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November 30, 2012

Eggnog Cake Recipe

This beautiful cake tastes wonderfully reminiscent of the quintessential holiday beverage it was named after. Your guests will never guess that it is made from a cake mix, and because it is finished only with a dusting of powdered sugar, it makes for an incredibly fast and simple dessert.

Eggnog Cake Recipe

1 package
yellow cake mix

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 extra large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cup eggnog
4 Tablespoons butter, melted
2 Tablespoons rum, optional
Powdered sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 350°.

Butter and flour a standard Bundt pan (or use cooking spray that contains flour). Don’t skip this step or you’ll have a sticky mess on your hands.

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Beat for four minutes, on medium speed with an electric mixer.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Cool 10 minutes and invert onto a cooling rack and cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.

November 29, 2012

Stilton and Celery Soup

Now that the turkey pie has been made and eaten and most of the other leftovers cleared away, it’s time to begin to consider the menu for Christmas dinner.

I’ve got a recipe for you that’s a little bit different: a heavenly Stilton and celery soup that is a most civilized way to begin a festive meal. It’s creamy, warming, simple to make and a friendly way to let your stomach know that there is more food ahead.

This recipe was first served to me by Budd Martin, a good friend and great cook from Waldoboro who loves all things Brittish. I took the recipe home and tried making it with celery root and a few adjustments and it was equally good.

image courtesy of

Stilton and Celery Soup
Laura Cabot, Laura Cabot Catering, Waldoboro

2 Tablespoons butter
1 sliced onion
1 cup chopped celery and leaves
1 quart light vegetable stock
4 ounces crumbled Stilton cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a large pot over a lively flame, add onion, and sauté for ten minutes.

Add the celery and stock, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until celery is soft.

Add the cheese to the soup and mix well. Purée with an immersion blender and season to taste.

Ladle into pre-warmed bowls and inhale deeply! Ahhh….

Serves 4 as a starter, and increases well to serve a larger group.

November 28, 2012

Balsamic Chicken Thighs

This is a quick and easy recipe that never fails to please. Since chicken thighs are usually inexpensive, it makes a economical meal. Serve with a rice side dish and a green salad.


Balsamic Chicken Thighs

2 pounds skinless chicken thighs
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup chopped shallot
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Cooking spray

Spray large frying pan, preheat. Rinse and pat dry thighs. Season with salt and pepper. Brown well on all sides.

Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook for approximately 25 minutes, or until thighs are done depending on size.

Add shallots, cook for 2-3 minutes, until they soften. Stir in balsamic vinegar, cook for about 1 more minute, turn chicken to coat thoroughly.

Spoon sauce over thighs to serve.

Serves 4-5.

November 27, 2012

Filet Mignon with Sweet Bourbon-Coffee Sauce

The bourbon and sugar round out the sharp coffee flavor to make a rich sauce for the beef. Roast refrigerated potato wedges for a quick side.

image: Randy Mayor

Filet Mignon with Sweet Bourbon-Coffee Sauce
recipe from

1/2 cup water
3 Tablespoons bourbon
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon beef-flavored bouillon granules
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 (4-ounce) beef tenderloin steaks, trimmed (about 1 inch thick)
Cooking spray
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.

Sprinkle pepper and salt over both sides of steaks. Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add steaks; cook 2 minutes on each side. Reduce heat to medium; cook steaks 2 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Transfer steaks to a platter; cover and keep warm.

Add bourbon mixture to pan; cook over medium-high heat until mixture has reduced to 1/4 cup (about 3 minutes). Serve sauce over beef; sprinkle with parsley.

Serves 4.

November 26, 2012

Wild Mushroom and Orzo Soup with Italian Meatballs

Wild mushrooms have a big, beefy flavor that partners well with meatballs. This soup’s gutsy Italian flavors are sure to make it one of your favorites.

Tip: Grocery stores sometimes carry uncooked meatballs, packaged in the meat case, that they have made up themselves. We think it makes good sense to take advantage of this step-saving bonus, especially when the meatballs are of good quality. One caveat, though, is that store-bought meatballs are usually on the large side. We cut them in half and then reroll them into a ball. It only takes a minute, and they are a more “attackable” size in your soup bowl.


