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December 24, 2012

Holiday Wishes

Our Warmest Wishes for the Holiday Season! ~Melanie Hyatt & Jim Bazin

December 10, 2012

Russell Libby, RIP

The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association announces, with great sadness, the death of its beloved leader Russell Libby, following a long struggle with cancer. He passed away peacefully among his family at his home this morning in Mt. Vernon, Maine. He was 56.

Russell With Suffolks SmallRussell lent his extraordinary leadership skills to MOFGA for almost 30 years. He served on the Board of Directors for a decade before becoming its long-serving Executive Director in 1995. He held that position until November 2 of this year, when he assumed the title of Senior Policy Advisor. In that role he continued to guide the organization with his characteristic wisdom, compassion and dedication, even as his health failed. Prudently, he took many steps to ensure that MOFGA’s course would remain steady in the time to come. A search for a new Executive Director is set to begin on January 1, 2013. MOFGA is currently under the guidance of Heather Spalding, who has worked closely with Russell at MOFGA since 1997.

“We are saddened beyond words by Russell’s passing, but we are grateful for the legacy he has given us,” said MOFGA Board President Barbara Damrosch. “MOFGA has always been a vibrant organization that, through educational and policy work, has advanced the cause of safe, healthful food in Maine and championed the farmers and gardeners who grow it. Russell nurtured MOFGA to the point where its membership now exceeds that of any other state organic group. New farmers look to Maine for encouragement and inspiration.”

A memorial service will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 15, at the Mount Vernon Elementary School. At a later date, to be determined, MOFGA will host a gathering in honor of Russell in the Exhibition Hall at the Common Ground Education in Unity.

September 9, 2012

Barbecue Portobello Quesadillas

This smoky mushroom-filled quesadilla is reminiscent of pulled pork. A touch of chipotle chile pepper adds extra heat. Serve with coleslaw and guacamole.

Barbecue Portobello Quesadillas

image and recipe from

1/2 cup prepared barbecue sauce
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, (see Note), minced, or 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons canola oil, divided
1 pound portobello mushroom caps, (about 5 medium), gills removed, diced
1 medium onion, finely diced
4 8- to 10-inch whole-wheat tortillas
3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Combine barbecue sauce, tomato paste, vinegar, and chipotle in a medium bowl.

Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring, until the onion and mushrooms are beginning to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to the bowl with the barbecue sauce; stir to combine. Wipe out the pan.

Place tortillas on a work surface . Spread 3 Tablespoons cheese on half of each tortilla and top with one-fourth (about 1/2 cup) of the filling. Fold tortillas in half, pressing gently to flatten.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in the pan over medium heat. Add 2 quesadillas and cook, turning once, until golden on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes total. Transfer to a cutting board and tent with foil to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and quesadillas. Cut each quesadilla into wedges and serve.

Serves 4.

Ingredient note: Chipotle chiles in adobo sauce are smoked jalapeños packed in a flavorful sauce. Look for the small cans with the Mexican foods in large supermarkets. Once opened, they’ll keep up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator or 6 months in the freezer. Ground chipotle, made from dried smoked jalapeños, can be found in the specialty-spice section of most supermarkets or online at

April 30, 2012

Essential Nourishment: Lamb’s Quarters with Feta

The first Estonian edition of the book Essential Nourishment, by Marika Blossfeldt, came out in 2009. The first English edition appeared in 2011. It is chock-a-block full of wholesome and visually appealing recipes as well as gorgeous photographs of food and European country scenery. Scenery of Marika’s beautiful Estonian farm, to be exact. This “life book” (so much more than a cookbook) is better than plane fare. It is a window into a world where time has slowed to a healing pace, where living in the present is all there is, and there is time to live in gratitude. Cooking is done in a mindful and seasonal way, with fresh food from the gardens and foraged ingredients. I love the way the text in this book is punctuated by frequent bits of information divided into “Essence” and “Action”. These are very real tools for affecting change.

Making life a work of art seems to come naturally to Estonian born Marika Blossfeldt. But tracing her roots, the journey back to her kitchen has been a full and interesting one. A globe trotting dancer and painter, early on in the 1970s and 80s she worked and performed in Berlin and later, New York. Eventually her career in performing arts took her all over the world. Some seventeen years ago, she fulfilled a lifelong dream of owning and restoring an old farm.

Now an international art and wellness center called Polli Talu Arts Center (, this farm in Estonia is where Marika welcomes visitors, practices and teaches yoga, cooking, wellness, and tends her gardens. Her culinary skills were honed by a course of study at New York’s Institute for Integrative Nutrition and her life direction illuminated by the realization that body, spirit, and mind are one.

