Friday, May 31, 2013

A new love

My neighbors got a new kitten last November, a beautiful Maine Coon, fluffy, loving, gentle, outgoing and I enticed him to friendship already. His mom and dad  were a white cat and a gray tabby, I have to smile when I look at him. The cutest are his two white cheeks in the gray tabby head.  He comes over to me to be petted and cooed at and has dedicated his first summer to exploring his new neighborhood. At the moment he goes by “The Kitten”.

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He still thinks he can be invisible by laying low in the lawn.

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Grape Cucumber Salad

Summer has finally arrived, out of the blue, with humidity and temperatures in the upper eighties as if to say, “what? Me” Late?”. Today, it is muggy and sunny, and the AC went back into the bedroom window for the summer. It was a busy week again, and I am relaxing with PBS Masterpiece Classic “Jane Austen Regrets”.  I am not sure where my recent love for Jane Austen comes from, but it must be the romance and the beautiful British movies.

Finally, there is no more waiting for summer, there is only summer living from now on. In addition, the house is clean, it is Friday night and the weekend will be sunny and warm, to. What to DO? It feels like Memorial weekend is just a week late.  The salad today was a mix of English cucumber, diced celery and seedless grapes with dill, lettuce and balsamic vinaigrette. Refreshing!

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Friday, May 24, 2013

Raw food cuisine coming to Belfast in June 2013

Matthew Kenney, a Mainer, is coming back to Belfast to open a raw food restaurant in Belfast (former Gothic Cafe location on Main Street). Now, there are 2 reasons to drive to Belfast for food, and it will be hard to decide where to eat.

Interview with Matthey Kenney.

Matthew Kenney



Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Grandma’s marbled Bundt cake

It is rainy and unseasonably cold for May. But who am I to complain when big sections of Oklahoma are laying in shambles. Nevertheless, the day called for something cozy and warming, a fluffy, fresh baked Bundt cake, marbled, with the chocolate. This recipes was voted ‘world best Bundt cake” a few years back in Switzerland, and it makes for an absolute soft and fluffy texture. The trick? No cacao powder but melted chocolate, and… light cream.

Grandma’s Bundt Cake

recipe for a small loaf form or a small bundt cake

  • 150 gr sugar with a packet of Dr Oetker Vanille Sugar
  • 150 gr soft unsalted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 90 g light cream
  • pinch of salt
  • 180 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 ts backing powder
  • 100 g dark chocolate (or chocolate chips)
  • 20 g mini chocolate chips (separate)
Preparation
  1. Spray Bundt cake form or loaf form with baking spray. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. With a hand or stand mixer mix the butter and sugar and the vanille sugar until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Add one egg at a time, and mix well.
  4. Add light cream and salt, and mix well.
  5. Mix flour and backing powder, and carefully add to the dough. Now, separate the dough into 2 bowls.
  6. Melt the chocolate in the microwave in a microwave-safe dish. To avoid burning the chocolate, microwave in 30 second intervals and mix the chocolate in-between. Should be melted in 2-3min. Mix the melted chocolate and the chocolate chips to one half of the dough.
  7. Place some of the white dough first in the cake form. Add the chocolate dough, and finish with a layer of white dough. Draw a fork through the dough layer to get the marbeling.
  8. Bake cake for 50 minutes at 350F. 
  9. Remove cake from oven, rest for 10min and then remove and cool.
  10. Add powdered sugar before serving.

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Layering the chocolate and white dough.

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Fluffy, light perfection!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Fiddlehead Tart

Today was my day to play, after a week of work and painting the house. The day started out gray and cold, and it was not the weather I had envisioned for a first summer trip to the coast. I puttered around and the day was almost gone but by 4pm I got on the road because I knew I would regret tomorrow if I had given in to laziness and excuses. Magically, the clouds disappeared and the sum came out. By mid-May, the days are quite long and so a late trip would still be worthwhile.

Sometimes, it is all in the drive anyway. A drive, sunshine, the landscape flying by, the clouds and the thoughts and mind recharge.

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My favorite barnyard was open, including a new wooden horse.

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My favorite coop, the Belfast coop.

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Besides the chives seedlings, a tiny chihuahua was waiting for his owner. He was so tiny and vulnerable, easily to be scooped up and taken away. But this is Maine, and we all trust each other. 

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Or bring the big black dog to protect the little white one.

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Backstreets of Belfast.

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All walks typically bring me to Chase’s Daily for a meal. This time, for dinner, since Friday is the only day Chase’s serves dinner (besides breakfast and lunch). As usual, their fare is vegetarian and from their own farm.

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Dinner only one day a week translates into ‘booked solid’ every time but there are seats at the bar.

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A business woman’s handbag: Kate Spade handbag with Macbook Air, Tuscan Kale and a piece of parmesan cheese.

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While waiting for dinner, I did something old fashioned: reading the New Times in paper form and being in Cannes for the film festival.

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I had ordered the daily special: Fiddlehead Tart with goat cheese, herbs and an egg custard with early greens. It was perfect.

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An entire mini tart with a rustic crust for me.

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Here is a glimpse of the chef (white apron).

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After it was all said and done (eaten) I headed out for short walk.

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Yes, this is Maine. A lot of old cars.

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Everywhere. Because, it is almost all in the drive. And the rest in the fiddlehead tart.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Rinsing Quinoa

The sun is back but it is cold. The citrus kiddos got rolled back into the house. The winter wool sweater is unearthed from the was-winter pile. Brrr. Today, browsing throughan absolutely Target I found something new in the Giada for Target section that I don’t have yet: a fine mesh sieve, perfect for rinsing quinoa. Swiftly taken home I tried it out for Trader Joes tricolore quinoa and my favorite quinoa recipe. Not just a bland water+quinoa mix but the whole shebang with butter, onions, garlic, wine and quinoa. Unfortunately I was out of white wine so red wine had to do but the acidity of the white wine might be better. Nevertheless, wine adds flavor.

First. rinse the 1 cup quinoa. (in the Giada di Laurentiis fine mesh sieve from Target. Or something else that does not flush the fine grained quinoa through the holes.)

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Next, fry a chopped onion in 1 tablespoon of butter until slightly brown. Add 2 small garlic cloves, microplaned, to the pot. And the rinsed quinoa, and toast it for 1-2 minutes.

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Now, add a 1/2 cup of white or red wine, mix in, and cook off the liquid. (You are left with the flavor but without the alcohol).

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Add 1 cup of water, some salt and thyme, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer for about 20 min or fluffy. --- Serve or use it as a start for a quinoa salad.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Silent Thursday

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shrimp chorizo appetizer

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Vietnamese lobster

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sargent mountain trail

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Bar harbor

Sunday, May 5, 2013

And summer came

It was the longest drawn out winter I’ve seen in a long time, and then, suddenly, it was summer. Not just spring but summer. It is quite warm, and nature catches up with bursting leaves on the tree, colorful flecks of flowers, and bright green lawns. As usual I moved half of my house outside on the deck, all the plants, a few umbrellas, and I am ready for summer. Parties are still to be had, good food eaten, gardens planted and soon I am off for the summer.

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