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October 31, 2010

National Men Make Dinner Day

Oh my, do I have some good news to share with all of you ladies out there: Monday, November 1 is NATIONAL MEN MAKE DINNER DAY! Now mark that one on your calendar in bright red ink. My husband (clad in his special apron proclaiming that he is “THE MAN WITH A PAN”) will surely be in control of our kitchen that day. Here’s a guy whose culinary talents were shall we say, rather limited (as in scrambled eggs and grilled cheese sandwiches) until I swept him off his feet 9 years ago. Since then, with just a tad of tutoring from yours truly, he has significantly improved in the kitchen and his expanded repertoire now includes one of my favorites, Shrimp Scampi. Mondays just happen to be his dedicated day for cooking as that is deadline day for me for several newspaper columns. While I am locked away in my office for the day, I am serenaded by Peter’s sexy voice singing “O solo mio” over the din of pots and pans clanging and banging. Life is especially delicious on Mondays.

Shrimp Scampi 500

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Happy Halloween!

Don’t forget that after all the pumpkin carving is done, the parties are over, and the little monsters are sugar-satiated for another year, one of the best and healthiest Halloween treats for you are the guts inside those pumpkins.


Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Recipe

2 cups fresh pumpkin seeds
5 teaspoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a bowl, toss pumpkin seeds with butter and Worcestershire sauce. Combine the sugar, salt, garlic powder and cayenne; sprinkle over seeds and toss to coat.

Line a 15-inch x 10-inch x 1-inch baking pan with foil; coat foil with cooking spray. Spread seeds in pan. Bake at 250° for 45-60 minutes or until seeds are dry and lightly browned, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container. 

Yields: 2 cups.

October 29, 2010

Black Cat Cookies


Halloween Black Cat Cookies
Readers Digest

1 cup butter (no substitutes), softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup baking cocoa
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
24 wooden craft or Popsicle sticks
48 candy corn candies
24 red-hot candies

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Roll dough into 1½-inch balls. Place 3 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheets.

Insert a wooden stick into each cookie. Flatten with a glass dipped in sugar. Pinch top of cookie to form ears. For whiskers, press a fork twice into each cookie. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are set. Remove from the oven; immediately press on candy corn for eyes and red-hots for noses. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Serves 12.

October 28, 2010

Lobster Chef of the Year 2010: Azure Café’s Kelly Patrick Farrin

This year’s Maine Lobster Chef of the Year top honors went to Kelly Patrick Farrin, Sous Chef at Freeport’s Azure Café. Here is his outstanding, prize-winning recipe.

Lobster Chef 2010 Winner

image: Maine Lobster Promotion Council

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October 27, 2010

The Edge: Not Your Mother’s Boiled Dinner

Chef Bryan Dame of The Edge in Lincolnville offers up one of my favorite traditional meals in the latest issue of Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine. But this is not your mamma’s boiled dinner.

Chef Bryan Dame’s New England Boiled Dinner. image © Jim Bazin 2010

Dame works to preserve traditional area cuisine like corned beef and cabbage, injecting it with new creative life. His emphasis on locally sourced ingredients also make his dishes as authentic as they can get. I got to chow down on this gorgeous creation soon after it was plated, and I have to say it was incredible. A work of art.

For Bryan’s “Not Your Mother’s Boiled Dinner” recipe, pick up a copy of Maine Food & Lifestyle issue 12. Subscribe today!

October 26, 2010

Brevetto Mussels

Josh Hixson, chef/owner of Brevetto in Camden, believes in making comfort food that is “inspired, not restrained, by Italian cuisine. Good food doesn’t have to be complicated,” he says. With that, Josh shares a bit about himself and offers up for our readers one of the perennial favorite appetizers at his restaurant, Brevetto mussels.

Chef Josh Hixson’s Brevetto Mussels, as served at Brevetto in Camden

Robust with a complex flavor, Josh also recommends the broth from these mussels, with a bit of added cream, as a heavenly pasta sauce!

For Josh’s recipe for Brevetto mussels, pick up the new issue of Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine, on stands now. Subscribe now to bring the taste of Maine to your door!

Basic Halibut en Papillote with Lemon and White Wine

To cook en papillote means to cook in parchment paper. All the ingredients are wrapped inside and the moisture trapped inside steams the fish. It’s perfect for fish that are more delicate and harder to handle. You can even serve the fish in its parchment wrapping, like a present on a plate. Healthy, easy, presents… what’s not to love?


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October 25, 2010

Sunfire Mexican Grill: Fish Tacos

Sunfire Mexican Grill is a popular Rockland eatery. Owner Pam Cota and husband Alan welcome patrons with warm smiles and a wonderful and creative menu. Their authentic Mexican cuisine using locally sourced ingredients can’t be beat. One of the greatest things about Sunfire is their staff. Their employees come from a wide range of ethnicities, all the way from Bulgaria, Poland, and Mexico and are some of the nicest people you’ll meet anywhere.

FishTacos_2317Maine Fish Tacos at the Sunfire Mexican Grill. photo by Lorena Stackpole.

In the new issue of Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine, we talked with Pam about her food roots, inspirations, and got her recipe for Sunfire’s Grilled Fish Tacos (made with fresh haddock from Jess’s Fish Market). For this recipe, and many more, subscribe today!

October 24, 2010

Oatmeal Bourbon Cookies

When you’re looking for a cookie with a nippy zip, consider these bourbon-spiked treats. A cake mix gives you a running start on measuring.


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October 23, 2010

Evangeline restaurant: Maine Chicken and Lobster

In the new issue of Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine, Portland Chef/Proprietor Erik Desjarlais of Evangeline restaurant talks about the Grateful Dead, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, GQ, and oh yes, some cooking!

