all images, art, travel, photography and Maine


Dark Chocolate Aged Balsamic + Blood Orange EVOO? WOW!

My favorite product in Bar Harbor – Fiore Olive Oils and Vinegars. It’s a tasting room. It’s culinary inspiration. It’s art. It’s delicious! Every time I go in they have new products to taste. So I spent a short while thinking about how to use the Chocolate Aged Balsamic. And one of the wonderful staff members said that she’d been wanting to try it with the Blood Orange olive oil. And she was spot on, the combination was perfect! So I went home to make a dressing for a Baby Spinach Salad.

I started out wanting to use fresh cherries but my husband had just finished them! So I opted to soak some cranberries in a little of the Balsamic and the Vinegar for a couple hours. I toasted some walnuts, crumbled some goat cheese and tossed them into a bowl of baby spinach. I put the marinated cranberries in the salad, tossed on the oil and vinegar they’d been soaking in and added some coarsely ground fresh black pepper and a new salad was born!

Fiore just opened a store in Rockland that I understand has been doing very well, naturally. For many years I’ve been very particular about my olive oils, and I must admit, I’m completely hooked on Fiore’s and won’t buy any others!

While I was there, I purchased a nice gift box of a four pack variety for an upcoming closing gift – keeping it local!

What to do with leftover Maine lobster? make #foodporn!

Ok typically there isn’t such a thing as leftover lobster. But when you buy 6 of them for 2 people, there is leftover lobster. But it’s intentional. Grilled lobster for dinner, lobster rolls the next day for lunch and then lobster dip with crusty bread and wine in the late afternoon.This was about  8 oz of fresh lobster meat (ours was grilled), 3 oz of softened cream cheese, 1/2 cup of mayonnaise, 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan,1 very small garlic clove finely chopped and a dash of Tobasco. Mix well and bake until bubbly and browned on top about 15 minutes on 375. Serve with warmed bread.

THAT is what you do with leftover lobster!

Posted via email from Maine as Dana Moos sees it…

The Ultimate #Chocolate Fudge Brownie – dark, chewy, perfect…#foodporn

Melt 2 sticks of butter in a saucepan, add 2 1/4 cups sugar until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon espresso powder, 1 1/4 cup cocoa powder, mix well. Add 4 eggs, one at a time and whisk vigorously until batter is smooth and shiny. Add 1 tablespoon vanilla, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 1/2 cups flour and mix well (batter becomes very thick). Fold in 1 overflowing cup of chocolate chips and spread into greased 9×13 baking dish. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Let cool before cutting. Tip: score the top when warm to prevent the top crusty layer from cracking when you cut them once they're cool. This originated from King Arthur Flour online where I buy my dark cocoa. Bon Appetit!

Fresh Pineapple Salsa Recipe from The Foodmadam #foodporn #foodies

This salsa is a great topping for fresh fish, particularly grilled swordfish. It's simple and created with just 6 ingredients (plus salt and pepper)

Chop 1/2 fresh pineapple, reserve juice; chop: 1/4 red onion, 1 small seeded jalapeno, small handful of flat leaf parsley. Add the juice of 1/2 of a lime (I didn't have lime today so I used a lemon) and a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt and coarse cracked pepper and mix all ingredients. Refrigerate for a couple hours to let the flavors meld. Also great with tortilla chips 🙂

My favorite Cream Scone recipe

1 stick softened butter
1 egg
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups flour

Cream all but the last two ingredients until smooth. Add the baking powder and flour and mix until just incorporated. On floured surface, shape into large ball and flatten to about 1 1/4 inch. Cut disc into 6 wedges and place on parchment or silicone lined baking sheet. Mix 1 egg with 1 tablespoon of cream and brush the tops of the scones, then dust with coarse sugar. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes  until edges are just lightly browned.

I don't attempt to make preserves when Stonewall Kitchen makes the best (particularly their red raspberry). However, I did make a pineapple rhubarb jam one time that I concocted myself and didn't write it down and should have. Basically I cooked equal parts chopped rhubarb and pineapple with sugar and a little water, let it reduce and cook for 30 minutes or so, then pureed with a stick blender. Let it cool and it was delicious! The combination of the sweet pineapple with the tart rhubarb was just a great match. That was worth making again…

Quick tip: make ahead, bake later – cut the scone dough and freeze to bake off later. They freeze beautifully (before baking)!

Finishing my #Chocolate experiment for you #Foodies

Recipes from our Danforth Gourmet Brunch Tweetup

By request, we’ve decided to post our recipes from our recent social media brunch. Here are my contributions:

Papaya, Mango and Strawberries with Lemon and Basil (an inspiration from a trip to Manzanillo, Mexico)

Allow 1 Caribbean papaya and 3 mangoes to fully ripen; cut into small chunks, toss with the juice of 2 lemons and the zest of the lemon. Toss fruit with about a cup of the syrup. Cut a pint of strawberries and set aside in a separate container. Add the strawberries to the mixture only a couple hours  before serving (the strawberries tend to soften too much if left in syrup too long).

Basil Syrup:

2 Cups white sugar, 1 1/2 cups water, 3 tablespoons corn syrup – bring slowly to a boil over medium heat. Add a large bunch of finely chopped basil and reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

Steamed, Chilled Asparagus with Curry Aioli

Steam asparagus until tender crisp. Drop in ice bath to stop the cooking, dry and set aside. For the aioli, mix 1 cup mayonnaise with 1 tablespoon of Rose’s sweetened lime juice and 2 tablespoons yellow curry powder, a dash of salt and pepper and mix well. Refrigerate both several hours. The aioli is best when made a couple days before serving.

Grapefruit Brûlé with Vanilla Bean Creme

This fruit course was one we served at our inn. It’s really a simple combination of delicious flavors.

Remove a thin slice off each end of the grapefruit (preferably Ruby Red) and stand on end. Cut the rind off right down to the fruit, leaving no pith. Cut into thick slices and place on a heat/flame proof dish (if you skip the FLAMEPROOF dish, I’ll save that for another post; do as I say, not as I do!). Top with a good tablespoon of vanilla creme, light brown sugar and torch until dark brown and bubbly. The sugar will harden almost immediately. You know you have done it correctly if you tap on the sugar and it sounds like you’re tapping on thin glass.

Vanilla Bean Creme:

1 pint sour cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (available at several gourmet purveyors), 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 cup white sugar, dash of half and half to thin slightly.

Egg Roulade filled with Leeks and Parmesan topped with Lobster in Sherry Butter

This is a recipe that I just cannot bring myself to put out there for the world to see. It was supposed to be featured in Gourmet Magazine before the magazine sadly published its final fabulous issue. Of course had that taken place, I would have gotten used to it being out there…but now you’ll just have to DM or email me. Or just come to our brunch tweetups to enjoy the dish 🙂