Saturday, February 28, 2009


I love food.  I love food a lot.  There are moments in my everyday life that I realize this more than others.  Take today, for instance.  Every Saturday Dave Mac and I go hiking, sometimes they are a bit more strenuous than others but usually nothing I can't handle (occasionally I pick and choose when he has two or more hikes or activities planned).  Today, however, as I climbed into his Trailblazer (so fitting) I noticed two sets of snowshoes stashed in behind his seat.  After one failed attempt at getting into a parking lot for the Bald Mt. hike (snowed in up to the windows) we went up to Mt. Pleasant.  As I was getting out of the car, my intuition told me to grab that bag of granola I had stashed in my bag as I ran out of the house to go meet him.  Stuffing it into my pocket I strapped on my snowshoes and headed over the snowbank.  

This hike, it turns out was straight up one side and straight down the other.  Then you get to the bottom turn around, and go straight back up and straight back down.  Now, on my second straight back up I found myself looking for my happy place, which, turns out to be a nice cozy little cafe, with good espresso, tasty pastry, and a fireplace.  Not so out of the ordinary. Now, the moment I realized my profound love (and desperate need) for food was when Dave Mac, about midway up was telling about the yummy chocolate espresso beans he had in the car for me when we got back if I could just hang in there (from my silence he knew...hunger + jess = disaster).  However, when he looked back he found me, mittens in pockets, CHOWING on a bag of granola that I had, to him, magically summoned to the top of this mountain.  So when he noticed the bag of granola, I kindly told him that I had a snack with me (mouth full of granola)... and as much as I didn't want to, asked if he wanted any.  To my relief he was all set till we returned to the car.  Me, I couldn't wait another minute.  

I secretively stashed a bag of snacks in my jacket and when I was hungry, I secretively consumed that bag of snacks in hopes of not having to share any of my gold mine with the one I love.  Now, for those that don't know me, normally I am pretty good at sharing (well, my food at least!) but I realized when I was caught red handed that the hunger in my belly overcame any and all thoughts concerning others possible need for nourishment.  I am truly and officially obsessed.

(for those worried about Dave Mac malnourishment on our hike, he did in fact survive and no harm was done to his appetite)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

wrappin up food in '08

The 2008 Slow Food Almanac came in the mail about two weeks ago.  Today, sitting on my warm porch in the rocking chair, I kicked my feet up and dug in.  
Local Economy
All are key words used in the Almanac to describe the Slow Food Movement in 2008.  All are vital words to the life, growth, and understanding of this pivotal crusade. 

 I learned of Slow Food in 2007 while at my baking internship in Flat Rock, NC.  The owner, Scott, was a member and introduced me to one of the most important shifts happening world wide in the way we grow, purchase, and consume food.  Started by one brilliant visionary, Carlo Petrini (current Slow Food International President) in 1986 with only 61 other members - it has grown to a staggering 72,000+ members worldwide in June of 2008 from 132 different countries.  

In the way of food, this movement is a saving grace.  Focusing on everything from school food programs to agricultural biodiversity, wine to coffee, fish to carrots, this movement is trying to save our food systems and the way we live.  

As I continue reading I will keep posting my favorite articles and thoughts.  One excerpt I found particularly striking was a quote by Francesco Angelita describing the Snail (which was chosen as Slow Foods logo)...

Long live the Snail...

Friday, February 13, 2009


Thursday, February 12, 2009

a moment to gloat

I know this has nothing to do with food (well, it does if you consider Finn's (sometimes) over extravegant eating habits) but I couldn't resist... check out Finns moment of fame on the Loyal Biscuit blog site!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

a roasting we will go....

For Christmas, Dave Mac pulled out all the stops and found me a little home coffee roaster and well, since then, the fun hasn't stopped!  This morning was no different.  Waking up to 5 degrees, I stayed in while Dave walked Finn.  I warmed up the kitchen with fresh baked blueberry muffins and roasted coffee for our french press enjoyment.  By the time they got back from their a.m. romp to the beach, the cottage was filled with the smell of lemon zest and blueberries and fresh hot coffee.   

I have had a little experience roasting coffee while volunteering on a coffee farm back in the day. . . here is what I know: 
 Coffee beans are picked from coffee trees once ripe (which is a big thankless job).  
A ripe coffee bean is called cherry.
When these cherries are picked at the right time, processed the right way (to strip off the outer "cherry" layer), dried to perfection (to it's "green bean" state), stored correctly, roasted and consumed in a timely manner, one great coffee experience awaits.  And Dave and I have been blessed with fresh roasted coffee every morning since Christmas (thank you dmac).  There is no going back.

green beans on right.... fresh roasted on left....


Sunday, February 1, 2009

blueberries in the dead of winter

Blueberry muffins are one of the quintessential breakfast quick breads to me, and I have come across the best one to date.  Believe it or not, these do not sell at the Sea Store, so I save the Maine blueberries in my freezer for cold Sunday mornings and this muffin recipe.  Light, fluffy, crispy on the top, with a hint of lemon zest, it couldn't be better with your morning coffee.  

Blueberry muffin recipe:
courtesy of the bread bible (see picture) in cups and ounces...

     4Tbsp 2oz butter
1/2 cup 3.5oz sugar
2tsp lemon zest
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup 4.75oz all purpose flour
3/8tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/3cup 2.75oz sour cream (I also use plain yogurt)
3/4cup 3.5oz small blueberries
  • Preheat oven - 375
  • Cream butter, sugar, and lemon zest until light and fluffy
  • Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt
  • Spoon 1/2 flour mixture and 1/2 sour cream (or yogurt) into butter and fold in
  • Repeat with the rest of the flour and sour cream
  • Fold in blueberries
  • Pour into a 6-cup muffin pan that is lined with paper liners (and buttered, I found helps)
  • Fill empty pans with water and bake 25-35 min.

*There are a few things I found with her recipe...I noticed that if you fill the muffin tins to the top to make large muffins, it only makes three...also, if you bake this way it takes about 45 min in the oven, the tops get nice and brown so don't worry, just keep checking them!*

Otherwise, this is a tasty recipe. Enjoy!