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August 2, 2013

Maine Lobster Festival Seafood Cooking Contest 2013

Another delicious time was had by all again this year at the annual Maine Lobster Festival Seafood Cooking Contest. Held Friday morning at the North Entertainment Tent on the Lobster Festival grounds, the event drew a record crowd. Despite the rain, the heat was on as this year’s five finalists entertained festival-goers and impressed judges with their unique seafood recipes.

This event is always a lively, fun time in great part to outstanding emcee Louise MacLellan-Ruf and volunteer Celia Crie Knight. Audience participation is encouraged as lobster lore is discussed and there is an opportunity to ask questions of the panelists as they prepare their dishes.

The five amateur chefs who shared their culinary talents this year were John Ruppert, Brunswick, ME; Adam B. Marcus, Owls Head, ME; Tyrrell Hunter, Brunswick, ME; Justin Libby, Tenants Harbor, ME; and Gerald Huang, Jersey City, New Jersey.


Contestants and Judges (L to R): Adam B. Marcus, Allison Fishman Task, Lynn Archer, Melanie Beckett Hyatt, Louise MacLellan-Ruf, Gerald Huang, Tyrrell Hunter, John Ruppert, and Justin Libby.

L to R: Allison Fishman Task, Tyrrell Hunter, Lynn Archer, Melanie Beckett Hyatt, Louise MacLellan-Ruf

This year’s winner (and her second year in a row taking the top prize), was Tyrrell Hunter for her Spectacular Seafood Cannelloni.

Judges were Lynn Archer, owner and chef at Brass Compass Cafe and Archer’s on the Pier in Rockland; Allison Fishman Task, host of the Yahoo! Original Program, Blue Ribbon Hunter; and Melanie Beckett Hyatt, editor of Maine Food & Lifestyle.

Check our blog in the coming days for complete stories, recipes, and images! As always, we had a great time covering and helping promote this special event!

March 29, 2013

Maple Sugar Time in Maine

Few things are sweeter than a little time spent in a sugar shack. Especially when the sap is running and the boil is on! Add to that a short stack of flapjacks and homemade sausage covered in amber syrup and there you have it…Maine Maple Syrup Season. 2013-03-24_10-07-15_216

It is tradition and it is precious family time as well. Given the sunny day, families were out in droves last Sunday across the state to enjoy the official start of it all during Maine Maple Sunday. They enjoyed breakfast, sometimes al fresco, or even better…in a haze of sweet smoke and steam.

images by Laura Cabot


Whipped Maple Sweet Potatoes

Maple syrup sweetens these velvety mashed sweet potatoes. Pass a pitcher of warm syrup to drizzle over the top.

image from

Whipped Maple Sweet Potatoes
from Bob’s Sugar House Cookbook

3 pounds sweet potatoes or yams
2 Tablespoons Maine maple syrup
2 Tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Additional Maine maple syrup, if desired

Heat oven to 350°. Pierce sweet potatoes with fork.

Place potatoes in 9 x 9 x 2 inch square pan. Cover and bake about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until potatoes can be easily pierced with a knife.

Slip off skins. Beat potatoes with electric mixer on medium speed until no lumps remain.

Add 2 Tablespoons of maple syrup, the butter, salt, and desired amount of cinnamon. Continue beating until the potatoes are light and fluffy. Drizzle with additional syrup.

(Make ahead tip: Can make these up to 24 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate and then reheat in microwave oven or in slow cooker on low heat setting until warm.)

July 7, 2012

Port of Maine (Cocktail)

This drink recipe highlights Maine blueberry vodka. May we suggest Cold River Blueberry Vodka for our local friends? Or there is Hangar One Maine Wild Blueberry Vodka for those in other parts of the the country (produced in California but still made with small batches of our local Maine blueberries). A blueberry-tini gone wild! Enjoy!


Port of Maine (Cocktail)
adapted from a recipe by

ounces blueberry vodka
3 ounces cranberry juice
2 ounces soda water (club soda)
Lemon wheel, to garnish

Fill a highball glass with ice. Add vodka, cranberry juice, and soda.

Garnish with lemon wheel.

Yields 1 drink.

May 22, 2012

Frittata of Green Garlic, Spinach, and Lakin’s Gorges Basket Molded Ricotta

What to make for breakfast today? I had a gal pal staying overnight who takes her low carb meals seriously and loves a good breakfast. Casting about in the fridge I saw farmers’ market spinach, a stem of juicy green garlic from my garden, good farm eggs, and a tub of the ever delightful Lakin’s Gorges ricotta.

