on the cream, so I substituted sour cream and light cream for the heavy and was amazed at the results. When I removed the gorgeous, golden tart from the oven, it was as light and airy as a souffle, and stayed all puffed up until I put it on the table.

I also took one of my crust recipes and substituted whole wheat flour for regular. Smashing..Greg tells me he wants this on the regular Fall menu.

So, first for the crust:
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of sugar
2/3rds cup butter chilled and cut into pieces
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1/4 cup ice water

Combine dry ingredients and cut in butter and shortening, using your finger tips, incorporate until mixture resembles course meal. Add enough water in teaspoons to form a ball of dough. Turn out onto floured work surface and smear dough away from you with the palm of your hand, ensuring that the butter is mixed throughout. Don't overwork, or the dough will be tough. Gather in ball, wrap in wax paper and chill for at least two hours.
(This all takes approximately 10 minutes, dough really isn't that hard to make. I usually make it just before going to the grocery store for the rest of the ingredients so that it is chilled by the time I get back from running errands).
When chilled through, roll into circle and place in quiche or deep dish pie plate, overhanging the edges of the dough , crimp or fold over the make a thicker edge. Partially bake for at least 10-12 minutes with a foil cover and baking beans for weight at 350 degrees

4 tablespoons butter
1/2 sweet onion chopped
2 cloves garlic
6 leeks trimmed, washed and sliced
2 egg
2 egg yolks
1 cup light cream
1 cup sour cream
salt and pepper
freshly ground nutmeg to taste
1/2 cup Gruyere cheese

Sautee onions and garlic in the butter until soft, add the leeks, cover, and let simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Stir often. take off heat and cool
Meanwhile, whisk eggs and yolks, light and sour creams and spices in a bowl. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
spoon leek mixture into partially baked pie crust and then add egg mixture to top. Spinkle the cheese on top and pop in the oven for 35-45 minutes or until it looks like the picture above. (mine took about 55 minutes).
Let cool and set for a few minutes and serve warm.



Monday, July 31, 2006

I was trying to make homemade pesto yesterday with basil from the garden, but the hail last week did a number on my plants and everything looked as if it had been shot through. So, pressed for time and unwilling to go the to grocery store for basil, I took what little basil I had and combined it with some sage and some mint leaves. added toasted pine nuts, garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper and I had a pretty good tasting pesto, but not quite what I wanted for a "sauce" for our pork chops. I then made an aioli with mayo and garlic and then combined it with the pesto, chilled it for several hours and voila, had a wonderful accompanyment to grilled meat.



Sunday, July 30, 2006

OK, been there twice now just to make sure it wasn't a fluke (it wasn't) and I can say with assurity now that David's restaurant at Willy World on Route 1 in Northport has the best New York Strip Steak around, better than the Edge. I couldn't believe it when we went there the first time last week and I found it on the menu for $16.95 for a 12oz cut, thats over $10 less expensive than the Edge and you get the whole steak, not slices. Their onion rings are hand battered and light and crisp as a feather. Just amazing. Even their lobster rolls are huge, with just a hint of mayo. As we were dining, two friends came in for dinner because I told them how good it was and they were raving about their burgers, juice dripping down their arms and everything.
I have never been there when there is more than one other table of diners and I just can't figure out why. The food is excellent, the prices are low and the atmosphere is just hysterical. You have to go!


Friday, July 14, 2006

Apparently in a fit of bravado spoken among LOTS of empty glasses at a table overlooking the water last night, I promised to make someone a cheesecake to take back with them to Portland tomorrow morning. She called first thing today to make sure I didn't forget. My head will never be the same after last night! So, with 90 degree temps coming over us today, I shlepped to the store for cheesecake makings. Greg is going off to Bruswick this afternoon to make dinner for a friend, so he pleaded with me to make him one for tonight. My neighbor has been feeling unwell after a bad car accident and so I thought I should make her one for all her family members to nosh on as well.
But rather than make three batches of cheesecake batter and have to purchase a bulk of cheeses, I just got out my trusty springform pans in medium, small and tiny and divided the batter three ways, thus making three people happy with one batch of batter! I love stuff like this!! Its such and easy way to cheer up three people at once.
I put my mom's New York cheesecake recipe up for challenge against all others. Her secret is the blend of cream cheese, ricotta, and sour cream. True New York cheesecake has no crust, but I personally like crust, so I took about a cup and a half of graham cracker crumbs, about 1/4 cup of Splenda and 1/2 stick of melted butter combined and spread on the bottom of three well greased springform pans in medium, small and tiny.

