Apple Chutney

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Canned Apple Chutney

Well it’s hard to believe that 2013 is rapidly coming to a close. With my new position as a State Legislator in Maine, 2013 has been a whirlwind. Sadly with all the time I have been spending in Augusta I haven’t had as much time to cook or to blog. Luckily the holiday season has given me some free time and I’ve decided to catch up on blogging.

Below is one of my favorite apple recipes. Every fall I turn into an apple fiend. As soon as the first Cortlands are ripe I dash off to Willow Pond Farm to pick at least one hundred pounds of apples to can, cook, eat, and store. This apple chutney recipe is a great use of several varieties of apples. Also we had a bumper crop of peppers this year from Dad’s garden (we picked our last ones at the end of October) so this recipe was a great combination of all of our fall crops. This chutney is the perfect condiment to have in your fridge for the holiday season. It goes great with roast pork, sharp cheese, and my family even puts it on toast. My favorite way to use it is to have it with a grilled cheese sandwich. This chutney is not too sweet and packs a pleasant punch. Enjoy!

Apple Chutney

(Makes 8 pints with a little left over for storing in the fridge or eating right away!)

Ingredients:

  • 2 organic lemons
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated ginger root
  • 4 T chopped crystalized ginger
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely diced or grated
  • 8 cups apples, on the greenish side ( I used a combination of Macs, Cortlands and Northern Spies)
  • 3 diced green tomatoes
  • 4 organic chopped red peppers
  • 2 1/2 cups raisins
  • 1 small jalapeno
  • 1 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1  cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Pinch of cayenne powder

Wash and chop all fruit and vegetables. Combine all ingredients in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Simmer the chutney, stirring frequently, for two hours or longer. Keep tasting the chutney to determine when the sauce is done. At this point you can store the chutney in your fridge for up to two months. The longer the chutney sits the better the flavor gets. If canning the chutney pack the pint jars while the chutney is piping hot. Leave a 1/2 inch headspace and process for 15 minutes.

I hope that all of you had a tasty and relaxing Thanksgiving! 

What I’ve been up to in the Maine Legislature and my first bill!

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Screen Shot 2013-03-13 at 1.03.25 AM

Hi Everyone!

Sorry I’ve been sadly absent from Growing Up Julia recently. Things have been a little crazy. What have I been up to? Well I entered the race to be our local State Representative and I won! Things have been full tilt boogie since the day after the election. I am the youngest woman in the Maine Legislature and was recently elected to be the co-chair of our youth caucus. I was also thrilled to be appointed to the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs. So everything has been a crazy blur but a ton of fun.

I wanted to let you all know about the first bill I will be introducing, which is about food and agriculture!

LD 668 “An Act to Make Agriculture Studies a Part of the Maine Curriculum” would ensure that all Maine students learn about Maine’s proud farming heritage and develop an understanding of where their food comes from and how it gets to their plates. My goal with this bill is to strengthen our students connections with the natural world and the world of farming. I’m going to be adding some language about teaching kids where their food comes from and in turn teaching them healthy eating habits to combat childhood obesity.

The bill summary is this: This bill requires agriculture studies to be taught in elementary and secondary schools in the State for essential instruction and graduation requirements. The bill requires that agriculture studies address the importance of agriculture in the State’s history and development, the connections between the farm and daily life and the economics of agriculture and its importance to the State’s economy. 

You can read the full bill here: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/getPDF.asp?paper=HP0460&item=1&snum=126

So why is it crucial to have Agriculture Studies in today’s world? In this day and age our nation is increasingly losing our connection to agriculture. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, only 1% of our population are farmers. Why is that important? It means that our children are growing up in a world further and further removed from the realities of the farm. This movement away from the land is not just limited to the United States. In the UK one in three children do not know where milk, eggs and bacon come from and three in ten adults born in the 1990s have never visited a farm. In the US so few children can tell you where milk comes from that the USDA has launched several initiatives to inform kids about cows!

Luckily we are a little different here in Maine. We are incredibly fortunate to have a state where agriculture is alive and well. We are one of the few states where the average age of the farmer is going down. People are moving to Maine to take part in our thriving local food movement and small sustainable farms are increasing throughout the state. Despite this we still have many people who have no idea where their food comes from or that potatoes and blueberries are key parts of Maine’s economy. We also have a childhood obesity epidemic nationwide due in part to children not getting quality time outside and having unhealthy eating habits. We need to fix this.