Wild Mushroom and Orzo Soup with Italian Meatballs
Excerpted from 300 Sensational Soups by Carla Snyder and Meredith Deeds © 2012 Robert Rose Inc. All rights reserved: May not be reprinted without publisher permission.

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1  large onion, minced
1 1⁄2 pounds wild (exotic) mushrooms, sliced
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
6 cups beef or chicken stock
Italian Meatballs
1 cup orzo
1⁄4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1⁄4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
Additional freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

In a large pot, heat butter and oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, celery, salt, basil and oregano; sauté until vegetables begin to soften and mushrooms have released their liquid, about 5 minutes.

Add stock and bring to a boil. Carefully add meatballs and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until meatballs are cooked through and vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and bring soup to a boil. Stir in orzo and boil until tender, about 8 minutes. Add parsley, lemon juice, cheese and salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle into heated bowls and pass additional cheese at the table.

Serves 6-8.

November 25, 2012

Goat Cheese With Pistachios and Cranberries

Easy finger food to keep your guests occupied before the main event!


Goat Cheese With Pistachios and Cranberries

2  Tablespoons roasted pistachios, chopped
2  Tablespoons dried cranberries, chopped
1 8- to 10- ounce log fresh goat cheese
Crackers or bread, for serving

On a large plate, combine the pistachios and cranberries.

Roll the goat cheese in the fruit-and-nut mixture to coat. Serve with the crackers or bread.

Serves 8.

November 24, 2012

Turkey Pot Pie

A perfect way to use leftover turkey. This is a great pie that will feed up to eight hungry people.
Turkey Pot Pie

1 pastry for double crust pie (10 inch)
4 Tablespoons butter, divided
1 small onion, minced
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, diced
3 Tablespoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cubes chicken bouillon
2 cups water
3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 1/2 cups cubed, cooked turkey
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Roll out bottom pie crust, press into a 10 inch pie pan, and set aside.

Melt 2 Tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add the onion, celery, carrots, parsley, oregano, and salt and pepper. Cook and stir until the vegetables are soft. Stir in the bouillon and water. Bring mixture to a boil. Stir in the potatoes, and cook until tender but still firm.

In a medium saucepan, melt the remaining 2 Tablespoons butter. Stir in the turkey and flour. Add the milk, and heat through. Stir the turkey mixture into the vegetable mixture, and cook until thickened. Cool slightly, then pour mixture into the unbaked pie shell. Roll out the top crust, and place on top of filling. Flute edges, and make 4 slits in the top crust to let out steam.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees, and continue baking for 20 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

Serves 8.

November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving Leftovers Recipe: Turkey Tortilla Stacks

Now that the family has left our homes and our kitchens are finally reclaimed, we are all left with the task of figuring out how to use up those yummy leftovers. Getting through the turkey left this year should be slightly easier with this recipe for Turkey Tortilla Stacks.



2 7-inch flour tortillas
3/4 cup chopped cooked turkey or chicken
1 Tablespoon bottled fat-free Thousand Island salad dressing
1 Tablespoon bottled chunky salsa
1-1/2 green onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup canned vegetarian refried beans
1-1/2 cup shredded lettuce
1/2 of a medium tomato, chopped
1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese or reduced-fat Colby and Monterey Jack cheese

Place tortillas in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until crisp and light brown. (If tortillas puff during baking, pierce with a fork to allow steam to escape.)

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine turkey, salad dressing, salsa, and green onion. Set aside.

To assemble, spread about 1/4 cup of the refried beans over each tortilla. Top with turkey mixture, lettuce, tomato, and cheese.

Makes 2 servings.

I think this would be good with some sour cream & I used black olives this year. Was a hit!!