Then, take 1 lb each of softened cream cheese and ricotta and blend together adding 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar, stirring (I like to hand stir) or beating until combined. Then add 5 eggs, one at a time, beating and blending completely before adding the next egg. 1/4 cup melted cooled butter gets added next and then 3 tablespoons each flour and cornstarch. mix in 2 teaspoons vanilla and then fold in 1 cup sour cream and pour into prepared pans. Cook in a slow (325 degree) oven for 45 minutes and then turn oven off (do not open oven door)and let cheesecake set and dry in the oven for 1-1.5 hours. Cool completely and then chill until firm, best if made a day ahead. **Note if you are going to make one big cheesecake instead, cook for 1 hour and let sit in oven for 2 hours.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Last night started our "Rolley-Polley's Guide" to the best chocolate chip cookie in town and I can honestly say that we haven't come close to finding a cookie that should be in the running yet. Well, since we have only tried two entries, that may be where the problem lay. We called it rolley-polley, because thats what we'll be after this poll is taken. Yesterday saw us at Dead River , filling up with gas and getting cookies..which were awful! Whats with not using real chocolate in the cookies? Just some cheap imitation brown wax??? I must say here that Dead River has perhaps the finest muffins I've encountered in town, but forget the cookies! It was this cookie fiasco that prompted the newest Maine Foodie poll for Belfast. I feel like the volunteers from seniour college who took a poll of 140 nessesity household items to see if they could find them in Belfast. If they failed, Belfast was going to welcome Wal-Mart in with open arms (smart, eh?) Luckily, they were able to find Depends at a good price over at the Rite Aid.

Today, I extended our coverage to include Weaver's Bakery on Main Street. This time honored bakery has a wonderful reputation, great raspberry crumbles, but HORRIBLE chocolate chip cookies...they taste like sugar cookies with imitation chocolate chips. Hard, crumbly, not a hint of either vanilla or cinnamon, or butter for that matter. Where oh where will we find that elusive, perfect cookie???


Monday, July 10, 2006

We were invited out to dinner at Willy World last idea that sounded great to us on a Sunday night with nothing in the fridge. However, when we got there, we found it was closed! When is this happenin' Northport nightspot open????

We kept going into Belfast, especially after Greg suggested we turn around and have dinner at Hellen's kitchen at the Mobil Station! We decided to try Dockside, a Belfast restaurant in which we have never had the pleasure of dining. Dockside has a new deck on the back the dining rooms that looks out over the public dock and parts of the bay.

We have never been here, mostly because it is so inconspicuous that we forget that its there. The menu is standard fare of "sandwiche's" (that's how its spelled on the menu), fried seafood, and salads. There is also a full bar, but the drinks come in wimpy whiskey sour glasses. I dunno if I would want to eat here in the winter as it seems a bit cramped inside with highbacked booths in mauve and oak surrounding a tiny bar in the center of the space. The layout produces small alley-like passageways between seating areas, bar, and kitchen.

We sat outside and ordered drinks with an appetizer of coconut and macademia nut encrusted shrimp and hand-battered onion rings. The rings were lightly battered and had an nice sweet taste and from what I was told the shrimp, which looked great (lightly broiled with very golden crust) were very good, having a light coconut taste that didn't overwhelm the shrimp. The plate came with six shrimp too, a lot for one order.

Dinner was fried haddock and fries for Greg, which he said was very good (he didn't make his normal mm mMM M! noise while eating, so I figure it wasn't the best fried haddock he's had) I had chicken salad on a croissant grilled with American cheese with sweet potato fries. I had to send the meal back because they used swiss cheese instead of American (which I had asked our server to switch out) My croissant was good but tiny, about two bites worth and my fries were limp and tasteless. I was most impressed with the lobster roll that our host ordered. It was literally spilling over with huge hunks of lobster for $11.50, a great deal. Our host had to order a side a mayo because the lobster salad had only a hint of mayo in it, exactly how it should be served here in Maine.