Agriculture Studies will benefit students’ education and their nutrition. A trip to a local farm can be a part of a social studies class and open students’ eyes to the realities and joys of farming. Soil science and how plants get their nutrients can be used in many different science classes. Books like James Herriot’s “All Creatures Great and Small” and Michael Pollan’s “Omnivore’s Dilemma” can be used to fulfill the non-fiction reading requirements of the Common Core. School Gardens can be used in a variety of classes as well. Planting a school garden can help children get outside as part of Physical Education. Creating a business plan for the garden, like Erik Wade did at the Hope Elementary School, can be integrated into math classes. Then once the garden is harvested it can continue to be used as a part of the school day. The harvested vegetables can be used in the school cafeteria to expose kids to new and healthy foods. (Kids get pretty excited about eating something that they planted themselves!) Beans and other vegetables can be used as examples to teach math while adding up and tallying the results of the harvest. Agriculture can be used to reach across content areas and become a tool for teachers rather than becoming a burden. My dream is to see agriculture fully integrated in Maine’s classrooms.

The hope is that this would not place another unfunded mandate on teachers but instead put agriculture studies into state statutes enabling teachers to use agriculture studies in their curriculum. Many teachers have been using school gardens at their schools but have had trouble getting official recognition and support for the work that they do. By placing Agriculture Studies in statute, teachers will now have help from the Department of Education (DOE) with integrating Agriculture into their lessons. My hope is that during the rule making portion of this bill we will be able to align these standards with the Maine Learning Results and Common Core. The DOE is currently looking into how best to do this.

I am trying to drum up a lot of support for this bill. The more folks I can get to come testify in support of the bill the better chance I have of getting it passed. I’m also looking for feedback so I can present the best bill possible. Suggestions and ideas for the bill are gladly accepted! If you can think of anyone or any organization who might be interested in this bill please feel free to forward this to them and have them contact me.

For those who are interested in supporting the bill: We are holding a public hearing on the bill on Thursday, Mar 14 2013 at 1:00PM in the Cross Building, Room 202. You can also submit written testimony in support of the bill (before or after the public hearing) to our committee clerk, Gregory Pierce, at: Gregory.Pierce@legislature.maine.gov

Gram Goodine’s Blueberry Cake

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Dear GrowingUpJulia Readers,

I am pleased to announce that today I am posting our first guest post from the fabulous Ms. Kippy Rudy. I’ve been very busy with campaigning and to keep me fueled, Kippy has been kind enough to keep dropping off food for me. My favorite treat is her blueberry cake. Wild Maine Blueberries are one of my guilty pleasures. I can eat pint after pint. My mother used to run a commercial blueberry field and I grew up learning how to rake them and process them. Although, I always got in trouble for eating about half of what I harvested. So naturally I have an extreme fondness for anything blueberry. That’s why I asked Kippy if she would be willing to jot down her blueberry cake recipe. So without further ado I present “Gram Goodine’s Blueberry Cake.”

Portrait of Kippy Rudy

Kippy Rudy

Mattie has been busy campaigning and has sadly had little time to cook.  So without her around to interfere and try to improve upon the recipe with shaved chocolate or imported figs, I decided to make my great-grandmother’s blueberry cake and post it for you all to enjoy.

Now we should be clear on a few things. Blueberry cake is a traditional Maine summer dessert, made with the small, sweet wild berries that cover our mountains and fields every August (or earlier this summer). While you can find blueberries in other places – and even the grocery store – I have never seen blueberry cake anyplace else. And you certainly can’t make it with those giant cultivated blueberries that look as though they were doused in steroids but lack intense the flavor of our native berries. Some things are just best they way they have always been.

Secondly, I did not come from a family with generations of traditions and heirlooms and favorite recipes. This is it for the recipes that go back past my mother. I am told that others in the family had not asked Gram for the recipe, which I attribute to laziness and lack of curiosity. So when I finally asked, it took a little prodding, including the encouragement of her sister, my Aunt Ruth. She wrote it down and Ruth grabbed it. Having made the cake her entire life (and she was well into her 90s at the time), Ruth immediately noticed that Gram had altered the recipe.  I just don’t think she could bear anyone replicating her legendary blueberry cake. Ruth corrected the ratio of flour and it was given to me, with both sisters’ notes.

