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July 31, 2010

Garlic and Basil Pesto

This recipe is something that you can make quickly and easily using a blender. Everything you need is easy to find in your local supermarket (and the basil may be growing in your garden). This paste is great for putting on or in meat and pastas, or with cottage cheese in stuffed pasta shells. Once you start making this, the orders from friends and family will keep coming in. For best taste, pesto should be heated up in the meal it’s being prepared with.

homemade-pestoimage: sheknows.com

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July 30, 2010

Maine Blueberry Martini

The Lounge at Inn by the Sea is known for offering an array of specialty beverages and seasonal signature drinks. It’s a great location to meet friends or enjoy a quiet beverage before dinner.

Blueberry-Martini-300x225

image: cocktailrecipes.net

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National Cheesecake Day

Mark your calendar and remember it again next year, for today is National Cheesecake Day! It is one of the tastiest days to celebrate!

From plain to topped with fruit to chocolate crusted and everything in between, cheesecake can be served up many different ways. Anyway you slice it cheesecake is a favorite among dessert lovers. In fact according to TLC’s “How Stuff Works,” cheesecake is among the top 5 most popular desserts in the United States. We believe it’s because it tastes so good!

Decadent Chocolate Raspberry Cheescake

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July 28, 2010

Barbara Ernst Prey Soliloquy Exhibit

This exhibit at Blue Water Fine Arts Gallery in Port Clyde, going on now through August 15, showcases the virtuoistic hand and delicate sensibilities of internationally recognized artist Barbara Ernst Prey who has painted powerful, vibrant views of her surroundings for three decades. On display are 30 poignant watercolors, Soliloquies, unspoken reflections on island life as a microcosm of sustainability: islands telling a story of sustainable life.

Net Menderimage: Netmender, Watercolor, 22″ x 30″ courtesy of Barbara Ernst Prey

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July 27, 2010

Summer Vegetable Strata

This wonderful vegetarian recipe comes to us courtesy of Anne Mahle from her cookbook, At Home, At Sea: Recipes from the Maine Windjammer J. & E. Riggin. A perfectly savory way to utilize the bounty of your summer garden, (or that of your local farmers’ market).

vegetable strata

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July 26, 2010

Summer Lentil Salad

What’s not to like? This recipe is low-fat, vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free!

LentilSalad_3220

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July 25, 2010

Fresh Lemon Rice

Nowadays I tend to use brown rice for every rice dish because it’s “heart smart,” but I still prefer the way white rice looks. I make this to accompany baked haddock or similar white fish. The lemon flavor nicely complements the fish.

spicy-lemon-rice2image: yummy4tummy.wordpress.com

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July 24, 2010

Sparkly Cherry Tomatoes

A quick sauté of ripe, sweet cherry tomatoes is fun to make while a tenderloin roasts in the oven or fish cooks outdoors on the grill. Fix them at the last minute to ensure perfect roundness.

cherry tomatoes

image courtesy of flickr.com

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July 23, 2010

Chambord Cheesecake Martini

Ok, I don’t know too many people who don’t appreciate the amazing deliciousness of cheesecake. And with National Cheesecake Day coming up soon on July 30, here’s one sweet and simple recipe for you to “get your cheesecake on.”

Barbara

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July 22, 2010

Lemon-Glazed Maine Blueberry Scones

The long-standing debate continues between Mainers and the folks “from away” regarding blueberries. Which is better, tastier, sweeter, more flavorful, more blue…the high bush type of large, cultivated blueberry (we always referred to them as New Jersey blueberries when I was a kid) or the small wild blueberries that we typically find here in Maine? My vote certainly goes to the Maine variety with that wonderfully intense flavor. Even the Native American tribes valued the wild blueberry.

The next time you have a handful of Maine blueberries, check out the blossom end and notice the calyx that forms a perfectly shaped 5-pointed star. Legend tells of a time when children were dying of hunger during a famine and the Great Spirit sent what they called “star berries” (blueberries) to feed them. The blueberry comes in second place as the most popular berry in the USA with strawberries holding the number one spot.

Warm blueberry scones with the morning cup of Joe…does it get any better?

blueberry-scones_lg

image: finecooking.com

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July 21, 2010

Is Maine Island Life for You?

The first question people inevitably ask me about living year-round on an unbridged island is “how do you stand the winters?” And they mean it existentially. It’s true: spending a dreary Maine winter on a sea-circled rock with 40-60 other souls can take some adjustment. The coastal curious, however, seldom intuit and ask about one of the biggest changes a person has to make- how one thinks about, shops for, and prepares food.

Maine’s smallest off-shore islands have no year-round restaurants or cafes. They certainly do not have drive-thrus, take-out, or delivery. Some of them don’t even have a grocery store. The island stores that do exist have limited offerings and limited hours, especially in winter.

Isle au Haut, where I live, does have a store. In the summer it is open seven days a week, from 10:30am-3:00pm Mon-Sat, and 11:30pm-1:30pm on Sundays. For year-round residents it is almost surreal to be able to pick up groceries on a daily basis- provided they can make a hole in their workday.

