happybellynh's Profile

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lunch in concord

Concord has a lot to offer, though many of the great options are weekday lunches (to accomodate the business clientele). For the next time you venture up: In a Pinch is excellent, and they also have a newer outpost over by the Red Cross on South St. The Washington St Cafe is great, with middle eastern options, really good hummus and falafel, close to downtown. Weekend tasty treats include Madeliene's Cafe right across from the statehouse, and Bread and Chocolate at the other end of Maine St, next to the Red River Theater. Vinnie's right off Main St has pretty great pizza for the area. Hermano's, behind Maine St, has really good nachos and margaritas, as well as live music in the lounge, though some of the rest of the menu is just meh in my opinion. But do try the chopped side salad- excellent.

For other things to do- tons of hiking trails nearby, like the conservation center in East Concord; the planetarium; the NH History museum behind Maine St; ice skating at the rink on Loudon Road; Beech Hill Farm ice cream out in Hopkinton in the summer (ice cream, farm animals, corn maizes, etc). It really is a nice area- and the downtown is improving tremendously in recent years.

Layers in Homemade Biscuits

My favorite buttermilk biscuit recipe is from a cookbook called Yankee Hill-Country Cooking, which I inherited when my husband's grandmother passed (with her notes in it... awesome heirloom!). The recipe calls for kneading lightly. When I made them the first time, the kneading left some light layers in it through no special effort of my own. And they're great- but not the same fluffy texture as southern biscuits. This is a cookbook from the 40's, so perhaps folds were at least present in Yankee biscuits back then?

Feb 23, 2012
happybellynh in Home Cooking

What to do with leftover braised cabbage?

Also, I have great luck freezing braised red cabbage every fall. I just defrost, heat and serve for an easy side dish on busy nights. Mine is shredded, so there's no real texture loss... but you may have a different starting point.

Feb 23, 2012
happybellynh in Home Cooking

Micucci's Pizza

Hilarious.

Rooster's : Brick Oven Pizza in Augusta, ME

Wow- I work in Augusta, in that area all the time, and totally assumed that it was a beer/wing joint. Glad to hear it's coal-fired pizza, but sad to hear the negative reviews more recently. Perhaps I'll give it a try and report back... Though I'd just as soon spend my money at Bay Wrap if I think it's going to be a lousy lunch. I'll check back in if I make it over there.

Micucci's Pizza

I'm just echoing the supreme deliciousness of Micucci's pizza. I often have meetings in Portland, and I always try to schedule them around when I think I'll be hungry, yet not at peak lunch time (they are sometimes waiting for a new pie to come out of the oven, and waits can be up to 15-20 minutes). Heaven on a paper plate!

takeout in or near Brunswick?

There's a fantastic new pizza place on Maine Street- Flipside. Lots of organic and locally sourced products, innovative flavor-combos, etc. Might be a nice compromise for a non-adventuraous eater and a foodie. It's really very tasty- best in the area.

Help me use my frozen green beans (blech!)

In an effort to eat locally year-round in Maine, I froze a bunch of green beans by blanching and then food-saving. Turns out I hate them. They seem super soggy-yet-spongy and disgusting, but I can bear to throw them away. How can I salvage them? I do have one interesting Indian recipe from Julie Sahni's book I think where you saute them in spices till their practically unrecognizable (and yet tasty!) that I may try... but we're talking a lot of beans, here.

Jan 06, 2012
happybellynh in Home Cooking

Need pressure cooker advice NOW. Anyone on who knows how to cook with them?

I think it depends on the kind of PC you use, Puffin. My brand-new Kuhn-Rikon recommends a cold-water release, and I use one all the time with great success. The new models have multiple safety mechanisms, and I think that the really, really dangerous part has largely subsided- as long as you're present in the kitchen and throw an eye in that direction from time to time, you're all set. I use mine while making dinner and keeping an eye on the toddler in the kitchen, no worries.

Jan 03, 2012
happybellynh in Home Cooking

Fresh pasta dough in breadmaker?

I just got a new Atlas 150 for Christmas (!!!) and I'm taking it on it's maiden voyage this week. I make my bread exclusively in my bread-maker (sometimes making the dough, then cooking off in the oven, or other techniques, depending on the time). I use Beth Hensperger's bread machine cookbook (ahh-mazing). There are a number of recipes for fresh pasta dough, with and without eggs, whole wheat, vegetable, etc. Has anyone else had luck using a bread-machine to make their fresh pasta dough? Or should my first attempt at fresh pasta be by hand?

Any other great things you want to let me know about using my new Atlas? I can't wait!

Dec 28, 2011
happybellynh in Home Cooking

home made food for babies/toddlers?

