Sadler House

Sadler House

Rockland, Maine


All of the posts under the "recipe" tag.

Stupendous Seafood Paccheri

I’ll come out and admit it.  I’ve always been intimidated by seafood pastas and stews.

Okay, okay, I’ve made scampi.  But the prospect of a bouillabaisse or a paella or a pasta with various sea creatures on it…well, it just seemed too hard.  I can’t say exactly what made these dishes seem so unattainable, but I am pretty sure it had something to do with the challenge of obtaining three or four different fresh fish or shellfish on the same day in almost embarrassingly small amounts.  Now, this may be a real problem for folks who live in areas lacking good grocery stores, but as a person who has access to the glorious seafood markets in and near Rockland, there’s just no excuse.  So, recently, when Dan and I saw Lidia Bastianich making a mouthwatering seafood pasta on her show, we decided the time had come.

It was imperative we finally make the plunge.  I decided to take on a pasta recipe that contained mussels, clams, scallops AND shrimp.Seafood Paccheri Recipe

Right off, though, we cheated.  Dan and I decided to omit the clams and double the mussels.  The reason for this was two-fold.  First, we have never cared much for clams.  I realize this may get us kicked out of Maine, but we can’t deny that we are just mussels folks.  Second, if you are shopping at a supermarket, mussels come handily in bags of 2lbs., so it can be a great way to simplify your ingredient list and avoid an extra stop at if your time is limited or seafood markets are closed.

If you are not near a great seafood outlet in a coastal area, the other thing we have realized is the usefulness of both frozen raw shrimp and frozen scallops. We have found that sometimes the frozen shrimp is the only practical way for us to shop ahead and plan, so that’s what we had on hand.  The frozen scallops, likewise, have proven to be an affordable way for us to have scallops on hand days or weeks before we need them, when we are not in Rockland and have to make due in Virginia. Read more →

Presto Pesto Recipe

Easy Pesto RecipeWhen you want to feel really self-satisfied over a home cooking endeavor, look no further than pesto.  It’s one of those foods that has a sort of glamorous foodie image and with good cause.  Pesto adds incredible flavor to everything from sandwiches to pasta.  It’s expensive to buy, though, and can be overpowering if you use too much.  I think people are a little intimidated by it.

When we finally moved into our own house and I had room to grow as much basil as my heart desired, I went a little overboard.  In the summer of 2006, my backyard looked like it belonged to Cheech and Chong.  What could I do with all this basil?  I just made batch after batch of pesto and froze it in ice cube trays.  For the entire winter, we had fresh pesto (defrosted on the spot) to use in our meals. Some summers, since, have been better for pesto than others. This year, I got another bumper crop. As August comes to a close, it’s time to put that freshness away for the cold winter nights.

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Mom’s Sneaky Whoopie Pie Recipe

zucchini bread whoopie pie recipeDan and I love food. We love to cook it and we love to eat it. That’s why it was a surprise and a frustration to us when one of our two children turned out to be one of the pickiest eaters we’d ever seen.

Suffice to say, this child has not eaten a vegetable in any form since he was old enough to feed himself.

I tried all the cook books promising that I could hide veggie purees in my child’s food. None of them worked. He’s a detective — seeking out and systematically rejecting any recipe that has incorporated a vegetable in any form.

Man, does this kid love a whoopie pie, though — and why not? The whoopie pie is truly one of the best things ever to come out of Maine, is it not?

Recently, I came across a recipe for a supposedly delectable double-chocolate zucchini bread. It’s no wonder; everyone I know is buried under a pile of zukes at this time of year. Zucchini recipes are needed, stat! I started to ask myself if it might not be possible to create a whoopie pie that hid a pile of zucchini inside its delicious, cakey goodness. I figured it might be a total failure, but I had little to lose. Sure, I’m still handing him the filling to go with all that veggie goodness but, hey, you pick your battles, folks.

Spoiler: THIS WHOOPIE PIE TURNED OUT TO BE TOTALLY RAD. More importantly, the child ate it.

Yep. He ate it and begged for more. Having tasted the pies of whoopieness, myself, I am totally sold. They pack the electrically sugary punch that a normal whoopie pie might, but the bite of the dark chocolate and the moist density of the cake is ideal for balancing out the sweet filling. We are totally sold.

We already ate the first batch and it’s only been two days. If you have a child who could benefit from some zucchini, try serving this up as your next dessert.

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