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October 30, 2009

Autumn Spirits

This autumn, thousands of people will migrate to the Northeast to see the beauty of the changing seasons. If you can’t make it up North, but wish to celebrate from your area of the country, we’ve gathered a few seasonal cocktails from the experts in Boston.


The recipes below were created by the mixologists at the Millennium Bostonian Hotel’s in-house restaurant, North 26.

Pumpkin Martini
1 ounce Vodka
½ ounce Navan (vanilla liqueur)
1 ounce Pumpkin liqueur
1 ounce Cream

Shake over ice and serve in a martini glass garnished with shaved nutmeg.

Continue reading “Autumn Spirits” »

Pumpkin Dip

Local Maine resident Sally Howlett, of South Thomaston, recently made the Grosse Pointe, Michigan news with her fall recipe for pumpkin dip, which we share here. Wishing our readers a safe and Happy Halloween!

What goes better with Halloween than pumpkins? photo by Virginia O. McCoy.

Halloween is the perfect time to make Sally Verbrugge Howlett’s pumpkin dip. This sweet and creamy concoction is for apple slices, graham crackers, and ginger snaps to dive into and is a terrific last minute choice if you volunteered for snacks at school or work.

Sally’s Pumpkin Dip
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
½ cup confectioners sugar
1 15-ounce can pumpkin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Continue reading “Pumpkin Dip” »

October 29, 2009

Maine Lobster Chef of the Year 2009: MacKenzie Arrington

A hearty congratulations to Maine Lobster Chef of the Year 2008, Margaret Salt McLellan and her son, the newly crowned Maine Lobster Chef of the Year 2009 MacKenzie Arrington!! MacKenzie won with his Roasted Maine Lobster Tail on Braised Cabbage and Cornbread.

It’s the beginning of a new Lobster Dynasty, as mother and son share a piece of Maine history. Maine Food & Lifestyle was proud to be there to cover Margaret Salt McLellan’s 2008 win at the Blaine House, and we are happy to announce the good news of her son’s win with you here in 2009.

Best Wishes to you both!

he who must be saluted

MacKenzie Arrington accepts Lobster Chef of the Year Award.

Certified Sommelier and Corporate Chef Jen Flock

As a rule, when I start a project, I like to dive right in and get to the point. But I realize that in this case that may not work. You may be wondering why on earth you would come to me for advice on food and wine; Who am I?

I have been in the food and wine industry in some capacity since I graduated from high school (just to put it in perspective, sometime in the near future will be my 20th reunion, gasp!). I started in the kitchen; I found that cooking jobs were pretty easy to come by and paid the rent while I went to Art School. After leaving Art School, I stayed in the kitchen full time. I ended up being persuaded by one of my chefs to get a degree. To make a long story short, (because who needs to hear me ramble, right?) I enrolled at Johnson & Wales in the Culinary Arts program in Providence, RI and took a test which allowed me to get my degree in one year.

Continue reading “Certified Sommelier and Corporate Chef Jen Flock” »

October 28, 2009

Napa Cabbage and Apple Cole Slaw

The Maine woods are dotted with ancient apple trees, a reminder that much of today’s forest was once cultivated land. Pastures, hay fields, and orchards reverted to woods when farming waned. Using our own apples in new and different ways is always a challenge. For this recipe, the tart, crunchy Granny Smith apple works well. Serve this slaw with Roast Pork Loin with Rosemary and Garlic or Bourbon and Brown Sugar Gravlax. Continue reading “Napa Cabbage and Apple Cole Slaw” »

Island Apple Pie

This pie is all my own creation. My mother baked magnificent pies and was well known for them. When I was growing up, we each got to pick the kind of pie she would make that week for Sunday dinner and I usually chose apple. My brother Freeman chose lemon meringue, Chuckie chose blueberry, Gracie chose pecan, Avis asked for graham  cracker pie, I made the filling with lots of citrus for its fresh, clean taste. The crust uses only vegetable shortening because that’s how my mother made it. If I see a pie crust recipe that calls for butter, I’ll try it. Continue reading “Island Apple Pie” »