All in all, a much better meal than I thought we would get at the Dockside. My one regret for the owners is that they didn't make the deck about twice or three times as big as it was because it was very small, only one table deep.

Service: B+
Atmosphere: B-
Food: B


Wednesday, July 05, 2006

We got home last night after the 4th party at 5pm and in no mood to cook. We decided to see what was open for food in town and so fed the beasts, tried to see what was on for movies, and then got back in the car bound for town. We stopped at the end of the street and conned our neighbor into coming with us. She had been at home trying to perfect her mohito recipe and so was ready for a bite to eat at that point!
We tried David's at Willy World but alas, they were closed. Darby's was the next choice up for grabs and so we went there with visons of burgers. We arrived and were asked if we had a reservation! At Darby's? Never heard of such a thing!!! When we said we didn't, we were led to one of the 10 empty tables anyway. All of us had burgers, which arrived with one piece of transparent cheese atop a preformed mass encased in a poof of baked bulky roll. Three burgers, two glasses of wine and a coke for $38 bucks was a bit steep in my view. Needless to say, my burger stayed with me until well into the wee hours of the morning when my indigestion subsided. Thats all I'll say on the subject.


We went out to a fourth of July party yesterday where there was probably the most decadent looking lobster salad I had ever seen. It was ordered from the Rumbline in Searsport and had HUGE pieces of lobster meat, celery, and mayo. Greg, our resident seafood expert, said it was indeed delicious, he thought it had just a tad too much mayo. So, if you ever happen to have the occasion to order 10 lbs of lobster salad from the Rumbline, order it light on the mayo. There wasn't a lot for yours truly to eat except for corn salad and a chicken kebob. One of the party guests, who was up from NY for the weekend, asked if I had a sour stomach because I wasn't eating (I really wanted to tell the green and turquoise-colored mumu clad momma that I was pretty full after watching her wolf down chicken wings, lobster salad and three helpings of corn salad!!)
Like a good boy, I brought a dessert for the hostess who obligingly oooed and ahhhed me when I walked in bearing a lemon blueberry tart. And tart it was boys and girls with five, count em, five tablespoons of lemon zest in that sucker. Its a pain to make, but watching the smiles emerge as everyone eats it and tries to cut through the lemon zing is priceless.

Here's the recipe for those of you wanting an impressive summer tart to display (oh...the double entendre there was too good to pass up). Lest I get smacked with plagerism charges, kudos to the ladies from the silver palate for this one

Butter tart crust

1 2/3rds cup unbleached flour
1/4 cup fine granulated sugar (I used confectioners and it was fine)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 sticks sweet butter chilled
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cold water (I used lemon juice instead and it was great)

Combine and sift dry ingredients and cut in butter using fingertips, combine until resembling coarse meal. Add egg yolks, vanilla and water and combine lightly with a fork. Take dough and shape into ball, wrap in parchment paper and store in fridge for 2-3 hours.
Roll dough out between two pieces of parchment paper until it can easily cover an 8-9" tart pan. Place in pan and trim edges, rolling over excess dough around edge of pan. Chill until ready to bake. Prebake for 8-10 minutes by covering with tinfoil and baking beans for weight and popping in a preheated 425 degree oven.

make sure you put oven back down to 400 degrees

1 cup lemon juice (about five jumbo lemons) **tip: roll lemons around on cutting board with a bit of pressure from the palm of your hand and you will get more juice. Make sure to zest the lemons BEFORE you cut them.
5 tablespoons lemon zest
1 stick melted butter
Beat in:
six eggs
1 cup sugar
and pour into partially baked crust
cook in oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown. **tip: Use a cookie sheet on lower rack to catch any stray dripping

remove from oven and sprinkle with blueberries while tart is warm. lightly press down, let cool completely to set. Before serving sprinkle confectioner's sugar over top.


