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November 30, 2009

Curried Carrot Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette

This time of year, incorporating crisp, fresh vegetables into your diet can be a challenge. Local winter squash and root vegetables are plentiful, but the greens of summer are dormant, and the produce at the grocery store is usually dull and limp after its cross-country voyage. Continue reading “Curried Carrot Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette” »

November 29, 2009

Ricotta-Stuffed Shells with Rustic Tomato Sauce

Festive and fun to make, this is also one of the quickest dinners in our repertoire. When it’s just us, and a batch of stuffed shells will make enough for a second meal, we keep the sauce simple and serve a separate vegetable, either sautéed, steamed, or in a salad. But if making this as a vegetarian main-dish casserole, you could add a mix of summer vegetables—Romano beans, eggplant, summer squash or zucchini, lightly sautéed with extra onion and garlic—to the sauce in place of the sausages. Continue reading “Ricotta-Stuffed Shells with Rustic Tomato Sauce” »

November 28, 2009

Butterscotch-Topped Gingerbread with Sautéed Apples

This is one delicious dessert that will warm your heart and soul. Continue reading “Butterscotch-Topped Gingerbread with Sautéed Apples” »

November 27, 2009

Turkey and Soybean Chili

As winter and colder temperatures draw near, the warm and easy-to-prepare meals come to mind for the months ahead. How about a chili dish that pairs soybeans with lean turkey meat, dark leafy greens, and other whole foods? A great way to build up your immune system for the winter, as well as all year long. Make a double batch and freeze leftovers for another meal or two!


Soybean & Turkey Chili
Recipe and image courtesy of the Soyfoods Council

1 pound lean ground turkey
2 large onions, chopped
1 each large green and red sweet peppers, chopped
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 can (15 to 16 ounces) tan soybeans, drained
2 cans (15 to 16 ounces) black soybeans, drained
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes with chiles
3 cups Mrs. Clark’s Tomato Juice
2 Tablespoons corn meal
Toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped onion

In a large Dutch oven cook meat, onion and peppers until meat is browned. Add chili powder, oregano and garlic salt; stir to blend. Stir in beans, tomatoes and tomato juice. Bring to boiling, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle cornmeal over top of chili. Stir in and continue simmering 10 minutes. Serve with favorite chili toppings.

Serves 6-8.

Maine Lobstering: “Ghost” traps

Here is an interesting article from USA Today concerning Maine’s lobster industry.

November 26, 2009

Turkey and Biscuits Casserole

For old-fashioned goodness, this colorful turkey stew with tender baking powder biscuits on top has few peers. It is a wonderful way to celebrate after Thanksgiving with the leftovers from the holiday bird. Although it can serve six, four happy eaters with hearty appetites and good conversation could easily finish it. Change the vegetables to suit your taste and substitute leftover chicken for the turkey, if you prefer. Continue reading “Turkey and Biscuits Casserole” »

November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Turkeys-6114Maybe Next Year

The First (Locovore) Thanksgiving

Practically speaking, almost everyone four hundred years ago was a locovore. And sure enough, in the autumn of 1621, the Plymouth colonists had enough local fare to celebrate a traditional harvest festival similar to ones they had observed in old England. Continue reading “The First (Locovore) Thanksgiving” »

November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Pea Dish

Somewhere back along, I picked up the incidental intelligence that the Native Americans of greater Plymouth, Massachusetts, introduced their Pilgrim friends to the three major crops of the New World – squash, beans, and corn. Of course, the world in which they encountered each other was not new to the Native Americans. But to the Pilgrims, everything was new, including the wild, barren land they would need to tame and till, in order to build houses and plant vegetables.
Continue reading “Thanksgiving Pea Dish” »

November 23, 2009

Chocolate Chunk–Pecan Cookie Sundaes

This dessert is decadence personified: luscious pecan-chocolate chunk cookies topped with great ice cream, and a “to die for” salted caramel sauce. The cookies are baked and served in individual cast-iron skillets. Although the recipe serves 12, bake as many cookies as you have guests and pans, and keep the remaining cookie dough and sauce in the refrigerator in covered containers. Or, freeze individual balls of dough and bake them whenever you want a special dessert. To serve 12, you could also bake one large cookie in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet and bring it to the table while still warm.image001

Chocolate Chunk–Pecan Cookie Sundaes with Salted Caramel Sauce
Joanna Pruess, Griswold and Wagner Cast Iron Cookbook

Chocolate Chunk-Pecan Cookies
Salted Caramel Sauce (recipe follows)
Vanilla or chocolate ice cream

1 stick (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature, + butter to grease pans
½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
½ cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup + 2 Tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup coarsely chopped dark chocolate chunks (about 6 ounces)
½ cup coarsely chopped pecans

Preheat your oven to 350°. Grease as many 6-inch cast-iron skillets as you will use or a 10-inch skillet with butter.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars until smooth. Stir in the egg and vanilla. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and stir until smooth. Mix in the chocolate chunks and the pecans.

For each cookie, scoop out a level ¼-cup measure of the dough (or weigh out 2-ounce portions on a kitchen scale) and put the dough in the center of the 6-inch pan. Repeat until all the pans are filled, then put them in the oven and bake until the cookies are lightly browned, about 13 to 15 minutes. Remove the pans and let them cool until the cookies are warm not hot.

(Alternatively, put the dough into the 10-inch skillet, flatten into a 1-inch thick disc, and bake at 325° until done.)