October 27, 2009

Mainers in exile drawn together by beans

One hundred and fifty folks with roots from Machias to Hinkley and Winterport to Saco gathered on a recent Saturday night in Arlington, Va., to share a traditional Maine “bean suppah” — an annual event organized by the Maine State Society, a group that serves as a “home away from home” for Mainers in the Washington, D.C., area. Tables full of people with family links to the state paid $8 each for dinner, apple cider and dessert. The yellow eye beans were from an East Corinth farm, the hot dogs (both natural casing and reds) came in from W.A. Bean in Bangor, the brown bread was from– where else? — Burnham & Morrill in Portland and the dinner rolls were brought in from Lepage’s Bakery in Auburn.

Less than an hour after the food was on the tables, the brown bread and red dogs were gone from the kitchen. People who came in late sighed in dismay — but folks at adjacent tables were eager to share what they had left. Children roamed the church basement and people ranging in age from 20 to 80 shared stories of being born in Maine and having relatives or spouses from the state — much of it centered on food: the best lobster pounds and the best places for Italians and blueberry pie. Once the gingerbread, prepared by Society volunteers, was gone, the “entertainment” started in the form of bad jokes (”Pumpkins were the original Transformers, kids. Throw them up in the air, they’re pumpkins. Once they hit the ground, they’re squash”) updates on Society activities and introduction of new members (of which I am one).

Then they started with the door prizes.

On the stage at the front of the room were piles of merchandise, from books to art prints to food and t-shirts. Everything was donated, including several boxes of candies from representatives of the visiting Massachusetts State Society– whose introduction sparked a spattering of tongue-in-cheek boos. Children were recruited to deliver each prize as attendees’ numbers were called: stuffed toys from the Maine Potato Board, art books from photographer Jake McGuire, shirts from Pat’s Pizza, blueberry popcorn from Len Libby — and the “highlight” of the night — 3-packs of Beach Cliff sardines. Cheers filled the room each  time a number was pulled. And when the last can of sardines left the stage — everyone stood and began the clean up.  Just another Saturday night for folks from Fort Fairfield to Holden … Lincoln to East Boothbay.

The Art of Local Food

peppers cheese
pastry lobster

On October 29, more than 40 local farms, restaurants, and culinary partners are teaming up to dish out the best treats, ever. Participating restaurants include Primo, Francine Bistro, Lily Bistro, and many more. Ingredients will include fish from the Port Clyde Fisherman’s Co-op, cheeses from Appleton Creamery, mushrooms from Oyster Creek Mushrooms, and fresh vegetables from Peacemeal Farm among others.

For $25, all of which supports NRCM’s work to protect Maine’s environment (and $10 of which is tax-deductible), you can savor an autumn evening with neighbors who love Maine’s environment and enjoy live music, Maine art, yummy local foods, and a cash bar featuring Maine wines, beers, gin, rum, and vodka. What better way to celebrate Maine’s bounty?

If you have questions, please contact Joyce Gracie at (207) 430-0128.

Participating farms and restaurants include:

After the Fall Farm Montville Jess’s Market Rockland
Angelina’s Bakery Knox Lily Bistro Rockland
Appleton Creamery Appleton Maine-ly Poultry Warren
Atlantic Baking Company Rockland Market Basket Rockport
Belfast Co-op Belfast Meadowsweet Farm Swansville
Brae Maple Farm Union Monroe Cheese Studio Monroe
Brevetto/Sage Market Camden Mystique Chevre Waldoboro
Broken Acres Farm Jefferson Oyster Creek Mushroom Farm Damariscotta
Cellardoor Winery Lincolnville Paolina’s Way Camden
Cold River Vodka Freeport Peacemeal Farm Dixmont
Dandelion Spring Farm Washington Port Clyde Fisherman’s Co-op Rockland
Darby’s Restaurant Belfast Primo Rockland
Ephemere Camden Ravenswood Farm Union
Francine Bistro Camden Rolling Acres Farm Monroe
Good Tern Co-op Rockland Smith’s Log Smokehouse Monroe
Gratitude Food Waldo Spear Farm & Greenhouse Warren
Guini Ridge Farm Union Sweet Henry’s Belfast
Home Kitchen Café Rockland Sweets and Meats Rockland
Hubbard Brook Farm Unity Terra Optima Appleton
In Good Company Rockland Three Tides Belfast
Whitefoot Farm Jefferson