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I took the chowder out of the fridge at about 5:30 and put it on the stove to heat up. Again, Greg had the power seat. I asked him how it tasted and he said, "fine, great, don't change a thing." I took a bowl and added some sherry and mixed it with the chowder and Greg said, "hmm, yeah, thats better, don't change a thing" Accckkk, what am I supposed to do with that??? So I floated about an 1/8 of a cup of sherry in the middle to the chowder and didn't stir, but rather let it permeate the broth.
All I know is that there were 4 clean bowls at the end of the course, and one guest said "more salt" two guests said "salty already" and Greg who said: "funny, I wouldn't change a thing, its just right." My hero.

Spent the morning making crabmeat chowder for dinner tonight. I was able to taste the chowder base until I put the crabmeat in, (for those of you who don't know, I'm allergic to seafood) and I thought it was pretty flavorful. I gave Greg a taste and he said it was good....I said "not great, not wow this is the best chowder ever????" and he said "yeah, its uhhh really good" I asked about what it needed and he said "nothing." How am I supposed to work with that???
Well, this is essentially my clam chowder recipe with crab instead, so I figure it has to be good seeing as most everyone raved about that recipe when I used to make it by the barrel. The only difference is that I didn't use clam broth as the base, but used turkey stock.

I will wait to see how it reheats after I've cooled it in the fridge for 6 hours. Hopefully the flavors will meld well and come out stronger. Here is what I did...with all the chopping and such, it only took about 30 minutes to make.

Sauteed 1/2 an onion in butter and when transparent, added finely chopped fresh sage and thyme and two chopped stalks of celery with salt and pepper to taste, then added two cloves of garlic. Cubed several pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes (they are the creamiest) and added them to the pot to sautee a few minutes before adding about 4 cups of homemade turkey broth made with just a touch of yellow curry. Bring to a boil and then turn to simmer to let the potatoes soften. When soft, take a potato masher and crush some of the potatoes to release their starch into the chowder base (serves to thicken). Added 14 oz of fresh picked Maine crabmeat and simmer before taking off heat. I made this at noon for a 7pm dinner and have placed the pot in the fridge to cool and meld flavors. Will reheat before serving. Might add either heavy cream or Sherry before serving, but perhaps not. This is our appetizer tonight before the rest of dinner.

I've had a couple of comments on the roast chicken and the chicken curry salad, which I can't find on the blog either. The roaster we usually use is between a six and eight pounder, so its enough for dinner, at least lunch the next day and then into the pot for a great stock. I wait until the roasters go on sale and get them for about 68 cents a pound. So for 6-7 bucks you get three meals for 2 people or more.
I get the roasters with the pop up thermometers, but my rule of thumb is the average time for cooking is 2 hours. We also do the same thing with turkey breasts, which I'll get and pop in the oven in the morning so there is fresh hot turkey for lunch.

Regarding the curried chicken salad (or turkey salad for that matter) The ingredients really depend on what I have in the house. The base is picked chicken or turkey that I cut into small cubes with a pair of kitchen shears, and I make it in small batches, enough for two sammiches. then adding about a teaspoon or more of yellow madras curry powder, salt and pepper to taste and perhaps a dash of celery seed or celery salt. If I happen to have real celery, then that goes in and grapes taste great in it too. Another favorite would be an addition of toasted pecans. Its pretty simple and fast to make. It makes Greg's day when I make it, and of course thats the most important part!

Having people over tonight for dinner and thinking about doing something with crab for an appetizer. We'll see.


Monday, June 26, 2006

Welcome to another episode of "cooking by the seat of your pants!" I found a recipe for pork chops that sounded excellent and tasty too. The recipe called for pan searing and slow cooking the pork in butter and when cooked, making a sauce with chicken broth, cranberry sauce, tawny port, and fresh rosemary. In my infinite wisdom, I thought "well, I don't have any of that, but I bet I can wing it" Call it cook's challenge. So, I marched into the kitchen and found two pork chops, frozen cranberry juice, Orange Cointreau, some fresh curried turkey broth that I just made, and dried rosemary. What the hell, I started out with melting the butter and then searing both sides of the pork for a couple of mintues a piece, then added about a cup of turkey broth, two tablespoons of frozen cranberry juice, about the same for the Orange Cointreau and a handfull of crushed, dried rosemary. I then slow cooked the meat until slightly underdone and then took it out the pan to keep warm on a plate (remember that pork keeps cooking and will be the perfect doneness by the time the sauce is ready) I added a rou to the pan for thickener and then salt and peppered for flavor. I added the chops back in to bathe in the glaze and then served with peas and stove top sauteed steak fries. The result, as Greg noted, was a lightly fruity (great for summer) zesty sauce that worked really well with the meat.