November 21, 2012

Roast Turkey with Root Vegetables and Gravy

Looking for a last minute turkey recipe? Here’s a great one for Roast Turkey with Root Vegetables and Gravy. Happy Thanksgiving! Click on the image below for the recipe.

image and recipe courtesy of

November 20, 2012

Butter Pecan Sweet Potatoes

This is an easy Thanksgiving side dish that the whole family will love. Click on the image below for the recipe for these Butter Pecan Sweet Potatoes.

image and recipe courtesy of

November 19, 2012

No Bake Pumpkin Pie

Wow, it doesn’t get any easier than this! Make this no bake pumpkin pie with a graham cracker crust and simplify your Thanksgiving preparations this year. Click on the image below for details.


November 18, 2012

Cranberry-Strawberry-Jicama Salad

“Crisp, colorful salads, with fresh fruit and leafy greens, make a welcome addition to the heavier foods on a holiday menu. Best of all, most of the components can be prepared ahead and assembled just before serving.”—Southern Living

For the recipe for this holiday salad, click on the image below.


November 17, 2012

Almond Cranberry Squash Bake

Here is something a little different to put on your Thanksgiving table this year. All the delicious tastes of the holidays in one dish! Click on the image below to learn how to make this Almond Cranberry Squash Bake.


November 16, 2012

Coriander Crusted Pork Tenderloin

In trying to eat healthier, many of us get stuck on chicken recipes. Pork tenderloin is the perfect protein to help break out of that rut! Click on the image below for a great recipe for Coriander Crusted Pork Tenderloin. Lean and delicious.

image by Renee Comet

November 15, 2012

Beef Stir-Fry with Avocado Salad

Have a healthy dinner ready in 20 minutes! This low-fat, low-calorie healthy dinner recipe is perfect for busy nights.

image by Peter Ardito

Beef Stir-Fry with Avocado Salad

12 ounces beef tenderloin, cut into thin strips
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 Tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 poblano, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 avocado, diced
1/4 cup Cojita cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup cilantro plus more for garnish, chopped
Corn tortillas (optional)

In a bowl, combine beef, 2 Tablespoons lime juice, and 1 Tablespoon chili powder; set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion, bell pepper, and poblano and saute 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add beef and marinade to vegetables and cook 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper.

In another bowl, combine beans, avocado, cheese, 1/4 cup cilantro, and remaining lime juice and chili powder.

Garnish beef and vegetables with remaining cilantro. Serve with avocado salad and warmed tortillas if desired.

Serves 4.

November 14, 2012

Steak with Steamed Vegetables, Soba Noodles and Ginger Sauce

Soba noodles — Japanese noodles made with buckwheat and wheat flour — have a dark brown-gray color. Here they’re topped with lean sirloin, fresh asparagus, and broccoli florets to make a one-dish meal.


Steak with Steamed Vegetables, Soba Noodles and Ginger Sauce

8 ounces loin steak, cut into 1/2-inch strips
4 ounces dry soba noodles
2 cups chopped fresh asparagus, cut into 1-inch segments
2 cups broccoli florets

For the sauce
1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
2 Tablespoons freshly grated ginger root, peeled
1 teaspoon sugar
Cracked black pepper, to taste

Lightly coat a large, nonstick frying pan with cooking spray. Over high heat, saute the strips of steak until slightly pink, about 5 minutes. Set aside on a covered platter to keep warm.

Fill a large pot 3/4 full with water and simmer. Add the soba noodles and cook until almost tender, about 10 minutes, or according to package directions. Drain the pasta thoroughly. Rinse the noodles and drain again.

Meanwhile, in a large pot fitted with a steamer basket, bring 1 inch of water to a boil. Add the asparagus and broccoli florets, cover and steam until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the vegetables to the noodles and toss gently to mix evenly.

To make the sauce, in a small saucepan over medium heat combine the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, sugar and pepper. Heat until warmed.

Divide the noodle-vegetable mixture onto warmed plates. Add the strips of steak and drizzle with the sauce. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

November 13, 2012

Spicy Scallop Salad Recipe

“Scallops are a great dinner option, as they are quick and easy to prepare. They aren’t a very popular source of protein, but it’s a shame because they are nutritious and blend very well with many flavors. They are a good source of vitamin B12, magnesium, zinc, selenium and phosphorus, many of which are lacking in many people’s diet.