My 16 month old has been eating whole foods since probably 11 months? But I'm very careful about limiting salt/sugar/oil/refined grains, so he doesn't generally get the same meals we do. I'll usually steam and dice some veggies- carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes- green beans... whatever is in the garden- and put the cubes in the fridge to be added to each meal for 3-4 days. Then some cut up fruit- again, whatever is avail/in season- I may turn it into applesauce for a change. Diced pita with homemade hummus, or whole wheat bread with almond butter. He loves all kinds of beans- just cooked from dried and served as is. Or I'll make a little lentil and apple mash with cinnamon and cumin. Some cheese, cottage cheese, or yogurt. Then he gets some version of that for his meals, plus whatever we're having that's appropriate. I'll usually have 5-6 bowls of various items already prepared (fruit, veg, beans, etc) in the fridge, and I'll grab 3 or so to put on his plate for each meal. For snacks, more of the same, plus he's crazy for unsalted brown rice cakes, raisins, organic cheese sticks, etc.

I aim to have enough stuff prepped in the fridge that he can have something different at every meal, and I achieve that by setting aside whatever I'm making for us early on in the process. Like, if I'm making a broccoli alfredo, he gets the steamed broccoli (with enough in the fridge to be another meal) and the whole grain pasta, but not the alfredo. And I aim for a balanced diet over the course of a day, not necessarily a perfect balance at each seating.

Oct 12, 2011
happybellynh in Home Cooking

It's getting cooler- what are you making in your pressure cooker?

I did just find this, and a few others: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/334568....

Oct 12, 2011
happybellynh in Home Cooking

It's getting cooler- what are you making in your pressure cooker?

I just bought my first pressure cooker last night- a Kuhn-Rikon 7qt- and I'm so excited to take it for a spin. I've never used one before (other than a giant 60's-era pressure canner for putting food by). What are you making for the cold weather in yours?

Oct 12, 2011
happybellynh in Home Cooking

The truth about your local farmers' market

Likewise, in midcoast Maine where I am, there are NO imported goods at ANY of the local markets (I have 4 easily accessible from my house). Everything is locally grown- and in the cases where it's more expensive than the store, it's simply because it's a better, and often organic, product.

It seems that the reselling of goods may be more common than I thought (reading these posts), which makes me pretty sad- that's not at all what I expect form farmer's markets.

Jul 29, 2011
happybellynh in General Topics

My Austrian food pact with the devil

Wolfgang Puck's recipe for gulasch is easy and fantastic- it's not precisely Austrian, but it's regional, and he's Austrian, so it's good enough for me. It tastes just like the gulasch we had while we were in Austria- brings me right back.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/wo...

We serve it with a nice braised red cabbage and apple dish that I found here on Chowhound; you could also use locally made sauerkraut, or even egg noodles. Or you could be adventurous and use the recipe that Wolfgang Puck recommends serving with it- spaetzle. Which always seems too big a pain in the neck to me.

Jul 16, 2011
happybellynh in Home Cooking

inexpensive, but good, olive oil? [Moved from Home Cooking]

I thought that Colavita did? Or perhaps Colavita was the next best in my price range... at any rate, I know they were up there. I buy Colavita in the 32 ounce bottles for around $17.

Jun 07, 2011
happybellynh in General Topics

Low budget dinner for 20

Socallmewren, I think she means that, when you pull out the phyllo, you'll have a pile of super thin leaves or sheets of dough. You'll want to put 8 of them in the bottom of your dish (to form a firm crust). I'd brush butter between each layer or two. Then another 8 on top. You'll have a veg 'sandwich' with 8 sheets each on top and bottom, and veg filling between.

May 11, 2011
happybellynh in Home Cooking

Is Jamie Oliver Right or Wrong About Sugary Milk in Schools?

It's not about dictating what other people consume- it's about choosing how we want to channel our taxpayer dollars, LawnGnome. Public school lunches are heavily subsidized by government dollars (and, ahem, public schools are gov't dollars, period). Choosing what kind of nutritional standards should be met in the expense of those dollars is not fascism, it's common sense. It's not like anyone has proposed that no student ever be allowed to consume flavored milk- just that taxpayers don't have to subsidize it.

May 06, 2011
happybellynh in Features

Loco Coco's Tacos Delicious - Kittery Maine

totally agree that Loco Coco's deserves a lot of love and attention. We drive from Bath ME to Concord NH pretty often, and always try to time our trips so that we're conveniently hungry in Kittery. The guacamole is stellar, and the chile verde is amazing- quite hot, but worth the runny nose. I highly recommend them; glad you enjoyed!

(Also, I really appreciate that it's been largely the same kitchen staff since I've been making my pilgrimages there over the last 4-5 years. I feel like that says something good about both the food and the management).

Beauford's Southern BBQ, Hillsborough NH

How have I missed this? My folks live in Hillsborough, I'm there I'll the time. I'll definitely give it a try and report back!

Cape Cod or Maine?

Guess it depends on who you ask. To me, bulk frozen dough balls from Sysco that happen to rise and bake in your ovens aren't homemade. Others may feel differently, though (what's the old saying... reasonable [people] may disagree?).

