Sunday, December 23, 2012

Homemade Gifts

Still need to make a last minute homemade gift?  One that doesn't include ridiculous amounts of butter and sugar?  No that I am knocking butter and sugar.  Believe me I LOVE butter and sugar.  But if you have someone on your list who has more of a savory tooth these are perfect.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Holiday Babble

Are you making homemade gifts this year?  I decided, around Thanksgiving, to break out the knitting needles and wool and get to work.  I thought it would be a good idea to practice my somewhat rusty knitting skills, seriously all I have made for the past few years are baby hats.  And more baby hats.  And maybe some more baby hats. 

It may have been an over ambitious decision.

While I was pulling the yarn off the needles for the third time because I had neglected to pay attention and had done two full rows incorrectly, one stitch off the whole way around, I had a conversation with myself.  I am sure Pippa thought I was losing it.  It went something like this...

"Self, why did you decide to do this?  Why did you actually think it was a good idea to make three hats, two with a fancy looking pattern and one that still needs to be felted, and two other projects that you have yet to get started on?  When did you think you would have the time?  While we are talking about time why did you think you should get a new cat?  A new cat, in the winter, when the plants have been moved inside and he is very tempted to eat them?  In the winter when you have a Christmas tree aka a climbing tower and toy?  Wait, focus, back to the knitting.  Get a grip and pay attention.  Count your stitches and stop messing around.  You still have some other projects to get to!"

So there you have it.  My mind is a mess of K1, P1, YO, SS and so on.  Thank goodness for the knitters who put demos up on YouTube!

This is my long winded explanation for why I haven't been posting about Christmas cookies.  I haven't made any.  I haven't made much of anything in the kitchen for the past few weeks.  I do have some gifts that I will be making in the kitchen this weekend.  I am hopeful that they will turn out well and that I will have some pictures and recipes to share with you.  And don't worry, they are quick projects so if you need some last minute, and I do mean last minute, gift ideas I think I can help you out!  I am also hopeful that I will finish these knitting project on time!s  My other goal for the weekend is to finish my Christmas card, I have it drawn out I just have to paint it, so that I can share that with you too.

Best wishes for finishing any homemade gifts that you are working on!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tomatoes Roasted in Olive Oil

This project happened back in September.  Around the same time as the crisp.  I had tomatoes galore.  Big fat heirloom tomatoes.  Before we go any further I have something to admit.  Don't judge.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Plum and Apple Crisp

I made this back in, gulp, September.  In September when you could still wear flip flops.  In September when there were still flowers at the farm down the road.  In September when it was still light out at 4:30.  Before we had snow.  Before I got completely overwhelmed with school and took some time off from sharing recipes and pictures with you.  But I am back, baby!  I can't make any promises that blog posts will be super consistent.  Because they probably won't be.  But now that it is dark at 4:30 why not bake?  And share!  And get myself back into the swing of things.  So here we go!

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Most of the Farmer's Markets are closed now.  And the winter Farmer's Market won't open until December.  I luckily live near a working farm, they have their own store which is open until just before Christmas.  So I don't have to look too hard to find delicious fresh and local produce.

I bought these tomatillos on my last trip through the York Farmer's Market at the end of September.  I never made anything with them.  But I kept them in a bowl in the kitchen and looked at them for a week.  They were just so cool!  Purple and green and wrapped up in their own cool natural wrapping paper.

I thought on this dreary snow, sleet and rain filled day you might like to take a look at them too.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Quick Quinoa Salad

This is a great quick salad to take to a pot luck.  I'm sure you have a few fall cookouts lined up!  And it really couldn't be simpler.  Quinoa, feta, apple, olives, honey, lemon and mint.  That's it!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Pesto Presto!

I'm starting to close down my garden.  There are just a few yellow brandywine tomatoes left, some carrots and some beets.  The bugs and blight seemed to get the best of me this year but baby do I have plans for next spring!  I am going to do some research on companion planting this winter and make the most out of the space I have.  I may even put in another raised bed for cutting flowers or simply to give my veggies more space.  But you saw PESTO in the title here.  You probably aren't fascinated by my garden musings.  Let's get on to that pesto - presto! 

