Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ogunquit Pt. 3, The Beach & The Lobster Pound

A quick note:

To my fellow bloggers,

I just wanted to thank everyone again for being so patient with my absence these past few weeks. As you can imagine, when you only get to spend time with your husband once a year, you cherish, savor, immerse yourself in every second of it. In a far too short 10 days from now Daph returns to France and life will return to my usual slower pace. Aside from the broken heart I'm sure to have, I look forward to catching up with you and your blogs. I hope everyone has been enjoying themselves. Doing new things. Making delicious food. And staying inspired.

'til soon,


Ogunquit Pt. 1

Ogunquit Pt. 2

Ogunquit Pt. 4

Ogunquit Continued, Part 3:

The Lobster Point Lighthouse marks the end of Marginal Way. It was good to see the old girl again.

From there we headed towards Ogunquit Beach. You have to navigate your way through some side streets and houses to get there...

But it's totally worth it. The weather turned windy and cool once we made our way out onto the beach, Daph and I found it exhilarating. It was gorgeous! Getting so close to this seagull was super cool, too.

Later that night my Uncle John and his friend Randy treated us to dinner at The Lobster Pound.
That's where I tried Manhattan's, two of them...for the first and last time.

While we were waiting for our table at the bar, we went outside to the tank to pick out our lobsters. Males, never over 2 & 1/2 lbs. are the sweetest and most tender, I learned.

While we were seated, Randy stepped out for a moment. When she returned she announced, "Hey Daphny, I found a French guy for you." "From Quebec." The man, we've since named 'Perry', greeted Daph like they were old friends. After several Manhattan's and vodka tonics, we laughed hysterically as they shared impassioned discourse and hugs for twenty minutes. Nice to meet you "Perry"!

Steamer clams.

Daph and I tried fried oysters for the first time. They were absolutely delicious!

Daph tried onion rings or, 'those round things' as he would say, for the first time and couldn't get enough of them.

I will not lie to you. Almost any place you go to eat in Ogunquit will be pricey. Ogunquit is an expensive town. We absolutely LOVED our dinner, but be prepared to spend.

The next day we all pitched in to help my Uncle John make a seafood chowder with the leftover lobster from the night before. He says his secret is the clam juice. Lunch on the screened in deck, listening to Sinatra with a cold glass of Bailey's was divine. And so was our time there.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

One Bite & Into the Mystic...Pizza

Over the past several weeks maybe you'll remember me telling you about Food 'n Flix? A blog started by my friend Heather over at Girlichef and co-hosted by me. Since hosting duties are interchangeable, switching every other month, and my month happened to fall in October, I knew exactly which movie I would feature: 'Mystic Pizza', and thus what I would be making.

Ever since last year's visit, Daph has never stopped talking about the pizza I made for him. He says that finding really good pizza in France is next to impossible and since having homemade pizza I've spoiled him for, even the best, pizza he can find in the stores there. Not bragging. Homemade anything is almost always better than pre-made, prepackaged, store-bought anything else.

Pizza just happens to be my favorite food that isn't ice cream. We were both eager upon our return from Ogunquit for the pizza I deprived myself of for months and promised to make Daph for a year. It was well worth the wait. Not bragging.

Maybe a little bit.

Making at home Vs. Ordering Pizza, The Pros:

Pizza is really easy to make. And super fun.
You can tailor it to suit your own taste and diet.
The freshness of ingredients is unmatched.
You home smells A-MA-ZING!
Nothing beats the feeling of pulling your own handmade, delicious, bubbling, oozing with cheesy goodness, vegetables roasted to perfection, Mmmm, so good, everyone will love this: Pizza!

This is an overnight dough. Yes, overnight. And yes, it's worth it. So give yourself at least 18-24 hours before you plan to make your pizza so the dough has time to work its magic in the refrigerator.

Dough Ingredients:

Recipe Courtesy and Adapted from Alton Brown.

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon kosher salt*

1 tablespoon pure olive oil

1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning (Optional)

3/4 cup warm water

2 cups bread flour (for bread machines)

1 teaspoon instant yeast

2 teaspoons olive oil

Olive oil, for the pizza crust

Flour, for dusting the pizza peel

Add sugar, olive oil, water, 1 cup of flour, yeast to bowl of stand mixer or large bowl. Use paddle attachment or wooden spoon to incorporate ingredients at low speed. Mix salt (and Italian seasoning, if using) into remaining 1 cup of flour and add to ingredients in bowl. Mix until incorporated. If using mixing bowl, allow dough to form ball at low speed. If using spoon and large bowl, incorporate ingredients as much as you can with spoon then scrape contents of bowl onto clean surface and knead dough with hands for about 7 to 10 minutes, or until dough forms into smooth ball. If using mixer, oil hook attachment with cooking spray, secure hook attachment to mixer and allow to knead for 15 minutes at medium speed.

Pull off small piece of dough and form into thin disc. Holding dough up to light, check for "netting effect." If dough appears to have "netting effect," and does not tear, your dough is ready. If not, continue to knead for 3 to 6 minutes by hand or 5-10 minutes with hook attachment.

Form dough into smooth ball on clean countertop. Lightly oil glass or stainless steel bowl, place dough in bowl and turn to coat. Use plastic wrap to cover bowl and refrigerate for 18 to 24 hours.

When ready...