So in honor of Gram Goodine and all the proud women who wanted to be generous with their favorite recipes but just couldn’t bring themselves to do so, I give you traditional Maine blueberry cake.

Kippy's daughtry Arden making Blueberry Cake

Kippy’s daughter, Arden, making Blueberry Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  • 2 c fresh wild Maine blueberries
  • 2 c flour (Gram said 3—I wouldn’t trust her though)
  • 2 c sugar (I find it works well with 1 ½)
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c milk
  • 1/3 c vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp vanilla

Dust the blueberries in flour and set aside. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl and the wet ingredients in a second bowl.  Combine mixtures, and when thoroughly blended, add the blueberries. Pour into a greased 9 inch square baking dish and bake for 45 minutes. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  When cool, sprinkle top with sugar.  

Every summer I make dozens of the cakes (two to four at a time) and freeze them for the winter. They store and defrost beautifully and I can easily mail them frozen to my daughter away at school. Just hold off on the sugar sprinkled on top until you are ready to serve.

Gram Goodine's Blueberry Cake

Gram Goodine’s Blueberry Cake

New Restaurant Alert: TAO in Brunswick dazzles!

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Dear TAO: I owe you a long, well written and photographed review. But alas I arrived at your restaurant tonight unprepared. Instead I arrived hungry and tired from campaigning. The experience I had at your establishment was so phenomenal that I felt compelled to run back to my apartment and publicly profess my newfound love for you.

I live right around the corner from TAO and have been meaning to stop in since it opened earlier this summer. Tonight Benjamin and I were thrilled to find out that they are open past 9 pm (a rarity in this town) and finally headed over to Pleasant Street to check them out.  We were the last diners for the evening and had the place to ourselves.

The restaurant is expertly decorated and arranged. It is great to know that someone has put so much love and care into the building. I was a big fan of the former Tearoom and Provisions and was sad when both establishments closed. TAO has done a great job of refurbishing the building. The vibe is up-class and hip but inviting and warm all at the same time. My only complaint is that the air-conditiong vents on the floor can freeze your legs. But our excellent server Emma quickly covered the vents and saved the day.

Chef Cara Stadler

Chef Cara Stadler

Chef Cara Stadler has an impressive resume and has trained all over the globe. With TAO she is focusing on a small plates menu with the goal of creating “the perfect bite.” On TAO’s website they describe her inspiration:

At the same time as she was learning from these modern masters, Cara began noticing what has become her core guiding concept – what she calls, “the perfect bite.” Specifically, she became fascinated with how, in a single bite, flavors harmonize in a sequence of moments, supported by the cadence of texture.

The menu features a wide variety of these “perfect bites” and the intent is that each plate is to share with each person ordering around 3 – 4 plates. Benjamin and I ordered 6 plates to share.

I had done a little preliminary food stalking and had noticed that they served “Roasted Pork Buns.” Pork Buns are one of my guilty pleasure foods and I haven’t had many good ones outside of Boston. So naturally I was dying to know how TAO’s Pork Buns measured up. We ordered Grandma Tang’s Roast Pork Buns, the Fried Goat Cheese, the Steamed Shao Mai,   the Pan-Fried Dumplings, the Wok-Fried Cauliflower, and the Turnip Cakes. We also ordered a Sangria to share.

The good news: The Pork Buns lived up to all my hopes and dreams. The bad news: The purveyor of these heavenly treats is within easy walking distance of my apartment. We were informed that they had run out of the aesthetically pleasing buns but offered us the “ugly” buns instead for half off. The Pork Buns were delightfully pillowy, light and steamed to perfection with luscious roast pork bursting from the inside (despite their appearance). I will be returning soon to have this delectable treat again and again.

Other stand out items in our meal were the Pan-Fried Cauliflower that was bursting with flavor. Benjamin was particularly fond of the maple cured bacon that accompanied the cauliflower. The Turnip Cakes were fantastic and unique with a great texture. We are always suckers for dumplings and Benjamin and I fought over who got to eat the last Pan-Fried Dumpling (I lost). All of the accompanying sauces with the dishes were delectable.

