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December 31, 2009

Cocktail Get-Together

Drink responsibly this New Year’s Eve, and have a designated driver set up prior to festivities.

With that said, here are some great holiday cocktail recipes to try, courtesy of Linda Mutschler,
MJS newyear30, cue, sieu, 4 newyear30 newyear30, cue, sieu, 1 n Happy New Year!

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December 30, 2009

Grilled Prawns with Caper Tzatziki


  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup extra-large capers, drained and finely chopped
  • 1 small shallot, finely minced
  • Freshly cracked black pepper and kosher salt
  • 12 large prawns, about 1 pound, peeled, deveined, tail left on
  • Olive oil, for grilling Continue reading “Grilled Prawns with Caper Tzatziki” »

December 29, 2009

Cooked Cranberry-Pear Conserve

Based on the research I’ve done on the subject, a preserve and a conserve seem to refer pretty much to the same thing–that is, fruit cooked and preserved with sugar. I’ve called this a conserve because I happen to like the old-fashioned sort of ring to the name, but you can call it plain old cranberry sauce if you like. The pear adds a bit of different texture and the ginger makes it sparkle on the tongue.


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Little Meatballs with Applesauce-Cider Gravy

These delectable little meatballs, which came originally from the recipe files of my madcap mother-in-law Mamie (a very good cook), have a really pleasant sweet-and-sour thing going for them. Some slightly sweet elements (applesauce, cornflake crumbs) are offset nicely by the sharp edge of the vinegar that gets added at the end. Spoon the little meatballs over cooked egg noodles or Mashed Mainers and add some steamed green beans to the plate for a scrumptious supper. Continue reading “Little Meatballs with Applesauce-Cider Gravy” »

December 28, 2009

Creamy Cheesecake with Eggnog and Spice

“Flavored with a classic seasonal drink and an aromatic mix of spices, this creamy cake is perfect for holiday entertaining— particularly since it can be made up to two days ahead.”—Eric Akis


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December 27, 2009

Roast Cornish Hens Glazed with Maple and Dijon

“The glaze for these succulent hens is easy to make and hard to resist. It’s a sweet, spicy, and herbaceous mix of maple syrup, Dijon mustard, and sage.”—Eric Akis


(image courtesy of Continue reading “Roast Cornish Hens Glazed with Maple and Dijon” »

December 26, 2009

Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream Torte

Turkey Hill Ice Cream’s Ultimate Holiday Recipe Contest has ended and the winner is… Jessie G. of Falmouth, Maine! Try Jessie’s Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream Torte (recipe below). If you like cake and ice cream (and who doesn’t?), then you’ll love this recipe. The crushed peppermint stick candy adds a nice holiday touch, but if you’re making it after the holidays, you could probably substitute a number of other tasty morsels.


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December 25, 2009

Holiday Family Gathering

FamilyGathering-7264-485pxHappy Holidays To All!  © Jim Bazin 2009

December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays!

To all our blog contributors, readers, magazine subscribers, friends, and family, our very best wishes for the holiday season and for the year ahead.

Jim Bazin         Melanie Hyatt

RockportHarborXmasv3Rockport Harbor on Christmas Eve 2004. © Jim Bazin

December 23, 2009

Foolproof Standing Rib Roast

This recipe is so easy, and so delicious. Just perfect for holiday entertaining.

Foolproof Standing Rib Roast
Paula Deen, “Paula’s Home Cooking”

1 (5-pound) standing rib roast
1 Tablespoon House Seasoning, recipe follows

Allow roast to stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 375°. Rub roast with House Seasoning; place roast on a rack in the pan with the rib side down and the fatty side up. Roast for 1 hour. Turn off oven. Leave roast in oven but do not open oven door for 3 hours. About 30 to 40 minutes before serving time, turn oven to 375° and reheat the roast.

Important: Do not remove roast or re-open the oven door from time roast is put in until ready to serve.

House Seasoning:
1 cup salt
¼ cup black pepper
¼ cup garlic powder

Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Serves 6-8.

December 22, 2009

Dessert Wines

This is the time of year when, yes visions of sugar plums dance in your head (for some of us it’s after a couple of glasses). But also where, after getting the kids to bed, dinner’s done; with the dishes in the dishwasher, visions are more of feet up, a good book, great music or your favorite movie and a nice glass of something. A fire wouldn’t hurt in this fantasy as well; let’s face it, we are in Maine where the majority of us have a wood stove as our main(e) source of heat.