Cape Cod or Maine?

Totally agree on the location for the new Archers... the food is beside the point with a location that great!

But... I feel bad letting the cat out of the bag... the bread is all frozen, just baked on premises. (I used to work there).

Bone-in ham roast-- now what?

DoobieWah, we have a winner! I don't know what I have (see below) but it does look like a pork volcano, and I happen to have ALL of the ingredients to make your recipe! And it sounds great. I'll let you know how it goes- perhaps I'll make it for Easter as well. What do you serve on the side?

Apr 19, 2011
happybellynh in Home Cooking

Bone-in ham roast-- now what?

Paulj, you've stumped me. I have no idea what I have. I assumed that 'ham' meant that it had already been treated somehow, through some curing process, but it didn't cross my mind what that would entail. There doesn't seem to be any mold; it's wrapped and frozen, and does look like a 'pork volcano' as DoobieWah suggested. ??

Apr 19, 2011
happybellynh in Home Cooking

Solo Bistro, Bath ME, blew me away this weekend.

I ate at Solo Bistro for the first time this Saturday night, and was so impressed with every aspect of the meal. I had not eaten there, because the decor seems a bit... cold... to me (very Scandinavian and spare), but inside, it actually felt cozier than I had expected, and the food was too good to miss.

We started with 4 oysters on the half shell with a lemongrass mignonette, and a morel and goat cheese flatbread. The oysters were incredible- the best that I or my dining partner had ever had. We bought the remaining 6 the kitchen had. The flatbread was tasty- perfectly toasted with a deep mushroomy grilled flavor- would have made a perfectly nice entree with a salad.

Entrees were gnocchi with a morel ragout and fennel and semolina crusted scallops with an orange honey butter sauce. The gnocchi was very light, and deeply mushroomy flavored without getting that 'dirty' flavor that mushrooms sometimes get. The scallops were perfect, very fresh, and the sauce was sweet and savory, very rich without being sickly.

Dessert was espresso creme brulee. It was very good, although not as over-the-top as everything else we tried.

Apps ranged from 8-12, entrees 16-25. A very nice wine list, with a good selection by the glass. I can't wait to go back!

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Solo Bistro
130 Front St., Bath, ME 04530

Cape Cod or Maine?

I'm surprised to hear that the Brass Compass is expanding into a new space (and surprised to see it on this board). Virtually everything there is not homemade, and all the seafood is frozen (though they state otherwise on the menu). The quality and quantity is also radically inconsistent. I would not return to Brass compass, and won't be going to Archers. I'm sorry to sound so negative.... but I just find the food there to be nowhere near their own hype, and am really disturbed by the trumpeting of Fresh! Homemade! when the reality is neither.

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Brass Compass Cafe
305 Main St, Rockland, ME 04841

Bone-in ham roast-- now what?

I don't know why, but for some reason I bought a large bone-in ham roast (not pork roast!) at the farmer's market this weekend.

I'm not a big meat cooker/eater, but the things I would think to do with a pork roast (pulled pork, etc) don't seem as applicable to a ham roast. The one thing the farmer did mention is that they've done them with success in a very slow oven- 300* for 5 hours.

Ideas?

Apr 18, 2011
happybellynh in Home Cooking

Square Foot Gardening

Hello! Just wanted to let you know that the theory of square foot gardening (cordoning off small spaces and planting diff crops in each) worked well for me when I had space in a community garden. I wasn't able to do the 4x4 boxes, but I just made two large 'rows' on each side, with a 1-foot path down the middle that I lined with straw to keep the weeks out, and straw around the outside of my planting space. Then I used twine to mark off my squares, and tied it to scrap wood pegs that I drove into the ground like a tent peg. Viola- a square foot garden that could be taken down with no trace, which was a requirement in my community garden.

And I should say- I had great luck with that garden. Though I do recommend taking a look at some companion planting literature. http://www.companionplanting.net/ When your plants are in such tight spaces, it really does seem to make a difference when you plant beets next to pole beans (bad!). At least that's been my experience.

Apr 14, 2011
happybellynh in Gardening

Savory crepe fillings. Your ideas, please?

Thanks for all the great ideas!

I'm planning on these masa crepes from Splendid Table tonight (though without the chard/chile filling, as I haven't got those things). http://www.publicradio.org/columns/sp... Maybe a black bean and tomato filling instead?

And this weekend I think I'll make a big batch and try out some of your ideas!

Apr 14, 2011
happybellynh in Home Cooking

Savory crepe fillings. Your ideas, please?

In my new effort to try to get dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes, I'm thinking I need to add crepes to the menu. They're easy to make, and from what I hear, fridge/freeze well.

The trick: what to put in/on them.

Any thoughts on some interesting, quick, and affordable (read: cheap) fillings for dinner crepes... especially if they happen to include standard pantry items?

Thanks!

Apr 11, 2011
happybellynh in Home Cooking