This is where Alton directs you to place pizza stone or tile onto the bottom or lowest rack of cold oven and turn oven to its highest setting, generally 500 degrees F. When I did this and proceeded to cook my pizza, I smelled burning within a few minutes. DO NOT let this discourage you. I only tell you that so I can explain I used an inverted cookie sheet to bake my pizza instead of a pizza stone. When doing that, I bake my pizza on the middle rack at 410 degrees F for 30 to 45 minutes. When I returned to my usual method, the pizza baked beautifully.

For thinner crust, divide dough into two equal parts. Flatten each piece, then fold each piece over onto itself, forming into ball. For thicker crust, leave dough whole. I leave it whole, as I use a lot of toppings.
Use very little water to dampen hands and rub them over countertop. With the heel of your hands, roll dough until it tightens. Cover with clean dish towel for 30 minutes. Repeat with second half of dough.

I skip the aforementioned step altogether. I simply remove bowl with dough from refrigerator and allow to rest on counter while I prepare my ingredients and preheat the oven, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Either way, from here you will either use dough immediately or spray inside of of zip shut bag with cooking spray and store dough refrigerated in bag for up to 6 days.

Use hands or rolling pin to stretch dough over pizza peel or inverted cookie sheet, shake stretched pizza dough on peel to ensure it moves and slide it onto stone or tile (if not using cookie sheet). Top and bake immediately for more crisp crust or allow to rest for 30 minutes then top for chewier crust.

Topping Ingredients:

11 logs string cheese (I use Frigo for this), cut into pieces in necessary

Sauce, Homemade or in Jar

Handful fresh basil leaves

A block and a Half of Mozzarella, Shredded ( I ONLY use whole milk Sorrento block mozzarella)

1/2 Green, Red and Yellow Bell Peppers, sliced

1/2 Large or Whole Small Yellow or Red Onion, sliced

7-8 Ounces of a 10 ounce package whole white mushrooms, sliced

Salt-free Garlic and Herb seasoning (I've tried it and Italian seasoning in not nearly as good for topping)

Leave enough dough to wrap around logs of string cheese. Place logs around outer rim of dough, cutting into pieces to fit if necessary.

Fold excess dough over logs, covering completely. Pinch dough to bottom crust to seal.

Layer dough (inside covered logs) with sauce and torn pieces of fresh basil.

Cover with cheese. I added diced pieces of sun-dried tomatoes. Sprinkle cheese with salt-free garlic and herb seasoning.

Layer with sliced fresh vegetables.

I also added sliced ball of fresh mozzarella. Sprinkle again with salt-free garlic and herb seasoning.

After about 40 minutes in the oven, the pizza is ready!

This calls for a celebration...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

To Warm You Up & Red Lentil Soup

The weather here in New England has been so cool, crisp and quintessentially fall. I thought I'd take a break from my remaining two Maine posts' to share a delicious soup I made last week.
Come this time of the year I'm always looking for recipes that are warm, comforting, delicious, and if at all possible, recipes that manage to be packed with goodies to keep us healthy, too. This soup happens to fall under all those categories. This was my first experience with lentils; They're nutty, rich and filling. If I could liken them to anything, it would maybe be the garbanzo bean. Small as red lentils are, they share some of the same hearty characteristics. The soup was so quick and easy to make. And served with my second batch of Harvest Squash Bread, this has easily become a new seasonal favorite.

Red Lentil Soup

Recipe courtesy and Adapted From Epicurious


1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 carrots, chopped (1 cup)
1/2 cup chopped fresh or canned tomato (I used both)
1 celery rib, chopped
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dried red lentils
3 cups water
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste


Place heavy 5-quart sauce pan or Dutch oven over medium/high heat, add oil and heat until oil becomes hot but NOT smoking. Add in chopped onion and sauté for about five minutes, or until tender and light golden in color. Add garlic, carrots, tomato, celery, cumin, and salt. Sauté (stir), continue stirring for two minutes. To vegetables, add dried red lentils, water and broth. Turn heat down and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in lemon juice, fresh parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ogunquit Pt. 2 & Marginal Way

My Uncles' Pat and John have owned a home in Ogunquit, Maine for 20 years. In all the summer's and one other fall I've visited, I've never walked Marginal Way, the one and a half mile cliffwalk that overlooks the ocean and leads to Ogunquit Beach, in its entirety. Daph and I were so fortunate to have gorgeous weather during our stay over Columbus Day weekend. Which also happens to be the last weekend all the stores and restaurants are open and the trolley is running. There are less than 1000 residents off-season.

Ogunquit Pt. 1

Ogunquit Pt. 3

Ogunquit Pt. 4

Daph and I started at the very beginning of Marginal Way. We snapped several pictures of the gorgeous scenery before deciding to get lunch in preparation for our full day of walking.

We stopped for lunch at Oarweed. If you're sitting by a window or outside, you're able to look out at the water while you eat. The salty beach air was intoxicating.

We ordered appetizers, salad and seafood chowder. Daph had Haddock broiled in butter and I had the Seafood trio (Haddock, Stuffed Shrimp, Scallops) cooked the same way.

After lunch we headed outside and began the trail along Marginal Way.

We just couldn't get over the beauty along our walk. I'm thrilled I was able to share my favorite place on earth with my favorite person on earth.

{Click Picture to Enlarge}

What a day! And this was just the beginning...
Related Posts with Thumbnails