Sorry I couldn't help myself.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

From the Garden!

I have 20 feet of carnival carrots growing in my garden.  20 feet!  They are one of the only things in my garden that the bugs haven't destroyed!  So I am happily throwing carrots into every salad and sandwich I can.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

From the Garden!

I've been picking tomatoes, beans and basil from my garden for the past few weeks.  How great to just walk down into the field and find such delicious rewards for all of my hard work this spring!  I hope you are all enjoying fresh fruits and veggies from your own gardens or local farms.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Peach Cobbler

I thought about calling this post "What to do when you have six peaches and four stitches in your shoulder."  But I thought you might be frightened away, horrified by the thought that you might be looking at pictures of stitches.  So although this is what I did today with six peaches and four stitches in my shoulder, I think "Peach Cobbler" is a better title.  Much more appetizing.  Unless of course you like gross things...

Ok, focus.  We're here to talk about peach cobbler.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Cherry Cobbler Scones

I must admit I haven't been doing all that much in the kitchen recently.  I've been enjoying my time outside pulling up weeds and shoveling compost.  I had been eying this blog post by Joy the Baker and wishing that I had some peaches.  I did not have any peaches.  I did however have a colander full of cherries.  And plenty of buttermilk and butter.  I think that you could easily make these with any stone fruit.  They were great with the cherries but I think they would be even better with peaches or nectarines. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Strawberries are HERE!

Strawberry season is just beginning Maine and I'm not the only one who is excited about it!

I hope that where ever you are you can pick up some local strawberries soon!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Lucinda's Birthday Cake

Lucinda loves carrot cake.  So of course a four layer carrot ginger cake with orange frosting was a must for her birthday! 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Whole Wheat Banana Bread with Millet

I've been ignoring you.  I know.  Totally my fault.  But I haven't been idle.  I been busy.  Very busy.  I've been building vegetable gardens.  And trying to gain control over what was once a nice garden around the house but has recently turned into a jungle.  So I am working foot by foot to clear out the grass and the weeds and the debris.  But I'll save that for another post.  And because you have been so patient waiting for me to come back and share recipes with you again I am going to give you a great one.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Orange Cake for Easter


Believe me, I know that Easter was well over a week ago.  But this is a phenomenal cake for Mother's Day or a bridal or baby shower or any spring or summer event.  Actually it is just a phenomenal cake.  I used the cake and orange filling recipe from Vineyard Seasons by Susan Branch and then opted not to make the orange glaze that she uses in the book and went with a sour cream and cream cheese frosting from Bon Appetit.  I decided to make the cake into a four layer cake instead of a two layer cake because I remembered that there is always a lot of extra orange filling and who wants that to go to waste?  And even though I don't really like frosting a cream cheese and sour cream frosting is a whole different beast.  Might as well use and eat as much of it as possible.  I scraped out the bowl.  And when I was done frosting the cake I licked all of the extra off the spatula.  And then I wished there was more.  Sometimes it happens.  It can't be helped.  The inner six year old just takes over.  Don't tell me you wouldn't do the exact same thing.  I think you'll be glad to know that I did not stick my fingers in the cake to get more frosting.  And I apologize in advance that you won't get to see any pieces cut from the cake and artfully arranged on dessert plates.  Everyone ate it too fast.  Better luck next time!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Quotes of Note

Some of my very favorite quotes about life and cooking.  I'm pretty sure they'll make you smile.  They might make you think.  I love old movies and I love food.  But I think you'll figure that out as you read through.  Enjoy your Sunday - new recipes are on the way!

Noodles are not only amusing, but delicious.  Julia Child

If you aren't up to a little magic occasionally, you shouldn't waste time trying to cook.  Colette

This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook- try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!  Julia Child

I don't mind a reasonable amount of trouble.  Sam Spade (The Maltese Falcon)

You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces - just good food from fresh ingredients.  Julia Child

Imagination is the highest kite that can fly.  Lauren Bacall

I think every woman should own a blowtorch.  Julia Child

My formula for life is very simple: in the morning, wake up; at night, go to sleep. In between I try and occupy myself as best I can.  Cary Grant

Life, is not a having and a getting, but a being and a becoming.  Myrna Loy

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Easter Everyone!

