Thursday, April 30, 2009

a few days in the Berwicks

I spent a few days last week in the Berwicks (in Southern Maine) with a good friend. It was a welcome vacation from the work involved in completing my final college semester. We spent our time doing some outlet shopping in Kittery, walking along the Marginal Way in Ogunquit, picking up some salt water taffy at Perkins Cove Candies, and of course -- enjoying delicious food!

The first night I was there, she took me to a place called Tapas & Tini's, which was quite fitting since I'm completely in a Spanish food deficit. While the tortilla (Spanish potato omelette) was not quite what I'm used to, I must remember what a friend told me last year. ("It doesn't matter how you make it, because everyone makes it differently. There's at least one person out there who has made it the same way.") The empanadas were quite delicious, filled with tender chicken and potatoes, and wrapped in a flaky and brightly colored (sweet potato?) dough. We also enjoyed the tomates adobados, or marinated tomatoes, which were served on zesty slices of toast. Of course, I felt compelled to order a martini, so I chose the Hendrick's Cucumbertini (pictured here), which reminded me sharply that I have not had gin in quite some time. Overall, it was a meal to be repeated!

The next night, she took me to Tío Juan's Margaritas Mexican Restaurant, where I was finally able to sample the infamous Heavens to Margatroid margarita, which is made with 7 liquors and promises to be "an out of world experience". Whether you choose to have it frozen or on-the-rocks, it's delicious! And if you're looking for a light dinner (or one that's light on the wallet), consider splitting the steak and chicken combo fajitas. It's the perfect amount of food for two, and it's delicious!

While I was in the Berwicks, I also visited Dairy Queen for the first time EVER, and my friend introduced me to a delicious chips & dip combo. It's somewhat of a local product combo, as both the artichoke dip (not your typical artichoke dip!) and the tortilla strips are made in Concord, NH. They're made by Mitchell's, and the artichoke dip is to-die-for! It's not as heavy as traditional spinach & artichoke dip but is just as addicting. The tortilla strips are perfectly seasoned, slightly nutty, and a welcome break from mass-produced supermarket tortilla chip. Mitchell's claim to fame is their Fresh Salsa, but they offer 10 fresh sauces/dips/salsas in total, along with their tortilla strips. Of course, I had to take some strips and dip back to VT with me. =)

On the way out of town, I stopped off at Duston's Bakery and Deli in Dover, NH to pick up a few treats for my friends. They make the best whoopie pies around, and actually make pumpkin whoopie pies! They're AMAZING.

All in all, it was a fantastic trip!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

sweet & spicy broiled salmon :: salmón dulce y picante

Whenever I think of salmon, I think of the way my mom makes it. When salmon's on sale, she buys a fillet or two, presses a delicious dry rub into the top and broils it until the salmon is flaky and tender.

She usually puts maple sugar into the rub, but at school, I don't have any, so I use brown sugar in place of it. I mix a dry rub of dark brown sugar, paprika, chili powder, salt and pepper, and press it into a few fresh salmon steaks. Just about 10 minutes under the broiler and you've got a tasty main dish. I usually serve it with rice and roasted or sauteed vegetables.


Cuando pienso en salmón, siempre pienso en la manera que mi madre lo hace. Cuando está rebajado, compra un filete o dos, pone una mezcla de especias encima y lo gratina hasta que esté cocido muy bien y tierno.

Normalmente pone azúcar de arce en la mezcla de especias, pero como no lo tengo en mi residencia (que est
á situada en la universidad), puso azúcar moreno. Mezclo el azúcar moreno, paprika (pimentón), chile en polvo, sal y pimienta, y puse la mezcla encima de tres o cuatro filetes. Solamente unos diez minutos debajo del gratinador y ya está. Normalmente lo sirvo con arroz sazonado y verduras (asadas o salteadas).

Sunday, April 19, 2009

GSC-Style Samoas Bars

Earlier today, I was looking through the hundreds of recent posts on my Google Reader (I subscribe to some 60 different blogs -- almost all are food-related) and this one thing caught my eye: a post about Samoas bars from the kitchn. Their inspiration comes from The Crepes of Wrath, who adapted the recipe from Baking Bites. The recipe is ingenious! It's based on the Girl Scout Cookies called Samoas (although I always knew them as Caramel deLites) and it brings all the major players to the table: the cookie base, slightly salty caramel, crunchy coconut, and chocolate. I whipped up a batch and was completely satisfied with the result. It was so much easier than the alternative Samoas procedure -- cutting out rings of cookie dough would have taken me much longer. All in all, it was a big hit among the roommates, and I'll probably make them again. In fact, as soon as my guy sees this, he'll probably make me sign a contract to that effect. =)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Spanish Sweets :: Dulces españoles

These are two of my favorite Spanish sweets... First, turrón is a nougat candy. It can be either soft (blando) or hard (duro), and can be made with different nuts or have added flavors (or may even be dipped in chocolate!). The one in this picture is hard and is made with almonds (and happens to be my favorite kind!). The second is polvorones -- crumbly cookies that can be sweet or not-sweet, and are delicious with a cup of coffee. They're both traditional eats for the holidays, but I'd eat them any day... =)


Estos son dos tipos de mis dulces españoles favoritos. Primero, el
turrón. El turrón puede ser de tipo blando o duro, puede ser hecho de muchos tipos de frutos secos y puede incluir otros sabores o chocolate. El turrón en esta foto es de tipo duro y tiene almendras (y da la casualidad que es mi tipo favorito). Segundo, los polvorones. Son galletas migajosas que puede ser dulces o salados y llevan muy bien con un café con leche. Los dos tipos son dulces tradicionales para navidad, pero me encantaría comerlos en cualquier día. =)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Brunch

My family and I had Easter Brunch together yesterday. Here's what was on the menu (my mom's ideas!):

  • panzanella-stuffed cherry tomatoes
  • three grain rye bread squares with salmon and dill cream cheese
  • breakfast casserole adapted from this Eating Well recipe
  • sage breakfast sausages
  • roasted asparagus with herbed yogurt sauce
  • minted orzo with feta
  • hot cross buns from Red Hen
  • blueberry cake
  • fresh cantaloupe and oranges

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

No-Knead Sweet Rolls

Have you ever had a craving for sweet dinner rolls, but don't have hours to work with a labor-intensive dough? I found a recipe for Blue Ribbon Overnight Rolls, and they've become a favorite among my roommates. I've made a few changes to the recipe, so here it is!

No-Knead Sweet Rolls


2 1/4 teaspoons of active dry yeast (or one packet)
1 cup warm whole milk
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups all-purpose flour
  1. Mix together yeast, warm milk and sugars. Set aside for 30 minutes.
  2. Add eggs, melted butter, and salt.
  3. Mix in the flour, one cup at a time, until dough is well combined.
  4. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or a damp towel for at least 3 hours. (You can even let it stand overnight.)
  5. Divide the dough into 16-24 even pieces. (You can either divide the dough in half and follow the steps illustrated below, or divide the dough into 16-24 pieces and roll each into a ball.)
  6. Bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown.

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