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September 17, 2009

Maine Classics

MF&L columnist and blogger Jessica Strelitz defines the criteria for being considered a “Maine Classic” dining establishment in this issue.


Longevity depends on good food, service, and an eye on the future. See who made Jess’s list and why. Some of your favorites are sure to be on this honor roll!


Community Cookbooks

Here is a little ditty from a community cookbook published by a ladies aid organization ca: 1920s

One morning in the garden bed

The onions and the carrots said

Unto the parsley group:

“Oh, when shall we three meet again,

In thunder, lightning, hail or rain?”

“Alas,” replied in tones of pain

The parsley, “In the soup.”

Community cookbooks are recipe collections assembled by charitable organizations and sold to raise money for their cause. Some of the earliest appeared in the 1860s but during the 20th century thousands and thousands were made and sold. These cookbooks reveal regionally favorite dishes and also how well corporate test kitchen recipes reached the average household. Compilers had fun inserting bits of humorous poetry like the one above, pithy sayings, and “recipes” for preserving husbands or making a happy home.

September 16, 2009

Shell’s Southwest Grill

Shell Applestein, of Shell’s Southwest Grill in Rockland Harbor, has a passion and talent for great Mexican food. Her menu is extensive, and her flavors are big. But as much as Shell likes big taste, she says cooking is all about the simplicity of pure flavors.


“There is nothing better than having a recipe with three ingredients that tastes like it has 19,” she states. Love all those flavors like lime, cilantro, chipotle, garlic, tomatoes, and cheeses? Head on down to Shell’s! She makes seven different types of quesadillas, including one with fresh Maine crabmeat, six varieties of bean burritos, nachos, a southwest burger, pulled pork wrap, and chicken, beef, pork, fish tacos, and more.


To learn the story of Shell’s Southwest Grill, and get Shell’s recipe for Chipotle Pork Meatballs with Creamy Cilantro Coleslaw, check out the new issue of Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine on stands now. See why Shell is one of our “Local Heroes.”

Mom’s American Chop Suey

A recent 24 hour period in my life can only be described as “ topsy turvy – upside down – backside to”  with a myriad of events that left me breathless. (I think I am finally in recovery mode.) Continue reading “Mom’s American Chop Suey” »

Portland: a Down East banquet, says the NY Times

Not that we couldn’t see it coming, but it was thrilling nonetheless to see Portland, Maine get its due from the venerable New York Times. And on the front page of today’s Dining & Wine section, no less. While avoiding the usual homage to the iconic chefs we all know and love on our home turf, writer Julia Moskin gives well-deserved nods to our lesser known but very worthy culinary talents, many of whom we have profiled in the pages of Maine Food & Lifestyle. We expect to see these chefs catapulted to fame, and it’s about time.

So the verdict is in: “Portland has become one of the best places to eat in the Northeast.”

September 15, 2009

Björn Runquist: Food of Art

Maine artist Björn Runquist’s work reflects a soul rooted in heritage, the Maine landscape, and the beauty of the everyday world around him.


He shows us the path of inspiration begins with observation, which in turn paves the road ahead to creation, and the final destination is enlightenment.


Björn also shares his kitchen creations, works of edible art, with recipes for Gravlax and Fish Chowder. See how both his food and art feed the body and soul in our current magazine issue.

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Blueberries

I almost wept when I heard, earlier in the season, that something possibly awful was going on in certain sections of Maine’s blueberry barrens. The rains had come, the rains had stayed for a while, and a fungus had moved in. This sounded dire for the crop, on which so many growers depend for their livelihood, and on which so many pancakes, pies, and muffins depend for their very identity. Pray tell, what is a blueberry pie without blueberries? Continue reading “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Blueberries” »

September 14, 2009

Miles of Isles: North Haven

What comes to mind when thinking of Maine islands? Rustic, isolated, quiet, and beautiful?


Those words just scratch the surface when describing island living. Join us as we explore North Haven–full of talented, hard working, forward thinking people who appreciate its beauty and understand and tap its potential for sustainability.


Farmers such as Doug and Julie Record of Sheep Meadow Farm, the Curtises of Grant Farm, Jen Porter of Turner Farm, and John Dietter of Northside Farm; oyster grower Adam Campbell, Congressional Representative and co-owner of Nebo Lodge Chellie Pingree; chefs Josh Amato and Amanda Hallowell of Nebo Lodge and their recipes; and more… all in this issue.

Maine Fare: “Telling the Maine Food Story”

Maine Fare discussion panels held on Sunday at the Knox Mill in Camden were dynamic. The panel entitled “Telling the Maine Food Story” was moderated by Don Lindgren of Rabelais Books in Portland. Panelists included Nancy Harmon Jenkins, food writer, author and journalist; Peter Smith, photographer and author, Portland Psst!; Merrill Williams, editor and publisher of Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine; Margaret Hathaway, goat farmer and author of The Year of the Goat and Living With Goats. Discussion centered around Maine writers’ roles in moving the food agenda forward, both nationally and within Maine.