My only complaint was the Sangria. While it wasn’t bad it did not live up to the rest of our meal. The drink was lacking in flavor and frankly just didn’t thrill my tastebuds. It left me wanting something else to pair with our meal. Next time I will have to check out their tantalizing wine list. I think a white might be a better bet next time.

Benjamin and I were already in love with TAO after the first plate but to top everything off Emma returned towards the end of the meal with an order of Black Sea Bass compliments of the kitchen. This was the perfect end to the meal. I am a complete and utter seafood addict and this sea bass was phenomenal. Tonight I was glad that Benjamin isn’t crazy about fish as I hogged this tasty dish. The bass was served with fairy eggplant, a broth of red curry and kaffir lime. The fish skin was perfectly crispy and balanced the sweetness of the rest of the fish. The eggplant meshed expertly with the other flavors and a splash of red pepper brought it all together. When I reached the end there was a leftover pool of broth that I desperately wanted to slurp down by drinking straight out of the bowl. But alas social conventions told me to not embarrass my boyfriend by licking all of the plates…

So with a very full and satisfied stomach I implore you all to go check out TAO Restaurant. They are breath of fresh air in the Brunswick dining scene. I am excited to have Chef Stadler and her tantalizing creations right around the corner and look forward to seeing what she cooks up next.

TAO Restaurant22 Pleasant Street, Brunswick, ME.

For more info on TAO Restaurant please check out their website: http://tao-maine.com/

Bon anniversaire, ma chère Julia!

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Julia McWilliams Child was born one hundred years ago today.  In my opinion, this should be a national holiday dedicated to the pleasures of the table and our culinary history.  Smith College always celebrates its famous alumna on Julia Child Day, the Thursday before Thanksgiving.  Every dining hall and the campus center features different recipes from Julia.  Some of my fondest college memories are from roaming from one Julia venue to another and another, stuffing myself to the point of gluttony and leaving little appetite for the less exciting Thanksgiving table to follow in a few days (we used to call the span of time from Julia Child Day to Thanksgiving “Fat Week”).

Unfortunately, my work and campaign schedule leaves me little time to devote to doing anything elaborate to celebrate her birthday.  So I shall celebrate by treating myself to her newest biography, “Dearie,” just published by Bob Spitz, and by enjoying some of her good basic everyday recipes like Salad Nicoise, an improvised Peche Clafoutis using peaches instead of cherries, and her favorite chocolate cake.

This is the perfect time of the year for Julia’s favorite main-course salad, Salad Nicoise.  The new potatoes are in season, the green beans are plentiful, and the tomatoes are finally turning red.  I like to use tiny new yellow potatoes that can skinned just by a vigorous brushing and cooked in just a few minutes.  My Mother’s garden is filled with delicious little haricots vertes.  She plants Taverna, Maxibel, and Fortex beans to harvest when thin and about six inches long.  And her Sun Gold and Sun Sugar cherry tomatoes are huge this year.

This recipe is from one of my favorite (if there can be such) books of hers, “Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom, Essential Techniques and Recipes from a Lifetime of Cooking.”

This little book, published a few years before she died, is a distillation of pure Julia and is always perfect to give as an introductory gift to someone who is not already a fan of hers.

Salad Nicoise

  • 1 large head of Boston or Summer Crisp lettuce, washed and dried
  • 1 pound of green beans, cooked 4 to 5 minutes in a large pot of rapidly boiling water
  • 1 ½  Tbs minced shallots or ¼ very thinly sliced sweet onion (optional)
  • ½ to 2/3 cup basic vinaigrette
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 to 4 ripe red tomatoes, cut into wedges (or 10 to 12 cherry tomatoes, halved)
  • 1 ½ pounds potatoes, peeled, sliced and cooked
  • 2 3-ounce cans oil packed canned tuna or ½ pound leftover fish like salmon
  • 6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and halved
  • 1 freshly opened can of anchovy fillets (optional)
  • 1/3 cup small black Nicoise or Kalamata olives
  • 2 to 3 Tbs capers
  • 3 Tbs minced parsley

Arrange the lettuce leaves on a large platter.  Shortly before serving, toss the beans and the potatoes separately with the onion or shallots, several spoonfuls of the vinaigrette and salt and pepper.  Baste the tomatoes with a spoonful of vinaigrette.  Place the potatoes in the center of the platter and arrange a mound of beans at either end, with tomatoes and small mounds of tuna at strategic intervals.  Ring the platter with halves of hard-boiled eggs, sunny side up, and curl an anchovy on top of each.  Spoon more vinaigrette over all; scatter on olives, capers, and parsley, and serve.