Sunday, June 25, 2006

My head was in the clouds this weekend as I got rave reviews for the third time from friends who came to dinner about three weeks ago when Greg and I were having "little chicky," or a Hannaford roasting chicken that has been a staple in our weekly menu for a while, mostly because Greg likes my curried chicken salad the next day for lunch (thats another blog post in here somewhere)
Anyway, I have really simplified this roast chicken thing and have it down to a science, so I thought I would post it here again for all of you who have tried it in the past. I used to stuff the bird with citrus fruits and yellow onion but one day found that I had the chicken, but nothing interesting to stuff it with. I wasn't really in the mood to cook, so I drizzled olive oil on the whole thing and then sprinkled liberally with sea salt....into the oven in a roasting pan at 350 for approximately 20 minutes a pound with an average time of about 2 hours to roast.
The meat comes out so tender and flavorful, almost like brining, but without the mess.
One friend repeated tells me its the best chicken she has ever 60 years old, thats quite a compliment!

Greg and I took a friend up on her offer of having us up to her house in Winter Harbor where she has a fantastic 19th century house built in the style of a Swiss Chalet. Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate and we hardly saw through the fog for two days. There is not much to do in wet weather in the middle of nowhere, so we drove around and looked at the fog in different places on the coast. The running commentary went something like this "This is Scoodic Point which has a stunning view of the ocean, too bad about the fog" "This is Winter Harbor, there are some beautiful boats in the harbor, which you could see if it wasn't foggy" "I'm giving the boys the third floor bedroom which has the best view of the water...of course you could see it without the %$#*# fog."
After driving around and around for miles, we came back, changed our clothes and went out to dinner in Gouldsboro at a place called Bunker's Wharf. The interior was really cozy with a big stone fireplace and cathedral ceilings with exposed beams. The menu had a lot of seafood, and just a few choices for us meateaters. Greg split a plate of crabcakes with our hostess and they were marvelling about the taste because it was just all crab and spices, packed together without breadcrumbs or mayo. Apparently the spinach salad is famous, but I had a ceasar salad with homemade crutons and hardly any dressing, it was extremely dry, kind of too bad.
Our dinners arrived and Greg had steamers while our hostess had carmelized scallops. Both said the taste was great but that both the scallops and the steamers were gritty. They need a lesson from David Carlson and his two tank grit remover!
For non seafood, there was either a fillet for $28.00 or a pasta dish with chicken and sausage and a cream cheese sauce both of which sounded too country club buffet for me that night. So, I ordered one of the dinner specials which was a pair of porterhouse pork chops grilled with fresh rosemary, accompanied by roasted potatos and fresh veggies. The dish looked fantastic and smelled terrific, but when I cut into them, both were raw on the inside. Yuck, nothing worse than raw pork! I sent the plate back and the chef apologized, grilled them again, b ut failed to warm up th plate so that the sides were cold. I was also a bit nervous to eat the meat at that point. Oh well.
We ordered their speical dessert when we ordered dinner, so what arrived was homemade ice cream sandwiched between two pieces of frozen flourless chocolate cake. It was good, but would have been better had the cake been a bit less frozen. I think ice cream between two slices of warm chocolate cake would've been better.

So, I give the place a thumbs up for seafood lovers, but a definite thumbs down for landfood lovers.


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

We were invited to a neighbor's house last night for dinner. We'd really never met them, but they wanted us to see their finished house. The wife's family has lived in Saturday Cove for over a hundred years and she inherited an old cape up the street from us. She and her husband spent hundreds of thousands of dollars essentially gutting the house from the inside out, creating gorgeous rock walls and gardens that I just envy for their beauty. So, I wanted to make something special. I've had a hankering for making cheesecake lately and so I decided on a chocolate cheesecake recipe that my mom gave me. She makes the best chessecake around, and I fiddled with the recipe to make it better (modest, huh?). This is probably the best cheesecake I have ever had. There is this great decadent chocolate sour cream tang to it and the addition of ricotta makes it very light. Of course, like all cheesecakes, it gets better with age. Trust me, you'll never find a better tasting cheesecake.