I can’t say enough about Allison Lakin’s line of cheeses, but will wax poetic on the simple goodness of her ricotta for today’s post. It seems worlds away from supermarket ricottas, just delicious. It has a drier quality which reminds me of the farmer’s cheese my grandmother used to use for certain pastries like her cheesecake and blintzes. It was hard to find back then and it’s great that these artisanal cheeses are making a comeback in Maine.

Today I learned that combining the eggs with the ricotta gives the frittata a lovely fluffy texture, and we’re doubling down on protein too. Here is the recipe I came up with and it was good! Just as good for a cold lunch or picnic.

spinach-frittata-goat-cheeseimage courtesy of

Green Garlic, Spinach, and Lakin’s Gorges Ricotta Frittata
Laura Cabot, Laura Cabot Catering, Waldoboro

1 bulb of green garlic, chopped
1 cello bag of spinach, washed, steamed and chopped (2 cups cooked). I squeeze the liquid out and mix it in with the eggs when it is cooled.
6 eggs, beaten (spinach liquid added if you like)
1 8-ounce tub of Lakin’s Gorges Ricotta
Salt and pepper
A nice black skillet to cook it in
A bit of olive oil

In a medium hot skillet, sauté the garlic in the olive oil. Add the cooked, chopped spinach. Season with salt and pepper. Beat the eggs with the ricotta.

Add the beaten egg mixture to the pan and swirl it once gently to distribute the veggies.

Cover and cook on low heat until almost cooked through. Finish with a couple minutes under the broiler.

Let rest for a couple minutes, slice into wedges, and enjoy!

December 20, 2011

Holiday Subscripton Offer 2011

What’s the perfect gift for… the foodie on your list? The relative or friend who is currently a Mainer in exile, longing for a taste of their home state? The person who has everything? Yourself?


It’s not too late to order the gift of Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine, a gift that will continue giving all year long with great recipes, local chef profiles, in-depth articles, and stunning photography.

Give the gift of Maine’s original food magazine, and make someone smile this holiday season. We’ll send the recipient a gift letter stating this gift is from you. Subscribe today for yourself or someone special on your holiday list!

Happy Holidays to you and those you love!

Melanie Hyatt & Jim Bazin

November 7, 2011

Maine Food Events

There are several noteworthy food events going on around the state this week. For example, did you know that it’s Maine Beer Week? Or that there is a Maine Harvest Festival happening this weekend in Bangor?


Saltwater Farm in Lincolnville is offering a Pig Butchering Workshop this weekend with Master Butcher Craig Linke, as well as ongoing classes and dinners. Check their calendar!

We know a lot of our readers are serious foodies, and many of you enjoy the challenge of entering cooking contests. Why not try your hand at one of these?

And if you’re looking to ease into the holiday spirit this year, there are several fairs and events beginning to happen all over the state!

September 6, 2011

From the Pantry: Maine Made Snacks

We all know Maine is increasingly famous for its locally sourced, creative cuisine, but did you know Maine also makes a very large contribution to the healthy snacks category?

In the new issue of Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine, we explore healthy Maine made snacks in our column, “From the Pantry.” There are a handful of some of our favorites represented, and they are sure to satisfy both your taste buds and your grumbling stomach.

MaineSnacks_7381_(485)Some healthy Maine-made snacks!

We share and highlight the following:

Apple Acres Farm

Maine’s Pantry

Grandy Oats

Lucy’s Granola

Buck’s Nuts

Little Lad’s

Portland Fruit and Nut Co.

PJ Snacks

Healthy snacking!

August 23, 2011

Maine Food & Lifestyle Issue 13

We’re excited to report that the new issue of Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine prints this week! Issue 13 will be available soon! On the cover, we tease you with our lobster dinners at Cod End in Tenants Harbor.


As always, we offer recipes galore from several Maine destinations. Engaging feature articles complete with gorgeous photography await your every turn of the page.

In this issue: Travel Channel Andrew Zimmern’s Maine Connection, including his favorite Maine restaurants and recipes; Old Vines Wine Bar in Kennebunk, and The Stolen Menu Café and The Union Grill/Bluff Pub in York; Amalfi On the Water and Rustica Cucina Italiana, both well-established Rockland restaurants; two new eateries: Scott Yakovenko’s Slipway in Thomaston and Lynn Archer’s Archer’s on the Pier in Rockland, and much, much more!

Certified Master Gardener Maryann Blaisdell shares her love of gardening in her debut column. Editorial Assistant Chelsea Sonksen offers a tribute to Rock City Coffee and explores the Magic of a Full Moon Supper at Saltwater Farm.

Come sample some more of the good life in Maine. Subscribe or give the gift of good taste to those you love!

June 22, 2011

Uproot Pie Co.