Julia Child's 90th Birthday and her blowing out birthday candles. Picture from the SF Chronicle.

Julia Child’s 90th Birthday. Picture from the SF Chronicle.

And because it is Julia’s birthday I have another Julia recipe to share. This one is taken directly from her writing and has no embellishments from me. Below is Julia Child’s favorite chocolate cake “La Reine de Saba—the Queen of Sheba Chocolate Almond Cake.”

From Julia Child: La Reine de Saba—the Queen of Sheba Chocolate Almond Cake

“My favorite chocolate cake.  For an 8 by 1 ½ inch cake, serving 6 to 8.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, set rack in lower-middle level, and prepare cake pan.  Measure out ½ cup sifted plain bleached cake flour and 1/3 cup …pulverized almonds… Using an electric mixer, cream 1 stick butter with ½ cup sugar; when fluffy, one at a time beat in 3 egg yolks.  Meanwhile, melt 3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate and 1ounce bitter chocolate with 2 tablespoons dark rum or strong coffee…, and stir the warm chocolate into the yolks.  Beat 3 egg whites into stiff, shining peaks…and stir a quarter of them into the yolks.  Rapidly and delicately fold in the rest, alternating with sprinklings of almonds and siftings of flour.  Turn at once into the prepared pan and bake about 25 minutes, until it has puffed to the top of the pan but the center moves slightly when gently shaken.

Let cool 15 minutes before unmolding.  This type of cake is always at its best at room temperature.  Serve with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar…”

So without further ado: Happy birthday, dear Julia.

Toujours bon appétit!

Also because PBS brought Julia Child into our lives through their TV programming I feel the need to remind everyone that tomorrow is Maine Public Broadcasting Network’s “Super Thursday” One Day Pledge Drive. Instead of taking up the airwaves with a week of pledge drives MPBN is trying to do it in one day. Please consider donating tomorrow to help them meet their funding goal. For more information check out their site: http://www.mpbn.net/Support/DonatetoMPBN/SuperThursdayOneDayPledgeDrive.aspx

Big News: I’m running for Office!

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Matthea Daughtry, Photo Credit: Michele Stapleton © 2012

Photo Credit: Michele Stapleton © 2012

Dear Growing Up Julia Readers,

I have some big news that I wanted to share with you.

I’m running for Office! Today I announced that I am seeking the Democratic nomination for the Maine House District 66 seat in my hometown of Brunswick, Maine.

My passion for politics is almost as strong as my passion for food. As I said in my first political opinion piece, I thought I would limit this blog strictly to all matters food — and leave politics to my twitter feed and work. But I cannot keep them separate. Even my heroine and this blog’s namesake, Julia Child, was politically active.

I was impelled to run for a office for a number of reasons, including the incredible responses to my political postings on this blog. You may remember my “Dear Governor” post last year. That little rant, and the conversations that it sparked, have led me to become more engaged in the workings of our legislature. Over the past year I have learned so much about what is happening in Augusta, and how it effects our lives. It is time for me to run. I will continue to blog about food and hopefully you will continue to give me feedback.

I am looking forward to this adventure and am so proud to have all of you by my side.

You can find my full announcement at www.DirigoBlue.com:

http://www.dirigoblue.com/2012/07/matthea-mattie-daughtry-announces-candidacy-for-hd-66-brunswick/

I love Garlic Scapes!

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A bunch of Garlic Scapes

Garlic Scapes fresh from Mom’s garden

There is one early summer seasonal treat, that I cannot let slip by unnoted and that I have been enjoying for some time now and even stocking away in the freezer for a taste of summer sun next winter…Garlic Scapes!

I have to publicly declare my unfaltering love of Garlic Scapes (despite their impact on my breath)! Garlic scapes, those odd little serpent-like curlicues, are the under appreciated tops of garlic.