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend.  And that your Easter and Passover celebrations are filled with family and wonderful food.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

One Year Ago...

One year ago I closed on my house.  The kitchen certainly wasn't in working order on March 25, 2011.  I brought over my ultra light backpacking stove and made tea out on the porch.  And I ate a sandwich that I had made at my apartment.  What a year it has been!  So I'm having a little celebration.  A delicious carrot cake cupcake from my Mum's shop, Edna and Lucy's, and a Sofia Mini.  Happy one year home owner anniversary to me!

German Dinner - Spaetzle, Schnitzel and Braised Cabbage

So the idea for this meal began when my mother called me and said she was cleaning out her kitchen cabinets and asked if I wanted some things.  Things turned out to be cast iron muffin pans, a heart shaped cake pan and a spaetzle maker.  I decided that since I was now the proud owner of a spaetzle maker, in a box with all of the directions in German, that I should learn how to use it.  And I couldn't just make spaetzle, I had to make a whole dinner.  I also decided I should have some friends over to test these new recipes and techniques on.  I figured if it didn't turn out well we could always order some pizzas.  The dinner invitation went something like this:

Maggie  I have a spaetzle maker, want to come over for German dinner?
Mike  Heck yes!
Maggie  When do you and Kim get back?
Mike  We are back.  When is dinner?
Maggie  Ummmm.  Sunday?
Mike  We'll be there.  Can I make sachertorte?
Maggie  YES!  I love cake. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Cranberry Lemon Muffins

These are not "cake" muffins.  If that was what you were hoping for I'm sorry.  These are the kind of muffins you can toast and put butter on and they won't fall apart.  They are the kind of muffins I like.  Just a tiny bit sweet and full of fruit.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sweedish Cardamom Rolls

I meant to have this up yesterday in case you had a little free time and felt like doing some baking today.  Opps.  I haven't got a good excuse for you.  I simply distract myself and don't get things done.  Lack of focus I think they call it.  Or focusing on too many things, which I think is my affliction.  Back to the recipe.  Focus Maggie, focus.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Butternut Squash, Spinach and Goat Cheese Pizza

I really like.  No let me start again.  I LOVE butternut squash.  After all those years of not eating squash unless it was baked with butter and brown sugar and now I can't get enough.  Maybe it is the color.  Orange is one of my favorite colors after all!  I am game to try just about any recipe with butternut squash in it and when I came across this on Epicurious I had to give it a shot.  Squash, spinach, goat cheese and onions on a pizza - how could I go wrong?  Though a little bit time consuming I think this will make several repeat appearances!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Buttermilk Biscuits with Green Onions

Who doesn't love a buttery flakey biscuit?  These are fantastic with plain old scrambled eggs and equally delicious dunked into soup.  And I can only imagine how great they would be as the topper on a chicken pie.  Yummmmm.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pad Thai with Tofu


I've always wanted to make Pad Thai at home.  I make the curries after all so why not give Pad Thai a try?  There was a great article on Thai food in last month's Bon Appetit.  So I decided to go for it.  Unfortunately I couldn't find all of the ingredients but I did the best with what I could find and I'll just have to keep on the lookout for the rest next time I am near an Asian grocery.  The recipe did call for shrimp which is never hard to find, I just don't care for it so I left it out.  I also opted to leave out the ground dried chiles and stirred in my favorite ground chile and garlic paste as I was eating it.  To see the real recipe head over to Bon Appetit. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Coconut Red Lentil Soup

Here it is!  The one I've been talking about.  The one you have been waiting oh so patiently for.  So no delays.  Right to the recipe!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Apple Sharlotka

I am always game for making a cake.  I love cake.  Any kind.  Well actually that isn't true.  I do like chocolate cake the best.  But I think that this will come in a close second from now on.