Start out by preheating your oven to 300 degrees and then butter well a 9" springform pan. Combine 1 1/2 cups of chocoate wafer crumbs, 1/2 stick of melted butter and two tablespoons of sugar. (this is where my mouth starts to water) . Spread evenly over the bottom and slightly up the sides of the springform and then set in fridge to chill while you make filling.

Scald 1 cup of heavy cream in a saucepan and then pour over 16 oz of semisweet chocolate broken into bits. stir until melted and then beat with electric beater until light and smooth to get some air into the mixture. Set aside.

Beat 4 egg yolks at room temp.( save the whites for later) with 1/2 cup sugar until the mixture is thick and light yellow and comes off the beater in a ribbon. Add chocolate mixture and beat until well combined.

In a large bowl beat 1 1/2 lbs softened cream cheese, one cup sour cream, one cup ricotta cheese, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, & 1 teaspoon vanilla extract until smooth. Add the chocolate mixture and combine well.

Beat the egg whites in a small bowl with a pinch of cream of tartar and salt until soft peaks form. Add 1/4 cup sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold into chocolate mixture and then pour into prepared shell.

Place the springform pan into a baking dish (I used a huge roasting pan) and fill the baking dish with hot water until the level is 1/2 way up the outside of the springform pan. Place in the oven for 1 1/2 hours and then turn the oven off and without opening the door, let the cheesecake set in oven for another hour and a half. Cool completely and then place in fridge to chill through. Best made the day before serving.


Monday, June 19, 2006

Quiz: What do you make when a friend invites you for dinner the same night, asks you to bring dessert, and you are hung-over from the night before and don't want to go to the grocery store?
This is another one for WWJD? I took stock of what I had in the kitchen that was kind of dessertish and found a 1/2 a bag of frozen strawberries (make that a 1/3rd of a bag and a lot of freezer burn, two apples past their prime, some frozen puff pastry and a lemon. I have enough for a tart? Lets hope! I then cooked the strawberries on the stove with water and sugar and then added the apples. When tender, I suddenly remembered that I had a can of yellow papaya in the cupboard that I got at Reny's hoping that I could use it in some Thai dish or some such "exotic" dish involving jasmine rice (these are the dreams I have while surfing the cans in Reny's food aisle....beware, always check the born on date!) I digress.....So I added the papaya and lemon zest and juice from one lemon and let the whole thing boil. My last trick while the concoction was still bubbling away was to add about a tablespoon of cornstarch as a thickener. Took the pot off the heat and put it in the fridge to cool (make sure you have either tempered surfaces or place the mixture in a cool bowl first)
Quick thawed the puff pastry in the wave and then rolled out and draped it over the sides of a buttered cast iron skillet (a cook's best friend ). I then buttered and sugared the bottom of the puff pastry and added the fruit mixture. Fold over corners of puff pastry making sure to leave a "rustic" opening so that your meal mates can oooo and ahhh over what you made. Brush tops with melted butter and then sprinkle sugar over the butter.

Cook in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 40 minutes or until golden.

This got total raves. One person looked at me guiltily as she was scooping more onto her plate and said "I never have seconds"


Thursday, June 15, 2006

We took friends to 3Tides last night for dinner. Including Greg, there were three seafood eaters in the party, so we had a veritable smorgasbord of shellfish on the table including a dozen Pemaquid oysters, Northport rope grown mussels cooked in garlic and wine, fresh crabmeat quesadillas in addition to our usuals. I also added the pear and fresh greens salad. The bonanza of seafood arrived with great fanfare and was promptly gobbled up with lots of lip smacking and laughs and smiles. Our friends were amazed at how tasty the oysters and mussels were and kept saying how they had to spread the word. One of our guests is hosting a rehearsal dinner for her son's wedding on Friday, a clam bake down in Camden, and she lamented the whole night that she hadn't known about 3Tides before. My pear, feta cheese, toasted pine nuts with greens was delightful as was my usual chicken quesadilla. The decadent chocolate cake from "Let Them Eat Cake" in Belfast was the perfect complement to a perfect meal.
It was so refreshing to sit out underneath the huge Moss awning on the deck listening to the rain beating overhead while we gazed at the water.