Garlic, the king of the allium family, comes in two main types, soft-neck or hard- neck, based on how they grow.  Soft-neck garlic grows well in warmer climates and does not have a hard central false flower stalk.  It stores well, can be braided, and consists of up to a dozen cloves, with smaller ones in the center of the head. Up north in Maine we have hard-necked garlic. Every fall my mother (and our neighbor Steve) plant a huge crop of bulbs and then wait until spring to see the garlic stalks peeking out of the ground. In late June, this central stalk shoots up to form a flower. This curly pig-tail shaped flower is the Garlic Scape! If left undisturbed the scape will develop bulblets (yes they are called bulbets) which would drain energy from the roots and impact the garlic. So every year my mother and I snip off the scapes in order to get better garlic in the late summer.

Garlic Scapes

Garlic Scapes

Every year I see people perplexed by Garlic Scapes. People stare at the funny green stalks wondering what on earth they are and what the heck they are going to do with the three bunches they just got in their CSA share. A co-worker was convinced they were weeds. But every time I see this confusion, I jump in as the Garlic Scape cheerleader: “They are delicious!” or “Just use them like Garlic” or “They are tasty I swear!”

Garlic Scapes are tender and bursting with mild garlic flavor. Take a couple of scapes and dice them up like scallions and toss them into a stew, stir-fry, omelette, or whatever for a subtle hint of garlic in less than half the time it would take to peel and dice a mature clove. They are divine left in their full twisted chaotic glory and drizzled with olive oil, a bit of salt and pepper and fresh herbs and accompanied by whatever else you can find in the fridge or garden (like red peppers) and grilled or roasted for a bit in a hot oven. They add interest to hummus. The small ones are tender enough to go into a lovely Ceasar salad.  Or chop them up and use as a last minute garnish for any number of dishes—wherever a sweet hint of garlic would be compatible.

A Fresh Head of Broccoli

We’ve also been enjoying some incredible fresh broccoli from my parent’s garden!

But my absolute favorite way to enjoy garlic scapes is to make them into a luscious pesto and serve it over fresh homemade pasta. The pesto can also be used on chicken, as a spread and any way that suits you!

Garlic Scape Pesto with Walnuts

Garlic Scape Pesto with Walnuts

Garlic Scape Pesto with Walnuts

Ingredients:

  • 15 Garlic Scapes
  • ½ cup Toasted Walnuts
  • ¾ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • ½ Tsp Sriracha (aka Rooster sauce)
  • ½ cup Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Optional: A pack of breath mints for afterwards…

Equipment:

  • Food Processor

1)   Place the Garlic Scapes and walnuts in a food processor and pulse until diced.

2)   Add the Parmesan and Sriracha and pulse until combined.

3)   Turn the processor on and pour the olive oil in with a slow steady stream. Combine until smooth.

4)   Try the pesto and add salt and pepper to taste

5)   Enjoy!

Garlic Scape Pesto with Fresh Pasta and Broccoli

The finished product! (Special thanks to Benjamin for making the fresh pasta)

NPR: Pie-Making 101: How I Overcame My Fear Of Crumbling Crust

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This morning I heard a lovely piece on NPR’s Morning Edition about pies. In the piece they talked about how making a pie crust from scratch has become a lost art and invokes panic in many home chefs. After hearing this I’ve decided to make a video tutorial on my vodka pie crust. I’ve been asked several times for my recipe from friends who said the thought of making a crust from scratch scared them. I guess they weren’t alone! Look for the video in a couple of weeks. In the meantime start trying the recipe discussed in the NPR piece. Remember 3-2-1 and that you are the boss of the pie!

Give the piece a listen and tell me what you think!

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/07/02/155984642/pie-making-101-how-i-overcame-my-fear-of-crumbling-crust

Happy Baking!

2012 Maine Senate Primary Campaign Drinking Game

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Maine Senate Primary Drinking Gang

2012 Maine Senate Primary Campaign Drinking Game!

It’s gonna be a long race, we may need some sustenance to get through this. So next debate, forum or hand shake opportunity, grab a stiff drink (coffee or coffee brandy, it doesn’t matter) and sip along. We are all in this together.

This is all in good fun, and we encourage everyone to add to the list and hope the candidates will drink along. (We really do respect and love all the candidates. Well, except for you Bruce. We’ve got our eyes on you! Seriously…just release your campaign finance report!) And please, drink responsibly. It is never OK to drink and drive or to vote under the influence.

