Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Really Good Trip

Just home from a 5 day getaway in Nova Scotia

I had stumbled upon an article in MSL about a place
called the Tangled Garden in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia
It sounded magical and I planned a trip around visiting
this little place.  We ended up enjoying a moveable feast
in the Tangled Garden one night, meeting folks from the area
and have left completely dazzled by this little part of the world

We drove around to Vineyards that produce good white wines
and enjoyed lunches and dinners overlooking
views that rival Tuscany

ate Sustainable Food and shopped Farmer's Markets

 Did lots of Hiking,

with stunning vistas as your reward

And stayed in a B&B that really made the whole trip.
in Grand Pre is set in a vineyard, in the midst of postcard
views that go for miles
Alan made us feel like we were coming home to visit old friends

And he's just finished outfitting an 800 square foot apartment
in Wolfville for anyone who wants to call this wonderful
place home for a week or more.

A great trip, one I highly recommend. 

And as usual, there is no place like home -

Hope you are all well

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A quick lunch

When I was a kid summer days stretched out well past forever.
Now it seems that I'm constantly wondering how
time has gone so fast each day.

It always seems to be about 2pm when I suddenly
loose momentum and realize that I haven't eaten lunch.
But I'm getting pretty good at pulling something
delicious together, quickly.

I am digging cooking my radishes!  I roasted them
last Thursday for the farmhouse lunch and they were delicious.
So today I threw them in to the skillet with some onion,
garlic and oil, when they were beginning to soften
I added some rice noodles I had soaked in hot water
and a bit of white wine, cooked that for a few minutes

Then added the baby swiss chard I piled up from thinning the plants
and some hot pepper flakes

Once it was wilted I hit the whole thing with tamari and
some fresh cilantro.   

Use what you have, and make sure you have something good.

Enjoy yourselves,

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Buckwheat Crepes

The magic of summer is slowly saturating the island
and our new favorite Sunday breakfast is
buckwheat crepes with a secret stash of last year's 
Carding Brook Farm maple syrup

Full of protein, technically an herb not a grain,
naturally gluten free, nutty and delicious..
and even grown and processed in Maine

Good sustenance before I mow the lawn at Lily's 
and then onto DIS High School graduation and celebrations

Hope you are enjoying your Sunday

Here is the recipe:


1 3/4 cups plus 1 tbls buckwheat flour
2 1/4 cups water
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp vanilla 

Place the flour in a medium bowl. 
 Slowly whisk the water in to form a smooth batter.
Then whisk in the eggs, salt and vanilla.
Whisk vigorously for several minutes until batter
is smooth and thoroughly combined.

Heat a 10 inch non stick skillet, crepe pan or
cast iron pan over medium high heat.
Brush with coconut oil or clarified butter
Pour 1/3 cup of batter into center of hot pan, swirl around
so it coats the entire bottom and let cook until the edges
begin to curl away from the pan, about 1 minute
Flip crepe and cook other side until set, about 20 seconds
Slide crepes onto a platter, stacking them as you go
Serve hot with fresh fruit, butter and syrup
or anything else your heart desires.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Guest Blog about What goes on After the Cooking Class

When I moved to the island (almost 17 years ago now!) My dear 
Aunt Ethel, who had lived here over 50 years by then said,
"The best way to live here is to remember that you
'Get what you Give' "

I would like to add a second part to that,
'When you give, you get'

I have been giving Quick Bite cooking classes now
for 6 weeks and have a wonderful core group of eager
students who come each week.
After the second class they shared that they had been getting
together on Saturday nights to share each of their
own renditions of what they had learned in class on Tuesday.
How cool is that?!

I asked them to share in a guest blog some of their 
creations and what inspired them.
Shannon and Lynsey sent all these pictures,
wrote the blurbs and along with Pam
cooked up some awesome feasts.

Shannon, Pam and Lynsey

Kyra’s food groupies :

Each week we all look forward to Tuesday night. A night filled with sweet smells and a chilled glass of ...cava.. in our hands. 

Every Tuesday we have come to observe and get our hands messy with the different texture and flavors of the week that Kyra has miraculously pulled together. She dazzles us with new ingredients and techniques that we intuitively take home to practice the coming weekend.
 From butterflying chickens, to gluten free cuisine, to my most favorite yet; BBQ, we bring what we learn to our own kitchens. 

Every week our group of three has gotten together to try our hand at the "Kyra" way.  We each put a little spin on it, and then bring it to the table for the family to try.  I have to say that everything has been a hit.  Even the men in the family have played a role in making fresh spring rolls for dinner after we attended the spring roll class. 

Grilling Night

Mark and Shannon with Mark's famous Shrimp Dip

 This has been a big kick off to a great summer and we hope to see many more tid-bits from Kyra. Keep it up girl! You have been an inspiration to these three island Girls. 