If you are not a fan of scallops, shrimp would be a great substitute. In addition, the vinaigrette is very versatile, making it a great topper for many salads.”—


Spicy Scallop Salad Recipe

2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt;
1 pound small sea or bay scallops
3 Tablespoons lemon juice (about 1.5 lemons)
1 Tablespoon paleo mayonnaise, optional (see website)
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon Dijon or homemade mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
2 big handfuls of mixed greens
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
1 avocado, cubed
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 Tablespoons cooking fat

Get your chopping done first and save the scallops for last to ensure they are still warm upon serving.

Combine mixed greens, peppers, and avocado in a large bowl and set aside.

In a small bowl, prepare the vinaigrette by whisking together the lemon juice, mayonnaise, mustard, cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste. Once combined, slowly mix in the olive oil.

In a bowl large enough to hold the scallops, mix the cayenne, salt, and pepper.

Rinse the scallops and lightly pat dry.

Add the scallops to the mixture prepared in step 4 and ensure that they are evenly coated.

Over medium heat, heat a skillet and melt the cooking fat in preparation for searing the scallops. Your skillet must be hot prior to adding the scallops; however, do not allow the cooking fat to burn.

Place the scallops in the pan and cook for about two minutes per side, until they are opaque white and just cooked through.

Add the scallops to the bowl of mixed greens and veggies, and add the dressing over top. Serve while the scallops are still warm.

There you have it! A quick and easy salad that will help limit your time in the kitchen.

Serves 4.

November 12, 2012

Simple Hummus Snack Wrap

So simple, easy, and tastes delicious. Good for anytime, but is a great post workout snack!


Simple Hummus Snack Wrap

2 Tablespoons hummus
1 ounce fat free feta cheese
1 ounce roasted red peppers
Low carb wrap (La Tortilla Factory is 50 cal, high fiber, high protein, low fat)

So simple, if you couldn’t already tell from the ingredients.

Spread hummus on tortilla. Press feta crumbles into hummus and put roasted peppers on top. Roll up and enjoy.


Makes 1 serving.

November 11, 2012

Mediterranean Chicken Soup

Fall is a great time for experimenting with soups. Here’s a delicious one to add some variety to your rotation.
image by Charles Masters

Mediterranean Chicken Soup

1 3 1/2- to 4-pound chicken
6 carrots, peeled
4 celery stalks
1 large yellow onion, quartered
2 1/2  teaspoons kosher salt
1  teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 10-ounce box couscous
1  cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
1  cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Rinse the chicken inside and out and pat it dry with paper towels. Place the chicken in a large pot.

Cut 3 of the carrots and 2 of the celery stalks into 1-inch pieces. Quarter the onion. Add the cut vegetables to the pot with the salt, peppercorns, and enough cold water to cover (about 8 cups). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, skimming any foam that rises to the top, until the chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a bowl and let cool.

Strain the broth, discarding the vegetables. Return the broth to the pot.

Thinly slice the remaining carrots and celery. Add them to the broth and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes.

While the soup simmers, cook the couscous according to the package directions. Add the olives and parsley to the couscous and divide among bowls.

When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred the meat and add it to the soup. Stir in the chickpeas. Ladle the soup over the couscous mixture. Serve with the lemon wedges.

Serves 4.

November 10, 2012

20 Minute Chicken Creole

Show some food love! Spice up your menu in a hurry with this 20 minute Chicken Creole recipe from Hannaford.

20 Minute Chicken Creole

4 each boneless skinless chicken breast, halves, cut in thin strips
14 ounce canned diced tomatoes
1 cup chili sauce, low-sodium
1 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 1/2 cup chopped celery
2 each cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley

Spray deep skillet with nonstick cooking spray and heat pan over high heat.

Cook chicken in hot skillet, stirring for 3-5 minutes or until no longer pink. Reduce heat. Add tomatoes with juice and all other ingredients. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer covered for 10 minutes. Serve over hot cooked rice or pasta.

Serves 4.