Mitra’s Clabber-fed Chicken & Maine Lobster, prepared by Chef Erik Desjarlais

Read about his intriguing story, his start in the business, and get the recipe for his fantastic featured dish, “Mitra’s Clabber-fed Chicken and Maine Lobster.” Maine made, Maine inspired, all in issue 12 of Maine Food & Lifestyle!

October 22, 2010

Arrows Restaurant: Butter-Poached Maine Lobster

In the new issue of Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine, we asked Maine chefs to share their recipe versions of the “Essence of Maine.” What we learned was there is a lot of taste and talent out there! Chefs also shared some interesting and little know facts and stories about themselves, which we share with you.

James Beard Award Winners for Best Chefs Northeast, Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier of Arrows restaurant in Ogunquit, talked about the serendipity of their culinary path and their favorite recipe: Butter-Poached Maine Lobster.

ron_manville_166Butter-poached Maine Lobster, oh my! Image © Ron Manville 2010.

If you enjoy eating, you know we are lucky to live in Maine. If you don’t believe it, just pick up the new issue of Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine today!

October 21, 2010

Cheese Crackers

It’s not too early to begin thinking about the holidays and the entertaining that lies ahead.

One recipe that I keep in my arsenal (actually in my freezer, and ready at a moment’s notice) is cheese crackers. Ever so easy to make, the dough when shaped into logs will freeze beautifully and is easy to handle. The logs slice more uniformly when semi frozen, so this is a quick hors d’oeuvre that’s smart to keep at the ready.

And these cheese crackers can do double duty. Being prepared for impromptu visitors, or having a hostess gift at the ready takes some of the stress out of spontaneous gatherings and gives you a leg up on socializing.

Isn’t enjoying yourself, and having time with family and friends, really what it’s all about?


image: courtesy of

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New Food-Related Businesses

“Beginnings” is an article in Issue 12 of Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine highlighting some of the new food-related businesses in Maine, places like Shepherd’s Pie in Rockport, Port Clyde Seafood Company in Camden, and Fiore in Rockland.

It’s a very tasty time to be living in the state, as this article shows! Researched and written by our summer editorial intern, Chelsea Sonksen, find out what’s new in the Midcoast.

Read more in the new issue of Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine!

Vacation_2010 149Brian Hill’s Shepherd’s Pie chimichurri steak image courtesy of MF&L subscriber Bob Jobes

October 20, 2010

Great Maine Apple Day

This Saturday, October 23, MOFGA invites you to celebrate Maine Apple Day. Come rain or shine to learn about and taste rare and heirloom apples, attend educational workshops and talks about fruit tree pruning and cooking with old-time apple recipes, and learn about wine and cider making. There will be an apple pie contest and more!


Wild Edibles

Purslane? Lamb’s quarters? These are the two wild edibles featured by author and MF&L contributing columnist Tom Seymour in the new issue of Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine. To many, these are weeds to eradicate, to Tom, they’re dinner (and a very healthy one, at that)!

Lamb's Quarters
image © Tom Seymour 2010

True health foods that are free and plentiful, Tom clues us in where to find them, and how to prepare them. Boiled lamb’s quarters and Purslane stir-fry are on the menu, and no, they don’t taste just like spinach!

Read more in the new issue of Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine.

October 19, 2010

Martha Greenlaw’s Barbecued Lobster

Don’t put that grill away just yet! Give it one more workout with this Barbecued Lobster with Lime and Chili Butter recipe from Isle au Haut cookbook author and talented home chef, Martha Greenlaw.

image © Jim Bazin 2010

Find Martha’s recipe in her “Notes From Isle au Haut” column in the new issue of Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine, available now!

October 18, 2010


They aren’t called “Wolves of the Sea” for nothing. These highly predatory and edible fish are fun to catch and great to cook. Contributing writer Mary Syrett shares some of her favorite recipes for bluefish that are broiled, grilled, or prepared in a casserole. A fun article for cooks and fishing fans alike.

image © Jim Bazin 2010

Subscribe to Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine today for great stories, recipes, and photography!

October 17, 2010

Creative Vegetarian

Creative vegetarian Mary Lake knows the secrets to utilizing vegetables, fruits, and grains to a hearty and healthy advantage.

ZucchiniCornCakes_2499Zucchini Corn Cakes. Image © Mary Lake 2010.

With a focus on using local produce in simple ways, Mary’s column “Creative Vegetarian” is always popular. In this issue, she shares her zippy recipe for zucchini corn cakes with a black bean salsa cruda. Truly creative, truly delicious!

Find Mary’s recipe in the new issue of Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine, on sale now!

Do Your Own Pig Roast Event

For those of you intrigued by Paula Anderson’s article, the “Pig Kahuna,”  in the latest issue of our magazine, The Wall Street Journal has a great article by Chris Nuttall-Smith entitled The Pig Event. It’s all about creating your own pig roast, complete with recipe and step-by-step instructions.

Pig Roast
Photo by Rob Fiocca for The Wall Street Journal

October 15, 2010

Apple Pie

In a charming story about Wolf River Heritage Apples, (which are an heirloom variety), local caterer Laura Cabot shares big apple memories and her favorite apple pie recipe. A lovely reminder of one of the many reasons we love to live in Maine…apple picking season. You’ll love this column a bushel and a peck.

ApplePie_3157Image © Jim Bazin, 2010.

Read Laura’s column “Locavore’s Kitchen,” for her story and her great apple pie recipe in the new issue of Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine!