Midcoast Me

food and flowers, books and boston, maine the most

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I’ve been cast!

Tragically, not in a play.

It’s lovely, I know

Nothing serious, do not worry and it should be gone in under 2 weeks. But until then my cooking is severely limited, mainly because my washing dishes is even more severely limited.

So, what have I done to pass the time while I cannot cook? Online window shop of course! With a little buying tossed in…whoops…

Rue La La is my [not so secret] addiction. It might be termed a “problem” by some. BUT in my defense, I was raised by a woman who hates to shop and if she did shop, it MUST be a deal. Therefore, Rue calls to me. And here are my favorite accessories from this past week!

I’m a little obsessed

This La Mer watch showed up in one of their “events”. I really had to hold back. It was $45 down from $190 which I think is a good deal…

Rachel wallet

Too bad I already own this in a different color. But Hobo makes such good wallets and purses I thought about buying it in a different color. For special occasions, you know? This was $59 marked down from  $89-$130, depending on where you shop…

My Love

The things I would do for this bag! Unfortunately, not pay whatever it was marked down to was not one of them. But it’s Hobo again and I love it.

Then to match the accessories I didn’t buy I thought I would check out J Crew factory to see what else I wanted that I didn’t buy…

Yes, yes, yes

If you’re an extra large, you luck out because that’s the only size this print comes in anymore! Oh J.Crew, get more!

I think I might buy this…

I’ve been thinking about this and I may just give in with the sale J.Crew is offering now…don’t buy them all before I make up my mind! [$59.50 before the 30% off…]

AH! I almost forgot…I got my daily torture email [Lilly Pulitzer] and I may buy this for myself too…

How I love thee

Dear Shoreline Tote, I’m obsessed. [$78, but it’s free shipping until Christmas!]

Now, in case you were worried I did buy myself something off of Rue before this stupid cast went on. I had a credit and decided to buy something logical. A winter coat! [One should have one when one lives in Maine…]

So warm!

And there is was, waiting for me when I got back from being casted…I was so excited. What a great coming home present! UNTIL I discovered I cant really fit the cast into the sleeve. The horror. It was on Rue for $100, but I got it for $30 with my credit. If you love it here’s the link for it on Merrell’s website. I’m sure you can find it somewhere else for less!

And now, don’t worry about me. I’m sure I’ll be frustrated soon enough and cook regardless of cleaning dishes/hand functionality and have something yummy to show you!


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Recipe clipping and Risotto

It must be 1950…

Sans the risotto, I don’t picture too many 1950’s housewives cooking up risotto, but maybe I’m wrong.

I decided to finally clip some recipes out of my old Bon Appetite’s, Rachael Ray’s, Coastal Living’s, and Food Network magazines. I always read the magazine, say “hey, that looks great! I’ll make that soon.” and never do… So, I’m making a scrapbook to leave in my kitchen of all the “I should make that…” magazine recipes.

Organizing the clippings

Cookbook scrapbook

One of Rachael Ray’s recipes was for a Tomato-Saffron Risotto which I like the sound of- except the saffron. It may $60 a pinch, but I hate it…however, she used spinach and three types of tomatoes. Yum yum yum. Then I came across this recipe for Roasted Garlic and Tomato risotto. I roasted garlic and tomato the other day to make some soup and that delicious smell just filled up my little cottage so I thought I’d do it again..and THEN I remembered a really delicious version of summer lemon risotto I made in August and I thought, why not combine all three?!

So, off to the grocery store I went repeating in my head: “lemon, chicken broth, milk, and Parmesan cheese, milk, broth, cheese, and lemon” and so on and so on sporadically forgetting and remembering one ingredient after the other on the way.  Good thing it’s only a two minute drive to the store….

One longest ’14 items or less’ line later….

I merged the three recipes.

My mom stopped by too with some cookies, cider, and froyo [gosh, I love her] and even though she had “just eaten” and was “so full”, she managed to force some down. The woman loves risotto.

Roasted Tomato and Garlic Risotto with Spinach and Lemon

Serves 2

4 small garlic cloves peeled

1 medium tomato [I bought average round red grocery store tomatoes]

EVOO, salt, and pepper

1 medium red onion, chopped

1 cup arborio rice

1/2 cup Marsala [or more, whatever]

2 cups spinach [or more, again, whatever]

3-4 cups warm chicken stock[or vegetable, but I usually use chicken or homemade turkey stock]

the juice from a 1/4 of a lemon

1/4 tsp thyme

some Havarti dill cheese [3 slices?]

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese


First off I decided since I was roasting one tomato and 4 small cloves of garlic I would do it in my toaster oven. I was lazy… Quarter the tomatoes, drizzle with EVOO and top with salt and pepper. Make a little pocket of foil for the garlic cloves and add a little EVOO. Toast/roast for ~30 minutes in your toaster oven or regular oven at 400.

Roasted tomatoes and garlic

Wait a little while (~10 minutes) and then start the risotto.

Heat EVOO in a larger skillet and add chopped red onions. Cook still softened ~5 minutes.

Add the arborio rice and cook for a minute or two, until the little white dot appears in the center. Heat 4 cups of stock.

Add 1/2 cup Marsala and and cook off.

Add chicken stock 1/2 cup at a time. Only add next amount when the previous is absorbed.

Once 1 1/2 cups have been added take the roasted tomatoes and garlic and stir in, mashing a little.

Stir in another 1/2 cup of stock.

Tear/chop spinach and stir in. Take a quarter of a lemon and squeeze into the risotto. Stir in Havarti cheese with dill as well. Sprinkle in thyme and a few cracks of pepper.

Risotto looking good…

Add last 1-2 cups of broth as needed. ( I only used 3.5 cups total)

Take off heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese.

SERVE! I drank it with some sparkling apple cider…

Voila! Delicious!











And then I ate cookies and streamed election results on my computer. I understand politics so much better when the boy is around, too bad it’s hunting camp week aka dinner for 1 week…

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Withering Heights…

  Wuthering Heights 2011







Wuthering Heights 2009 










Wuthering Heights…I know.

Our local movie theater is playing the 2011 remake of Wuthering Heights, so the fam and I decided to go see it. However, my sister came down with a sore throat and my dad decided to stay home with her. Moral of the story, mumsy and I had a girls night out.

Worst. Decision. Ever.

Halfway [quarter way?]  through the movie I started wishing my sister had come so we could have left [not quite suitable for a 14 year old- f*** and c*** aren’t words I like her to hear…]

Now, I went to Emerson. I can appreciate artsy films. What I can’t appreciate is trying to replace words and context with shots of dirt and dead animals. This post may also have more words than spoken in the whole movie…The characters weren’t likable -well Nelly was but she didn’t have much of a part…My major issue is the love story in this version was creepy because of the portrayed age of Catherine and Heathcliff for the first half of the movie [so young]. I didn’t think either of them were likable and truly didn’t care about the outcome of their lives. Also, in my humble opinion very little of the original story line was kept…I don’t know if I blame the actors, the writers [?], or the director for my misgivings of the film. A combination of all three to try a modern interpretation? Interpret away, but keep a story in tact, any story.

I may sound harsh, but I love period pieces, a good unrequited love story, and I was really looking forward to Wuthering Heights! If you want development, story lines, characters you can connect with, and words [in general] then stick with the Masterpiece Classic version with Tom Hardy[I love you!], Charlotte Riley[could you be prettier?], and Andrew Lincoln[now I need to watch Love Actually…]. For what I viewed, as angsty, arty, creepy, and generally unlikable watch this version…there are some real good shots of the moors…

I, of course, will be watching the original 1939 version with Laurence Olivier ASAP so I can compare all three… [probably just to myself].

At least our small town theater is beautiful! Visit the Rockland Strand.

Anyone in the mood for some caroling?