Excellent evening.

I was taken out to dinner on Tuesday night to Francine's in Camden. Its probably been about a year since we ate there last time. I am still very impressed by this small jewelbox of a restaurant. I was amazed at how crowded the restaurant was on a Tuesday night before season. Even the outside tables were taken up. We asked the bartender to make us Mohitos, a dark rum drink made with simple syrup, mint, lime juice and club soda. When I was a kid, these were called Southsides and it was a great way to break intodrinking hard alcohol. Anyway, the mohitos took forever to get from the bar, so we switched after the first one.
For dinner, two of us had the steak frites and our dining companion had crab cakes. Francine's chef changes the menu daily which keeps the place fresh and keeps the clientel coming back for more on a regular basis...something I think more restaurants need to do to keep things interesting. The steak frites was incredible. The steak was tender and very well seasoned and the frites, though not your standard julienned potatoes that you find in France, were wonderfully crispy and tasty with the perfect amount of salt and other spices. Apparently the crab cakes were excellent, though yours truly did not sample them. Dessert for my dining companions was a shared dish of vanilla ice cream with a rhubarb/ cherry coulis that smelled divine and must have been perfect since one of the ladies practically licked the bowl! All in all a very nice dinner and good atmosphere. Make sure to call ahead, as there are very few tables.


Monday, June 12, 2006

I've been blogging around recently and came alight to one great blog name called Granny gets a Vibrator Its pretty funny.

Anyway, it was Sunday and we had leftovers last night. I thinly sliced the rest of a London broil that we had over the weekend (marinated in a mix of balsamic vinegar, soy, worcestershire sauce, and garlic), took a cast iron skillet and sauteed some onions, asparagus, and garlic together and then added the beef and the rest of the marinade that I made into gravy using a rou and some red wine. I also made some Mexican style rice with black beans. (London Broil and Mexican Rice---how international can you get???) and made ersatz fajitas with everything rolled up in some flour tortillas with grated pepperjack cheese. MMMMMMM.

Hey, happy Sun! I planted my vegetable garden in the pouring rain last Tuesday and I swear its all grown a foot since then. I planted a strange garden, three types of tomatos, cantelope, butternut and acorn squash, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and strawberries. I mean, we already have mystery zucchinis and squash appear at our back door in bags, so why grow them? Beans too. Once the darn thing gets going, I'll post pics of my postage stamp garden.


Friday, June 09, 2006

Got up this morning all bright eyed and bushy tailed and just raring to fire up the Maine Foodie Test Kitchen so that we could try this boiled omelette (see below). It really was quite fun, but no faster than making a regular omelette. I guess it really only would work for a crowd of people who all wanted their own ingredients. I also suppose that if you are inclined to make an omelette in a bag for your guests, you are also inclined to buy precooked sausage and already grated cheese. If you live in Florida where they have packs of pre-diced vegetables and onions, it would make it even more FUN and easy!
We think the whole idea of boiled omelettes in a bag is stupid and figured the eggs would taste like melted plastic, but they were suprisingly good and healthy since you don't cook the eggs in butter (sigh) The omelettes do roll right out of the ziploc bag and onto your plate in a perfect roll. I told a friend about this experiment today and her eyes lit up as she told me its the perfect idea for all these people she is putting up for a wedding next weekend! NOTE *** It is essential that you write your name on the outside of the bag***

Keep sending your outrageous recipes to me and I'll think about trying them in the Maine Foodie Test Kitchen.


Thursday, June 08, 2006

Apparently, I'm being punished for violating the Google Ad click program. As you will notice, there is an empty white stripe at the top of MY blog where google key words used to be. I had an email a while back from the Internet Violations Department deep in the bowels of Google Central saying that since I had pointed out to my readers that the ad bar existed and that they should click to make me money, I was in serious breach of googlism. I had to edit out the offending sentances in my posts from eight months ago or suffer the consequences. I choose to suffer the loss of income (a whopping average of .98 cents a month)...after all, its a freedom of speech issue.