Place a scoop of ice cream on each cookie (or cut the large cookie into 8 to 12 slices while still warm), drizzle on the caramel sauce, and serve.

Salted Caramel Sauce:
Makes about 2 cups

1¼ cups sugar
1/3 cup water
3 Tablespoons light corn syrup
1 cup heavy cream
5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ teaspoons coarse sea salt, finely crushed

In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, water, and corn syrup and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until the syrup turns a rich amber color, about 6 minutes, swirling the pan and washing down any crystals on the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent them from burning. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the cream (it will bubble up, so be careful), butter, and salt. Set the sauce aside and serve when still warm.

Serves 12.

November 22, 2009

Sweet and Tangy Glazed Carrots with Cranberries

When honey and vinegar plus a handful of dried cranberries are reduced to glaze young carrots, it becomes a memorable side dish to enjoy for holidays or anytime you want a special vegetable. Thyme honey adds a slightly bitter taste to the complex flavors, but any variety works. These can be made ahead and reheated.


Continue reading “Sweet and Tangy Glazed Carrots with Cranberries” »

November 21, 2009

Homemade Kahlua

There’s been a lot of interest in making homemade liqueur as a gift for the holiday season. My good friend, Tina Hewitt Morrison of Blountville TN, submitted this recipe for a homemade version of Kahlua. Thanks, Tina!

When I was first married I was given this recipe by a co-worker in the Provost’s Office at Old Dominion University.  So, it’s one that I’ve had since around 1970… but haven’t made it lately.  When I was young, it was always considered a great dessert treat to have ice cream with some exotic liqueur over it.

Homemade Kahlua
1 pint water
3 3/4 cups sugar
3 tsp. vanilla
Boil all together for about 30 mins.  Let cool.

Mix together the following and add to above
1 tsp. glycerin (usually you can get this at a pharmacy)
4 1/2 tbs. instant coffee
1/2 cup of water

Combine all above ingredients with a fifth of vodka.

Pour into bottles and cap tightly.  Shake.  Let stand for 3 weeks, at least.

November 20, 2009

Maple Butter Poached Lobster Tail

Melissa Bouchard of DiMillo’s Floating Restaurant in Portland submitted this delicious Lobster Chef of the Year Finalist recipe! Doesn’t this sound gooood?!!

Maple Butter Poached Lobster Tail with a Sweet Potato and Fuji Apple Bisque and Frizzles of Green Onion

12385 Continue reading “Maple Butter Poached Lobster Tail” »

November 19, 2009

Homemade Liqueurs Make Spirited Holiday Gifts

Here are a few more holiday gift ideas. Homemade gifts are always welcome, and these liqueurs should make gift recipients very happy! They take a while to age, so you may wish to start these now to be sure they are ready for the season. Continue reading “Homemade Liqueurs Make Spirited Holiday Gifts” »

Mixed Berry Soymilk Smoothie

Soy is a strong source of protein and is especially important because protein supplies the amino acids that build the components of the immune system. In fact, soybeans are the only plant sources that contain all essential amino acids, making it a complete protein.

Couple that with the foods rich in antioxidants and vitamins, like the mixed berries in this recipe, and you end up with a delicious drink your immune system will love!


Mixed Berry Smoothie

Recipe courtesy of The Soyfoods Council.
½ cup strawberries
½ cup blueberries
½ cup raspberries
1 banana
½  cup soy yogurt
1 cup soy milk
½  cup ice cubes

Drink up, and enjoy!

David Spahr’s Twice Baked Wild Mushroom Maine Potatoes

David Spahr will be on “207″ WCSH-6 tonight at 7pm cooking this recipe for Maine potatoes and wild mushrooms. Check out his new book, Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms of New England and Eastern Canada. Continue reading “David Spahr’s Twice Baked Wild Mushroom Maine Potatoes” »

November 18, 2009

Butternut-Mascarpone Lobster Ravioli, Balsamic Pomegranate Spinach Salad

Another great Lobster Chef of the Year Finalist Recipe. Beautifully Plated Up!

Butternut-Mascarpone Lobster Ravioli, Balsamic Pomegranate Spinach Salad
Rick Skoglund, Samoset Resort


Continue reading “Butternut-Mascarpone Lobster Ravioli, Balsamic Pomegranate Spinach Salad” »

November 17, 2009

Vegan Thanksgiving Stuffings

For this Thanksgiving, Kopali Organics has created a couple of vegan Thanksgiving recipes incorporating their delicious super fruit Goldenberries to add a healthy flavorful spin on classic holiday faves. The exotic raisin of the Amazon is a sweet and sour delicacy and incredibly rich in vitamin A. Continue reading “Vegan Thanksgiving Stuffings” »

Radicchio, Avocado, and Grapefruit Salad

You certainly don’t need to use colored gelatins or whipped topping concoctions when this tasty and colorful combination will make the perfect holiday salad. Recipe and photo courtesy of Royal Rose Radicchio.

radicchio_salad_grapefruitRadicchio, Avocado, and Grapefruit Salad

Continue reading “Radicchio, Avocado, and Grapefruit Salad” »

November 16, 2009

Autumn Pie

This sweetly savory quiche is great for a dinner party or potluck, since you can make it ahead—in fact, it’s better that way, giving the flavors a chance to come together. Somehow the combination of nutmeg and winter savory, with a touch of cayenne, is just right with the squash filling, encased by a golden crust and cheesy top. Scallions, leeks, or late-garden onion tops add some tender green.


Continue reading “Autumn Pie” »