October 26, 2009

Halloween Cookies

Even though we seldom get trick-or-treaters anymore, I still like making these cookies at Halloween—treats for grown-ups! Studded with colorful Peanut M&Ms, they are festive, nutty, and wheaty, using Wheatena cereal as one of the flours.


Halloween Cookies
Jane Crosen, Maine Mapmaker’s Kitchen

5 Tablespoons salted butter
¾ cup dry Wheatena (cracked wheat and bran cereal)
⅝ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 large egg
½ cup toasted wheat germ
2 Tablespoons canola oil
¼ cup oat flour
Juice of 1/3 orange, about 2½ Tablespoons water
1½ cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
Peanut M&Ms, 3 per cookie
¼ teaspoon salt

Cream together wet ingredients in large mixing bowl.

Sort M&Ms into about 20 groups of 3 complementary colors. Combine remaining dry ingredients (Wheatena through salt) in separate bowl and add to wet mixture. Mix until flours are moistened.

Preheat oven to 365°, and oil 2 cookie sheets. Spoon evenly sized lumps of dough onto cookie sheets, about 8 per sheet, and press 3 different-colored Peanut M&Ms into the top of each one, to both decorate and flatten the cookie.

Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until a light nutty brown; be careful not to overbake. Cool slightly and remove to rack.

Makes 18-20 cookies.

Jane Crosen is the author, with husband Richard Washburn, of the cookbook Maine Mapmaker’s Kitchen: Creative, healthy recipes for home, camp, and afloat.

October 25, 2009

Walnut Pie

When I took a poll, asking people to name their favorite menu item at Moody’s Diner in Waldoboro, the answer among my (admittedly unscientific) sample was practically unanimous: walnut pie. With real whipped cream.

Walnut Pie
Brooke Dojny, The New England Clam Shack Cookbook

1 cup chopped walnuts
Pie pastry for a single-crust pie
3 eggs
1 cup dark corn syrup
¾ cup sugar
6 Tablespoons butter, melted
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
Softly whipped cream

Continue reading “Walnut Pie” »

Onion, Sage, and Olive Tartlets

Onion, Sage, and Olive Tartlets
Michael Salmon, Hartstone Inn

1 batch pastry dough
1 pound yellow onions (3 medium-sized onions), sliced
2 slices thick bacon, finely diced
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
2 to 3 teaspoons Balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
½ cup kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup heavy cream
1 large egg
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Continue reading “Onion, Sage, and Olive Tartlets” »

October 24, 2009

Depression Era Soups

While helping a client go through a few boxes of letters, journals, newspaper articles and other miscellaneous items, Kirsten Cronin of Kirsten Transcribes came across a book entitled Cooking Recipes from October 1937. The book, written at the end of the great Depression, was owned by a family that lived in Brooklyn, New York. Here are two of the recipes – reproduced just as written at that time.

Look for additional recipes every few days. Let us know if you try them and what you think!   Continue reading “Depression Era Soups” »

October 23, 2009

Raw Water

Summit Spring Water Company, the only one of all Maine’s water bottlers to be designated “Premium Grade” as well as be admitted to MOFGA, is launching a new label. Summit Spring’s new “Raw Water”, (unfiltered spring water directly from its source) will soon be available at Portland’s Whole Foods Market.