(image courtesy of Bartlett Winery)

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December 21, 2009

Chocolate-Gingerbread Rudolph Cookies

These are always a huge hit and easy enough for the kids to make. I made some for the neighborhood kids and the look on their faces was definitely a MasterCard moment!

Merry Christmas!


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December 20, 2009

Yorkshire Pudding

Yorkshire pudding was traditionally baked in the roasting pan with the roast, but I always bake it separately, as I suspect most people do. It’s best made with the pan drippings from the roast, but you can use butter if need be. Just make sure the fat is sizzling hot when you pour the batter over it.

800px-Traditional.Sunday.Roast-01(mini-Yorkshire pudding image courtesy of Wikipedia)

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Pear Relish

Daddy was a survivor — US Army in WWII and a Marine who served in Korea. When he came back from the war, he was a changed man; we never understood all the demons that tormented him. He and Mother divorced when I was about seven. When Daddy retired from the military, he moved back to Florida, where his parents and sisters lived. There he met a lovely widow and they married in the late 50s. Her mother was our Granny Carver. They shared their home with their children, grandchildren, and for many years until the mid 1970s ran the home as a boarding house. Continue reading “Pear Relish” »

December 19, 2009

Peppered Strip Loin with Cranberry Reduction

Steak is my favourite food. When I was growing up, we always had steak on Saturdays, and it’s a memory I’m so fond of. This recipe is a tribute to “steak Saturday.” You can replace the strip loin with other cuts of beef, such as T-bone or sirloin. If using other cuts, marinate overnight.



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December 18, 2009

Crisp Spiced Nuts

Perfect for holiday snacking or to give as a gift, try Chef Michael Salmon’s recipe for crisp spiced nuts.


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December 17, 2009

Cranberry Crabmeat and Cream Cheese Appetizers

These little cuties taste as good as they look and are guaranteed to be a hit!


Cranberry Crabmeat and Cream Cheese Appetizers

½ cup Ocean Spray® Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
1/3 cup cream cheese, softened
¼ cup minced crabmeat
2 Tablespoons green onion, white and green parts, sliced
15 individual mini-phyllo shells, thawed

Preheat oven to 375°. Place cranberry sauce in a small mixing bowl; beat with a fork or wire whisk until smooth.

Combine cream cheese, crabmeat and green onion in a small mixing bowl. Fill each shell with about 1 teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture. Top with ½ teaspoon cranberry sauce. Bake for 10 minutes or until heated through.

Makes 15 individual servings.

December 16, 2009

Wassail Bowl Punch

Wassail is a drink that my mom serves every Christmas and I can’t smell it without remembering family times.


Wassail Bowl Punch
Anne Mahle, At Home at Sea: Recipes from the Maine Windjammer J. & E. Riggin

1 quart hot tea (black, orange pekoe, or your favorite)
1 quart cranberry juice
1 quart apple juice
2 whole cinnamon sticks
12 whole cloves
1 cup sugar
¾ cup lemon juice
2 cups orange juice
1 orange, sliced
1 lemon, sliced

In a large stockpot, combine all the ingredients except the orange and lemon slices. Bring to a boil, strain, and pour into a large bowl. Garnish with orange and lemon slices.

Makes 4 quarts.

December 15, 2009

Caramel Popcorn Balls

Caramel popcorn balls are an impressive Christmas decoration and a great treat for children. My mom made popcorn balls with my sister and me every Christmas. We wrapped them in plastic wrap, tied them with red ribbons, attached candy canes to them, and hung them on the tree. On Christmas Day we gathered these popcorn ball decorations and gave them to my cousins as gifts, saving some for ourselves, of course!


Continue reading “Caramel Popcorn Balls” »

Arrows Restaurant on “Today Show”

Maine Food & Lifestyle blog columnists Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier of Arrows Restaurant in Ogunquit were on the “Today Show” this morning, sharing some holiday appetizers. Recipes include Peekytoe crabcakes, Japanese eggplant, and Maine shrimp, and lamb broschettes. Click on the following link to see the video clip.