Love,
Matthea and Kippy

TO PREPARE:
Go online and watch a video or listen to audio of one of the events that has taken place so far. By all means, we encourage you to go to an event! But it would be rude to stage a drinking game at the rear of any public affair. Having said that, if you do manage to pull it off in public, please try and film it and share the results. (To be honest, we’re probably there with you. Just ask us to stop filming the candidates and to turn around….)

Assemble a group of friends for the occasion with your favorite beverages of choice (again, lemonade works fine—it’s the spirit of camaraderie that matters here not the spirits themselves!) If you cannot all be together, we suggest texting, tweeting, conference calls or skype to connect. Every year we play the State of the Union drinking game with friends across the country, and it is remarkably satisfying (an unlimited texting plan may be needed, trust me).

If you want to play live, follow our tweets of events at: @growingupjulia or @kippyrudy

Optional item: Bring your personal copy of the US Constitution, which most of the Senate candidates claim to carry on them at all times!  We suggest getting a laminated waterproof copy to survive the duration of the campaign season.

Bill Schneider and Matt Dunlap kicking back after a long debate

Bill Schneider and Matt Dunlap kicking back after a long debate

TO PLAY:
We begin by toasting our dear Senator Olympia; all together now, “Thank you for serving so long and boy, are we going to miss you!”

Make sure everyone has copies of the Cues list below and take a drink every time one of the cues occurs.

TO WIN:
If you reach the end of the event, and have still not curled up in a fetal position, and you actually know for whom you will cast your vote, you win!

If you reach the end and are convinced to run as an Independent for US Senate or to launch a write-in campaign, you automatically LOSE.

Then make sure you go vote in the Primary on June 12. [click here for polling locations]

CUES, TAKE ONE DRINK WHEN:

  • Charlie Summers goes on for more than 60 seconds, gets off message, and begins to contradict what he said earlier in the day. (lean forward, and take a sip.)
  • Cynthia Dill reminds you that she does in fact have ovaries, and she is not afraid to use them.
  • Angus King mentions laptops, wind energy or the good old days with Jesse Ventura. (If you don’t know what this means, then you weren’t around when Angus was governor.)
  • Scott D’Amboise mentions hunting or the second amendment or that he was the only Republican with the courage to challenge Olympia.
  • You realize that Matt Dunlap is the only Democrat running who is from outside of the first congressional district (ie “Portland!”)
  • Rick Bennett tries to convince you that it’s OK to be sort of moderate on some issues, really, and you are left wanting to give him a hug and tell him there’s no shame in being sane.
  • Bruce Poliquin mentions defending the constitution (but not the state one he has been violating).
  • You begin fanaticizing about Andrew Ian Dodge and Oscar Wilde having drinks together at the Savoy.

    Andrew Ian Dodge enjoying a drink with Oscar Wilde

    Andrew Ian Dodge enjoying a drink with Oscar Wilde

  • Steve Woods mentions the Red Claws and you wish you were watching a game with him rather than watching the debate (and he still manages to sounds like the most reasonable person on stage).
  • Bill Schneider says something macho (jumping out of planes, special forces, West Point…) and makes all the other candidates look like a bunch of wussies.
  • Jon Hinck looks like he is trying to keep himself from banging his head against the desk/wall and you want to offer to buy him a drink to make it better.
  • Debra Plowman re-writes women’s history.
  • Charlie Summers mentions American exceptionalism or some other reference to “what’s good for America is good for the world.”
  • Bruce Poliquin says he is the only conservative with a proven record even though he has never been elected to any office in a popular election.
  • Matt Dunlap rolls his eyes, sighs, or makes some other absurd facial gesture (or plays with an electronic device) during the remarks of an opponent.
  • Andrew Ian Dodge defines the word “libertarian.”
  • You read a tweet by King Angus III and wish he were running for office.
  • You listen to Charlie Summers and wonder if it’s hard for him to remember which office he is running for this time.
  • Andrew Ian Dodge makes you wish he would write a science fiction novel based on the Senate campaign.
  • Debra Plowman is beginning to remind you of Herman Cain.
  • Charlie Summers flashes that winning Ken Doll smile. Sooooo dreamy…. (wait, what was he saying?)
  • Bill Schneider mentions how and why he will defeat the forces of evil, I mean Obamacare.

    I bet even Ronald Reagan would have needed a drink after this primary!