L to R: Margaret Hathaway, Nancy Harmon Jenkins, Merrill Williams, Peter Smith, Don Lindgren

Continue reading “Maine Fare: “Telling the Maine Food Story”” »

September 13, 2009

Mexican Cuisine in Southwest Harbor

Just what does XYZ stand for? Xalapa, Yucatan, Zacatecas: This Mexican restaurant in Southwest Harbor is as authentic as it gets north of the border.


Owners Bob Hoyt and Janet Strong have been serving up their mouth-watering, signature dishes for over 15 years. Sopa, Chile Rellenos, Mole Poblano, and many other choices, including heavenly XYZ desserts, round out an extensive menu. And while you’re there, don’t forget the margaritas!


Read the XYZ story and share their recipes in the latest issue of Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine!

Curried Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup

Welcome, autumn. September brings my favorite weather, and my favorite season of cooking and eating. Summer’s herbs and leafy greens are still hanging on alongside hearty squash and root vegetables. Lately, my CSA farmer has bombarded me with carrots. The gnarly, irregular roots are sweet and taste of local soil. As the evenings turn cold, my mind shifts from salad to soup as I consider how to use up this bounty of carrots. Continue reading “Curried Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup” »

September 12, 2009

Cider Pot Roast

The recipe to take with you if you knew you’d be stuck on a desert island for the rest of your life! Continue reading “Cider Pot Roast” »

Lemon Cupcakes with Citrus Icing

Infused with intense lemon flavor, just one bite and you’ll know why these cupcakes were our hands-down favorite for the cover of this cookbook. Serve these delightful little cakes for any celebration. Continue reading “Lemon Cupcakes with Citrus Icing” »

September 11, 2009

Oatmeal Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

The morning and evenings are cool, so it’s a great time of year to start baking again. A batch of these delicious cookies is just the thing to take off the morning chill and warm your home with a delicious aroma. Continue reading “Oatmeal Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies” »

Isle au Haut Gourmet Getaway

This year, Isle au Haut was the setting for a culinary adventure, an island getaway that was a gourmet adventure to remember. Participants met some incredibly fun and talented islanders, and honed their cooking skills while treating their palettes and enjoying the unique experience of island living.


The “Island Gourmet Girls” Diana Santospago (owner and chef of the Inn at Isle au Haut), Kate Shaffer (owner of Black Dinah Chocolatiers), and Linda Greenlaw (currently Swordboat Captain of the Sea Hawk on the Discovery Channel’s “Swords: Life on the Line,” and author of The Hungry Ocean, The Lobster Chronicles, All Fishermen are Liars) were hostesses to a weekend getaway filled with food and camaraderie. Isle au Haut resident and Cookbook author Martha Greenlaw (Recipes From a Very Small Island) joined in up with the Gourmet Gals for some of the festivities.


The new issue of Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine recaps all the fun that was had and the recipes and friendships made. The 6-page article, “An Island Gourmet Getaway,” gives a preview of the cooking classes on beautiful Isle au Haut, the process of making rainbow bread and asparagus tortelli, the art of making chocolate, and a dinner party with the Gourmet Gals at Linda Greenlaw’s home.


This weekend was an absolute blast! Consider booking your reservations now for next year’s event. You won’t want to miss out on the fun!

September 10, 2009

Lynn Archer: Queen of Lobster Clubs

In the new issue of Maine Food & Lifestyle, we introduce a new feature called Local Heroes. Our first inductee into our Local Hero Hall of Fame is Lynn Archer, owner and chef of the Brass Compass Café in Rockland. Lynn, who says she’s been cooking since she could walk, has become more of a celebrity than ever since her recent Throwdown win against Food Network’s Celebrity Chef Bobby Flay. Continue reading “Lynn Archer: Queen of Lobster Clubs” »

Italian Breakfast Sausage

Spice up your breakfast plate with these flavor filled Italian sausages! Continue reading “Italian Breakfast Sausage” »

September 9, 2009

Chase’s Daily

In our new issue, we celebrate the power of local foods with the Chase Family at their restaurant, Chase’s Daily, in Belfast. This family-run establishment has their roots firmly planted in their farm in Freedom, Maine. Produce and flowers are harvested there fresh daily and find their way to grateful patrons’ plates at Chase’s Daily. Seasonal foods determine daily menu offerings, and the bakery at Chase’s has some of the most amazing homemade goods around. Twice James Beard nominated, Chase’s Daily is a true farm to fork establishment serving up delicious and fresh vegetarian fare. Continue reading “Chase’s Daily” »

A Dilly of a Pickled Beet Salad

Pickled beets are one of those simple old-fashioned mainstays that are always a welcome addition to any meal, summer or winter. Here, they are dressed up with a drizzle of vinaigrette and shower of chopped fresh dill. Continue reading “A Dilly of a Pickled Beet Salad” »

September 8, 2009

New Issue of Maine Food & Lifestyle

There is something about Maine that defies seasonal explanation. Perhaps it is the strength of its people, its abundance of natural resources, or the unparalleled beauty of its timeless landscape. While the whisper of fall is in the air, we still feel a strong loyal tie to fading summer. While we are connected to finite seasons, the cycle we are in flows infinitely on. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the growing season of our local foods. Continue reading “New Issue of Maine Food & Lifestyle” »