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My food-spiration?

My parents!

I went over for Sunday night dinner, which sounds like an event, but isn’t. I grew up having sit down, home-made, dinners almost every night from birth until college. An act I didn’t truly appreciate until coming home on vacations…

My mother is the queen of recipe adaptations which is probably where I got that talent from. One of her specialties is steak and some delicious sauce to go with it. Some days it’s red wine based, some days cheese based, some days white wine, and so on and so forth. Tonight’s dish was a definite success.


Mom’s cooking, save room!

Clockwise from the steak…

Beef tenderloin


Gorgonzola sauce

Garlic broccoli

Garlic mashed potatoes

 Sauteed onions

How I love eating at the fam’s, let me count the ways. I do have to be honest though, I was helping my sister with math homework so I have no idea exactly as to what went into the Gorgonzola sauce. What I do know is: the steak was cooked in the pan first, then there is gorg cheese, milk [or half and half], and dry sherry. I haven’t tried this version of the dish. [The original version is found in one of the Williams-Sonoma cookbooks, either “Sauces” or “Steak”]

The steak was seasoned with salt and pepper, cooked to medium [mine] or medium rare [everyone else] and then kept warm in the oven.

The broccoli is sauteed with a TON of garlic and some evoo.

The mashed potatoes have milk, butter, and garlic.

The onions were sauteed with evoo and Marsala


And then we have Dad. He spent years sailing around the world [some of which with my mom] and truly misses authentic Greek and Indian food. A new dish he got from a friend this summer is a flavorful Indian interpretation that can be made to taste pretty much anyway you want [chutneys, spices, etc] -Yogurt-garlic chicken. I’m less brave when trying to cook these dishes. Truthfully, the amount of spices and other ingredients you have to buy adds up [$$$]! And why try it yourself when your parents have perfected it? [Just kidding, I’ll try it someday. There’s a Coconut Curry chicken dish that will most certainly be making an appearance in a post this winter].

Dad’s Indian night!

Clockwise from the chicken

Yogurt-garlic chicken with other spices, topped with mango chutney

Cucumber-Yogurt salad

Rice with curry powder


…I mean poppadoms, one plain, one garlic and herb (find them at a local Indian market or a Shaws or other chain grocery store)

Unfortunately, all I can tell you is the chicken was grilled on the outdoor grill, the cucumbers were thinly sliced and mixed with yogurt [but what there more?!], the rice had some curry powder mixed in, and the poppadoms were cooked in hot oil.

I top my chicken with sweet mango chutney and rogan josh paste which has a bit of a kick [I mix that in with the rice as well].

If anyone is really interested in either of these recipes, get it touch and I’ll ask the parentals ASAP 🙂

After our delicious steak dinner we watched some old home videos. [NO, they will never be shown, don’t ask.] I went on my way [I don’t know about you but time changes have always made me exhausted] and was sent with a bag of a healthy[ish] adaptions of my Mimi’s peanut butter chocolate cookies. I didn’t bother asking for the recipe, but after eating one on the way home I will certainly be getting it soon!

Peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, heavenly!

P.S. Don’t you love my nautical theme going on? My kitchen is nauticaled-out. Post with pictures soon.

Enjoy your “extra hour of sleep” feeling for Monday!

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Joseph Fiennes and butter

Unfortunately, not together…

While my Saturday evening is not particularly exciting I got to cook, watch some movies I had never seen before, and learn a thing or two…

Starting off this afternoon I watched The Romantics [SPOILER ALERT] where was the ending?! I thought maybe Netflix cut it off, but I was assured by a friend that was not the case. So, then I moved on to Shakespeare in Love where I learned Ralph Fiennes has a younger brother! Who knew?! Probably lots of you but I enjoyed it. 