Good vibrations and lifestyle suggestions abound in these recipes; the balance of her food and presentation is palpable. Marika’s food is beautiful, delicious, nutritious, and fun. Regionally sourced, Estonian style!

image by Lindsay Taub

Laura’s Recipe Note: Pretty soon, we will have plenty of these lamb’s quarters in my gardens! Because of their wild nature, they are very nutrient-dense.


Lamb’s Quarters with Feta
Laura Cabot, Laura Cabot Catering, Waldoboro

2 cups pure water
1 pound lamb’s quarters, leaves and tender tops only
1/4 cup olive oil
A little lemon juice
Fresh grated pepper and sea salt
9 ounces feta cheese, cubed

Bring the water to a boil.

Add the lamb’s quarters and cook quickly until tender, about five minutes.

Drain. Mix lightly with oil and lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Add in the feta and mix carefully.

Serve warm.

Serves 4.

(From  Essential Nourishment by Marika Blossfeldt, Delicious Nutrition, Beacon NY, 2009.)

March 24, 2012

Light and Easy Banana Cake

Debbie Peck, of the Ciao from Debbie blog, found she had some overripe bananas in her kitchen. So what did she do? Debbie made a Banana Cake, of course. This recipe was adapted from the one in her cookbook, O Taste See Some More!, to make it a bit simpler to follow.

Click on the image below to get this recipe.

Recipe and image by Debbie Peck of Ciao from Debbie blog

March 11, 2012

Fresh Fruit Bruschetta with Orange-Honey Cream

A versatile appetizer that’s a twist on a classic Bruschetta, from the dynamic duo behind the Our Best Bites blog. Using strawberries, mango, kiwi, and an orange-honey sour cream sauce, this Bruschetta is perfect for a brunch spread.

Click on the image below to get this fun Bruschetta recipe.

OBB Fruit Bruschetta 2 cr
Recipe and image by Sara Wells and Kate Jones of Our Best Bites blog

February 6, 2012

Mexican Chicken Recipe –

Bree Hester of has her special recipe for Mexican Chicken, along with her photos of the preparation and assembly of the meal, on her site. Click on the image below or the link above to get her recipe and see her wonderful images.


Photo of finished Mexican Chicken dish by Bree Hester of

February 5, 2012

Soba Bowl with Maine Shrimp

Light, warming, hearty and full  of the flavors of the sea…this is my soba bowl with a light miso broth, plenty of ginger and green onion, wakame seaweed, shitake mushroom and Maine Shrimp. great for a chilly Maine evening during shrimp season.

Who doesn’t love slurping noodles, especially when they are whole grain, buckwheat in this case, and enhanced by a soy infused gingery broth. I like the wholesomeness that hints of wakame seaweed, miso and fresh ginger lend to the broth. Something to know is that while the seaweed needs long cooking and must be started early on, the ginger, miso and scallion are added at the last moment to retain their medicinal properties. Oh yes, food as medicine. Not a new thought. If I am celebrating Maine’s winter shrimping season, it suffices to throw those tasty little nuggets in at the last moment as well, like on the way to the dinner table, since they cook in an instant as well.

Image of Shrimp Soba Noodle Bowl by Amanda of Fake Ginger

INGREDIENTS (serves four as a main dish)
Miso Paste, 1/2 cup, softened in some pure water (choose a lighter one like white or chickpea)
A few dried fish flakes, which can be found in a health store.
Wakame Seaweed
Shitake Mushrooms, 1 cup sliced
Scallions, 1/2 cup sliced on an angle
2 Baby Bok Choy, sliced lengthwise, then cut into bite sizes
1 package Soba Noodles
1 inch piece of fresh, peeled, and grated Ginger Root
1 pound of fresh Maine Shrimp meat
Cubed Tofu, if desired

Set a soup pot of spring water on to boil, about 3 quarts

Add a four inch length of dried wakame seaweed to the pot and a little dried bonita or fish flakes and one small star anise. Let this simmer for a couple hours. Remove anise and chop the seaweed into manageable bite sizes.

Add a cup of fresh shitake mushrooms to the broth, sliced thin.

Begin to boil the soba noodles, only until firm, in a seperate pot of salted water.

Add the boy choy and let it cook through in the broth. Take the broth off the flame and stir in the miso paste, ginger, shrimp and scallions once the noodles are cooked

Create your noodle bowls by dividing the soba noodles into four good sized bowls and ladle on the shrimp and seasoned broth.

Top with cubes of tofu, if desired, more scallion and a bit of toasted sesame oil. Enjoy with chopsticks and feel good about yourself! This meal is full of protein, low in fat and a power house of flavor. Seize the short Maine Shrimp season while we can enjoy these little beauties.

February 4, 2012

Bloody Mary for Super Bowl XLVI Sunday

Here’s a great start for Super Bowl XLVI.  This Bloody Mary recipe features celery salt as the secret ingredient, adding a winning flavor to an already delicious classic cocktail. Get the recipe here!