Meyer Lemon

Looks like my Meyer Lemon is ready to be picked!  I wonder what deliciousness it will turn into? 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Spicy Mango Tofu with Coconut Rice

This is one of those dinners that I make pretty often.  One because I always have the ingredients lurking in my fridge and two because it reheats really well for lunch at work.  It is prefect with just about any green vegetable, I used broccoli this time, I had planned to use bok choy but it froze in the fridge.  A word to the wise don't leave the bok choy in the "deli drawer" of your fridge.  It will freeze and you will become very annoyed. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Butternut Squash and Pear Soup


Make this!  Make this right now!  No seriously, do it!  And make sure you have some delicious bread around, ahem I posted a fab recipe recently.  Toast it.  And butter it.  AND DUNK IT!  And then you will be full and warm and you won't even notice that the temperature is dropping... again. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Turkey and Three Bean Chili and Cornbread

Need something to stick to your ribs now that it is snowy and cold?  I don't mind the snow, I mean it is January we should have some, but the sub zero temps can go.  I hadn't made chili in a long time, since I moved, and I was feeling the need to have something hot and spicy and full of beans.  Just like me!  Ha!  Sorry.  I will do my best to focus.  Obviously when you have chili you should have cornbread to go with it.  And this is my favorite quick go to cornbread recipe.  You lucky ducks, you get a two-fer with this post!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Sweet 16!

I am pretty sure it is a law that you must have cupcakes for your 16th birthday.  And if it isn't I am declaring it right now!  My cousin Ali turned sixteen on Monday and we had a little dinner to celebrate.  I got to make the dessert!  Ali loves cappuccino and mocha flavored things.  She has good taste.  We'd probably get rid of her if she didn't.  Just kidding!  Just kidding!  We like her.  We'll keep her.  She's fun!  Anyway back to those cupcakes...

Vermont Whole Wheat Oatmeal Honey Bread

My new favorite bread recipe!  Great for toast and super yummy to dip into soup.  Especially butternut squash and pear soup.  But that is another post.  I got the recipe from King Arthur Flour and changed it just a little because I didn't have all the ingredients.  This makes two 4 1/2 x 8 1/2 loaves.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Curried Red Lentil Soup...

Yah.  About that.  I know I promised you a recipe for curried red lentil soup.  But let me explain what happened.  I made it.  Good start there.  And then I ate it.  Also good.  Always important to eat what you have made.  And then my Mum came over for lunch, we were eating something else, but she could smell the spices from the soup.  And she LOVES that soup.  So being the FABULOUS daughter that I am I gave her a big container of it to take home.  And then I needed lunch for work this week.  So I ate the two servings that were left.  And then I realized I never took a picture of it to share with you.  So I apologize.  And I apologize again cause that soup is just so tasty.  But I will be making it again.  Probably sooner rather than later.  And I pinkie swear that I will take a picture of it so I can share it with you!

Pasta with Mushrooms, Onion and Butternut Squash

Looking for another quick and delicious dinner?  This is a good one.  And if you have made the chicken, mushroom and bacon pie you have half a box of baby bellas in your fridge screaming to be used!  I love pasta.  I also love sauteed onions and mushrooms, roasted squash and olive oil.  And parmesean cheese.  Sooooo good!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Chicken, Mushroom and Bacon Pie

It's Friday.  Comfort food is a MUST.  What is more comforting than chicken, bacon and puff pastry?  Tonight there is nothing better.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Birthday Cupcakes for the Mominator

Let me start off by saying that these will not help you in your resolution to fit into your itsy bitsy teeny weenie yellow polka dot bikini by February vacation.  But that it ok.  Give up on that resolution.  Resolve to eat more delicious things.  Things you haven't eaten before.  And then get out and walk an extra mile.  That's my plan!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Quick and Easy Chicken Parmesan

This is easy.  This is quick.  Don't judge me cause I used tomato sauce from a jar and frozen garlic bread.  I know you have the same things hanging out in your cupboard and freezer!