A relative who shall remain nameless sent us the following breakfast recipe. Though I prefer my eggs the old fashioned way, thought this might work for the the guests who overstay the three day rule. I am truly impressed that our relative sent pictures as well!


(This works great !!! Good for when all your family is together. The best part is that no one has to wait for their special omelet !!!) Have guests write their name on a quart-size Ziploc freezer bag with permanent marker. Crack 2 eggs (large or extra-large) into the bag (not more than 2) shake to combine them. Put out a variety of ingredients such as: cheeses, ham, onion, green pepper, tomato, hash browns, salsa, etc. Each guest adds prepared ingredients of choice to their bag and shake. Make sure to get the air out of the bag and zip it up. Place the bags into rolling, boiling water for exactly 13 minutes. You can usually cook 6-8 omelets in a large pot. For more, make another pot of boiling water. Open the bags and the omelet will roll out easily. Be prepared for everyone to be amazed. Everyone gets involved in the process and a great conversation piece. Imagine having these ready the night before, and putting the bag in boiling water while you get ready. And in 13 minutes, you got a nice omlette for a quick breakfast!!!Try tomatoes, ham, green onions, cheddar cheese and mushrooms. It really works!!!


Monday, June 05, 2006

We were in Waterville over the weekend prowling Marden's for small windows for our impending new shed in the backyard. We've been increasingly disappointed at the offerings at the "new and improved" Marden's in Waterville....I kind of liked racing around to the four different locations whenever we went there. We also visited Home-a-Depot to take a look at their sheds and get ideas for building ours. I must say, Waterville has changed a lot in the 17 years since I attended Colby. There are a lot of chain places that weren't there before. Waterville has really become a chore-type destination for central Maine. I digress...we were weak with hunger from shopping and not buying a thing and so decided to cruise into the first place we saw, which happened to be a Quisnos Sub place. I've never been to a Quisnos before and was delighted by the offerings. I can imagine that they do a bang up business when school is in session. I noticed a young man with a Colby class of '09 shirt on and thought of telling him that I graduated in '89, but I noticed what he ordered and figured he must be stoned and would freak out at this intrusion into his personal space, so I held my tongue.
Greg and I split a beef tenderloin sandwich on a whole wheat sub roll with chedder cheese and a peppercorn mayo that was really good. At Quisnos, they broil the sandwiches, so the bread is nice and toasty and the cheese is melted, a very nice touch.
I couldn't believe it when we saw another Quisnos in Waterville on the way out of town. What is this world coming to?


Sunday, June 04, 2006

I woke up this morning to the sound of raindrops on the roof, normally quite a soothing, safe feeling. Today it struck me with dread, "another day inside doing inside stuff...ugghh" Its been raining for at least 40 days, now I know how Noah felt..good thing he had boat building skills! I at least have a car in which to escape, and escape we did..out of the house, away from the dogs and away from working on the kitchen some more. I walked into Greg's studio and pronounced plans to go to the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland. He had his shoes on before I finished my pronouncement...and away we go!
After perusing the excellent permanent collection and getting some more exposure to Andrew Wyeth's work for a potential client, we exited and followed our noses to the Atlantic Baking Company on Main Street, right across from the Farnsworth. We thought about getting a loaf of fresh bread for dinner and ended up staying and having a sammie with a cheese danish. The danish was outstanding and Greg told me that I needed to learn how to make them....."yeah I thought, spending all day making croissant dough, my favorite pasttime!" The sandwich was also stellar, mostly due to the tasty multigrain bread that was perfectly moist and had a wonderful texture and taste. The place is a bit pricy, but a nice choice on main street for a cuppa coffee and a pastry in the mornings. Lots to read and semi-comfortable seats. This place is a must for the strolling pedestrian.
When we got back, Greg headed for bed and I got called to help walk some friends' llamas which was really cool. They rescued five male llamas and sometimes need help excersing them. A nice chance of pace on an icky poopie rainy Sunday.