Those of you who know me know that I’ve spent most of my life rather hopeless in the kitchen.

However, in recent years – and especially over the past months – I’ve become more adept in the ways of cooking. Still, while I’ve managed to turn myself into a competent, albeit largely unexciting cook, the vagaries of baking remain beyond my grasp.

Anyone who knows anything will tell you that baking is as much art as science, a delicate dance where the slightest change in quantity and/or quality of an ingredient can completely alter the outcome. Not to mention all the specificity with regard to times and temperatures and a dozen other variables.

Even so, with the help of people in my life who are truly gifted in that arena, I have found myself slowly but surely learning the ways of the baker. Now, I’m by no means good or even competent when it comes to baking, but I’m making progress.

And I’ve had VERY good teachers.

As a way to celebrate the summertime, I thought it might be nice to share some of the recipes that we’ve enjoyed in the past. While I’ll confess to having tried and failed to make most of these delectable treats, I can tell you that I have definitely succeeded in eating said treats when they were made by someone more capable than myself – and they are delicious.

These are all fruit-driven recipes (well, except for our inclusion of a Maine stalwart – we couldn’t run this story and NOT have whoopie pies in the mix). The majority feature fruits that are in season, but you should know that in almost all cases, frozen will serve you just as well. And while there’s a pie crust recipe included here, you’ll be just fine using your own or even store-bought – it’ll be tasty no matter what you decide.

So here you are, a collection of pies, cakes, scones and breads, along with whoopie pies and, as an aperitif, a little homemade blackberry liqueur that will pin a boozy button on your big baking adventure.

Published in Cover Story
Monday, 02 July 2018 15:37

Fair fare – fun with food festivals

There’s a lot going on in the summertime here in Maine.

There’s all of the outdoors stuff, of course. There are mountains to be climbed and trails to be hiked. There are oceans and lakes and rivers begging to be swum in or kayaked or sailed upon. There’s even the nigh-ubiquitous ritual of heading “upta camp,” where you can do some, most or even all of these things depending on where you go.

Or if you’re leaning towards the arts, there are a multitude of options for you to take in, whether you’re looking for concerts or live theatre or film festivals. There’s a whole lot on that side of things as well.

But you might not be as familiar with just how many food-based festivals are happening all around the state of Maine over the course of the summer. These events – some taking place in just a single day, others clocking in at a week or longer – are devoted to celebrating various foodstuffs that are inherent and integral parts of life here in Vacationland.

We’re not in time for all of this summer’s festivals – for instance, the always-exceptional Maine Whoopie Pie Festival took place back on June 23 – but there are still all manner of tasty trips there for the taking, with a variety of festivals playing out over the next few weeks.

Here’s a look at just some of what’s to come.

Published in Cover Story
Wednesday, 05 July 2017 09:31

Maine’s fine festival dining

Summer in Maine means some delicious celebrations

Published in Cover Story

Penobscot Theatre Company presents fun, heartfelt one-woman show

Published in Happenings

If you’ve spent any time watching English celebrity chef Robert Irvine’s programs on Food Network or his daily talk show on The CW – “The Robert Irvine Show” - you’ve probably gathered that his focus is on fitness. 

Published in Livin'
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 13:58

‘Eight Flavors’ a tasty treat

Book explores American cuisine’s foundational flavors

Published in Style

ORONO The University of Maine Cooperative Extension offers advice for gardeners who seek to contribute to their community by donating extra produce.

Published in Livin'

NEW YORK The kitchen hums with activity. Rachana Rimal is at one table, making momos, the traditional dumplings from her native Nepal. Next to her, Iraqi immigrant Dhuha Jasif mixes some pureed eggplant for baba ghanouj. Containers of adas, a lentil stew from the East African nation of Eritrea, sit on a counter.

Published in Style
Wednesday, 30 March 2016 11:52

Calorie labels on menus delayed again

WASHINGTON Wondering how many calories are in that restaurant hamburger? You may not be able to find out until 2017.

Published in Livin'

On the eve of the Oct. 22 season 12 premiere of the Food Network's highly rated 'Restaurant Impossible,' fearless chef and restaurateur Robert Irvine took some time to talk about the show and his new book 'Fit Fuel: A Chef's Guide to Eating Well, Getting Fit and Living Your Best Life.'

A virtual poster boy for becoming (and staying) fit in a sedentary world of culinary temptations, Irvine has a two word philosophy for healthy living: 'No excuses.'

Published in Buzz
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