Friday, July 13, 2007

Oh my gods! Brian, the chef from The Edge, sent Greg home yesterday with a quart of peach soup that he made as the amuse bouche one night for dinner. Its friggin' amazing. I tried a spoonful of it cold from the fridge as I was calling to invite a friend for dinner to help us sample it and I found myself having another spoonful and then another. I guess you can't have just one.

David and Sarah at 3Tides are closer than ever to starting up Belfast's own micro-brewery. The space is almost done and the tanks go in next week. Its a very exciting time watching the new business progress. As soon as they get started and brew the first batch and its ready, David will be able to sell take away beer and live lobster from the Lb. You will also be able to get it right from the tap in the bar if you want to stay and enjoy the company of the regulars.

I'm just about to pull a flowerless chocolate cake out of the oven as its a friend's birthday today. Happy Birthday Larry! He wanted anything chocolate, so this is all about chocolate.

David wants me to make him a Princess Torte, a Swedish speciality cake, for his birthday on Monday. It calls for a layer of Spring-green colored marzapan over the entire cake. Me and my big mouth for asking.


Thursday, July 12, 2007

You know summer is here when you'd rather cook on the grill than anything else. Its cleaner, easier and the house doesn't smell of roasting meat. Of course roasting meat is a great smell, but it drives our dogs nuts. They sit outside the kitchen door and whine for about 1 hour, cause they know that they might get a nice warm juicy piece of skin off the chicken.

Last night I cooked a turkey breast on the grill. Its so easy and practical. The breasts are sometimes too expensive, but yesterday, Hannaford was having a marked down for quick sale. 12 bucks for a large breast that will feed us at least through sandwiches tomorrow, making the per plate cost $2.00, without considering the added bonus of making homemade turkey broth... can't beat that with a wooden spoon!
Anyway, I did the turkey the same way I do chickens, drizzled olive oil and rubbed fresh sea salt. We have a four burner grill, so I fired up the outside burners and left the middle two off, plopped the breast in the middle of the grill and let it sit there at 300 degrees for 1.5 hours. It was totally moist and juicy. Served it up with sauteed asparagus and some slices of meunster cheese and off to watch a movie we went. Yumm.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

New friends gave me a recipe today that I know will be great, coming from them. I am dying to try much so that I wish Nealey's (our local gas station, "convenience" and hardware store, and topless bar) carried pectin so I could run right out and get started. I hope I'm not posting some ancient family recipe, handed down from Great Aunt Gert to cousin Maude to Granma Rose to momma to me kind of thing. If it is, I am so sorry. I would never post my Great Aunt's meatball recipe on here!

There isn't a copyright on it, so here goes:

Rose Petal Jelly
(from my garden.)
2 Cups Water

3 cups Rose petals

2.5 cups sugar

1/4 cup lemon juice

3 oz pectin

Boil water, remove from heat and steep petals. (I'm lovin this already). After 1/2 an hour, strain and return to boil. Add sugar and lemon and boil for 2 minutes. Add pectin and boil for three minutes.
This recipe is full of cool stuff I don't do often, like steep and decant. I dunno about you, but I'm excited. I think that rose blossom above is about three cups by itself. Great year so far for roses.

Monday, July 09, 2007

I made a lot of cheesecakes a few weeks ago, so many so that I don't need to make it for a while, and in fact, it took me this long to post the recipe. The first one I made of this batch is the one pictured above which came out beautifully. There was some extra batter, so I quickly made a smaller one for home use, but because it was so thin, it came out a bit dry. Of course, the chef of a very nice restaurant and his wife, who manages same restaurant invited us for lunch one day and I ended up bringing the thin cheesecake to them....with apologies for it being so dry! Oh well, someday I will make amends.
Anyway here is the recipe for the above:
I made a graham cracker crust for this, but it really doesn't need a crust at all. You could also make a chocolate cookie crust too.
The batter is:
1 lb cream chesse, softened
2 cups ricotta
1 cup sugar
1/2 stick butter, melted and cooled
5 eggs at room temp
3 teaspoons of vanilla extract
3 tablespoons each corn starch and flour
2 cups sour cream (folded in at last minute)
cream cheeses and sugar together until fluffy, add butter and mix well. add room temp eggs, one by one mixing well after each one. Then add vanilla, and cornstarch and flour and mix well. Fold in sour cream. Pour into ungreased 9" springform pan and set in the middle of a slow oven 325 degrees for one hour. After an hour turn off oven (do not open door) and let cheesecake sit for 2 hours. Cool completely. Best made a day before and refrigerated. Decorate top with favorite fresh fruit (shut up bitch!) and amaze your guests.
If you find that the texture is a bit dry, you can add a deep pan of water in the oven to keep the moisture levels up.
We took off yesterday for Trenton, Maine to several auction previews. Trenton is up towards Bar Harbor and we weren't prepared for all the traffic! Anyway, we stopped at Abbracci's in Searsport for breakfast. Abbracci's is where Periwinkles bakery used to be, on route 1 just south of Searsport. I've been wanting to stop there for a while and was impressed with the selection of coffees and the interior of the space, which is very homespun and as different as one could get from the old Periwinkles space. I was very suprised to learn that a limited selection was available for dinner there as well. I ordered a sticky bun and a blueberry scone and was delighted with the sticky bun...I should actually say gooey bun, because it was just filled with gooey honey and cinnamon goodness. The texture was just right and the cinnamon swirl was pure heaven. Greg and I sat in the car and devoured it. Neither one of us likes scones very much, but this one was fresh and tasty. I just remembered that most of it is still in the car.....hey, its even good the next day with tea!

What I like about this place is that a young couple works there, probably the owners, and they are doing this all themselves. The front of their building is their house and the bakery / restaurant is in the old barn out back. I'll be interested to try their dinner menu which is all Italian, a cuisine choice that has been lacking in Belfast or in the surrounding area. Give this place a try, they seem to have lots of choices for coffees and such.