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