New Look Belfast


This is Belfast, not in Ireland but on the midcoast of Maine, so named at the request of an Irish settler around 1770.  With names like Yarmouth, Moscow, Camden, Naples I think many towns in Maine are named for places of early settlers origins.

Not  too long ago Belfast was best known for its chicken packing plant.  That is closed now, and new restaurants, galleries, and shops line the main street making it a very fun place for an outing.

One of the most popular eateries, not only in Belfast but on Maine’s coast, is Chase’s Daily where tasty vegetarian dishes are prepared from produce grown at the family farm.  During the summer months, one can expect a lengthy wait for a table.

Chase's DailyWait time can pass pretty quickly if you venture to the rear of the restaurant where there is a stunning array of vegetables and flowers available for purchase.

 Chase’s is also a venue for local artists to display their work.   How many places do you go and see art and vegetables being complementary?

As good as all the healthy food is, my very favorite thing is this cookie oozing with chocolate and dried cherries.  I’ve been known to have one when I’m waiting in line for a table.

New this year in Belfast is an unbelievable farmers market.   I’d been told it was wonderful, but I wasn’t prepared for just how great it is.

Most Maine farmers markets are outdoors.  Not this one!  It’s in a huge enclosed building, and plans are for it to operate year round.  Hopefully, the full time population of the midcoast will support it as it is a great asset to the area.

In addition to produce and locally made cheeses and meats, there are all kinds of prepared edibles surprisingly representing a number of cultures.  It’s going to take more than one visit to try them all!

It was great to see a variety of handmade items  displayed and getting considerable interest.  It got me to thinking about whether or not some of my handwoven pieces might find a market there. Scarves and shawls just might fit right in.

cupcakesMost of the vendors did a great job displaying their wares.  I tried to pass by the egg carton full of mini cupcakes, but it was impossible to resist!  Not only were the cupcakes cute, they were very tasty.

That’s a quick look at some of what is in Belfast.  Next stop is Coastal Mountain Land Trust’s recently developed rail-trail which follows the route of the Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railroad, a passenger and freight line which operated from 1871 to 2007 between Belfast and Burnham Junction.  A hike is just the thing to walk off the extra calories ingested at the farmers market.  Let’s get going!

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

A Gown Day

Rockport HarborBlustery winds, rain, boats rocking in the harbor made it a perfect day to stay inside and have what a friend calls a gown day.  That means you don’t have to get out of pajamas if you don’t want to.

applesDays like this make me want to be in the kitchen and fill the house with sweet smelling aroma.  There are lots of freshly picked apples waiting to be used, so it was to work chopping them for an Apple Dapple Cake.   (Recipe here.)

apple dapple cakeHot out of the oven, a brown sugar/butter topping is poured all over, and the cake is left to cool.

apple dapple cakeTurned out of the pan, my mouth begins to water, but I’ll resist the temptation to have a bite since this will be perfect for the dessert I’m to take to a friend’s house later.

biscoff toffee cookiesNext up are some Biscoff Toffee Cookies, a recipe found here.  In addition to the toffee bits, I added a partially used bag of Ghiardelli semisweet chocolate chips.  Might as well double the pleasure, don’t you think?  As soon as they were out of the oven, I treated myself to a glass of milk and  a few cookies.  I’m home alone this week, so I can indulge some favorite things.

biscoff toffee cookiesBy the way, if you don’t have a Silpat, get one.  They are wonderful for so many baked things, they clean up easy and can be used over and over again.

centerpieceWell, time in the kitchen took up most of the morning, so it’s time to sit by the fire and read.  On the way to the living room, however, the dining room table looked like it could use a little sprucing up.  Some pumpkins and gourds, a few fallen leaves from the porch and a new tablecloth took care of that in an instant.

Though I wouldn’t want too many days in a row like this one, every now and then it’s great to have a gown day.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind


Full Plate Thursday

Foodie Friday

What’s With Nutella?

Preparing strawberry and nutella filled crepes  during the French Foodie Adventure, 2013

Preparing strawberry and nutella filled crepes during the French Foodie Adventure, 2013

I first tasted Nutella in Europe some years ago which makes sense since it has long been popular there. Created in Italy, it is a chocolate hazelnut spread that can be used in a variety of ways and is now commonly found on U.S. grocery shelves.

Nutella cookiesI bought a jar to play around with and found it to be a nice addition to cookies that started out as oatmeal raisin but became something else.   I added a little of this and that, and the result is a tasty crispy cookie that quite by accident is also gluten free.  Ordinarily I don’t like baking with gluten free flour, but by mistake I used it instead of regular flour and luckily the cookie turned out fine.  

Nutella cookiesJudging from how fast they are disappearing from the cookie can, they must be pretty good!

If you are in the mood to bake after all the holiday cooking, this is the recipe.

Nutella Oatmeal Cookies

3/4 c. granulated sugar

3/4 c. brown sugar

3/4 c. softened butter

2 eggs

1 t. vanilla

1 1/4 c. flour (I used Red Mill gluten free by accident)

1 t. baking soda

1 c. Nutella

2 1/2 c. uncooked oats

1 c. Craisins

1 c. white chocolate chips

Cream together sugars and butter.  Add eggs one at a time, vanilla and Nutella, mixing well.  Gradually add in combined flour and soda.  Stir in oats, Craisins and white chocolate chips.  Drop by teaspoon onto ungreased baking sheet and bake at 350 for 10 minutes.  Cool on wire rack.

Next time I make these I’m thinking of adding a little coconut, too.  What do you think?

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind


Foodie Friday