Last Thursday I made my first visit of the season to the Rockland Farmers’ Market, and I have to say, it just keeps getting better every year. While I was comforted to see all my favorite local farms and businesses represented, I was also delighted by newcomer Jessica Shepard. Her new business, the Uproot Pie Co., offers freshly topped pizza pies and flatbreads from her mobile wood fired oven.

image by Jim Bazin © 2011

Last Thursday at the Market, Uproot had the following pizza offerings:

Appleton Creamery Mozzarella

Dandelion Spring Farm Spinach, Ricotta, Roasted Garlic, and a wee bit of bacon

Caramelized Sweet Curried Onion with Fresh Dandelion Spring Farm Arugula

4 Cheese (Fontina, Romano, Mozzarella, and Gorgonzola)


Guini Ridge Farm Sausage

image by Jim Bazin © 2011

I had the Caramelized Sweet Curried Onion with Fresh Dandelion Spring Farm Arugula and it was absolutely scrumptious! The publisher tried the Spinach, Ricotta, Roasted Garlic, and Bacon and was equally impressed. We’re looking forward to our next visit!

June 18, 2011

BBQ Pork Kabobs

This recipe comes to us courtesy of Terra Optima Farm in Appleton. Their farm produces pasture raised pork, grass fed beef, chicken, and eggs, and their animals do not receive any unnecessary antibiotics or hormones. With a diet that consists of high quality grain and natural forage, Terra Optima animals move about freely outdoors all year.


BBQ Pork Kabobs
Terra Optima Farm, Appleton

1 Tablespoon fennel seeds
1 Tablespoon black peppercorns
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 Tablespoon chopped onion
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup orange juice
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 pound Terra Optima pork kabobs

Combine all spices, add juice and olive oil. Put meat in marinade in a plastic zip top bag and set aside to marinate for as long as time permits. Thread onto skewers and grill over a hot grill until done.

June 8, 2011

Pastry-Wrapped Brie with Sage and Blueberry Vinegar

Elegant and impressive, this pastry-wrapped cheese hors d’oeuvre is actually a breeze to put together with purchased frozen puff pastry. You can make it using any 6-inch cheese with a rind, such as the lovely Maine-made Eleanor Buttercup (love that name!), a cow’s milk cheese from Hahn’s End in Phippsburg.

Continue reading “Pastry-Wrapped Brie with Sage and Blueberry Vinegar” »

June 4, 2011

Grilled Maine Lobster

No matter how you fix it, Maine lobster is just plain good. These days my favorite is grilled. Maybe that is because my husband does all the work! Keep in mind that the lobster has to be killed before it is grilled, and if that’s not your thing, ask that it be done for you when the lobster is purchased.

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Remove body and claws from lobster. Crack the claws and with a sharp knife, slit the belly of the tail through the middle. This allows the juices to seep into the shell and makes it very easy to remove the meat when the lobster is cooked.

Mix together softened butter and a selection of aromatic herbs such as herbes de Provence, basil, rosemary, tarragon.

Place each tail and lobster claw on a sheet of aluminum foil and generously dot with the butter mixture. Top with lemon slices. Seal the foil tightly and place on heated grill for 20 minutes, turning once.

To serve, unwrap the lobster and place with its juices on a large platter surrounded by corn on the cob and roasted potatoes and prepare to have your dinner companions moan with satisfaction.

May 4, 2011

Mother’s Day Wine and Chocolate Extravaganza

This Mother’s Day, treat mom to something very special. On Sunday, May 8, join Savage Oakes Vineyard and Winery in conjunction with Sweetgrass Farm Winery and Distillery as they team up with Maine chocolatiers to offer you the best pairings of Maine wines, spirits, and chocolates.

image: Continue reading “Mother’s Day Wine and Chocolate Extravaganza” »

April 23, 2011

Easter Bread

I consider this to be the best bread that there is. It gives the family a quick breakfast and is great year round.


Easter Bread
Brenda Erickson, Kitchen Memories: Recipe Paintings With a Taste of Art

Combine (a):
2 cakes yeast
½ cup lukewarm water

Combine (b):
1½ cups oatmeal
½ cup sugar
1 Tablespoon salt
½ cup shortening
½ cup raisins

3 cups scalded milk
7 to 7½ cups sifted flour
2 beaten eggs
½ cup sugar
3 Tablespoons cinnamon

Soften yeast in warm water (a).

Pour milk over (b) combined oatmeal, sugar, salt, shortening, and raisins which have been placed together in large bowl. Cool to lukewarm. Beat in half the flour, yeast, and eggs. Add remaining flour to make soft dough. Knead until smooth and elastic. Place in greased bowl, cover, and rise until double, about two hours. Punch down, cover, and rise again.