For the story on Maine’s bottled water industry, read “The Springs of Our Discontent” in the recent issue of Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine.

October 22, 2009

Double-Dipped Onion Rings

Onion rings are a requisite part of the clam shack experience, and the crispy, slightly puffy, deeply golden rings at Bagaduce Lunch, a little clam shack in Penobscot, Maine, are some of the best ever. The secret to good onion rings is simple, says owner Mike Astbury. Use freshly cut “colossal” onions and thoroughly bread them twice before they hit the fryer. Continue reading “Double-Dipped Onion Rings” »

Great Maine Apple Day

Is well named. Hauling yourself out to Unity on the 24th for MOFGA’S annual apple jamboree is a great way to spend a fall day and that’s because Maine has a lot of great apples. Somewhere well north of 50 apple varieties laid out for tasting.

The tasting part is a unique opportunity to check out all sorts of flavors and textures, and of course to sample apples not routinely sold in stores.

A lot of the tastiest varieties are not likely to win beauty contests  A lot of the tastiest varieties are not likely to win beauty contests, although some do have their spectacular aspects.

leslie land gmad hidden rose apple

The tasting by itself would be more than enough, but there are all manner of other attractions: instructive talks on apple growing, cider making and other obvious tie-ins; a (small) market of apple and cheese sellers, and a chance to – maybe! – learn what that mystery apple in the backyard really is.

The more you know about your tree?s history, the better your shot at learning its identity.  The more you know about your tree’s history, the better your shot at learning its identity.

For more of this story, read Leslie Land’s blog, Leslie Land In Kitchen and Garden and All Around the House.

News of the World in Small Bites

Twenty years ago, when the Berlin Wall came tumbling down and the Soviet Union came unglued, Cook & Tell observed the dramatic changes with a special menu. We promoted Hungarian Goulash, Czech Noodles and Cabbage, a Polish Leek Salad, and Moravian Sugar Cake. Herewith, an edited version of the accompanying ramble from the March 1990 issue. You may need to scout up some old maps and any Modern European History textbooks swiped from high school or college to help you wade through the puns.  Here goes: Continue reading “News of the World in Small Bites” »

October 20, 2009

Jim Bazin’s Photographic Milestone

Jim Bazin, prolific fine artist and creative director of Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine has reached a new personal milestone. As of this moment, 1,285 of Jim’s photographic images have been published in the print media, along with 10 magazine covers!


Congratulations, Jim, on your continued success in the publishing and art worlds!

South Florida Braces for Maine Lobster Rolls, Whoopie Pies

Linda Bean has landed in Florida.

The lobster maven’s plan of opening 100 Perfect Maine Lobster Roll outlets across the country expanded to its third state last week when the newest location opened on restaurant row in DelRay Beach, Fla. Continue reading “South Florida Braces for Maine Lobster Rolls, Whoopie Pies” »

October 19, 2009

Best Chocolate Ice Cream…from Maine!

Gifford’s Ice Cream from Skowhegan, Maine made the news big time with a recent first-place showing in the World Dairy Expo contest in Wisconsin. By earning a perfect score, Gifford’s earned the bragging rights to having the “World’s Best Chocolate Ice Cream.”

Please, tell us Mainers something we don’t already know…

Read more about this in the Maine Sunday Telegram and in the Bangor Daily News.

Celeriac? What’s that?

It looks like this year’s alleged “growing season” is coming to an end in Maine. What’s left in my back vegetable garden is an array of healthy weeds, wizened squash vines, and a sunflower or two.

While out strolling in this summer’s battleground the other day (aka “my garden”), and facing with the few remaining survivors……I had a surprise. A bumper crop of celeriac or celery root. For those not familiar, celery root has dark green celery – like fronds perched atop a large gnarly root ball, which, when peeled, becomes a power ingredient to flavor boost soups and stews or to create culinary classics such as celery root remoulade or an Autumn root gratin.

Continue reading “Celeriac? What’s that?” »