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Traveling Around Maine

This past weekend we decided to take a long day trip and see some of the sights I remembered as a kid vacationing to Maine. With a cooler packed with sandwiches, water and pretzels, we set off.

First stop was to visit Tenant’s Harbor. A lovely little town where my parents lived for 12 years back in the 1970’s.

Tenant's Harbor Maine

We even found the house they owned and stopped to snap a photo.

My parent's home in Tenant's Harbor

If you continue to drive past Tenant’s Harbor to the end of the peninsula in Port Cylde, there is the historic and rather famous Marshall Point Lighthouse where Tom Hanks concluded his cross- Read More…

Ham and Cheese Scones

Lately I have been reading and rereading one of my favorite cozy Ham and Cheese Sconemystery series, Tea Shop Mysteries, by Laura Childs. She is one of my favorite writers and I adore her Tea Shop books that bring me back to my visits to Charleston, South Carolina. Set in the old part of town, the main character owns the “Indigo Tea Shop” and always seems to stumble upon dead bodies. With the help of her tea shop employees and good friends, no murderer gets away! Her tea menus always have me drooling over not only the amazing teas she serves but the food and desserts served to her patrons. The latest book I read was her Tea Shop Mystery #12 Scones & Bones that had me thinking of delicious scones the whole time.

Contrary to popular belief, scones do NOT have to be dry, crumbly bricks that have no taste! Scones can be light, fluffy pillows of perfection with sweet or savory ingredients. They are perfect with a cup of tea, as a breakfast, lunch, snack, or dessert treat and very easy to make.

Since this book had me drooling over scones, I decided to make a batch this weekend. My pantry was in short supply and I didn’t want
a traditional sweet scone, so into the fridge I went. We had a leftover package of sliced deli ham as well as half a bag of shredded cheddar cheese. PERFECT!

Read More…

Cooking Dandelion Greens

I was so excited when I saw dandelion greens in the local MarketFresh Dandelion Greens Basket this weekend! These are a terrific leafy green that you should be eating as they are rich in minerals, super high in vitamins, have potassium and manganese and lots of other good-for-you nutrients. Bonus? If you have a “clean yard” meaning you don’t use any chemicals, you probably have an abundance of these greens in your own back acre!

As we are renting a place for the next few months, I don’t have access to those “pesky dandelions” so I was happy to see they are available at my local supermarket. One thing to know about dandelion greens is that they are bitter. The younger greens tend to be less bitter but then you are gathering little greens all over your yard. Most often the ones you Read More…

Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs – Every Time!

Hard boiled eggs are one of those simple yet frustrating foods to Perfectly Cooked Hard Boiled Eggsmake. Boil them too long and the yolk becomes chalky and dry and has an unappetizing green or brownish color. This is especially bothersome when you are boiling lovely farm fresh eggs with that bright yellow/almost orange yolk that you want to preserve for your dishes like deviled eggs, egg salad, or just to eat as a snack. Boil them for not enough time and the yolk might not be firm enough. Good for some things like a cob salad, but not everyone wants a runny middle.

A well boiled egg will also be more likely to peel easily, while under or over boiled eggs tend to stick to the shells causing you to be Read More…

Sunday Frittata for the Week

I am someone that almost always skips breakfast during the busy Sunday Frittata weekdays. I’m either rushing to get to work or too distracted to think of something more than a quick muffin or bagel. Lots of carbs and all the rushing around usually leaves me hungry by 10am. Too early to eat my lunch, so I wind up snacking. I’ve been trying to do better and my idea is to start making an easy, healthy, protein packed breakfast that I can eat and be satisfied with until lunch.

Eggs are my go-to protein breakfast that can hold me over but I never have enough time in the mornings. I have made the cute little breakfast egg cups in the past (check out my good recipe here: Ham and Egg Muffin Cups) but they honestly take too much of my weekend time. I needed something that was a “quick, throw it all together” kind of prepped item that would last me the whole week.

Bonus……….my brilliant ah-ha moment idea also is a great way to clear out the left over side dishes from the weekend that are lying around in the fridge.