To make your Bloody Mary even more enjoyable and nutritious, try adding a few cooked and chilled Maine Shrimp around the glass rim, or in the drink itself. Yum!

Bloody Mary

image courtesy of Sarah Leah Chase and Coastal Goods

December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

To all our friends, from us at Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine, we wish you a Healthy and Happy Holiday with those you love! ~Melanie Hyatt & Jim BazinVegWreath-7727485px-466x500

November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Making a getaway for a family holiday celebration (vegetarian).

PrisonBreak_8232image © Jim Bazin

October 26, 2011

The Maine Summers Cookbook

Maine author and Portland Press Herald columnist, Brooke Dojny, has a very complimentary review in today’s Press Herald about The Maine Summers Cookbook by Linda and Martha Greenlaw. Brooke’s article includes two recipes from the cookbook, one each from Linda (Pulled Barbecued Chicken with Vidalia Onions) and Martha (Brenda’s Famous Crab Dip). Brooke also compliments the photography (done by MF&L publisher and creative director, Jim Bazin) mentioning that it adds the scenic dimension of Isle au Haut to the cookbook. You can read Brooke’s article and get these recipes at the Press Herald’s site here.


April 19, 2011

Pear Upside-Down Chocolate Cake

And you thought pineapple was the only fruit that did headstands! Chocolate and pears team up here in a moist, rich, torte-like cake, whose satiny topping echoes the delicate flavor of the fruit.


Continue reading “Pear Upside-Down Chocolate Cake” »

April 17, 2011

Spice-Trade Chicken Curry

The Maine table has been enlivened by the exotic spices of the Far East for a couple of centuries. Curries of various types, brought to New England coastal towns by English seamen, were a particular favorite. And they still are. I crave curries for their bright color as well as their powerful flavors. This one is sharp with spice, but mellowed and enriched by the coconut milk in the sauce.


Continue reading “Spice-Trade Chicken Curry” »

August 13, 2010

Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Show

Going on now through Sunday afternoon in Rockland’s Harbor Park is the annual Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Show. Full of interesting stuff to see, eat, do, buy, and learn about, this show just gets better every year!


With demonstrations on such things as oar making and wood turning and Maritime activities like toy making workshops for children, plus book signings, talks and maritime films, there is something to interest everyone. Sunday, the last day of the show, brings the 8th Annual World Championship Boatyard Dog Trials, where last year’s champ Pancho Villa will be back defending his title.


Get down to Rockland’s Harbor Park for a look at some gorgeous boats, fine furniture, marine gear, fabulous shopping, delicious food and snacks, and exciting activities! Not to mention the perfect weather for an outdoor event.


June 2, 2010

Wine ‘n Dine

Browne Trading Corporate Chef and Sommelier Jen Flock introduces a new column, Wine ‘n Dine, in the new issue of Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine.

jen Flock

image courtesy of Jen Flock

We welcome her aboard as she shares suggestions for white wine pairings along with her recipe for Chicken Pot Pie. Delicious, satisfying, fun, and new to this issue of Maine Food & Lifestyle.

Enjoy Jen’s expertise as she provides great recipes, suggestions for wines to try, and adds her special brand of humor and insight to our blog and magazine.

Read Issue #11 of Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine and Jen’s column…subscribe now!

January 30, 2010

Hancock Lobster: Beyond the Crustacean


They have been making lobster stew in Cundy’s Harbor for much longer than a decade (trust me, half my family lives there) but Cal Hancock’s recipe is what put this quiet spot on the New Meadows River on the national culinary map. Hancock Gourmet Lobster was born in 2000 and is spending 2010 marking its anniversary by offering reduced Second Day shipping rates, showcasing its now expansive product line — including Port Clyde lobster mac & cheese, lobster pot pies and Orr’s Island oyster stew – and chronicling all of the fun on the company’s blog. Continue reading “Hancock Lobster: Beyond the Crustacean” »

January 1, 2010

A New Year’s Missive/Delicious Duty

I am practically upside down… cleaning out the freezer by leaning into the freezer in a big way, getting to the bottom of it all…and thinking on the fly. No one really likes getting their hands freezing cold in this weather, but taking stock of the freezer is something we must do now and then to keep order and be frugal. Here are some of my Non-Recipes, which got their inspiration from viewing the freezing heap on my kitchen table.

My New Year’s resolution is to use up all this stuff in my freezer before buying more. It’s crazy to let good food get freezer burned or go to waste. Let’s see what’s good… and what good recipes come out of this. Continue reading “A New Year’s Missive/Delicious Duty” »

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 9, 2009

Sausage and Vegetable Stew

This is the time of year we could all use a little hearty comfort food.

Sausage and Vegetable Stew
recipe courtesy of Food Network


Continue reading “Sausage and Vegetable Stew” »