WinterHoursIAHEven Grocery Shopping Takes Planning on Isle au Haut: See Winter Store Hours (image courtesy of Morgan Witham)

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July 20, 2010

Batter-Fried Clams

During the summer, I try my best to sample as many fried clams as possible at the seasonal clam shacks up and down the New England coast. Which is better—clams coated in batter or crumbs? Depends on a lot of factors, such as the freshness of the clams, the quality of the oil, and other things, but when everything is right I tend to prefer batter. If the clams are large, I like to “squeeze the bellies,” which means pinching the belly to get the gross black goo out, but truthfully, by the time the clams are coated with batter and fried, you can’t see the goo anymore and it really doesn’t taste bad.

fried clamsimage: nytimes.com

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July 19, 2010

Peach-Rhubarb Pie

It seems everyone in Maine has rhubarb growing in their gardens (except me). I was naïve enough to think that I could buy it and include it in our produce explosion at the store (hey, it’s summer and farmers are bringing in endless bounties of beautiful vegetables! So yes, it is an explosion!). Long story short, I had an over abundance of rhubarb, what to do? The easy answer is always strawberry rhubarb, but rhubarb season lasts longer than strawberries. So I whipped up a peach and rhubarb pie.

peach pie
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July 18, 2010

Dining Hall Food Withdrawals

As summertime approaches, all college kids say the same thing “I can’t wait to get home and have some home-cooking. Enough with this dining hall food!” And believe me, I agree. As far as dining hall food goes, Colby College isn’t too shabby. But I still can’t help but miss the meals that are special to my house: eggs a la golden rod, cheese dreams, lobster with blueberry bread, pea salad—the list goes on and on. They are all the foods that will forever remind me of my family.

But this summer, I stumbled upon a strange feeling. I miss some of the foods from school! Weird, I know. But I miss the pumpkin chip cookies that I convince myself are brain food at midnight; I miss the mango chutney salsa, my Sunday morning omelet made-to-order, and the brown sticky rice.

But more than anything, I miss the bread pudding. My love for bread pudding went unrealized until college. We have pies in my house, pies and lots of cookies, but never bread pudding. And after one taste, I was hooked. I adore the stuff.

Chelsea Bread Pudding
Chelsea and her bread pudding: image courtesy of Marshall Sonksen

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July 17, 2010

Blackberry Corn Muffins

I can’t think of a better way to glorify a corn muffin than to add some juicy ripe blackberries. These are wonderful served warm with a pot of honey butter alongside. I heat a smooth rock from Boom Beach here on Isle au Haut while the muffins are baking, wrap it with a kitchen towel, and place it in the bottom of the serving basket to keep the muffins toasty warm.

blackberry cornmeal muffins
image courtesy of themodernapron.blogspot.com
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July 16, 2010

Strawberry Special

With strawberries still plentiful, it is hard not to think about all that can be made with them: preserves, drinks, fruit salads, desserts. The last is where my favorite use for sweet, juicy strawberries lies. This simple to make, delicious dessert originated with a high school boyfriend’s mother, so that makes it even more special as it brings back memories of many wonderful times shared. I’ve really never known quite what to call it, so for lack of a better name, it’s a strawberry tart.

P6296468 - Version 2

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July 15, 2010

Bowtie Pasta Salad with Almonds, Asparagus, Feta, and Tomatoes

Feta is a crumbly tart salty Greek cheese that has become quite popular recently in Italy, and though most of it goes into salads it has many other uses as well. This pasta salad will be quite nice in the summer, either as a first course or as part of a picnic.

Bow-tie pasta salad

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Farmers Fare Teams with Bay Chamber Concerts

Farmers Fare and Bay Chamber Concerts collaborate Thursday evenings this summer!

AfterHours-0108

Farmers Fare has a great treat for Bay Chamber Thursday evening concert
goers!

If you attend the Thursday evening Bay Chamber Concerts at the Rockport
Opera House please consider going to Farmers Fare prior to the concert for
a light evening dinner in their airy Cafe or on the outside deck, weather
permitting. They will be serving up soups and salads, charcuterie and cheese
plates, wine, beer and soft beverages and also coffee and desserts made
in-house from delicious local and/organic ingredients where possible.

You may then leave your car at Farmers Fare and take advantage of the FREE
shuttle to the Opera House which leaves in time for the 7PM pre-concert
lecture and then the 8PM concert. After the concert you take the FREE
shuttle back to pick up your car at Farmers Fare. This collaboration runs
through the final Bay Chamber Thursday Concert on August 26th.

The Farmers Fare Cafe will remain open until 8PM each Thursday and of
course anyone is welcome whether they are attending the Bay Chamber Concert
or not.

No more worries about parking in downtown Rockport on Thursday evenings!!

July 14, 2010

Maine Shrimp Louis: A Hot Weather Meal Plan

When the heat index is 105° (yikes!) there’s nothing to do but crank up the air conditioner and/or fans, pour a tall glass of lemonade, and dive into the latest best-seller that you’re dying to read. But wait—somebody is going to have the hungry horrors regardless of the temperature.

When it’s just too darn hot to fuss in the kitchen, let the wonderful workers at your local supermarket take the heat and help you prepare dinner. The seafood department offers cooked shrimp, the deli stocks cold cuts and rotisserie chicken or turkey breast, the bakery is the spot for crusty herb focaccia or a baguette, and hit the produce department for fresh fruits and veggies. VOILA! You can put together a delicious dinner without heating up the kitchen and with a minimal amount of work.

salads_shrimp_louis_300x344

image courtesy of beyondwonderful.com

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Global Honeybee Crisis Film Comes to Maine

“Queen of the Sun” is a film about the recent global honeybee crisis, an issue which our readers may be interested in. Below is a synopsis of the film.

Adobe Photoshop PDF

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