Divide dough into three parts; round each into a ball. Roll with rolling pin into rectangle.  Combine cinnamon and ½ cup sugar. Sprinkle evenly over each rectangle. Roll up to form a loaf. Place in lightly greased bread pans with seam down. Cover and rise until double.

Bake 350° for 40-50 minutes.

Cooking hint: To keep milk form curdling when boiling, add a pinch of baking soda.

April 17, 2011

Green Bee All Natural Soda

One of our renewed commitments here at Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine has been taking care of our health. This includes regular exercise and conscious eating habits. Looking for good alternatives to soda, we serendipitously received a phone call followed by samples in the mail of Green Bee All Natural Soda called Lemon Sting. A four-pack later, and we are hooked.

green bee-soda-picture-188x300
Lemon Sting is handcrafted with carbonated water, Maine honey, natural lemon juice, and rosemary. That’s it. No sugar. No high fructose corn syrup. No junk. We have to say it is ultimately refreshing, light, and delicious!

Inventor and founder of Green Bee Soda, Christopher Kinkade, was thinking about the declining bee populations and the serious consequences of colony collapse disorder when he had an “Aha” moment. Why don’t more products use honey instead of sugar as a sweetener? Honey’s amazing health benefits include vitamins, antioxidants, and enzymes, making it a natural choice.

Handcrafted and bottled in Brunswick, Maine, Green Bee is the first soda company ever to exclusively source its sweeteners from local, sustainable resources. It can be purchased in local natural food stores, fine restaurants, leading supermarkets, and gourmet shops. Check Green Bee’s website for a listing of where to buy Green Bee near you. We are fortunate that Good Tern Natural Foods in Rockland carries it!

December 21, 2010

Holiday Subscription Offer

It’s not to late to order that last minute gift for the person on your list who has everything. Give them the gift of Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine, a gift that will continue giving all year long with great recipes, local chef profiles, in-depth articles, and stunning photography.

VegWreath-7727(485px)Happy Holidays!

Give the gift of Maine’s only food magazine, and make someone smile this holiday season. We’ll include a gift letter stating this gift is from you, along with the recipient’s copy of the current issue to start them on their way.

Happy Holidays to you, your family, and your friends!

Melanie Hyatt & Jim Bazin

May 31, 2010

Sea Bags: Custom Made from Recycled Sails

Sailed Around the World, and Recycled in Maine! Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine editor Melanie Hyatt doesn’t go anywhere without her new Sea Bag.


May 27, 2010

Rock City Coffee Roasters

Issue Number 11 of Maine Food & Lifestyle pays homage to one of Maine’s finest coffee roasters, Rockland’s own Rock City Coffee. In preparing an article for this issue, we had the pleasure of working with Rock City’s owner and Master Coffee Roaster Patrick Reilley. Patrick brought his extensive knowledge and expertise in coffee roasting to Rockland, establishing Rockland’s now famous coffee roasting operation.

Patrick helped us organize and describe our coffees in a special coffee cupping we did at Rock City Coffee Roasters for this issue. This will always be a special memory to us, as it was not long after that Patrick lost his long struggle with cancer. Our sincerest condolences go out to his wife and business partner Suzanne Ward, their family, and many friends.

In our new issue, the article entitled “The Science of Coffee Cupping, ” we took a lesson from   Rock City Roaster’s Yvonne Smith as she shared her knowledge, talents, and techniques with us. Yvonne had been hired by Patrick at Rock City back in 1998, and in 2005 she became his assistant roaster. Now Yvonne is an award-winning roaster in her own right.

4Cups_9996flatL to R: Patrick Reilley, Yvonne Smith, Melanie Hyatt, Eric Hopkins

How do you prepare for a cupping and go about analyzing different samples? What are the variables to consider when evaluating different coffees? Just what is “slurping?” And is there such a thing as “bad coffee?” All this and more we answer for you in the new issue.

And as an added note, our From the Pantry column in this issue gives you a sampling of some of our favorite Maine roasted beans.

Get perky! Wake up and smell the coffee…and subscribe today!

January 31, 2010

Daily Breads: Panzanella and Pecan Toffee Bread Pudding

We are lucky to live in an area saturated with great places to buy bread. There’s Standard Baking Company, stating the obvious. We have Miccuci’s making their own breads not to mention (yummy) pizza, and if you’re in my neck of the woods over the bridge, Scratch Baking Co. Many choices…I love the bagels at Scratch. But if you’re like me and buy more than you consume, you need ideas for leftovers. Well, I’ve come to rescue you from the depths of Moldy Bread Syndrome (it’s a serious problem, no known cure until now).

A savory option:


Continue reading “Daily Breads: Panzanella and Pecan Toffee Bread Pudding” »