Ugh, so romantic

Right around 7pm during the middle of the movie I got hungry, so I put it on pause and decided to make dinner. What I really wanted were the homemade tortellini and ravs I have in the freezer that I made a huge batch a few months ago. However, I like to show off my cooking so unless I’m eating them with someone, they’re staying in the freezer. Luckily, I had some backups. Ohh Trader Joe’s how I miss you…[closest Trader Joe’s is an hour and a half away!]

mmmm purse tortellini

As always I have an endless supply of EVOO, onions, garlic, mushrooms, and spinach and they all go together quite nicely, so I decided to make something that involved all of them.

Saute all that EVOO, garlic, red onion, mushrooms, butter, and spinach together

Once the tortellini’s are cooked, throw them in too

ALWAYS ADD CHEESE…is kind of my life motto…

and then serve! top it off with more cheese and some ground pepper

So what did I actually learn tonight other than that Joseph Fiennes exists? Romeo and Juliet stories always make me cry and EVERYTHING tastes better [especially mushrooms and spinach] when cooked in butter…not anything exactly life changing, but it’s Saturday, who cares.

Here’s something along the lines of the recipe I made up. It came out for about 1.5 people so I’m doubling it and calling it good for two.

Tortellini with Mushrooms and Spinach

2 tbsp evoo [extra virgin olive oil, thanks Rachael Ray]

4 small pressed [squeezed?] garlic cloves

1 small red onion, chopped [doesn’t matter too much, my parents are part of a CSA and they just donated a TON of red onions to my kitchen]

8 large baby bella mushrooms chopped [again, use whatever mushrooms you like]

2 tbsp butter [because it’s yummy]

1/3 bag of spinach [I ripped it with my hands or left it whole]

3 tbsp sprinkle Parmesan cheese

ground pepper to taste [I used ~5 turns of my pepper mill]

1 package tortellini [mine happened to be prosciutto stuffed perline pasta purses from Trader Joe’s]


heat the evoo and add the garlic and red onion in a medium sized pan. cook for ~5 minutes.

start a pot of water boiling for the tortellini.

add the chopped baby bella mushrooms and butter to the pan with the garlic and onions. cook for 3-5 minutes. add in the spinach and cook until the spinach wilts/the moisture from washing the spinach cooks out. add Parmesan cheese and pepper.

add the tortellini once the water is boiling and cook for recommended amount [mine from Trader Joe’s took about 3 minutes, mine homemade take about the same amount, probably less]

add cooked tortellini to the spinach/mushroom mixture. Side note: whenever I am adding pasta to a sauce on the stove I cook it to al dente and finish it off in the pan. Stir it all in together and add some more cheese for good measure [the spinach mixture should be a little sauce-y from the butter, evoo, and water from washing the spinach]

and serve!

overall it took less than 30 minutes and was DELICIOUS. I don’t know the calorie count because truthfully today I don’t care but if you are aiming for healthier cut out the butter and use a tad more evoo and use whole wheat penne instead of prosciutto stuffed tortellini


I’m off to eat a cookie…

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Fall in Maine

Probably the best time of the year…or at least the prettiest if you love foliage. I explained to my friend what a “leaf-peeper” was the other and she found it hilarious. I don’t because one of the reasons I live in Maine is because I hate traffic and nothing is more infuriating than someone with NY, PA, MA, GA, etc plates driving 25 mph because the leaves are pretty. But then again, I am spoiled because all I have to do is look out my window or drive to the grocery store and it’s quite the view.

That being said when my grandmother came to visit, my dad and I had to take her up Beech Hill for the view, foliage, and some exercise…

I made a friend…

If getting attacked by ladybugs was scary, this would have been a really intense walk but this was the only guy that stayed long enough for me to get a picture.

The Beech Nut

This looks king of blurry now, but it’s the best one I got. The house was open so we got to go inside and see all the work they’ve done… A link about the Beech Nut: http://www.coastalmountains.org/conserved_lands/preserves/beech_hill.html

A little view of Penobscot bay

Not the worst view…

Powering down the hill

They’re pretty hard to keep up with but a successful walk nonetheless!