    I bet even Ronald Reagan would have needed a drink after this primary!

  • Bruce Poliquin tries to convince you that by weakening the Maine State Housing Authority he is helping the homeless.
  • Cynthia Dill mentions unions.
  • You are at a GOPforME forum and Phil Harriman asks a new question for once…
  • Debra Plowman reminds us that she has been fighting the “good fight” since the early 1990s.
  • You want to convince Steve Woods to speak up and hire a campaign staff.
  • Benjamin Pollard says something to suggest that organic local farming is an alternative to the Affordable Healthcare Act.
  • Andrew Ian Dodge shows up wearing a tie.
  • Right now you would pay to see Cynthia Dill defend birth control from Debra Plowman in a fight in front of Planned Parenthood.
  • You want to remind Bruce Poliquin that the last time he ran for office he came in 6th out of 7 candidates, but out spent his opponents by thousands (how’s that for fiscally conservative, Bruce?).

WATERFALL!! (JUST DOWN THE WHOLE DRINK) IF:

  • Bill Schneider departs from the Conservative agenda.
  • Cynthia Dill departs from the Progressive agenda.
  • Bruce Poliquin ever answers a question.
  • Bruce or Angus even show up.
  • You fully understand why Chellie Pingree, Mike Michaud, John Baldacci and Kevin Raye were smart enough to stay out of this race.
  • You want to forget the whole thing and wish you could just convince Olympia to stay.
Poliquin, Steve Woods, Jon Hinck and Scott D'Amboise enjoying a strong whiskey on the rocks.

Poliquin, Steve Woods, Jon Hinck and Scott D’Amboise enjoying a strong whiskey on the rocks.

Chocolate Espresso Cheesecake Brownies to say Thank You!

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Thank you to everyone who read, commented or wrote to me about my recent opinion piece. I was concerned about mixing food and politics but all of you put my concerns to rest. During the past week I’ve received an overwhelming amount of support and encouragement. But I was most touched by those of you who shared your personal stories with me.

Please continue to share your stories and speak out about how our governor’s policies are affecting Mainers.  We have got to make sure we are heard and not just swept under the carpet. LePage has to be held accountable for his actions and constantly reminded that he also represents the 61% of us that didn’t vote for him.

Now to truly thank all of you I’ve decided to share my beloved Chocolate Espresso Cheesecake Brownie recipe. This recipe has been perfected after several different tests and now I can say with confidence that these are the best darn brownies I’ve ever had. Seriously. I was hoping to take some gorgeous shots of the finished brownies but then my hungry family devoured them in no time at all and is now demanding a second batch!

(Also for those of our who have been asking about the apple pie recipe, it will be posted next.)

Chocolate Espresso Cheesecake Brownie from the side

Chocolate Espresso Cheesecake Brownies

Brownie Ingredients:

 

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh brewed espresso (brewed coffee will also work but make sure it isn’t flavored)
  • 1/3 cup cocoa (preferably Dutch-processed)
  • 1/2 cup of boiling water
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 6 ounces Callebaut Espresso chunks (if not available use any other bittersweet espresso chocolate. I recommend Ghirardelli Espresso Escape Intense Dark Chocolate Bar. If using the bar break it up into 1/2 inch chunks)
Cheesecake Ingredients:
  • 8 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1) Place over rack at lowest position and pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2) Line a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with a foil sling. Then spray with cooking spray.
3) Whisk cocoa, fresh espresso and boiling water in a large bowl. Then add the finiely chopped unsweetened chocolate and whisk until melted. Whisk in the melted butter and oil. Next add eggs, yolks, and vanilla and continue to whisk until smooth. Whisk in sugar until fully combined. Next fold in the four and salt. Finally, fold in the espresso chocolate chunks.
4) Pour batter into prepared pan and set aside.
5) Mix together the cream cheese, egg yolk, sugar and vanilla. Stir until smooth and incorporated.
6) Distribute the cream cheese in dollops on top of the brownie batter. Then with a knife swirl the mixture throughout the brownies.
7) Bake brownies for 30 to 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted between the edge and center comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Make sure not to over bake! Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 45 minutes. Then remove the brownies from the pan and allow to cool fully on wire rack. Enjoy!
Chocolate Espresso Cheesecake Brownie from the Top
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