Enter………the Sunday Frittata!

A frittata is an easy baked egg dish that requires no crust and is a Read More…

The Best Maple Muffins

It’s Maple Season in New England! We use maple syrup in a lot of The Best Maple Muffinsour baking and cooking, not to mention on top of breakfast items, and love it when we run out right when the fresh stuff is coming from all those sugaring houses in the area. We were able to pick up a FRESH quart the other day and I have been in the baking mood ever since. We have usually done our own sugaring, but this year just didn’t have the time. Want to do your own sugaring at home? Check out my past blog post on sugaring where you will find a great book on the subject.

I have been craving muffins for some reason lately and thought that a classic maple and walnut muffin would be a perfect way to start off our Sunday morning!

This is a super simple recipe that uses real maple syrup in both the muffin batter and in the topping. These muffins are fluffy, moist, Read More…

Chewy Peanut Butter Banana Bars

We have been trying to eat healthier but we have had some intenseBanana Peanut Butter Bars cravings for something sweet lately so that is where this concoction came from. I always have some frozen ripe bananas in the freezer so recipes like this are a quick and easy fix when we need something on a weeknight to satisfy us. Nothing goes together like peanut butter and bananas, except maybe a little chocolate! These are terrific bars that go together super fast and make you feel like you are indulging but are actually getting some power from protein.

Toss all the ingredients together and bake for 25 minutes and you Read More…

Baked Brie and Cranberry Puff Pastry

Who doesn’t love gooey, hot cheese? Especially with flaky breadBaked Brie and Cranberry Puff Pastry filled with sweet cranberry sauce to dip in it! These baked brie’s always look so fancy but are actually really easy to make. They are perfect to bring to potlucks, parties, for holidays, and of course to have on a night in with family.

With only three ingredients (well okay, four if you count the melted butter), you can put together one of these in a snap but make it look good enough that people will think you’ve been in the kitchen for hours! Love those recipes as it is so much nicer to bring this amazing dish to share even though it takes just about the same time Read More…

Peanut Butter Energy Balls

These are super quick and easy to make and are a big hit with kids! Peanut Butter Energy BallsThis is a “one-bowl recipe” which makes it simple, just throw everything in, mix, roll and done. Peanut butter is a great source of protein and with the added nuts and fun crunchy coating, these are perfect on the go. We like to make these for healthy snacking during the week but also take them with us when we hike, hunt, camp, or on long trips.

I love the combo that I have here as the cocoa powder helps tone down the peanut butter so it doesn’t over power the nuts and oats. The maple syrup gives them just enough sweetness that it really
feels like you are eating a candy ball but yet there is enough texture and packed protein and grains that leaves you feeling satisfied after only one or two of these which is helpful when you are trying to be good. You can make these energy balls and store them for up to a week in the refrigerator in a container. The other nice thing about this simple recipe is that you can change it up a bit depending upon your own tastes. I’ve used chunky peanut butter for extra crunch, Read More…

Better Than Pillsbury Dinner Rolls

I love making anything with yeast like bread, rolls, biscuits and Homemade Dinner Rollsmore. Why? Because of one of my favorite comfort smells! Baking bread with yeast fills the whole house with that warm fermented rich scent and brings back so many childhood kitchen memories. My grandma baked a lot of breads and my mom did too. One of my earliest kitchen tasks as a youngster was helping to knead the dough. A task I enjoyed and still do today. There is something about working with your hands and getting a ball of ingredients that barely held together to its elastic shiny state of that perfect, stretchy ball. I was impatient though, as the worst
part about baking yeast bread was having to wait while letting it rise, at least once, and sometimes twice. That is killer for a kid that just wants to dig in!

Good yeast bread or rolls do take some time. I’ve made some of the “quick” 30-minute rolls and while good, sometimes the best things are worth a little wait. These rolls take about an hour from start to finish so that isn’t too bad, even on a weeknight. They are one of my favorite recipes as the honey gives them a subtle sweetness and yet they are super soft and fluffy!

My husband always says “these are better than Pillsbury” so that’s Read More…

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