Lynsey Hardy


Three Chickens after the Butterflying class:
Garlic and Lemon, Orange and White Onions
and Shallot, Apple, Fresh Sage and White Wine

Spring rolls class:
Chicken and Veggies

Sausage, Veggies and Spices

Sweet Potato, Walnuts, Yummy Spices
and a dollop of Daisy!

Monday, June 10, 2013

A Quick Recipe to Start the Week

For years I sold Italian Polenta on my retail shelves
only to have it trumped last night by Bob's Red Mill
Organic Polenta

And I know I have given you polenta recipes before,
but I have now perfected a cheesy polenta that rivals
the extraordinary one I always order at Sportello in Boston

I had it last night with caramelized red peppers and
an OAF chicken hot off the grill, lettuce from the garden....
life is good.
And you know me, I like to share!

with caramelized red peppers

5 cups cold water
1 T kosher salt
1 cup Bob's Red Mill Organic Polenta
3 T unsalted Pasture Butter
1 heavy cup of grated sharp cheese
(I used a Sardinian goat cheese called Moliterno
that I am in love with and get from Max at the Blue Hill Wine Shop)
3 organic red bell peppers - cored, seeded and cut into thin strips
1 T good balsamic vinegar
a bit of red pepper flakes (I used Aleppo)
2 T fresh basil leaves, julienned
Kosher salt to taste

For the polenta:

Place your water and salt into a heavy bottomed sauce pan
(I love my Creuset for this)
Bring to a boil and slowly whisk in your polenta 
Continue whisking until it comes back to a boil

Turn your heat down to a gentle simmer and let it cook
until thick and creamy - this takes about 30 minutes.
You don't have to stand there stirring it, but do stir
it rather often so it gets creamy and not stuck to the bottom of your pot

When it is just about done add your butter and cheese, stir until blended
and cook for another few minutes.
It should look a bit softer than you think it should be - but
by the time it hits your plate it will be perfect.

Meanwhile, make your peppers:
Heat a few T of grapeseed oil in a sauté pan over med-low heat
Add the peppers and season with kosher salt
Basically let them melt and brown in your pan over med-low heat
until they are very soft and caramelized
This will take about 30 minutes 
Towards the end of cooking, season them with some red pepper flakes
and the balsamic vinegar.
When they are done, turn off the heat, toss the fresh basil in and
adjust your salt if necessary.

Serve over the polenta and drizzle with olive oil

Happy Monday,

Friday, June 7, 2013

Living The Dream

I am so grateful for a new opportunity to nurture people with 
food and my cooking

The first Farmhouse Lunch was yesterday

Everything came straight from the heart (and the garden)

People seemed pleased

And I can't wait to do it again next week!

Definitely something with the fresh chickens just coming
from Old Ackley Farm... and maybe something chocolate for dessert?

Hope to see you sometime.

Enjoy your weekend,

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A Favorite Place to Stop

Most of us call it 'Max's'

The proper name is Blue Hill Wine Shop
and it is my favorite reason to go to Blue Hill, Maine

Where else can you be waiting in line to buy 
goat cheese from Sardinia and have someone ask if you'd like
a cup of coffee or later in the day you are often 
asked if you'd like to sample a new wine

Espresso machine flying, conversation flowing, 
music swinging, hearts growing

an intoxicating corner of pink deliciousness!

this - and so much more -  is Max's and I (along with many others)
am very grateful that it is here.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Daily Affirmation

Today I am going to Observe more and Think less

Enjoy yourselves!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

You're So Vain

I had to laugh at myself yesterday.

The black flies are bad this year, both at the house
and at Lily's and I was forced to pull out the old bug baffler.

Here's a selfie to give you an idea what I'm talking about.

Last year at this time I was gardening in the rain in my pajamas
with the phone repair man in the yard and that didn't seem to bother me.

Yesterday, in full bug baffler garb, anytime I heard a car going
by the house I ducked behind the hedge!

I guess anyone's vanity can be challenged

In between all of this vain behavior I managed to mulch
all my flower beds at home with straw.

I'm pretty psyched.  Weed suppression, water retention,
natural soil feeder, fun to work with and inexpensive 
-who cares if the yard looks like a stable-
Thank you Ruth Stout.

So, my spring chores are pretty much under control now
and vain or not, I'm having a wonderful time.

Radishes are ready in the garden

The summer's first Rosé has been shared on the rooftop deck

Farmhouse Lunches start this Thursday

Quick Bite cooking classes are the best!
 -this week is Gluten Free/Sugar Free baking, and next week is Grilling-

I'm planning a Pop Up Wine Bar for June 14th from 4pm-6pm
Come try some of the new wines I've found,
and share some of your stories with me!

I hope you have had a great weekend, and were
able to avoid being chewed to bits by bugs

Take care of yourselves,